By Matthew Henry

NEWCASTLE: Betta Stores Limited (BSL) requested a trading halt on the Newcastle Stock Exchage (NSX) for an undisclosed reason this morning, which has been granted by the NSX.

In a letter to the NSX general manager, Scott Evans, dated 4 October 2006 but posted by the NSX at 9:54am this morning, BSL company secretary, Nicole Quinn, said: “[BSL] is aware of information concerning the company and its subsidiaries that a reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the price of its securities. However, at this stage the information involves matters that are insufficiently definite to enable disclosure to the market.

“In accordance with prudent practices, the board has resolved to request you grant a suspension of the company’s shares until full and appropriate disclosure to the market can be made or the commencement of trade on Friday 6 October, 2006.

At 10am this morning, the NSX confirmed the voluntary halt on trading BSL securities.

One month ago to the day, BSL had a five-month trading halt lifted which had been imposed by the NSX when the retailer failed to lodge its financial results for the second half of 2005.

In news reported yesterday, Bell IXL Investments announced that its bid to acquire a 20 per cent stake in BSL was unlikely to eventuate.

BSL CEO, Guy Houghton, was unavailable for comment today.