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Discussion documents on insider and securities law

31 May, 2002 Media Statement

Release of discussion documents on insider trading and other areas of securities trading law

Commerce Minister Paul Swain has welcomed the release of three discussion documents setting out options for fundamental reform of New Zealand’s securities trading law.

One of the Government’s goals is to see more people investing in the local market - that’s how businesses can access the capital they need to grow. We need to make sure we have a regulatory framework in place that investors have confidence in. The framework would see investors treated fairly and provided with adequate protection should things go wrong.

“The right regulatory framework can help encourage investment and enhance the market’s performance – as such it’s an important contributor to the Government’s goals for our economy.

“The first two stages of the Government’s programme of reform to toughen up our securities law and improve confidence in the market are well underway. The Takeovers Code has been implemented. The Securities Markets and Institutions Bill is currently being considered by the Finance and Expenditure Committee and is due to be reported back shortly.

“The release of these discussion documents represents the next important step in the process,” said Mr Swain.

The discussion documents contain:

A first principles review of insider trading law: This looks at the definition of insider trading and examines various policy justifications for regulating against insider trading. It also explores how an insider trading regime can best meet and promote these policy objectives.

A review which considers New Zealand’s existing market manipulation law: This looks at whether the government should do more to prevent market manipulation and what forms of market manipulation should be banned.

A review of which financial products and entities should be covered by New Zealand securities trading law and what penalties and remedies should apply: In particular, it considers what improvements could be made to civil and administrative remedies for breaches of the law and whether criminal and civil penalties regimes should be introduced.

Anyone wishing to comment on the discussion documents may do so by making a written submission. The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 August 2002. Interested parties should contact Kathy James on (04) 474 2668 or by email on kathy.james@med.govt.nz if they wish to receive a hard copy of the discussion document. The documents are also available on electronic copy at: www.med.govt.nz/buslt/bus_pol/bus_law/securities/index.html.

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