ASIC releases final online securities guidelines

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has released its final say on the Internet-enabled fundraising activities of local companies.

The final policy statement comes six months after the ASIC released its policy proposal in September 1998 and is the result of an exhaustive public consultation process.

Originally devised in response to the rising number of share and securities offers being made on the Net, the ASIC guidelines basically outline the regulatory requirements local organisations need to follow when attempting to raise funds online.

While there are no intrinsic differences between the policy proposal and final draft, Greg Tanzer, the ASIC's regional commissioner (ACT) said the recently-released version confirms the inclusion of "class order relief", whereby participating companies that adequately follow the ASIC rules cannot become the target of civil or criminal action.

"The primary difference [between the draft and policy proposal] is that when we put out the policy proposal, we were suggesting that we wouldn't put out class order relief," Tanzer explained. "Under the final policy, we have actually devised class order relief."

Copies of the guidelines can be downloaded from the ASIC Web site at http://www.asic.gov.au

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