This month, ASIC extended its temporary relief for capital raisings aimed to assist listed entities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to raise capital in a quicker and less costly way without undermining investor protection. The temporary measures were due to expire in October 2020. The temporary measures will now expire on 1 January 2021.
The relief was originally announced on 31 March 2020 and enables certain ‘low doc’ offers (including rights offers, placements and share purchase plans) to be made to investors without a prospectus, even if they do not meet all the normal requirements.
In its announcement, ASIC stated it will continue to monitor the appropriateness of these temporary relief measures in light of the impacts of COVID-19 on capital markets …and if appropriate to end the relief before the expiration dates or to further extend it. In making this further assessment, ASIC will consider the:
- extent of the capital raising activities conducted in reliance on the legislative instruments;
- length of the suspensions required in order to execute a capital raising in the current environment;
- level of market volatility; and
- extent and impact of any easing of restrictions implemented by state and federal governments in response to COVID-19.