01/10/2019

Welcome to Edition 129 of Boardroom Brief.

This is a service specifically targeted at the needs of busy non-executive directors. We aim to give you a “heads up” on the things that matter for NEDs in the week ahead – all in two minutes or less. 

In this Edition, we consider ASIC’s corporate finance regulation report, ASIC’s September corporate finance liaison meeting and ABS figures on job vacancies.

A short week due to the Queen’s Birthday.
 

YOUR KEY BOARDROOM BRIEF

ASIC reports on corporate finance regulation for January to June 2019.  ASIC’s half-yearly report – directed at companies, lawyers, corporate advisers and compliance professionals working in corporate finance – sets out its key observations on fundraising, mergers & acquisitions and corporate governance issues as well as its areas of focus for the next six months.  The report notes that more than 25% of prospectuses lodged during the period required additional or amended disclosure typically on business models, use of funds and risks (with corrective disclosure commonly sought for tech prospectuses in relation to customer numbers, revenue growth, summary financial information and market segments).  Directors involved in, or contemplating, a fundraising, are reminded where they engage marketers to promote the offer to actively monitor marketing and promotional activities and materials to ensure they are not misleading or deceptive.  ASIC’s recent efforts to clarify its approach to climate risk disclosure and ongoing focus on director benefits and recommendations disclosure in control transactions also features. You can read the report here.

Update on ASIC’s corporate finance liaison meeting.  At the meeting last week, ASIC advised: (i) AGM extensions will generally not be approved where this would result in the AGM falling during the Christmas period (from 23 December 2019 to 3 January 2020); (ii) the exposure period for prospectuses and other disclosure documents lodged with ASIC between 5.00pm on 17 December 2019 and 9.00am on 2 January 2020 will be automatically extended by 14 days; and (iii) firms that lodge a large volume of time-sensitive forms can apply to use the ASIC e-lodgement service for these forms.

ABS releases jobs figures. The ABS has reported that the number of job vacancies (across the public and private sectors) decreased by 1.3% over the August 2019 quarter, representing the first annual decline of job vacancies since February 2014.  In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of job vacancies decreased by 1.9% in the August 2019 quarter and also decreased by 1.9% over the year.  Tasmania had the largest percentage increase in vacancies over the year and Victoria the largest percentage decrease.

THE WEEK AHEAD

RBA interest rate decision today – are we set for a new low?  Even before Philip Lowe’s speech in Armidale last week, the market was pricing in a rate cut today owing to clear signs that fiscal and monetary policy are not working in the same direction.  That said, some analysts have questioned the impact of any further cut on lifting growth.  The RBA will announce its decision at 2.30pm EST.

Daylight saving commences at 2.00am EST this Sunday.  Daylight saving is not observed in WA, Queensland or the Northern Territory.  As WA will be three hours behind Sydney time during daylight saving, as of next Monday, ASX Market Announcements will stay open until 8.30pm EST (5.30pm WST).  ASX Market Announcements will revert to its usual 7.30pm EST closing when daylight saving ends.

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