By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Clive Peeters has requested, and has been granted, a trading halt on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)  following the extraordinary announcement that around $7 million has gone missing from the company’s balance sheets.

In a letter to the ASX on Friday, company secretary Steven Rowarth attributed these missing funds to an “accounting discrepancy”.

Rowarth informed the ASX that based on a limited investigation, the absence of this figure is set to blow out Clive Peeters’ 08/09 operating loss to around $12 million.

At the time of Clive Peeters’ original profit/loss announcement, which was a deficit between $4 million and $5 million, CEO Greg Smith reported that things would improve during the 2010 financial year. Despite this grim announcement, Rowarth told the ASX that “it is not expected that these accounting discrepancies will impact on the FY10 results”.

Clive Peeters is expected to be trading regularly again on Tuesday 4 August 2009.