Capital markets update 2008

A speech by ASIC Commissioner, Belinda Gibson, to the Australasian Investor Relations Association 2008 Annual Conference, 27 November 2008, Sydney.



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for the invitation to open your conference today.

The corporate investor relations executive has assumed critical importance for the corporate community in the current environment. It is timely that you gather here together to discuss the issues you face.

This conference was arranged much earlier this year. Who would have expected that this morning's agenda would take the shape it has? Following me, you will have presentations on the volatile markets, the outlook for the economy in the next 12 months, and a panel session on short selling.

My own topic was set 6 months ago: 'An update on the Capital Markets Taskforce review of insider trading'. That topic is still important, but I have taken the liberty of morphing it into a more general discussion applying the Taskforce's work to present circumstances.

We are all dealing with the issues emerging from the 'GFC' (an alarmingly well-known acronym for the global financial crisis). I am sure each of you must face 2 types of issues every day: when should your company disclose new information to the market (particularly revisions to forecasts and accounts), and just how should you deal with the 'rumours' that seem to flow around the market?

These are challenges that unite us all. We need to adapt our ways to respond effectively to these challenges.

Today I want to address 3 areas central to the behaviour of listed entities in this changed environment:

  1. First, I will talk about the need for good disclosure in a volatile market, and will give you my thoughts on responding to rumours.
  2. Second, I will give you an update on the work of ASIC's Capital Markets Taskforce. We have some achievements to be very pleased with. The Taskforce focus moved to 'Project Mint' from March this year and it is timely to expand on that project. That will naturally lead (again) to the problem of rumourtrage, and what we at ASIC are doing.
  3. Third, I will touch on the analyst and investor briefing review that we announced in August this year, as many of you will have engaged with us on that. That, of course, is now the subject of a referral by the Minister for Corporations Law, Senator Nick Sherry, to the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC).

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Last updated: 27/11/2008 12:00