By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY: Clive Peeters chief executive officer Greg Smith has today backed up his retail rival Gerry Harvey, saying that short sellers are “a destructive force”.
Short selling is the practice of selling shares that you do not own, in the hope that the price will drop, so that when you buy the shares it is at a lower price, with the difference being profit. Although the practice dates back to 1609, it has always been controversial, and has been the subject of continuous complaints, and bans outlawing it, across its 400-year history.
After Harvey was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald saying that short sellers should be lined up against a wall and shot, the Clive Peeters CEO was asked if he agreed.
“I absolutely agree with him – I can’t believe it’s allowed,” declared a resolute Smith. “It’s a destructive force and they should legislate to make it illegal. You should not be able to sell shares you don’t own; it’s a dangerous trend and it should be outlawed.”
Smith also poured cold water on speculation that there would be a cut to the GST, although he did agree that such a cut would have benefits for the economy.
“Anything that would stimulate spending is a good idea. If you’re asking me if I think it has legs: I don’t think so.
“[State and Federal Governments] all would secretly like to have it [the GST rate] higher, but if it were cut, we would see it as a good thing.”
In other Clive Peeters news, Smith reported that the new Moorabbin pilot store was up and running. This store is trialing new ranges of technology products, plus a new kitchen and bathroom solutions centre. Smith said he was very optimistic about the store, and the new product ranges, and that when the time is right, there would be a wider rollout of this concept.