The Australian Government has agreed a legislative bill that will pave the way for the introduction of a new national central counterparty clearing agency.
The move has been welcomed by the Australian Stock Exchange which sought approval in November 2002 for the transfer of funds to cover clearing guarantee liabilities under the proposed new infrastructure.
The reforms call for the creation of a new body, the Australian Clearing House, which will provide contract guarantee support for clearing across all ASX markets.
The ASX timetable specifies the introduction of the new structure by March 2004. However, the legislation, the Taxation Laws (Clearing and Settlement Facility Support) Bill 2003, must first go through a period of public consultation before ministerial approval can be assured.