ASIC Probe Puts ASX Shares Under Pressure

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Shares in ASX Ltd fell to their lowest level in seven months yesterday after ASIC,  the corporate regulator turned concern into an actual investigation in the wake of the two days of problems encountered by the exchange a week ago.

The ASX Ltd told the market yesterday that the regulator has started a probe of last Monday’s loss of all but 24 minutes of the day’s session and then problems with the price matching system the next day which result in some doubts about the prices shares were bought and sold at.

“ASX acknowledges that this is appropriate given ASIC’s regulatory oversight,” it said. “ASX takes its obligations very seriously and will cooperate fully with ASIC.”

ASX shares ended the day at $79.28, the lowest they have been since April. The shares are down nearly 4% in the past five days in the wake of the disruptions a week ago.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued a statement a week ago today in which Monday’s concerns were escalated to a more serious level.

“ASIC is actively assessing ASX’s compliance with its market licence obligations and is considering further actions to ensure the adequacy of ASX’s human, financial and technological resources to operate its markets in an orderly manner,” ASIC’s statement concluded a week ago.

The RBA also voiced concern and said it was looking into whether there were underlying issues at those trading systems.

It was the worst trading outage for the ASX in four years and the latest system malfunction since it relaunched its public-facing website in October, that has been plagued by technical difficulties and design flaws and sluggish latency.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

View more articles by Glenn Dyer →