I wrote a post a couple of years ago surveying
the 20 biggest Australian listed companies in terms of how they syndicate
the ASX announcements they make when they have news for the market.
All of the companies made their announcements available on their (or an
associated) website, but that obviously requires that an interested investor
or follower of the company regularly check the announcements page of each
company they're interested in - not ideal, timely, or scalable.
"Push" or broadcast approaches are much more useful for this sort of thing,
and back then 14 or the 20 did make their announcements available via email
- which is useful enough - and 7 of the 20 also published RSS or Atom feeds,
which are better still, because they're more lightweight, centralised, and
On the other hand, 7/20 is a pretty ordinary score, especially considering
these are the biggest Australian listed companies. Smaller companies with
fewer resources are presumably going to fare even worse.
Two years on the number of ASX20 companies with announcements feeds has now
leapt to ... 9. :-/
And so towards the end of last year I decided to scratch this particular
itch, and built an announcement aggregator site called
PlanetAUX. It aggregates the announcements
feeds of the ASX20 companies with them, and generates announcements feeds
for those that don't have them.
Of the companies in the ASX20, there was only one whose HTML was so terrible
that I couldn't manage to parse it. I figured 19/20 isn't bad for starters.
Plans are to add more companies as time and interest demands, presumably
the remainder of the ASX50 initially, and then we'll see how things go.
Question: you're a small investor with a handful of small share
investments in Australian companies listed on the ASX. How do you
keep track of the announcements those companies make to the ASX?
There are a couple of manual methods you can use. You can bookmark
the announcements page on the various company websites you're
interested in and go and check them periodically, but that's
obviously pretty slow and labour intensive.
Or you can go to a centralised point, the
ASX Announcements Page,
and search for all announcements from there. Unfortunately, the ASX
only lets you search for one company at a time, so that's also
pretty slow, and still requires you do all the checking manually -
there's no automation available without subscribing to the ASX's
expensive data feed services.
There are also other third-party subscription services you can pay for
that will do this for you, but it's annoying to have to pay for what
is rightly public information.
The better answer is for the company themselves to provide their
announcements through some sort of push mechanism. The traditional
method is via email, where you subscribe to company announcements,
and they show up in your inbox shortly after they're released.
But the best and most modern solution is for companies to provide a
syndication feed on their website in a format like RSS or Atom, which
can be monitored and read using feed readers like
or Omea Reader. Feeds are superior
to email announcments in that they're centralised and lightweight (big
companies don't have to send out thousands of emails, for instance), and
they're a standardised format, and so can be remixed and repurposed in
lots of interesting ways.
So out of interest I did a quick survey of the current ASX20 (the top 20
list of companies on the ASX according to Standards and Poors) to see how
many of them support syndicating their announcements either by email or by
RSS/Atom. Here are the results:
Some summary ratings:
- Grade: A - announcements available via web, email, and RSS: AMP, ORG, RIO, SUN, TLS, WES, WOW (7)
- Grade: B - announcements available via web and email: BHP, BXB, CBA, CSL, MQG, WDC, WPL (7)
- Grade: C - announcements available via web: ANZ, FGL, NAB, NCM, QBE, WBC (6)
Overall, I'm relatively impressed that 7 of the ASX20 do support RSS. On the
down side, the fact that another 6 don't even provide an email announcements
service is pretty ordinary, especially considering the number of retail
shareholders who hold some of these stocks (e.g. three of the big four banks,
bonus points to CBA, the standout).
Special bonus points go to:
Suncorp Metway and Wesfarmers, who also offer RSS feeds for upcoming calendar
Rio Tinto, who have their own announcements twitter account.
Corrections and updates are welcome in the comments.
As the use of RSS and Atom becomes increasingly widespread (we have people
talking about Syndication-Oriented Architecture now), it seems to me that
one of the use cases that isn't particularly well covered off is transient
or short-term feeds.
In this category are things like short-term blogs (e.g. the feeds on the
advent blogs I was reading this year:
Catalyst 2007 and
24 Ways 2007), or comment feeds, for tracking the
comments on a particular post.
Transient feeds require at least the ability to auto-expire a feed after
some period of time (e.g. 30 days after the last entry) or after a certain
date, and secondarily, the ability to add feeds almost trivially to your
newsreader (I'm currently just using the thunderbird news reader, which
is reasonable, but requires about 5 clicks to add a feed).
Anyone know of newsreaders that offer this functionality?