By Michael Hansel, Partner, Liz Cameron, Associate, and,
Emily de Boo, Solicitor
ASIC have extended the consultation period that was initially
outlined in their Consultation Paper 118 Responsible handling
of rumours consultation paper released in September 2009. The
extension is for a further six to nine months.
Responses to the 2009 Consultation Paper raised
concerns over the costs and benefits that would be associated with
proposals to implement specific regulatory rules that define
rumours and distinguish those from genuine expressions of opinion
to inform price discovery. Further concerns were raised over the
potential consequence that the market may be starved of important
information as a result of the implementation of specific
As a result of the feedback that ASIC has received to date, ASIC
are extending their monitoring and consultation period for this
issue. They will then make a decision on whether and what type of
additional regulatory guidance is needed to provide the market with
guidance and to improve industry standards for the responsible
handling of rumours and management of confidential information.
The Consultation Paper set out principles to assist market
participants when handling rumours. However, concerns were raised
by CAMAC that confidence in the integrity of Australia's market
could be undermined if investors believe rumours are actively
spread in the market to distort proper price discovery. Other
comments about this Consultation Paper also raised concerns with
the practical difficulties involved in drafting specific regulatory
rules that define rumours and distinguish those from genuine
expressions of opinion to inform price discovery.
ASIC has acknowledged that these concerns are in need of further
consideration however at this point in time it still holds the view
that at a minimum, and in line with practices with other major
capital markets (in foreign jurisdictions), Australian Financial
Services licensees who are actively involved in the market should
consider the following:
having in place written procedures which provide clear guidance
for operational areas involved in the market about how to deal with
training employees in the relevant areas about these
monitoring compliance with these procedures and being able to
demonstrate compliance with these procedures.
In December 2009 ASIC released Consultation Paper 128 Handling
confidential information (CP128) which sought to improve market
practices on how listed entities' handled confidential
information. This consultation paper proposed best practice
guidelines to assist entities to manage information and promote
confidence within the market. For further details on CP128 please
refer to our previous HG Alert,
ASIC proposes guidelines for price sensitive confidential
HopgoodGanim will be hosting a breakfast seminar on 2 June 2010
Handling Price Sensitive Information during Capital Raising.
This seminar will discuss the Consultation Paper proposals as well
as provide attendees with an overview of the changes proposed by
ASIC and ASX, including how and when price sensitive information
can and should be used to assist in avoiding the pitfalls
associated with disclosure and legislative requirements.
For further information or, to register to attend the
complimentary seminar on 2 June 2010, please
click here or contact Philipa Kehoe on 07 3024 0104 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 26 May 2010.
On 12th November 2016, new laws will commence to protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts.
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