New Changes To ASX Listing Rules
The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) is always reviewing and implementing continuous improvement to their Listing Rules and Guidance to ensure that adequate information is being provided within the market to provide transparency.
During the second half of the 2019 calendar year, the ASX released a consultation paper on proposed changes which it has received and reviewed responses to. As of 1 December 2019, the majority of these changes will come into effect. Below is an overview of two common aspects that our listed clients need to be aware of.
Key Persons Responsible for Communications to ASX
Effective from 1 July 2020:
- Any listing applications lodged to be admitted to the ASX must appoint a person responsible for communication in relation to Listing Rules matters who has completed an approved Listing Rules compliance course and attained a satisfactory pass mark in the examination for that course; and
- An entity must also appoint and at all times have a person responsible for communication with ASX in relation to Listing Rules matters.
Generally, the most appropriate person is likely to be the company secretary but does not have to be. The ASX expects that this person will have a high degree of familiarity with the entity’s operations and have ready access to senior management who have responsibility for day to day management of the entity. We would also expect that companies would have another person as an alternative so as to cover absences of the primary person.
There are a number of changes within this area that companies need to be aware of and addressed. Note that these changes are effective for the quarter ending 31 March 2020.
For Appendix 4C reporters, you will need to lodge an activity report (not previously required) at the same time as your cash flow report, which needs to provide details of:
- Its business activities, including material developments or changes in those activities, and a summary of the expenditure on those activities; and
- Description of and an explanation for any payments to a related party included within Appendix 4C.
For Appendix 5B reporters, the activity report has increased its disclosure requirements to include:
- Details of any farm-in or farm-out agreements it entered into during the quarter; and
- Description of an explanation for any payments to a related party included within Appendix 5B.
In addition, both Appendix 4C and Appendix 5B reporters need to download and utilise the updated and revised cash flow reporting templates from the ASX website to ensure that all the required disclosures are included. These revised templates included an additional disclosure requirement in Section 8 relating to the calculation of the estimated quarter’s funding based upon its last quarter’s cash burn. Should there be less than two-quarters of funding available, the entity needs to answer additional questions relating to its current and future expectations, and what are the action plans that they have in place to address the funding shortfall.
In addition, there are several other new areas effective from 1 December 2019. For further details speak to your local PKF representative and/or go to the following link on the ASX website https://www.asx.com.au/documents/regulation/Listed-201910.html.