ASX proposes to streamline processing of announcements on key corporate actions from 14 April 2014 (with a 6 month grace period). The new system should result in quicker dissemination of information for investors, improved workflows and compliance for listed entities and easier implementation and system standardisation for intermediaries. Company secretaries should be prepared to use this new system once it is available.
Listed entities announce approximately 110,000 corporate actions per year, including dividends, entitlement offers and capital returns. ASX has announced over the last 2 years that it has been working on a project to introduce straight through processing of listed entity corporate action information.
The system will involve a new mandatory process for listed entities to advise the market of key corporate actions (initially dividends/distributions, interests payments, cash capital returns and security splits/consolidations), by filling in and submitting new Appendices via online forms instead of uploading a PDF document.
The new system will improve the speed and accuracy of company announcements, as well as facilitate compliance with the ASX Listing Rules. Particular benefits of the system include:
- investors will receive company data more quickly, enabling more informed and timely investment decisions;
- listed entities will benefit from improved workflows and improved compliance with the ASX Listing Rules through validation. They will also be able to integrate their systems with ASX systems; and
- intermediaries will benefit from international standard data sets allowing easier implementation and standardisation of systems.
The new information requirements, deadlines and method of submitting the information will be prescribed in the ASX Listing Rules (including updated and new Appendices) and in the ASX policy requirements for use of the electronic lodgement facility and entity details facility (an attachment to the ASX Online agreement, the content of which is set out in an attachment to Guidance Note 20: ASX Online).
Implementation of the new system is proposed for 14 April 2014 following testing and on-line training of listed entities. ASX has indicated that it will allow a six-month ''grace period'' in which it will encourage but not enforce use of the online forms.
See item 7 in ASX Listed Entities Update No 09/13.