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Australia releases guidelines to break down ASX's monopoly in clearing, settlement services

The Australian government committed to that will break down 's monopoly in theclearing of cash equities.

The Council of Financial Regulators on Oct. 12 releasedpolicy statements in regard to operating cash equity clearing and settlementservices in Australia. In particular, the council laid out expectations toensure a safe environment for a competing provider of clearing and settlementservices.

The council expects ASX to commit to a minimum level oftransparency of pricing across its range of monopoly cash equity clearingservices. The pricing of these services should not discriminate in favor ofASX-affiliated entities. The bourse should also facilitate access to its cashequity clearing and settlement services in terms that are not discriminatory tothird parties.

ASX will be expected to immediately commit in acting inaccordance with the regulatory expectations.

In response to the regulatory expectations, ASX said Oct. 12that it has updated its cash equities clearing and settlement code of practiceto align with the new framework.

ASX has made additional commitments, including retaining atleast 50% nonexecutive directors on its clearing and settlement boards.