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13-164MR ASIC announces surveillance on analyst briefings

Sunday 7 July 2013

ASIC has announced that this reporting season it will be focusing on communications between companies and the investment analysts that cover their stock.

‘ASIC’s priority is to ensure fair and efficient financial markets. All investors - large and small- should have access to equal information from listed entities when making their investment decisions,’ ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said.

This reporting season is the first since ASX issued its revised Guidance Note 8 which assists listed entities understand their continuous disclosure obligations and particularly the requirement to disclose market sensitive information to the ASX.

Over the coming weeks ASIC will be working to raise awareness of the risks of selective disclosure when listed companies brief analysts. ASIC will be reminding key gatekeepers, company officers, individual analysts and their firms, of their obligations.

In addition, ASIC will look to conduct spot checks with selected companies so we can hear how companies brief analysts and understand their procedures. We anticipate that companies and securities houses will be pleased to assist us in this exercise to promote market integrity.

If standards can be improved ASIC will consider providing additional guidance on this topic. ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 62 Better disclosure for investors (RG 62) suggests a number of practical steps that a listed company should take to ensure the widest audience of investors have access to material information about the company.

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