17/06/2020

The ASX is providing listed entities with relief complementary to ASIC’s relief to listed and unlisted entities allowing an extension of time for the deadline for lodging financial reports. The extension is subject to certain conditions discussed below, including the lodgement of unaudited financials by the usual financial report lodgement deadline.

Click here for the ASX class waiver decision, published on 16 June 2020.

Background to the ASX class waiver decision

In May, ASIC granted an extension of the deadline for listed and unlisted entities to lodge financial reports under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act (see the G+T Insight article concerning this extension here). Essentially, ASIC extended the financial reporting deadlines by one month for certain financial year-ends up to, and including, 7 July 2020.

This was in addition to earlier relief ASIC announced for unlisted entities with financial year-ends that fall between 31 December 2019 and 31 March 2020. (see the G+T Insight article concerning this earlier relief here).

Problematically for ASX listed entities, they were still required to lodge their Appendix 4D and 4E by the relevant due date, despite the ASIC relief.

On 3 June, the ASX issued a class waiver decision affording ASX listed entities with relief harmonising with the ASIC reporting and lodgement relief. Today, after receiving feedback, the ASX published an amended class waiver decision. The below note focuses on the revised position.

ASX class waiver decision

The ASX class waiver decision only applies listed entities registered in Australia and is subject to conditions discussed under the heading “ASX class waiver decision conditions”.

Lodgement of reports

The ASX class waiver decision allows:

  • annual financial reports, directors’ reports and auditor’s reports, to be lodged 4 months after year-ends falling between 21 February 2020 and 7 July 2020 (granting an additional calendar month);
  • half-year financial reports, director’ reports and audit/review reports to be lodged 106 days after half-year ends falling between 15 March 2020 and 7 July 2020 (granting an additional 31 days).

Reports to be dispatched to security holders

The ASX class waiver decision also permits an extension of time for the lodgement of reports required to be dispatched to security holders, being:

  • annual reports; and
  • any concise report under s314 of the Corporations Act.

For listed entities, the above lodgement extension is to the earlier of:

  • 21 days before the listed entity’s next AGM following its year-end; or
  • 5 months after its year-end.

For registered schemes, annual or concise reports must be filed within 4 months following their year-end.

ASX class waiver decision conditions

The ASX class waiver decision is subject to several conditions:

  • Listed entities must lodge unaudited/reviewed accounts AND the information required by Appendix 4D or 4E, by the usual lodgement deadline.
  • If the listed entity has prepared audited/reviewed accounts prior to the extended deadline, they must be lodged immediately once prepared.
  • Listed entities must announce, on the market they are listed on, that they are relying on the ASX class waiver at the same time as they lodge their unaudited/unreviewed accounts. Listed entities must also confirm that they will make a market announcement if there is a material difference between the unaudited/unreviewed accounts and the subsequent audited/reviewed versions of those same accounts.

Please contact us for more information, or to answer any questions you may have concerning the implications of the ASX class waiver decision.

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