ASIC’s guidance on collective action by investors. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) updated its regulatory guidance, 15-155MR, for investors to help them in taking collective action to improve the corporate governance of listed entities. (6/23/2015). ASIC press release. 

ASIC changes auditor resignation policy. ASIC announced a change in its approach to the resignation, removal and replacement of auditors. Previously, resignation of auditors could only take place at the annual general meeting; now it will consent to the resignation of an auditor at any time of year, subject to some conditions. (6/18/2015) ASIC press release. 

SFC publishes annual report. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published its Annual Report which summarizes the SFC’s work and details the ways in which the SFC carries out its responsibilities in light of rapidly evolving markets and greater capital market integration with the Mainland. Highlights of the report include the regulatory enhancements that intend to promote the stability of the financial system, improve market quality and strengthen investor protection. (6/17/2015) SFC press release. 

ASIC releases proposals on remaking class orders. The ASIC released a consultation paper proposing to remake five class orders, due to expire in 2015 and 2016, which affect disclosures made in financial reports and the manner in which those reports are presented to security holders. ASIC also proposed to continue a limited, technical exemption from lodging financial reports afforded to some grandfathered large proprietary companies. This exemption would cure some technical drafting inconsistencies in the law. No significant changes were proposed. (6/16/2015) ASIC press release. 

ASIC information sheet to assist directors. ASIC released an information sheet to assist directors and audit committees in considering whether the value of non-financial assets shown in a company’s financial report continues to be supportable. The information sheet discusses matters including: (1) the need for impairment testing; (2) the process for assessing impairment; (3) common issues with impairment calculations; and (4) questions that may be asked of external auditors. (6/10/2015) ASIC press release.