The ASX has announced it will extend its temporary capital raising measures until November 30, as a second wave of COVID-19 infections batters Victoria.
The measures were originally due to expire on July 31 and granted a temporary class waiver to lift the 15% limit on placements to 25%, conditional on entities making a pro-rata entitlement offer or a follow-on offer to retail investors under a share purchase plan at a discount to the placement price.
The extension would allow listed entities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic further time to raise urgently needed capital, the ASX said.
"The decision was made in light of the high and increasing levels of COVID-19 infections in major overseas markets, recent events in Victoria, and the present uncertainty about the nature and level of government economic stimulus in Australia after September 2020," it said.
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"The new date takes account of ASIC's extension of the deadline for listed companies to lodge their audited accounts for the year ended 30 June 2020 until 31 October 2020.
"It gives companies a further month to complete a capital raising, if they decide they need one, after publishing their audited accounts by the revised deadline."
As of the end of June, almost 60 listed entities had already taken advantage of the ASX's temporary emergency capital relief measures, raising approximately $11 billion.
Since the measures were introduced on March 31, more than a dozen entities had been denied access to the ASX's capital raising relief measures, the bourse revealed, as their proposals did not conform to the "spirit and intent of the class waivers".
"The more than a dozen proposals that were rejected were rejected generally because ASX did not believe there was a strong enough connection to the impacts of COVID-19 on the company and/or ASX was not satisfied that the proposal would treat all shareholders fairly," an ASX spokesperson said.
However, these companies could still seek shareholder approval for extra capital raising capacity or rely on existing capital raising mechanisms, he said.
The ASX said it had consulted with ASIC and various industry stakeholders on the extension of the relief measures.
"The extension has broad stakeholder support and is necessary, in ASX's assessment, given the prevailing conditions," the spokesperson said.