ASIC provides overview of compliance issues. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) identified compliance issues found during its proactive surveillance of responsible entities and superannuation trustees. The notable concerns for responsible entities include defective or misleading disclosure and advertising material; inadequate internal processes; and absence of an appropriate monitoring of returns information. For superannuation trustees, the notable concerns are rollover forms that give the impression to new members that they are required; self-managed investments that give the impression they provide same level of choice and control as a self-managed superannuation fund; and promotional material that does not contain balanced messages about risks and benefits. (9/15/2015) ASIC press release. 

Japan joins ARFP. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced that Japan will participate in the Asia Region Funds Passport (ARFP), which aims to increase cross-border investments among member economies and assist in the development of the region’s financial markets. (9/11/2015) FSA press release. 

FSA updates list of institutional investors accepting Stewardship Code. The FSA published an updated list of institutional investors that have notified the FSA that they intend to accept the Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors (Japan’s Stewardship Code) as of the end of August 2015. (9/11/2015) FSA press release. 

ASIC publishes results of review of transparency information on super websites. ASIC announced the results of its recent review of superannuation websites for compliance with new executive officer remuneration and systemic transparency disclosure requirements. ASIC concluded that most superannuation trustees have complied with the disclosure requirements. The agency made several recommendations to improve disclosure on websites, including, among other things, creating an intuitive link to transparency information on the website’s homepage, publishing transparency information in a dedicated part of the website or including hyperlinks to the information in one place, disclosing the periods that executive officers have served as board members, and including voting summaries on international as well as Australian listed shares. (9/7/2015) ASIC press release.

ASIC consults on remaking employee redundancy funds class order. ASIC requested comment on a consultation paper that proposes to remake a class order on employee redundancy funds, extending relief until October 1, 2017. Comments are due by October 2, 2015. (9/4/2015) ASIC press release.

MAS issues guidance on cross-border offerings of ASEAN securities. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), along with the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, published a handbook to implement the Streamlined Review Framework for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Common Prospectus. The handbook provides guidance to issuers who plan to offer ASEAN Securities using the ASEAN Disclosure Standards under the Framework and contains information regarding criteria for issuers, the steps required to obtain approval for cross-border offerings of ASEAN securities from home and host authorities, and the legislative and regulatory requirements of participating jurisdictions relevant to the offer of ASEAN securities. (9/4/2015) MAS press release. 

MAS issues quarterly summary of economic developments. The MAS published a summary of recent economic developments in Singapore for the second quarter of 2015. (9/4/2015) MAS press release.

ASIC extends relief from disclosure requirements in foreign scrip offers. ASIC has renewed six legislative instruments that provide relief to Australian investors participating in foreign scrip offers. The instruments provide conditional exemptions from disclosure requirements where a foreign entity makes a relatively small number of offerings in Australia as long as adequate safeguards are in place. (9/2/2015) ASIC press release.