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18/12/2013 ESA/2013/035 Joint Opinion-Review on the functioning of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) Opinion PDF
142.63 KB
Joint Opinion-Review on the functioning of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB)
18/12/2013 2013/1944 Format of the base prospectus and consistent application of Article 26(4) of the Prospectus Regulation , Opinion PDF
75.6 KB
07/02/2014 2014/146 MiFID practices for firms selling complex products , Opinion PDF
122.37 KB
27/03/2014 2014/332 Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements , Opinion PDF
203.1 KB
Legal basis 1.    Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation)  sets out the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) scope of action, tasks and powers which include “enhancing customer protection”, and “foster[ing] investor protection”.  2.    In order to continue delivering on this investor protection statutory objective, ESMA is issuing this opinion on certain aspects linked to the manufacturing and distribution of structured retail products (SRP). This opinion takes into account relevant work done in this field both at European and interna-tional level.  3.    This opinion is without prejudice to the requirements for the provision of investment services and activities established in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)  and its implementing measures (notably, Directive 2006/73/EC), the regulatory developments arising from the MiFID review or existing product rules that may apply to SRPs.  4.    ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of the ESMA Regulation. In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation, the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. Background 5.    In its July 2013 report on ‘Retailisation in the EU’ , ESMA highlighted that, from a consumer protec-tion perspective, retail investors may face difficulties in understanding the drivers of risks and returns of structured products. If retail investors do not properly understand the risk and reward profile of structured products, and if the products are not properly assessed against the risk appetite of retail investors, retail investors might be exposed to unexpected losses and this might lead to complaints, reputational risks for manufacturers and distributors, and a loss of confidence in the regulatory framework and, more broadly, in financial markets. 6.    In 2013, ESMA mapped the measures adopted in the EU Member States in relation to complex products in order to identify issues and to better understand the rationale behind national initiatives (by looking at similarities and differences in the various approaches, and reviewing how complexity has been treated in the different EU Members States). 7.    As a result, ESMA has developed a broad set of non-exhaustive examples of good practices, attached as Annex 1 hereto, illustrating arrangements that firms - taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of their business - could put in place to improve their ability to deliver on investor protection regarding, in particular, (i) the complexity of the SRPs they manufacture or distribute, (ii) the nature and range of the investment services and activities undertaken in the course of that business, and (iii) the type of investors they target. These good practices should also be a helpful tool for competent authorities in carrying out their supervisory action. Opinion 8.    ESMA considers that sound product governance arrangements are fundamental for investor protec-tion purposes, and can reduce the need for product intervention actions by competent authorities. 9.    ESMA considers that, when supervising firms manufacturing or distributing an SRP, competent authorities should promote, in their supervisory approaches, the examples of good practices for firms set out in Annex 1 hereto. 10.    Although the good practices set out in Annex 1 hereto focus on structured products sold to retail investors, ESMA considers that they may also be a relevant reference for other types of financial in-struments (such as asset-backed securities, or contingent convertible bonds), as well as when financial instruments are being sold to professional clients. 11.    The exposure to risk is an intrinsic feature of investment products. The good practices set out in Annex 1 refer to product governance arrangements and do not (and cannot) aim at removing investment risk from products.
28/05/2014 2014/576 Voting Procedures for CCP colleges under EMIR Opinion PDF
94.15 KB
27/10/2014 2014/1312 ESMA opinion on emergency measure by the Italian CONSOB under the short-selling regulation Opinion PDF
137.35 KB
11/11/2014 2014/1355 ESMA opinion on the renewal of short positions ban in Italy Opinion PDF
114.46 KB
18/12/2014 2014/1378 Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding Opinion PDF
460.92 KB
Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors.  It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return.  ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement.  Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind. Within investment-based crowdfunding a range of different operational structures are used so it is not straightforward to map crowdfunding platforms’ activities to those regulated under EU legislation. Member States and NCAs have been working out how to treat crowdfunding, with some dealing with issues case-by-case, some seeking to clarify how crowdfunding fits into existing rules and others introducing specific requirements.To assist NCAs and market participants, and to promote regulatory and supervisory convergence, ESMA has assessed typical investment-based crowdfunding business models and how they could evolve, risks typically involved for project owners, investors and the platforms themselves and the likely components of an appropriate regulatory regime. ESMA then prepared a detailed analysis of how the typical business models map across to the existing EU legislation, set out in this document.
