Update: ASX Listing Rules Update - November 2019

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The ASX released its consultation response on 10 October 2019 responding to the submissions it received on its initial consultation paper “simplifying, clarifying and enhancing the integrity of and efficiency of the ASX listing rules”.

As part of the consultation package ASX has proposed:

  • 171 pages of rule changes;
  • 5 amended listing rule appendix forms; and
  • 6 new and 12 updated guidance notes.

Subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, the new rules and guidance notes will largely take effect on 1 December 2019.

The consultation response and roadshow presentation PowerPoint provide a detailed explanation of the proposed changes and can be found on the ASX consultation webpage.

Key areas of reform

Set out below are the key areas of reform.

Improvements to quality reporting: ASX has proposed a number of changes to its quarterly reporting regime directed to providing a more robust disclosure framework for disclosing entities.

 Improvements to listed investment companies (LIC) and trusts (LIT) disclosure obligations in relation to their investment portfolios and net tangible asset backing. As part of these reforms there is a new definition of "NTA backing" in LR 19.12 and changes to the timing of monthly NTA disclosures.

Other disclosure integrity measures: ASX has also proposed, amongst other matters, changes to:

  • clarify the closing date for receipt of director nominations;
  • enhance and standardise disclosure of voting results at meetings of security holders;
  • add conformity to disclosure of underwriting arrangements;
  • extend ASX’s good fame and character conditions to non-director CEOs and CFOs; and
  • clarify the identifying information that a market announcement document should contain.

Making the Listing Rules simpler and easier to follow: ASX has proposed a number of amendments to make the Listing Rules simpler and easier to follow that include providing clearer rules for announcing issues of securities, adding certainty to voting exclusions, simplifying working capital requirements for asset listings and improving the rules regulating placements in Listing Rule chapter 7.

 Improvements to ASX’s escrow regime: ASX has proposed substantial changes to its escrow regime, including a two tier escrow regime of "restriction deeds" and "restriction notices".

Updated timetables for corporate actions: ASX has proposed amendments to the timetables for corporate actions to make them clearer and easier to follow.

Enhancing ASX powers to monitor and enforce rules: ASX has proposed a number of changes to monitor and enforce compliance with the Listing Rules. These powers include the power to impose conditions on no-action letters, power to require information to be verified under oath and power to censure for egregious Listing Rule breaches.

Other efficiency measures: ASX has proposed other efficiency measures to improve existing corporate action forms and introduce new smart forms in ASX online.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Grondal Bruining to discuss any matter mentioned above.

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