Securities Markets Bill boost investor confidence
Securities Markets Bill to boost investor confidence
Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said investors can have greater confidence in New Zealand's securities markets following the introduction of more effective laws under the Securities Markets and Institutions Bill which completed its passage through Parliament yesterday.
"I am delighted the Bill has now been passed, with an implementation date of December 1, 2002. This ties in with the recent announcement by the New Zealand Stock Exchange of their Restructuring Day of December 31, 2002," Lianne Dalziel said.
"The Order in Council gazetted today completes the picture by approving the Control Limit, the Rules Approval Order and a Restructuring Day Date Order which are required for the NZSE to demutualise. "The Securities Markets and Institutions Bill will build confidence by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the law governing New Zealand's securities markets and regulatory institutions. It also brings New Zealand more in line with Australian practice."
Lianne Dalziel said the Bill was an important part of the government's wider securities law reform programme and would ensure that the regulatory environment governing New Zealand markets was efficient and effective.
"It provides an effective balancing of the rights of companies and investors, and reassures both international and domestic investors that the New Zealand market is a market of integrity that conforms with international best practice.
The main points of the Bill are:
Establishment of an effective co-regulatory
framework for securities markets, with exchanges as
frontline regulators administering the market, and the
Commission broadly overseeing the market; Implementation of
a continuous disclosure regime providing statutory backing
for exchange listing rules; Directors and officers of
publicly listed companies are obliged to disclose securities
dealings at the time they occur; Establishment of ownership
caps, rule approval and oversight of securities exchanges;
Exchanges are obliged to assist and inform the Securities
Commission of known or suspected significant contraventions
of the law and other matters; The Securities Commission is
given power of direction over exchanges; The Securities
Commission is established as a civil enforcement body for
insider trading and continuous disclosure; Amendment of
provisions governing the operation of the Commission and
Takeover Panel, including enlarging the Panel from eight to
11 members; Implementation of a mechanism for mutual or
unilateral recognition of overseas offering documents;
Increases in penalties under the Securities Act 1978 to
bring them into line with other domestic and international
business law penalties.