29/01/2015 2015/223 Opinion on draft RTS on the Clearing Obligation Opinion PDF
601.97 KB

Legal Basis According to Article 5(2) of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying the class of OTC derivatives that should be subject to the clearing obligation, the date or dates from which the clearing obligation takes effect, including any phase in and the categories of counterparties to which the obligation applies, and the minimum remaining maturity of the OTC derivative contracts referred to in Article 4(1)(b)(ii) of EMIR. Background and Procedure On 1 October 2014, ESMA submitted a draft regulatory technical standard (RTS) on the clearing obligation to the European Commission pursuant to Article 10(1) of Regulation No (EU) 1095/2010 (the ESMA Regulation) and Article 5(2) of EMIR. This draft RTS covered Interest Rate Swaps. On 18 December 2014, the Commission informed ESMA of its intention to endorse with amendments this draft RTS and submitted to ESMA a modified version of the RTS (the “modified RTS”) introducing, among others, (1) amendments to the date on which the frontloading obligation starts to apply and (2) a new provision on the treatment of non-EU intragroup transactions. Pursuant to Article 10(1) of the ESMA Regulation, this notification from the Commission opens a period of six weeks during which ESMA may amend its draft RTS on the clearing obligation on the basis of the Commission’s proposed amendments and resubmit it to the Commission in the form of a formal opinion. ESMA has to send a copy of its formal opinion to the European Parliament and to the Council. In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation the Board of Supervisors has to adopt a formal opinion. Executive Summary ESMA agrees with the ultimate objectives of the modifications that the European Commission intends to introduce. However, ESMA considers that the tool proposed by the Commission for the matter related to the non-EU intra group transactions is not appropriate from a legal perspective and, in the case that the Commission intention is to define a later application date for those transactions, ESMA stands ready to explore, in coordination with the Commission, a different manner to incorporate that provision. ESMA backs the modifications on the frontloading section, though has a few observations and improvements with respect to several recitals. ESMA proposes to incorporate the suggestion of the Commission to deal with the application of the 8 billion threshold to investment funds for the definitions of types of counterparties as a specific provision in the text of the RTS.

09/03/2015 2015/511 Revised opinion on draft RTS on the clearing obligation on interest rate swaps Opinion PDF
336.52 KB
21/05/2015 2015/838 ESMA's opinion on the composition of CCP colleges under EMIR Opinion PDF
131.98 KB
22/05/2015 2015/880 ESMA Opinion to the EU institutions on the impact of EMIR on UCITS Opinion PDF
208.55 KB
29/06/2015 2015/1066 ESMA Opinion on emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under short selling regulation Opinion PDF
93.83 KB
01/07/2015 2015/1005 Questions and Answers: Investment-based crowdfunding: money laundering/terrorist financing Q&A PDF
157.73 KB
01/07/2015 2015/1015 ESMA assessment of Israeli laws and regulations on prospectuses Opinion PDF
173.89 KB
07/07/2015 2015/1104 ESMA Opinion on the renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under the Short Selling Regulation , Opinion PDF
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OPINION Renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps I. Legal basis 1. According to Article 27(2) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (the Regulation), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall within 24 hours of the notification having been made by a competent authority under Article 26 of the Regulation issue an opinion on whether it considers the measure or proposed measure necessary to address the exceptional circumstances. 2. ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of Regulation (EC) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation). In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. II. Background 3. In accordance with Article 26 of the Regulation, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) originally notified ESMA and competent authorities on the 29th of June 2015 of its intention to make use of its powers of intervention in exceptional circumstances and to introduce an emergency measure under Article 20 of the Regulation. 4. The original emergency measure consisted of a temporary prohibition of transactions in any financial instrument that create, or increase, a net short position on any of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange) of which the relevant Competent Authority is HCMC. 5. The original measure concerned the following financial instruments: all shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A”, as well as all related instruments included in the calculation of the net short position in accordance with Regulation (EU) N0 236/2012 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012 of 5 July 2012 (see in particular Annex I, Part I thereof). It applied to any person irrespective of their country of residence, and did not envisage any exemption for market maker activities. 