Conducting Business in Australia
Despite its relatively small population of around 23 million, Australia offers significant investment opportunities to both foreign and local investors. Australia’s stable economy and political system, sound infrastructure and highly skilled workforce make it an attractive destination for investors and a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region.
Recent Amendments to the ASX Listing Rules – How Much Can Small and Mid Cap Companies Raise Without Shareholder Approval? … and What Does it Now Take to Become an ASX Listed Company?
As reported by Addisons in April 2012, the ASX is rolling out a number of initiatives to assist the capital raising efforts of small and mid-cap public companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The first of these initiatives will commence from 1 August 2012, enabling eligible entities to seek approval, as a special item of business at each AGM, to issue securities representing up to 10% of their existing issued ordinary capital over the upcoming year. Entities applying to become listed on the ASX will also, from 1 November 2012, have greater flexibility in the way in which it satisfies the ASX that it has a sufficient spread of securityholders, and sufficient capital and liquidity in its securities, to justify its admission to the securities exchange.
ASX Consultation Paper on Capital Raising by Small and Mid Caps - Great Start, but ... ?
ASX has been working hard to facilitate the capital raising efforts of small and mid-cap public companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. ASX's recent public consultation paper, "Strengthening Australia's Equity Capital Markets" (April 2012) is a commendable, if possibly controversial, move towards greater support for "start-up" companies in the early stages of their development. However, further amendments to the Listing Rules are necessary to remove those Listing Rules that remain "counter-productive" to the objectives of the Consultation Paper. The following submission by Addisons to ASX relates to two such provisions which we believe would, as currently drafted, unduly impede the fundraising efforts of small and mid-cap companies.
Responding to a Takeover Bid
‘Preparation is the best defence’. If there is one context in which this expression rings truer than most, it is in ‘Responding to a Takeover Bid’.
One of the worst scenarios that a company could find itself is to be unprepared for a takeover bid.
Reining in the Chairperson: Voting on the remuneration report resolution
Shareholders often appoint the company’s chairperson as their proxy to vote on their behalf, especially at AGMs. They can either specify how the chairperson must vote by ticking the “for” or “against” boxes next to each resolution on the proxy form (a directed proxy), or leave the boxes blank and allow the chairperson to vote according to his or her own intentions (an undirected proxy).
oOh – ouch! Control Transactions and Option Agreements
The recent Takeovers Panel decision of oOh!media Group Limited  ATP 9 (oOh!Media) highlights that market disclosure may still be required even w
Proposed Changes to the Regulation of Executive Remuneration - Corporations Amendment (Improving Accountability on Director and Executive Remuneration) Bill 2011
Following the global financial downturn and community concern about excessive executive remuneration, in March 2009 the Australian Government (Labor) (Government) asked the Productivity Commission (Commission) to undertake a review of the Australian executive remuneration legal framework in respect of listed companies.
Shadow Equity - The Darker Side of Insider Trading
As global capital markets improve, a number of insider trading charges brought by ASIC, together with recent warnings by the ASX, serve as a timely reminder of the tough stance being taken on those who trade securities with knowledge of undisclosed price-sensitive information. In addition, senior executive remuneration has never been subjected to more intense public and political focus.
Australian Consumer Law Reform - The introduction of unfair contract terms legislation - Important Amendments to the Trade Practices Act and the ASIC Act
Consumer protection provisions will be significantly expanded under a proposal to amend Australia's trade practices law. The amendments, which are expected to come into effect this year, will provide that unfair terms in contracts may be declared void and unenforceable. Many businesses that contract with consumers using standard form contracts are likely to be affected by the new laws and may need to reassess the terms of their contracts as well as their risk management practices.
National Consumer Credit Protection Act receives Royal Assent
On 15 December 2009, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) received royal assent. The Act is part of a reform of Australia’s consumer credit laws following the agreement reached in 2008 by the Council of Australian Governments that the Commonwealth should have responsibility for regulating the consumer credit industry. A practical consequence of that agreement will be that providers of consumer credit will need to be licensed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and will be governed by a new set of uniform national laws. The National Credit Code (NCC), which is found in Schedule 1 of the Act, will apply from 1 July 2010 and will replace the consumer credit codes of each State and Territory. ASIC will be responsible for the administration of the new uniform laws.