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Finance Broking Australia-regulatory guide 232

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Regulatory Guide 232 - Agribusiness managed investment schemes: Improving disclosure for retail investors CPD

This is a guide for responsible entities and others involved with the issue or advertising of interests in agribusiness managed investment schemes (agribusiness schemes).

It sets out ASIC’s benchmarks and disclosure principles for improved disclosure to retail investors to help them understand and assess agribusiness schemes, while maintaining the flexibility of the public fundraising process.

Some features of agribusiness schemes can create risks for retail investors, and require an improved approach to disclosure: see Section B.

ASIC has developed five benchmarks and five disclosure principles for agribusiness schemes that can help retail investors understand the risks, assess the rewards being offered, and decide whether investment in these products is suitable for them: see Sections C and D.

Responsible entities of agribusiness schemes in which retail investors invest should:
•    Address the benchmarks in their disclosures on an ‘if not, why not’ basis; and
•    Apply the disclosure principles: see Section E.

Some features of agribusiness schemes can create risks for investors. Clear benchmarks and disclosure principles can help investors to make better-informed decisions about these products.

Responsible entities of agribusiness schemes should address general benchmarks on:
•    Fee structures (see RG 232.37–RG 232.51);
•    Responsible entity or related party ownership of interests in the agribusiness scheme (see RG 232.52–RG 232.57);
•    Annual reporting to members (see RG 232.58–RG 232.65);
•    Experts (see RG 232.66–RG 232.75); and
•    Appointing and monitoring service providers (see RG 232.76– RG 232.80).

This information should be disclosed clearly and prominently in the responsible entity’s PDS and ongoing disclosure.

To meet their disclosure obligations under Pt 7.9, responsible entities need to disclose various matters, including information about any significant risks associated with holding scheme interests and information about significant characteristics or features attaching to those interests.

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