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ASIC - Short Positions

Automated short positions reporting to ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

ASIC Short Reporting Legislation 

In Australia, short selling is regulated by the Corporations Act 2001 and the Corporations Regulations 2001.

Covered short selling v.s. Naked short selling 

Short sales are generally referred to as naked short sales and covered short sales. Where a seller executes a short sale and relies on an existing securities lending arrangement to have a ‘presently exercisable and unconditional right to vest’ the security in the buyer at the time of the sale, the sale of the products is a covered short sale. The practice of short selling securities without a securities lending arrangement is known as ‘naked short selling'. In Australia, covered short sales are permitted, and naked short sales are prohibited except where ASIC has given specific relief.

Short sellers have an obligation to report their short positions in certain financial products to ASIC. 

There are two separate short selling requirements

  1. Short sale transaction reporting which reports the volume or number of section 1020B products sold short in a transaction, otherwise known as a gross short sales
  2. Short position reporting, which reports a position in relation to a listed section 1020B product where the quantity of the product that a person has is less than the amount of product that the person has an obligation to deliver

 

Short Position Reporting Filing Requirements

Short positions are calculated as of 7 pm on the day of the transaction (day T). If a seller has an existing short position in a reportable product above the reporting threshold as of 7 pm on day T, they must provide details of this position to ASIC. Subsequent to making this report, as long as the seller holds a short position in that section 1020B product above the reporting threshold, the seller is obliged to provide daily reports to ASIC on the size of this short position.

ASIC provides relief exempting sellers from reporting a short position where the seller’s short position as of 7 pm on a particular day is less than or equal to

  1. $100,000; and
  2. 0.01% of the total quantity of securities or products in the relevant class of securities or products

Short position reports are lodged to ASIC using FIX protocol messages sent over a secure network to the ASIC FIX server. A short seller may lodge their own short position reports or may authorise a submitting entity to lodge short position reports on their behalf. Short position reports must be received by ASIC before 9 am three reporting days after the date of the short position.

Publication of Short Position Reports

The total of short positions for financial products on a given reporting day will be published on the ASIC website four days after the reporting day (T+4). These reports will not contain short seller details, and will instead host daily reports of aggregated short positions by issuer for consumption by the public.

About ASIC 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for regulating the financial services industry in Australia. It is an independent commission of the Australian Government.

 

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