ASIC repeals select market integrity rules. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the repeal of a number of obligations under the ASIC market integrity rules to reduce the compliance burden on market participants. The changes remove rules that: (1) require certain market participants to notify ASIC of the details of their professional indemnity insurance; (2) require certain market participants to obtain ASIC’s consent before sharing business connections; and (3) restrict certain transactions such as special crossings during takeovers, schemes of arrangement and buy-backs. (5/4/2015) ASIC press release.

Stronger Super regime update. The ASIC provided an update on aspects of the Stronger Super regime. The start date for portfolio holdings disclosure reporting and choice product dashboard requirements will be deferred to July 1, 2016, to allow the Federal Government further time to consult on the detail of the requirements. Current interim relief so that licensees do not have to provide a hard copy of the product dashboard with the periodic statement has been extended to July 1, 2016. The start date for certain disclosures required pursuant to subsection 29QB(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act for standard employer-sponsored sub-plans has also been deferred until July 1, 2016. ASIC has also extended the interim relief in relation to long-term performance reporting in Class Order 10/630 to December 31, 2015. (5/1/2015) ASIC press release. 

Backdoor listings. Bloomberg discussed Australia’s active encouragement of backdoor listings by overseas companies. Such listings, in which a private company buys a publicly traded one, benefits the shareholders of struggling companies by providing value to what may have otherwise been worthless shares, and it allows the acquiring company to become publicly listed without the expense of an initial public offering. (4/30/2015) Backdoor listings. 

Hong Kong discusses proper disclosure of inside information by listing applicants. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published the latest edition of its Corporate Regulation Newsletter which highlights the importance of the proper disclosure of inside information by listing applicants and listed companies. (4/29/2015) SFC press release. 

MAS adopts notices making certain retail investments easier. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the adoption of new notices which make it easier for retail investors to invest in funds that employ derivatives on a limited basis. (4/29/2015) MAS press release. 

MAS feedback response to AML amendments. The MAS published its responses to the feedback it received to its consultation on proposed amendments to the MAS Notices on “Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.” MAS’s response provides additional, detailed explanation on its supervisory expectations and additional examples for key topics such as enterprise-wide risk assessment, simplified customer due diligence (CDD) measures, as well as enhanced CDD measures and information to be collected from customers. (4/24/2015) Feedback response. 

MAS proposes licensing exemption for remote clearing members. The MAS is consulting on proposed amendments that would exempt from its licensing requirements clearing members which are based overseas and do not have physical operations in Singapore, who conduct their activities outside Singapore and only serve overseas-based customers. Comments should be submitted by May 15, 2015. (4/24/2015) MAS consultation. 

ASIC proposes repeal of redundant class orders. The ASIC released a consultation paper proposing to repeal 59 class orders that are due to expire between 2015 and 2022 and which, in ASIC’s opinion, no longer serve a regulatory purpose. Comments should be submitted by June 17, 2015. (4/17/2015) ASIC press release. 

ASIC update on Wealth Management Project. The ASIC provided an update on its Wealth Management Project, which focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms. ASIC is investigating multiple instances of licensees charging clients for financial advice, including annual advice reviews, where the advice was not provided. Most of the fees have been charged as part of a client’s service agreement with their financial adviser. Under this project ASIC is carrying a number of investigations and is conducting a range of proactive risk-based surveillances with particular focus on compliance in large financial institutions. (4/16/2015) ASIC press release.