ESMA publishes details of how Market Abuse Regulation will affect companies

The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report on draft technical standards on the EU Market Abuse Regulation. These are standards which will supplement the rules being introduced under MAR from July 2016 and specify certain technical and procedural conditions relating to a number of areas.

Under MAR, ESMA is required to develop draft regulatory technical standards and implementing regulatory standards on a number of matters. Following consultation in 2014, it has now published the final standards.

The next stage is for the European Commission to endorse these standards and it has a three month window in which to consider them.

Of particular interest to listed companies are provisions relating to:

  • the technical means for disclosing inside information to the public and the notification requirements when disclosure of inside information is delayed, such as website and extensive record-keeping requirements; 
  • the format of insider lists, including an ability to maintain a list of permanent insiders (e.g. executive directors) who then do not need to be added to every deal-specific insider list, and the data to be recorded for each insider; 
  • the format and content of notifications of managers’ dealings, including a single template on which senior managers and their associated persons will notify the issuer of their dealings and which the issuer must then disclose to the market;
  • the safe harbour for share buybacks, including clarification of the application of the volume limits; and 
  • provisions relating to procedures and record-keeping requirements for market soundings.

We will be preparing detailed handbooks for listed companies on the new MAR regime once all the various rules have been finalised. We will also be hosting seminars and training sessions: please click here if you wish to register for our seminar “The Market Abuse Regulation and what it means for listed companies” being held on 26 January 2016.

The standards are available here.