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Directors and Officers Disclosure

23 February 2004 Media Statement

Directors and Officers Disclosure

Acting Commerce Minister Paul Swain announced today a delay until Monday 3 May of the commencement date of Regulations requiring directors and officers of publicly listed companies to disclose their relevant shareholdings.

The Securities Markets Act (Disclosure of Relevant Interests by Directors and Officers) Regulations were due to commence on 1 March. But some confusion in the market prompted the Government to postpone the commencement of the new regime.

“I’ve become aware of companies and their management who are unsure about the scope of the new requirements. In these circumstances I think it best that we take a period of time to talk further with affected parties so that everyone understands what it is we’re asking of them and to see how we should deal with overseas issuers.”

Under the new rules company managers will be required to file a disclosure notice detailing their current relevant interest in shareholdings at the commencement of the Regulations. Thereafter, they will be required to notify changes in those holdings within five days of the relevant transaction.

The new rules aim to ensure that information about directors’ and officers’ holdings in public issuers is up-to-date and useful to the market. The information will assist in the monitoring of insider trading and market manipulation and act as a deterrent to these activities, as the dates of trades can be checked against the dates at which material information entered the public domain.

The Regulations implement the disclosure policy for directors and officers contained in 2002 amendments to the Securities Markets Act. “Despite a full consultation process and publicity about the changes, company managers appear to have been caught a little on the hop, so we are just giving a bit more time” Paul Swain said.

ENDS

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