Lawyer-turned-ASX CEO Tony D’Aloisio is on to his second can of Spray
Fresh but he just can’t get the smell around the contentious GPT vote
to go away. Age columnist Stephen Bartholomeusz gives it
another well-reasoned and reasonable rev this morning, explaining how
the ASX wimped it by allowing Westfield to vote its 6.5% shareholding
in a PT restructure that resulted in Westfield buying some of PT’s
best assets.

Bartho is not a columnist known for lifting his pen in haste or anger,
making his destruction of the SAX argument all the more definitive. A
less charitable soul could have blandly stated the opinion that the
SAX “updated guidance note on related-party dealings” was simply
a joke that no-one has taken seriously. It looks like an excuse, not a

What the SAX apparently doesn’t get is that it has a very serious duty
to be seen to be doing the right thing, whatever the fine print might
allow. This is particularly so when it involves one of the market’s
giants – Westfield – where there will always be the implicit threat
that comes from Frank Blowy’s ability to take his bat and ball and go
play somewhere else if he wants to.

The SAX was rattled by Rupert Murdoch taking News Corps’s official
headquarters and primary listing for index purposes offshore. There’s
little to stop the increasingly international Westfield doing the same
thing if it doesn’t get what it wants. It would be a terrible thing if
the investing public was to think the ASX had one standard for the
little local stocks and another for the listings that are simply much,
much bigger than it is.