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ASX head resigns to focus on graft probe

Boards displaying stock movements are seen inside an Australian Securities Exchange in downtown Sydney in 2014. AFP
Boards displaying stock movements are seen inside an Australian Securities Exchange in downtown Sydney in 2014. AFP

ASX head resigns to focus on graft probe

Managing director and CEO of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Elmer Funke Kupper resigned from his position yesterday, after the Australian Federal Police revealed last week that it was investigating Tabcorp – a firm Kupper led from 2007 to 2011 – for allegations of foreign bribery.

The announcement, which was made by the ASX’s chairman Rick Holiday-Smith after market hours, said Funke Kupper resigned from his position because he wanted to “focus” on the investigation into Tabcorp, which allegedly made a $200,000 payment to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family in 2010.

“The ASX Board accepted that Elmer wanted to direct his full focus to the investigations which may be made into the Tabcorp matter – and not have them interfere with the important role of leading the ASX,” the press release said.

Funke Kupper had been with ASX since leaving Tabcorp in 2011, with the statement adding that the ASX will now begin the search for a new managing director and CEO.

In a separate release from Tabcorp yesterday, the firm stated that Funke Kupper had been granted a leave of absence from its board of directors, where he was a non-executive director since 2012, adding that his request was “in accordance with the highest professional and governance standards”.

A Fairfax media report last week claimed that Tabcorp made the large payment to a firm run by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s sister in 2010 via a consultant in the United States and in return for a gaming licence in Cambodia. At the time, the firm was exploring the possibility of setting up an online sports betting operation, but did not follow through on those plans.

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