On 29 March, ASIC released its ‘no-action’ position which supports holding virtual meetings using appropriate technology and facilitates electronic notices of meetings. ASIC’s ‘no-action’ position applies to meetings held until the earlier of 31 October 2021 or the date that any measures are passed by Parliament relating to the use of virtual technology in meetings.
The position is conditional on the company satisfying a number of requirements relating to the virtual meeting and distribution of electronic notices.
Ahead of the replacement of ASX’s CHESS system, on 30 April ASX provided a short information paper (available on the ASX website) about the changes, to help listed entities and other issuers of exchange-traded securities.
This page on ASX’s website will lead you through the main points and take you to more information.
ASX has made some minor changes to its foreshadowed Listing Rule amendments, to tidy up some drafting issues. The final version that came into effect on 5 June 2021 can be viewed here.
ASX has also put up webinars about these changes on the Help Page at ASX Online for Companies, under the heading “Online Forms – Resources”, and the webinars carry ASX’s strong recommendation that listed entities review them and ensure they’re across the changes by now.
In a recent media release, ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour has highlighted key focus areas for financial reporting as 30 June 2021 approaches under COVID-19 conditions.
‘As COVID-19 conditions continue to evolve,’ she said, ‘the quality of financial reports and related disclosures remain more important than ever for keeping investors informed.
ASIC is reminding companies that the assumptions underlying financial reports should be reasonable and supportable, realistic, and not overly optimistic or pessimistic.
Listed and unlisted entities may now lodge financial reports under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 up to one month later, for balance dates from 23 June 2021 to 7 July 2021 inclusive. The deadline extension will help reduce pressures on small entity audits and allow reasonable time, given the unique variables of COVID-19.
Listing fee changes for FY22 will come into effect on 1 July. Invoices will be issued in the first week of July, and the new fee schedules will appear on the ASX fees page from then. Initial listing fees (Schedule 1, Table 1A- Listing Rule Guidance Note 15A) will also change from 1 January 2022.
Sources of information: Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); Australian Securities Exchange (ASX);
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