Australian Legal Update

July 2012

In this edition

ASX Listing Rule amendments: standing approval for additional fundraising and revised admission thresholds for smaller listed companies

The ASX has made changes to its listing rules that are designed to improve access to capital for smaller listed companies, while maintaining a single quotation board and rule book. 

ASIC and European Commission seek to address risks to assets in custody 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission recently released Report 291: Custodial and Depository services in Australia, which sets out ASIC's views on 'good practice' for responsible entities, platform operators, brokers and custodians on a range of issues relevant to custody of assets. The report followed a related European Commission proposal on the remuneration policies of management companies and depositary functions relevant to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities. 

Investment Manager Regime (IMR) tax exemption legislation introduced 

As forecast in our last update, new legislation to exempt widely held foreign funds from Australian income tax has now been introduced. The exemption applies on income and gains made on eligible investments from 1 July 2011 under the IMR regime, and before that date for FIN48 disclosure purposes. 

Fast track visa arrangements and opportunities for resource projects

The first Enterprise Migration Agreement (EMA) was recently approved for Hancock Prospecting’s A$9.5 billion Roy Hill Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. We look at the approval process, the implications for project owners, prime contractors and subcontractors of major resource projects, and how to apply for EMA approval. 

NSW stamp duty changes, abolition of some duties deferred

NSW Treasurer Mr Mike Baird last month announced that the planned abolition of certain duties would be deferred due to the difficult financial situation arising from the steep fall in GST revenue. Also announced were changes to new home grants and new corporate reconstruction exemption rules, both of which apply from 1 July 2012. 

New cross-border transfer pricing rules for Australian resident entities 

We step through the new cross-border transfer pricing rules, including the application of treaty transfer pricing rules and OECD guidance on the arm’s length principle, and interaction with Australia's thin capitalisation rules.