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Australian Securities Exchange Equity Information

Equities: ordinary shares, preference shares, contributing shares, deferred delivery shares, deferred dividend shares, cumulative preference shares, options, rights, warrants, exchange traded funds
Debt: debentures, convertible notes, commonwealth bonds, semi-government bonds, discount bonds, corporate bonds, treasury notes
Money Market: negotiable certificates of deposit, commercial bills, bank-endorsed bills, promissory notes
Physical: unlisted equities
Other: unit trusts, derivatives

Board Lots
Equities ASX rules allow for transactions in multiples of one unit, however, the minimum economic holding in a company for a new shareholder, a "marketable parcel", must be worth at least AUD500.
Debt No set board lots

Dividend Payment Frequency
Semi-annual, paid to the registered shareholder or nominated account. Some companies also pay quarterly distributions.

Interest Payment Frequency
Quarterly or semi-annual. Some mortgage backed securities also pay on a monthly basis.

Interest Accrual Rate:
Actual/actual basis.

Corporate Actions

Common Events: Dividend reinvestment plans (DRPs), Bonus Share Plan (BSP), new share issues, tradeable and non-tradeable rights, capital reorganisations, IPOs, takeover offers, mergers, capital returns and name changes.
Rights Tradeable: Yes, for renounceable issues.
New Shares from Exercised Rights: Available on the advertised "dispatch" date (usually 10 business days after the applications close date for subscriptions. May not rank pari passu until following dividend has paid).

Foreign Investor Restrictions
Foreign investors are entitled to exercise voting rights. Restrictions attached to the agenda apply to domestic and foreign investors.

Shares Blocked:

Meeting Notices/

Provided in English. Annual general meetings and extraordinary general meetings are announced not less than 21 days in advance.

Meeting Outcome:

Company Reports:
On request, subject to availability.

Power of Attorney: Not required

Government legislation restricts the maximum number of proxy instruments that may be executed by any one individual or corporate entity, in any one meeting, to two.

Foreign Ownership

Market Entrance Requirements:


Individual foreign ownership is generally restricted to 15% and the aggregate foreign limit is 40%. Acquisitions of 15% or more require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. The following industries have specific foreign ownership restrictions:

Individual Aggregate
Banks 15% 40%
Gaming 5% 40%
Print media (national & metro) 25% 30%
National airline (Qantas) 25% 49%
Foreign airlines 25% 35%
Australian Stock Exchange 10% N/A
Telecommunications (Telstra) 5% 35%

Repatriation Policy:
Funds can be repatriated freely.

Securities Lending

Well established wholesale lending market servicing local borrowers needs. Lenders a mixture of foreign entities (either directly, or via their local custodian) and local entities.


Dividend Tax Rate
Tax treatment of dividends can take three forms:

Unfranked: dividends paid out of company profits that have not been taxed at the corporate rate are taxed at 30% (non-treaty rate) or 15% (treaty rate).

Partly Franked: a portion of the dividend is taxable if paid by a company that has only been taxed on part of its profits. The unfranked portion is liable to tax at 30% (non-treaty rate) or 15% (treaty rate).

Fully Franked: dividends paid by a company that have already been taxed at the corporate rate are not subject to any additional tax at source.

Foreign Sourced: dividends paid by a company from taxed income derived from a foreign source. As such, withholding tax is not applicable for non-resident holders.

Interest Tax Rate
A 10% withholding tax normally applies to Australian residents receiving foreign dividends, although Canada, Korea, Malta, Philippines, India and Malaysia have tax withheld at 15%.

From October 1, 2004, a withholding tax of 30% will be applied on income derived from the "Sundry Other Income" components of trust distributions that are made to non-resident investors.

The Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No 3) Bill 2007 was effective July 1, 2007. The details of the bill are as follows:

* Flat 30% withholding tax (WHT) on all managed fund distributions (other than interest, dividend and royalty components) paid to Australian non-residents:

The measure is designed to simplify the existing tax collection mechanism by requiring a non-final withholding at a single rate of 30% for affected payments by managed investment trusts and intermediaries to foreign resident investors, regardless of the identity of the foreign resident or the relationship between the foreign resident and the intermediary. The ultimate beneficiary is taxed on the relevant portion of their share of net income and an appropriate amount of the tax withheld is available to the ultimate beneficiary as a credit.

Income consisting of dividends, interest or royalty income is generally excluded from this measure, as are capital gains on assets other than taxable Australian property.

The measure will apply to income years beginning on or after July 1, 2007.

* Interest withholding tax exemption extended to non-debenture debt interests:

The measure also clarifies that the interest withholding tax exemption available under section 128F and 128FA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 will extend to non-debenture debt interests that are non-equity shares and syndicated loans applicable from December 7, 2006.

Capital Gains Tax Rate
Non-residents are exempt if they own less than 10% of a company’s issued capital.

Tax Treaties

Argentina Ireland Romania
Austria Italy Russia
Belgium Japan Singapore
Canada Kiribati Slovak Republic
China Korea South Africa
Czech Republic Malaysia Spain
Denmark Malta Sri Lanka
Fiji Mexico Sweden
Finland Netherlands Switzerland
France New Zealand Taiwan
Germany Norway Thailand
Hungary Papua New Guinea United Kingdom
India Philippines United States
Indonesia Poland Vietnam

Stamp Duty
Stamp duty has been abolished completely for listed securities, however for unlisted securities, it has only been removed in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Stamp duty remains payable by the purchaser/transferee on transfers of unlisted securities where the securities are incorporated/ registered in those states that have not yet abolished the duty. The amount is determined at the time transfer of ownership is lodged.

"Stamp duty reason code" must be included in each trade instruction to avoid failed trades.

Stamp Duty Reason Codes:
ADVL ad valorem - full stamp duty of 0.3%, divided equally between the buyer and seller.
XLOAN exempt - securities loan
XRETURN exempt - securities loan return
XNCBO exempt - no change in beneficial owner.

Other Taxes: