ASIC has repealed the prohibition in its Market Integrity Rules against ASX trading participants effecting special crossings in securities subject to a scheme or takeover (with ASX also making changes to remove the “NS” status notes on such securities).   Restrictions on special crossings under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) will continue to apply to bidders and their associates (but not parties unrelated to the bidder).  The changes should facilitate transactions in large crossings of stock by parties that are unrelated to the bidder.

Following consultation launched in August 2014, ASIC has repealed the prohibition in Rule 6.5 of theASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX Market) 2010 (Rules) against ASX trading participants effecting special crossings in securities subject to a takeover or scheme.  The repeal reflects ASIC’s view that:

conduct during takeovers and schemes is already appropriately regulated by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act), which restricts trading by a bidder (or its associates) during a takeover bid; and the extension under the Rules to restrict special crossings during takeovers or schemes by parties unrelated to the bidder (or its associates) is unnecessary and goes beyond the policy objectives for imposing the prohibition.

Bidders and their associates will continue to be subject to the restrictions in the Act on executing off-market trades (including special crossings).

As a consequence, ASX has also amended Appendix 4013 to the ASX Operating Rules Procedures to allow it to stop applying “NS” (no special trades) status notes to securities subject to a takeover or scheme and to remove existing “NS” status notes on such securities.

See ASIC media release dated 4 May 2015 and  ASX Notice 0447.15.05 dated 6 May 2015.

See also ASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX Market) Amendment 2015 (No. 1) Explanatory Statement.