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ASIC welcomes consultation on continuous disclosure::

ASIC today welcomed the ASX’s updated continuous disclosure rules and guidance and urged the business community to have their say on the proposed guidelines.

‘ASIC views continuous disclosure by listed entities as the foundation of market integrity and a central tenet of fair and efficient financial markets,’ ASIC Deputy Chairman Belinda Gibson said.

‘We recognise that listed entities need clear guidance about their continuous disclosure obligations, particularly in the age of instant communication and social media.

‘We encourage people to provide comments on the draft rules and guidance the ASX has released.’

ASX and ASIC share the responsibility for regulating the continuous disclosure framework that applies to ASX-listed entities and have worked together closely and cooperatively to develop the draft rules and guidance.

‘ASIC will be participating in the consultative discussions ASX will arrange and we look forward to that dialogue,’ Ms Gibson said.

ASIC is pleased to see the draft guidance discusses important areas such as when to disclose and when to call a trading halt.

‘Listed entities must provide “immediate” disclosure of price-sensitive information. Immediate doesn’t mean instantaneously, but we think it does mean promptly and without delay. In particular, if the information has reached some of the market then entities need to act quickly,’ Ms Gibson said.

‘Companies should also try to make sure any announcements are clear and complete. Each announcement must contain enough detail for investors to understand its ramifications and to assess its likely impact on the price of the company’s securities.

‘A key part of effective continuous disclosure is having the right systems in place and being prepared. Updated guidance about continuous disclosure will help companies achieve this.’

18 October 2012