Tuesday 15 May 2007 LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a report outlining its recent decisions on applications for relief from the corporate finance, financial services and managed investment provisions of the Corporations Act between 1 October and 31 December 2006. The report, Overview of decisions on relief applications (October to December 2006), provides a summary of situations where ASIC has exercised, or refused to exercise, its exemption and modification powers, from the financial reporting, managed investment, takeovers, fundraising and financial services provisions of the Act.
‘ASIC has been releasing reports outlining its significant relief decisions relating to financial products and services since December 2004 and financial reporting, takeovers and fundraising provisions since January 2006’, said ASIC’s Director of Regulation, Mr John Price. ‘The report aims to provide participants in the capital markets and financial services industry with an up-to-date view of our operational policy and some of the factors that influence us in our decisions about whether or not to exercise our discretionary powers.’ The report also highlights instances where ASIC decided to adopt a no-action position regarding specified non-compliance with the provisions, and features an appendix detailing the relief instruments it executed.
For ease of reference, the appendix contains cross-references linking the instruments to the relevant paragraph(s) of the report. The appendix now also contains hyperlinks to the relevant ASIC Gazette where those instruments have been published. The report is available from the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au or by calling ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630. Background ASIC is vested with powers to exempt or modify the Act under the provisions of Chapters 2D (officers and employees), 2J (share buy-backs), 2L (debentures), 2M (financial reporting and audit), 5C (managed investment schemes), 6 (takeovers), 6A (compulsory acquisitions and buy-outs), 6C (information about ownership of entities), 6D (fundraising) and 7 (financial services) of the Act. ASIC uses its discretion to vary or set aside certain requirements of the law, where the burden of complying with the law significantly detracts from its overall benefit, or where business can be facilitated without harming other stakeholders.