Following the recent promulgation of the Level 3 Market Abuse Regulation measures issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the MFSA has recently issued guidance notes highlighting particularly relevant elements contained within these same documents.
ESMA issued guidelines regarding the proper implementation of Article 17(4) of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on market abuse (MAR), regarding the issue of delay in disclosure of insider information. These are applicable as from October 2016, and are intended to assist in the decision-making process relative to the disclosure of insider information, containing a non-exhaustive list of legitimate interests which may be prejudiced by premature disclosure of insider information, as well as guidelines regarding situations where failure to disclose such information may be deemed to be misleading to the public under the terms of the MAR.
ESMA has also issued a series of guidelines regarding persons receiving market soundings as described under Article 17(11) of the MAR. Designed to ensure a common approach with regard to the requirements imposed upon Market Sounding Recipients, the guidelines are intended to facilitate the avoidance of spreading of inside information within the context of market sounding exercises, as well as to guide competent authorities in conducting effective investigations in cases of market abuse. These guidelines are applicable as of the 10th of January 2017.
ESMA issued further guidelines regarding commodity derivatives markets or related spot markets for the benefit of competent authorities and market participants with the purpose of providing a non-exhaustive and indicative list of information which is reasonably expected or is required to be disclosed according to legal provisions and regulations under EU or national legislations, placed within the context of point b of Article 7(1) of the MAR. The document also contains guidelines issued under Article 7(5) of the MAR, compliance with which is expected of competent authorities and market participants. These guidelines shall commence to be applicable two months after publication of the translation into the official languages of the European Union.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to impart legal advice and readers are asked to seek verification of statements made before acting on them.