Continuous disclosure: ASX Guidance Note 8 rewrite
Speech delivered by Belinda Gibson, Deputy Chairman, and John Price, Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission at the ASX Forum, 22 and 29 April 2013.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today about continuous disclosure. I want to congratulate ASX, and especially you Kevin, for this rewrite of Guidance Note 8. It's a very fine exposition of the issues.
ASIC sees continuous disclosure by listed companies as fundamental to market integrity. Why does market integrity matter? It's what gives our companies a competitive edge for securing capital for investment, and promotes an efficient market, the market that is the engine room for economic growth in this country.
ASIC's view is that there is, broadly speaking, very good compliance with the continuous disclosure regime in Australia.
We take very few actions relative to the number of announcements made, and far fewer than the market commentators say ‘must’ be breaches. ASX refers about 25 cases a year for consideration. We take enforcement action on about five, and have an active dialogue on a handful more.
We definitely understand that continuous disclosure issues can be very difficult, and judgement calls are required. For this reason, ASIC welcomes and supports ASX's release of the re-written Guidance Note 8.
As already mentioned by Kevin Lewis, ASIC worked closely with ASX on this rewrite. Its words broadly reflect our understanding of the principles that we apply in assessing possible breaches of the continuous disclosure requirements.
We are confident that the revised Guidance Note 8 will provide companies with the guidance they need to assist them in complying with their continuous disclosure obligations.