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04-006 ASIC acts on conflicts of interest in public companies

Thursday 8 January 2004

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today announced the interim results of its program of reviewing company documents sent to shareholders. The program aims to improve disclosure generally between public company boards and their shareholders.

Since 1 July 2003, ASIC has required amendments to be made to 32 related party documents and obtained further disclosure to shareholders in another 14 instances.

‘Where company boards seek shareholder approval or provide information to shareholders where the directors may have a conflict of interest from a commercial perspective, it is important for shareholders to be given full and accurate information’, ASIC’s Executive Director Policy and Markets Regulation, Mr Malcolm Rodgers said.

‘ASIC will act when it considers that shareholders need further information.'

The following are examples of where ASIC has taken action: ASIC also found that related party documents commonly fail to place a value on options being issued to directors and other related parties (see ASIC media releases 03-202 and 03-232)

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