SMEs account for most of ASIC’s enforcement outcomes so far this year; Online retail up 0.9% in June: Midday Roundup

SMEs account for most of ASIC’s enforcement outcomes so far this year; Online retail up 0.9% in June: Midday Roundup

Criminal proceedings against small businesses accounted for the majority of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s enforcement activities during the first six months of this year.

Released today, ASIC’s six-month report card shows of the 256 enforcement outcomes taken by the corporate regulator so far this year, 173 have been in the area of small business.

This includes 143 criminal enforcements, 39 administrative remedies, 19 enforceable outcomes, and six civil enforcements.

The remaining 83 outcomes were in the areas of market integrity, corporate governance and financial services, with four cases of insider trading and seven cases of action taken against company directors recorded.

The corporate watchdog has also indicated the areas it will be focussing on in coming months, including credit providers that mislead consumers and combating cross-border fraud.

“Other future and current areas of focus include the treatment of confidential information by listed companies, manipulation of financial benchmarks and improving auditor and liquidator standards, as well as the ongoing focus on advertising of financial products and the quality of financial advice,” said ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer.

Online retail up 0.9% in June

Online retail sales in Australia grew by 0.9% in June, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index.

But while online retail increased by 9.5% between June 2013 and June 2014, the rate of growth according to the NAB index has been gradually slowing.

Since NAB launched the index in 2010, the average rate of growth has been 1.6% monthly and 21% annually, which is much higher than the June figures.

NAB estimates Australian spent $15.5 billion on online purchased in the 12 months to June 2014, with all categories showing positive growth except for personal and recreational goods, which posted a small decline.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, despite a small fall on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 17 points to 5639.9 points at 11.46am AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 31.75 points lower, down 0.19% to 16880.4 points.

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