The ASX has issued a revised draft continuous disclosure guidance note for consultation. Given that many aspects of the ASX and NZX continuous disclosure rules are similar, the ASX's views may be relevant to NZX-listed issuers.
The draft guidance note clarifies ASX's view in relation to a number of grey areas in the current rules, including:
- The meaning of "immediately" in relation to the release of material information to the market. This is interpreted by ASX as requiring disclosure "promptly and without delay" in the circumstances, as opposed to "instantaneously". However, the note makes it clear that the standard of "promptness" required is high.
- The use of the exceptions to the obligation to disclose material information immediately, including a number of useful worked examples.
- The use of trading halts to manage disclosure issues where an issuer is not in a position to issue an announcement straight away.
The draft guidance note is available here. The ASX has also issued a consultation document on proposed continuous disclosure rule changes. The proposed changes are relatively minor, although dual-listed issuers should note that ASX proposes to require immediate disclosure to the ASX of all releases made to overseas exchanges (currently, only price-sensitive disclosures made overseas must be provided).