Research Handbooks in Corporate Law and Governance series
Edited by Stephen M. Bainbridge
As a former British colony, Australia is a common law country. At Federation in 1901, the then six separate colonies became States, with the formation of a central government at the federal level. This federal system, in which legislative competency is split between two levels of government, has shaped the form and history of securities regulation (as a subset of corporate law) in Australia. This introduction provides the context in which the Australian insider trading regime has been developed. In 2012, Australia constitutes a medium-sized economy with GDP of USD 1.5 trillion and a population base of approximately 22 million. The main securities market is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which is a national operation. The national market was formed in 1987 through the amalgamation of the previously independent State stock exchanges. As of March 2012, there were 2,223 companies listed on the ASX and market capitalization was AUD 1.3 trillion4 (the eighth largest in the world and second largest in the Asia-Pacific).
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