ASIC consults on revised ETP naming conventions

ASIC has today released Consultation Paper 356 ETP naming conventions: Updates to INFO 230 (CP 356), seeking feedback on proposals to update the guidance in Information Sheet 230 Exchange-traded products: Admission guidelines (INFO 230), on naming conventions for licensed Australian exchanges that admit exchange traded products (ETPs).

Because ETPs have different structures, features, strategies and risks to traditional warrants and listed products (including Listed Investment Companies and Listed Investment Trusts), we consider they should be labelled in a way that differentiates them from other listed products.

Key areas of focus for market operators and issuers in CP 356 include:

  • revised naming conventions divided into two levels of labelling – primary labels based on product type, and secondary labels for specific risks or strategies;
  • clarification of the role of licensed exchanges authorised to admit ETPs to quotation.

Based on feedback over several years from product issuers, financial advisers, industry bodies and licensed exchanges, we have reviewed our guidance on ETP naming conventions in INFO 230 and concluded there is potential for improvement and clarification.

CP 356 will assist ASIC to gather feedback and better understand stakeholders’ experiences to date with ETP naming conventions in INFO 230. We intend to revise our guidance in a way that simplifies the naming conventions and promotes flexibility for the next phase of ETP market development.

ASIC welcomes submissions on CP 356 from all interested parties by 3 March 2022.

Next steps

After receiving submissions on the consultation paper, ASIC will consider stakeholder feedback and issue a feedback report. ASIC intends to publish its final update to INFO 230 shortly afterwards.

Background

ETPs are typically governed by a different rule framework to ordinary listed securities. When the ASX’s AQUA rules first launched in Australia in 2008, ASIC was actively involved in considering the appropriateness of each product admitted. It was in this context that we originally developed naming conventions for ETPs and licensed exchanges implemented them. The aim was to develop a common terminology to help investors identify specific product features and investment strategies that changed the risk profile of these products.

Today, ASX and Chi-X are licensed to quote ETPs in this jurisdiction. Both exchanges apply our guidance to ensure that, in accordance with their rules or as a condition of admission, ETP product names are consistent with INFO 230.

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