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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reserve Bank of Australia finally offloads 50% stake in currency printer after graft scandal

I just recovered a lost note to myself from February 2013, reminding me to blog about the following story.  Although at the time it turned out I was too preoccupied with other topics to do it, I thought readers still might still find this information interesting now:
In February 2013 the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) finally confirmed the sale of its 50-percent stake in the currency printing firm Securency International Pty. Ltd. to the UK-based buyer Innovia Films Limited.
The RBA (whose Sydney headquarters is shown above) has been trying to offload its stake in Securency since 2010, when eight former managers and employees at the RBA’s Note Printing Australia Ltd. unit (NPA) and Securency were charged in relation to the bribing of officials in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam from 1999 to 2004 to win bank-note printing contracts.
The recent sale indicates the RBA is “seeking to distance itself from this failure of corporate governance,” said Anil Hargovan, an associate professor specializing in corporate law and governance at the Australian School of Business in Sydney, part of the University of New South Wales.

However, although NPA was also implicated in the Asia bribery scandal, RBA has said that NPA will continue to remain its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Securency was founded in 1996 and is based in Craigieburn, Australia, with a second location in Querétaro, Mexico.  It changed its name to Innovia Security Pty. Ltd. on March 1st, 2013. 

Innovia Films already owned the other 50 percent of Securency before the purchase and has branches in Atlanta, U.S.A.; Melbourne, Australia; Merelbeke, Belgium; and São Paulo, Brazil.