The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today its technical advice regarding the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). ESMA was tasked by the European Commission to provide the implementing details which will make MAR applicable to market participants and investors. These measures consist of technical advice and technical standards, the first of which are published today.
MAR defines activities and behaviours that constitute market abuses, e.g. insider dealing or market manipulation. Compared to the current Market Abuse Directive (MAD), MAR extends the scope of market manipulation in order to cover new trading tactics and market realities and also provides non-exhaustive lists of indicators for market manipulation, such as the spreading of false or misleading signals, price securing, and the use of fictitious devices or any other form of deception or contrivance. MAR also defines the framework within which inside information has to be publicly disclosed..
ESMA’s technical advice published today:
- specifies the MAR market manipulation indicators, by providing examples of practices that may constitute market manipulation as well as proposing “additional” indicators of market manipulation;
- recommends to set the minimum thresholds that exempt certain market participants in the emission allowance market from publicly disclosing inside information at six million tonnes of CO2eq per year and at 2,430 MW rated thermal input;
- suggests the way to determine to which regulator delays in disclosure of inside information needs to be notified.
- provides clarifications on the enhanced disclosure of managers’ transactions. - ESMA recommends disclosing any acquisition, disposal, subscription or exchange of financial instruments of the relevant issuer or related financial instruments carried out by managers,, further illustrated through a non-exhaustive list of types of transactions subject to this obligation. ESMA also clarifies the transactions that can be allowed by the issuer during a closed period when normally managers are prohibited to trade; and
- proposes procedures and arrangements to ensure sound whistleblowing infrastructures – i.e. EU national regulators should allow the receipt of reports of infringements, including appropriate communication channels and guarantee the protection of reporting and reported persons, with respect to their identity and their personal data.
ESMA will send its technical advice to the European Commission for its consideration in drafting its implementing standards regarding MAR. ESMA’s regulatory technical standards regarding MAR will be delivered in July 2015.