Continuous disclosure obligations
ASX has released the final version of revised Guidance Note 8 on continuous disclosure clarifying when an earnings surprise ought to be disclosed to the market. It also released a detailed paper setting out its response to submissions on the consultation draft.
The original proposal to require any new presentation provided to an analyst or investor briefing be published on the ASX Markets Announcement Platform has been dropped in the final version. Only those presentations containing new, market-sensitive information need be lodged. This will be welcomed by companies, many of which hold numerous presentations each year, and in many instances the presentation is the same information tailored to particular audiences (for example, changes in formatting and some updating of information), but containing no new, material, price-sensitive information.
The concern raised in the consultation process was that too much disclosure of identical information would be obfuscatory rather than helpful, given that the announcements platform could be flooded with multiple presentations, which are in essence the same. The guidance has clarified that companies can use their discretion as to which presentations need to be lodged on the ASX Markets Announcements Platform, that is, they should publish only those presentations containing new, market-sensitive information.