ASX loses clearing monopoly

Government set to open up competition in the clearing of cash equities in Australia.

The Turnbull Government in Australia has ended ASX’s monopoly on clearing of cash equities, in a move set to open up competition in the country.

ASX’s ownership restrictions will be “relaxed” to make the exchange more consistent with other companies in the industry.

The Australian government has encouraged ASX’s use of innovative technology like blockchain, but is looking to ensure “that technological advancements do not preclude competition.”

The exchange fully supports the move stating the regulatory environment must evolve with technological innovations with collaboration between regulators, stakeholders and exchanges.

The process will be carried out over the next 18 months “while identifying any regulatory barriers and ensuring technological advances do not preclude competition.”

Rick Holliday-Smith, executive chairman at ASX welcomed the decision as it “promotes the desirability of well-regulated competition in the Australian marketplace…”

Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “As Treasurer I want to help create an environment where our financial services sector can be both internationally competitive and play a central role in aiding the positive transition of our economy.”