The new EU market abuse and inside information regime – an overview

The new Market Abuse Regulation has been published in the Official Journal and is directly applicable in EU countries from 3 July 2016.  The Regulation will have a significant impact on all companies with securities traded on any EU market and all EU market participants and advisers. They will need to plan well in advance to implement its changes. Continue reading

EU: MiFID Review – phase two begins

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is consulting on the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR).  MiFID II and MiFIR are expected to come into application by end 2016/early 2017, and will apply across the European Union, extending also to member states of the European Economic Area under the European Economic Area Agreement.    For a more detailed briefing, click here.

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ESMA preparatory work on the Market Abuse Regulation: time to engage with the development of regulatory technical standards

ESMA has published a Discussion Paper (“DP”) as part of its preparatory work on the forthcoming Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”).  ESMA has asked for responses by 27 January 2014.  The DP raises 113 specific questions overall, covering the ten sections of MAR on which ESMA is intended to provide input.  It is important that industry should engage at this stage of the process, before more concrete proposals are developed, to help ESMA ensure that the standards being developed are practically workable, achieving MAR’s aims without inhibiting legitimate business, or relations between listed companies and their investors.

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EU: ESMA begins detailing central clearing of OTC derivatives

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a Discussion Paper as a first step towards preparation for the regulatory technical standards (RTS) to implement provisions of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) regarding the obligation to centrally clear OTC derivatives.  The consultation will assist in developing ESMA’s approach to determining those classes of OTC derivatives that need to be centrally cleared and the phase-in periods for the counterparties concerned.  Responses to the Discussion Paper are sought by 12 September 2013, and feedback received will be used to draft technical standards on the clearing obligation, on which there will be a further public consultation. Continue reading

Market manipulation: the curious case of Mr Hobbs

In something of a reverse for the FSA, last month the Upper Tribunal directed that no action should be taken against Mr Hobbs, a trader whose conduct the FSA had decided was market abuse (manipulation) under s 118(5) of FSMA, and whom the FSA had proposed to fine and ban.  The Tribunal’s decision is somewhat unexpected, in that the Tribunal decided to place no reliance on Mr Hobb’s comment to his broker that he had created a false impression, dismissing this as mere boastfulness, or on a market participant’s claims to have been misled.  In addition, the Tribunal concluded that Mr Hobbs’ conduct had been carried out for legitimate reasons and in conformity with accepted market practices on the coffee futures market, even though it accepted that his trade was designed to fix the coffee options reference price at a level above $1750 (above the true market price). Continue reading

EMIR: The race towards EU regulation of OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories is on

The race towards a pan-European “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on OTC Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories” is on.  Last week ESMA held its first public hearing on the matter, and no less than three separate discussion and working papers were released on technical standards.  Responses to ESMA’s discussion paper on technical standards are due next week on 19 March 2012. The European Parliament will meet on 29 March 2012 to vote on the final text of the proposal, also known as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).  EMIR is anticipated to apply from the end of 2012 in line with the G-20 deadline. Continue reading

The New Pan-European Regime for Short Selling and Credit Default Swaps: ESMA Consultation Paper on Draft Technical Standards

On 24 January 2012 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued its first consultation paper on draft regulatory and implementing technical standards in connection with the proposed “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Short Selling and Certain Aspects of Credit Default Swaps” (the Regulation).

The Regulation was approved by the Parliament on 15 November 2011. The Council has indicated that it anticipates adopting the Regulation on 21 February 2012, with signature to be scheduled for 14 March 2012, and publication to follow within four to six days thereafter. These dates are tentative and are subject to change. Continue reading