Bloomberg News

ASX Mulls Easier Funding for Miners, Longer Hours

March 04, 2012

The ASX, which was subject to a takeover offer from Singapore Exchange Ltd. that was blocked by the Australian government last April, may extend trading hours by two hours to 6 p.m. Sydney time. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

The ASX, which was subject to a takeover offer from Singapore Exchange Ltd. that was blocked by the Australian government last April, may extend trading hours by two hours to 6 p.m. Sydney time. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

ASX Ltd. (ASX), operator of Australia’s main stock exchange, is considering ways to make it easier for companies to raise money and may extend trading hours.

“I can confirm that ASX is looking at a range of initiatives including an extension of trading hours and measures to make it easier for listed entities to raise capital,” Leeanne Bland, a spokeswoman for the Sydney-based ASX, said in an emailed statement today. Any changes would require consultation with brokers, companies and regulators.

The ASX, which was subject to a takeover offer from Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) that was blocked by the Australian government last April, may extend trading hours by two hours to 6 p.m. Sydney time, Chief Executive Officer Elmer Funke Kupper told the Australian newspaper in an interview conducted in Perth last week and published March 3.

The ASX is in talks with the Australian Securities (AUZ-U) & Investment Commission to change rules that restrict capital raisings to 15 percent of a company’s value, the Australian reported.

“Modified capital raising rules, allowing listed entities to raise up to 25 percent of their capital base, up from the existing 15 percent, would be of particular benefit to the small-to-mid cap sector companies, many of which are mining and resources companies,” Bland said. “Extended trading hours would be of particular benefit to those brokers and companies in Perth as well as the Asian time zone.”

Western Australia, the nation’s largest state by land mass, has the biggest number of ASX-listed companies, with 872 or 40 percent, of the market, according to the Australian. More than 90 percent are small and medium-sized resources companies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net; Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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