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ASIC statement on ASX equity market outage

The ASX cash equity market trading platform did not reopen for trading today Monday, 16 November 2020, after an outage occurred during the opening auction. ASIC remains in regular communication with ASX, market participants, and members of the Australian Council of Financial Regulators. We are focussed on ensuring that ASX reopens in an orderly manner on Tuesday 17 November, and that market integrity is not compromised. ASIC will also monitor for any impacts resulting from the failure of ASX Trade to open for most of the day.

ASIC views outages of this nature with significant concern. It has had a significant impact on the market, including market participants and investors. The ASX is one of the world’s most active and visible public markets and forms a critical part of Australia’s national economic infrastructure.  Well-functioning financial market infrastructure is critical to the integrity and reputation of the Australian equity market and the trust and confidence investors have in it. As the primary equities market in Australia, ASX performs a vital role.

Market licensees are required to operate a market that, to the extent reasonably practicable, is fair, orderly and transparent, and to have sufficient resources (financial, technological and human) to operate the market, including for any outsourced services. Following the reopening of the market, ASIC will determine whether ASX followed the relevant regulatory requirements under the Corporations Act and met its obligations under its Australian Market Licence.

In addition to ASIC’s expectations that this outage will be resolved as soon as is possible in a safe manner, ASX will be required to provide a full incident report to ASIC.

We note that the Chi-X market remained open for participants to trade listed equities, as well as Chi-X quoted ETFs and TraCRs.

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