Jeffrey Lucy, Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has released a report on the quality and functionality of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in relation to its obligations to supervise the market under s792A(c) of the Corporations Act.
ASIC is required, under s794C of the Act, to annually assess “how well a licensed market operator is complying with its obligations as the holder of a market licence”, according to ASIC’s report on the ASX. It was concluded that the ASX had adequate arrangements in place for supervising the Australian market.
Listed amongst these arrangements were the ability to handle conflicts between the commercial interests of the ASX and its obligation to supervise, the existence of monitoring mechanisms in relation to the conduct of its participants and its enforcement of compliance rules.
The licenses that the ASX must obtain in order to operate a financial market are created under the Corporations Act. ASIC reports that it sought public comment on a proposal to widen the scope for the administration of financial markets, saying in a press release that the current licensing requirements may be “unduly burdensome” for some “specialist facilities” whose primary function is “to bring professional investors together solely among themselves”.
The paper to be put together from the comments is to set out “an alternative approach to applying the full markets regime in all cases”.
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