Australian Clearing House and Electronic Sub-register System Definition
The Australian Clearing House and Electronic Sub-register System (commonly abbreviated to CHESS) is an electronic book-entry register of holdings of approved securities that facilitates the transfer and settlement of market transactions between ASX and Transfer Corporation Pty Ltd ("ASTC", the operator of the CHESS system) and its participants.
Currently, 74% of equity securities (on the basis of market capitalisation) are held through the CHESS system. Under Australian corporate law, the issuer must maintain registers for owners of securities. Australian issuers have a contractual arrangement with ASTC to maintain the CHESS sub-register as agent for the issuer. The CHESS sub-register is one of a number of sub-registers that together make up the issuer’s register.