ASX’s new guidance should assist listed entities to better understand and comply with their continuous disclosure obligations and also facilitate more efficient listings and processing of ‘standard waiver’ applications.  Listed entities should familiarise themselves with the new guidance which is due to come into effect on 1 May 2013 and consider whether this is an opportune time to review their practices for compliance with continuous disclosure obligations.

ASX releases final Guidance Note on continuous disclosure

ASX has released its Review of ASX Listing Rules Guidance Note 8: Consultation Response, together with the final versions of:

  • Guidance Note 8: Continuous Disclosure: Listing Rules 3.1 – 3.1B (in clean and mark-up format);
  • Continuous Disclosure: An Abridged Guide (in clean and mark-up format); and
  • ASX’s package of disclosure-related amendments to the ASX Listing Rules (in mark-up format).

In broad terms, ASX has maintained its guidance and the changes made to the Guidance Note are intended to provide further information about ASX’s approach in interpreting the continuous disclosure provisions in light of feedback received from the market.

Key points addressed in the new guidance include:

  • the meaning of ‘immediately’;
  • the use of trading halts;
  • further guidance on carve outs from the disclosure requirements;
  • responding to market rumours;
  • the importance of a sound compliance system; and
  • earnings guidance.

The revised Guidance Note (and accompanying amended Listing Rules) are due to come into force on 1 May 2013 (although in the interim, they are still subject to Ministerial review and comment).

For further detail on the updated Guidance Note and the amendments to the Listing Rules, see the recent G+T alert.

ASX formalises timetable for fast-track listings and simplifies application process for ‘standard waivers’

ASX has also released updated Guidance Notes in relation to:

  • applying for admission to the ASX (Guidance Note 1);
  • foreign entities listing on the ASX (Guidance Note 4);
  • significant changes to activities (Guidance Note 12);
  • trading halts and voluntary suspensions (Guidance Note 16); and
  • waivers and in-principle advice (Guidance Note 17),

all of which are due to come into operation on 1 May 2013.

Two notable changes are:

  • the introduction of a fast-track listing process for offers proceeding by a pathfinder prospectus or PDS (Guidance Note 1); and
  • the simplification of the application process for ‘standard waivers’ which have been granted by ASX on numerous occasions and that ASX considers are not inconsistent with the principles on which the Listing Rules are based (Guidance Note 17).

For further details on the fast-track listing process and the simplified application process for ‘standard waivers’, see the recent G+T alert.