08/04/2010 - 15:32

ASIC moves on agribusiness disclosure

08/04/2010 - 15:32

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The corporate watchdog has released a consultation paper aimed at improving disclosure to retail investors by responsible entities of agribusiness schemes.

ASIC moves on agribusiness disclosure

The corporate watchdog has released a consultation paper aimed at improving disclosure to retail investors by responsible entities of agribusiness schemes.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner, Greg Medcraft, said recent turmoil in the agribusiness scheme sector had alerted the regulator to the need for uniform disclosure rules.

'The changes we have proposed will ensure that retail investors are better informed about all agribusiness schemes and the risks associated with them,' Mr Medcraft said.

ASIC is proposing a benchmark-based disclosure model for unlisted agribusiness schemes, against which the responsible entities must report. The ten proposed benchmarks focus on key issues such as fee models, the financial position of the responsible entity, arrangements around access to land, water and other licenses and related party arrangements.

Comments on the consultation paper are due by 31 May 2010, with ASIC proposing to release a regulatory guide in July 2010.

Responsible entities of existing agribusiness schemes will be required to report against the benchmarks to existing investors by 30 September 2010 and include in all Product Disclosure Statements issued after 30 September 2010.

The enhanced disclosure for retail investors in agribusiness schemes follows similar benchmarks introduced for investors in unlisted mortgage and property schemes, and unlisted, unrated debentures.

ASIC will produce a companion investor guide to help investors in agribusiness schemes better understand the information provided by responsible entities and make more informed investment decisions.

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