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ASX must update guidance on disclosure obligations

Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A

In an article published in today’s Age and Sydney Morning Herald, partner Jonathan Wenig argues that in responding to extraordinary uncertainty in the age of COVID-19, boards have been quick to withdraw guidance, blame the virus and wait for the economic carnage to unfold.

“While this step is the correct course of action – neither COVID-19 nor the withdrawal of guidance will magically disappear the need for disclosure.”

The core question arising from this unprecedented pandemic, Jonathan writes, is when will the full extent of the damage be known and the obligation to provide an update kick in? 

“In a country that attracts litigation funders like bees to honey and where regulatory taskforces have been given dramatically increased budgets, directors are right to be concerned by their continuous disclosure obligations, especially when they are often judged with 20:20 hindsight.”

In this context, Jonathan proposes how the ASX can build on the last week’s guidance by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and pragmatically regulate the responsiveness of companies in an environment of multiplying unknowns.

To read the full article by Jonathan and lawyer Vidushee Deora, click here.

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