Westpac CEO Dumps 300,000 Share

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 25 December, 2009 - 06:47

Gail Kelly, the CEO of Westpac (WBC) has sold more than $7 million worth of shares this month which is believed to be an attempt to clear up some debt. However, Mrs. Kelly still obtains shares in her bank that worth as much as $32 million. According to the bank, Mrs. Kelly had dumped 300,000 of her shares in the bank. While talking about the issue, Westpac stated that Mrs. Kelly sold her shares to deal with her personal financial matters. It is assumed that the cash generated by the share sale is going to be used to reduce some of her debts including a margin loan from the Commonwealth Bank.

It is to be mentioned that the Westpac CEO has a line of credit from Swiss-owned investment bank UBS that worth $50 million. Mrs. Kelly sold her shares at a time (Monday and Tuesday) when the shares were trading as low as $23.45 where the price went up to $24.68 yesterday. The numbers shows that she missed a considerable amount in capital gains over the share sales. Gail Kelly has become one of the highest-paid executives in Australia who made to the top list this year by collecting a large sum in cash and incentives. However, she faced severe criticise this month after Westpac went for raising its variable home loan rate by as much as 0.45 percent which is pretty much high in comparison with the official rise made by RBA. Wayne Swan, the federal Treasurer termed the move as cynical which ignited a price war in the mortgage market.

Mrs. Kelly is still in the list of top 50 Westpac shareholders despite selling a large portion of her shares. She currently owns 720,556 options and 1.31 million ordinary in Westpac. In addition to that, the company provided her with an extra 240,628 shares under special incentive schemes.