ASX nine-month profit rises 6.2pc

ASX nine-month profit rises 6.2pc

ASX nine-month profit rises 6.2pc

The FINANCIAL -- ASX’s financial performance for the nine months to 31 March 2016 was positive.

Trading activity levels in cash and derivatives markets grew from the half-year, as did ASX’s OTC clearing service with record activity levels in February 2016. Listings and capital raising activity was lower in the third quarter of FY16 compared to the first six months of the year. Overall, revenues were up 7% to almost $553 million and profit was up 6% to more than $317 million, according to ASX.

T+2 settlement of sharemarket trades was successfully introduced on 7 March 2016. The reduction in the settlement period from three to two days has provided efficiencies for investors and market participants, and kept Australia at the forefront of global best practice.

ASX’s technology transformation is progressing, with measures taken to de-risk the transition to a new trading platform. The new trading platform is on target to go-live between July and November 2016 for futures, with equities (including equity options) to follow in 2017. This timeframe supports the delivery of a high-quality platform, assists the change process for customers, and paves the way for a smooth transition for the whole market.

Last month the ASX Board affirmed its commitment to the assessment of distributed ledger technology. ASX is working closely with its partner Digital Asset and collaborating with customers and industry stakeholders, including Government and regulators, to build an understanding of the benefits and implications of the technology. Any new system must meet the highest regulatory and operational standards before implementation.

ASX has greater certainty to continue this work following the Treasurer’s announcement on 30 March 2016 that approval of any new equities clearing licence applications will not be recommended until regulatory conditions are in place for safe and effective competition. The Treasurer has said this is expected to take at least 18 months. ASX supports well-regulated, open and competitive financial markets. It also welcomes the Government’s decision to make ASX’s ownership restrictions consistent with banks and insurance companies.

On 21 March 2016 the ASX Board accepted the resignation of Mr Elmer Funke Kupper as Managing Director and CEO after almost four-and-a-half years. Two senior executives have been appointed to manage the business with oversight from the Chairman while a search for a new CEO is conducted.

Mr Rick Holliday-Smith, ASX’s Chairman said: “ASX is well positioned for future opportunities. Our business is globally competitive, committed to innovation and customer service, and we are investing in the infrastructure critical to Australia’s financial markets.

“The Board is now focussed on CEO renewal. In the interim, I am overseeing the business, with day-to-day operations managed by two members of ASX’s skilled and experienced senior executive team reporting directly to me.”