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The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Review highlights reporting rules

NZX's head of policy and legal, Hamish Macdonald, said a reduction in fragmentation could bring NZX's rules more into line with other regimes.
NZX's head of policy and legal, Hamish Macdonald, said a reduction in fragmentation could bring NZX's rules more into line with other regimes.

Submissions to an NZX review show many market participants are keen to reduce "fragmentation" in corporate governance reporting requirements, says the sharemarket operator.

The review attracted 45 submissions from listed companies, investors, industry bodies and other groups in response to proposals to broaden rules around corporate governance for NZX issuers.

In addition to NZX reporting requirements, there is a separate Financial Markets Authority corporate governance handbook, while dual-listed issuers also have to follow ASX listing rules.

NZX's head of policy and legal, Hamish Macdonald, said a reduction in fragmentation could bring NZX's rules more into line with other regimes.

"That's something we're certainly focusing on and we're going to work hard with all interested parties to address that issue," Macdonald said.

In its submission, the New Zealand Shareholders Association said the review was an opportunity for a common approach: "Where practical, we agree that alignment should be sought with ASX rules, but this needs to be tempered by the fact that the New Zealand market is much smaller as are many of our issuers."

Devon Funds Management said reduced fragmentation was unnecessary. "Given the FMA handbook is now being used as a basis by the NZX and CGF [Corporate Governance Forum], we do not think that the regime in NZ is overly difficult or fragmented."

Macdonald said NZX was targeting the fourth quarter of this year for implementation of the amended rules.

- NZ Herald

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