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Australia to end ASX monopoly on equities clearing

ASXLtd. is set to lose its monopoly on share clearing as the Australian governmentrevealed reforms that would open the door for competition in the clearing ofcash equities.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison on March 30 announcedreforms that are in line with recommendations from the Council of FinancialRegulators, particularly that the government open up competition in theclearing of equities and implement changes for safe and effective competition.

The treasurer also said the government plans to relaxownership restrictions on the ASX, allowing investors to exceed the 15%ownership limit of the bourse, if approved by the treasurer. The move will makethe ownership rules on the ASX more consistent with other financial sectorcompanies such as banks and insurance companies and allow the exchange moreflexibility in raising capital.