The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) will go live next week with a new standard for sending out corporate actions information, which it claims will enhance the accuracy and timeliness of announcements to investors.

To be known as Reference Point, the system will involve the ASX converting corporate actions announcements into SWIFT messages, which can then be sent to custodians via their existing SWIFT networks, and then straight-through processed to information disseminators (such as Reuters and Bloomberg) and funds manager clients. Currently, custodians receive corporate actions information via various vendor products or direct from the announcements themselves, which still usually arrive in PDF. A member of the SWIFT commercial division in Australia, Adam Wilson, said the receipt of corporate actions in SWIFT form would reduce the need for custodians to interpret the data, and ensure all market participants received consistent information. Reference Point will go live on July 3, and in the first instance will standardise announcements about dividends and dividend reinvestment plans, which together account for about 80 per cent of all corporate action announcements.

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