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Investors confused by IPO information

Initial public offering, John Price, ASIC, investing, wealth management, retirement planning, retirement savings,

Prospectuses are considered very important for investors choosing to put their money into initial public offerings (or ‘IPO’, when a company first lists on an exchange) and often outline critical information, but ASIC has found “scope for improvement” in the way these documents are regulated.

In a statement, the regulator explained it has conducted research into the way everyday Australians made decisions with regards to IPOs, and found prospectuses and access to a company’s management team were the two most important sources of information for these investors, but that the former were not always reliable.

“The prospectus was seen as a key source of information, although many retail investors said the document was hard to read and could not be relied on to tell the whole truth about an IPO,” the statement said.

ASIC commissioner John Price said that while the current regulation around IPO prospectuses was “sound”, it would continue to review the documents and commence some additional initiatives such as providing additional information to would-be investors and engaging with relevant parties to provide investors with better access to managers of IPOs.

“The qualitative research reinforces that prospectuses can be challenging documents for retail investors and particular areas of our guidance on prospectus disclosure should be carefully considered by issuers and their advisers to produce more effective disclosure for retail investors," he said.

Investors confused by IPO information
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