Simplifying the business of Trans-Tasman securities offerings is a welcome step forward, but further alignment of the financial services sector of both countries is still required, says Chapman Tripp corporate and securities law specialist Roger Wallis.
The Governments of New Zealand and Australia have just announced the mutual recognition of securities offerings, effective from today.
The change means an eligible New Zealand offer or can issue one prospectus into both the Australian and New Zealand markets provided minimal requirements are met.
Roger Wallis says it is a welcome change that removes a lot of duplication and cost.
“Under the previous regime, a New Zealand offer or needed to prepare two offer documents, one for New Zealand and a different one to put into the Australian market. Now, provided the conditions are met, just one prospectus will do the job,” he said.
As uncontroversial as that sounds, it has taken seven years to get both Governments to agree to this.
New Zealand passed the relevant legislation back in 2002, but the Australian legislation was only passed last year.
The regulations implementing the detailed workings of the regime have only just been finalised. Roger Wallis urged the politicians not to stop there.
“While this change is a very good step, it would be great to see further alignment to make Trans-Tasman capital-raising even easier,” Roger Wallis said.
“For example the rules providing exemptions for when an offer document is not required at all could be aligned. Right now it is much harder to undertake a private placement of capital in New Zealand than it is in Australia.”
In the meantime New Zealand corporates, particularly those that are dual listed, and managed funds should find they have a little more freedom to offer their products to the Australian market.