6. In the original notification, the HCMC indicated that the measure was a complementary action to the ones already established on the 29th of June 2015 by the Greek Authorities, namely: • closure of the ATHEX regulated market and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” until the 6th of July (included); • closure of The Electronic Secondary Market “HDAT” for government bonds operated for the same period; • suspension of redemption of mutual funds’ units; • suspension of operation of ATHEXClear for the securities traded on the Greek market and the MTF “EN.A”; • suspension of the settlement of securities traded on the Greek market by the Hellenic Central Securities Depository; • trading suspension of all the securities of listed companies covered by the above measures, as well as the related financial instruments (the trading suspension is effective also in other Member States). 7. The reason for proposing a temporary prohibition for the creation, or increase, of net short position on the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and on “EN.A” was that the HCMC deemed it necessary for the protection of the investors and the preservation of financial stability. In fact, such prohibition was considered a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities. The HCMC also stated that given that the main liquidity and trading activity on those instruments normally is located within Greece, the measure would have not created disproportionate negative effects, since it would have affected a fairly small part of the EU overall market. 8. Following the issuance by ESMA of a positive opinion pursuant to Article 27 of the Regulation on the 29th of June, the original measure by the HCMC entered into force at 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 30th June 2015, and applied for a period of seven days, ending at 24:00:00 (CET) on 6th July 2015. 9. On the 6th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 6 were renewed by the Greek authorities and the bank holiday in Greece was also extended. On the same day, the HCMC proposed a renewal of the short selling measure, notifying ESMA and competent authorities accordingly. 10. In the notification for the renewal, the HCMC explains that it believes the circumstances that justified the imposition of the original measure did not improve during the last week and therefore the measure should be renewed. Moreover, all the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities were renewed or extended, and the short selling measure remains a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other ones. 11. The proposed renewal would concern the same financial instruments of the original measure (see paragraph 5), but the HCMC specified in the new notification that although the ban covers all transactions in the financial instruments listed in Part I of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012, transactions in index-related instruments and ETFs are included to the extent that the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” of which the relevant Competent Authority is the HCMC represent more than 5% of the total value (or composition) of these instruments. 12. The renewed measure shall apply for a period of seven days and shall be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 7th July 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on 13th of July 2015. III. Opinion 13. ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developments ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above mentioned threats that persist in the Hellenic Republic. On the duration of the measure ESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified and appreciates HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent that the measure may be lifted before the end of the established period or renewed in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 if circumstances that justified the imposition of the measure improve, persist or worsen.
13/07/2015 2015/1131 ESMA Opinion on the renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under short selling regulation , Opinion PDF
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OPINION Renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps I. Legal basis 1. According to Article 27(2) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (the Regulation), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall within 24 hours of the notification having been made by a competent authority under Article 26 of the Regulation issue an opinion on whether it considers the measure or proposed measure necessary to address the exceptional circumstances. 2. ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of Regulation (EC) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation). In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. II. Background 3. On the 29th of June 2015, ESMA issued an opinion on the emergency measure introduced by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) under Article 20 of the Regulation. The measure consisted of a temporary prohibition of transactions in any financial instrument that create, or increase, a net short position on any of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange) of which the relevant Competent Authority is HCMC and was applied from 30th June 2015 at 00.00.01 CET to the 6th July 2015 at 24:00:00 (CET). 4. The measure concerned the following financial instruments: all shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A”, as well as all related instruments included in the calculation of the net short position in accordance with Regulation (EU) N0 236/2012 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012 of 5 July 2012 (see in particular Annex I, Part I thereof). It applied to any person irrespective of their country of residence, and did not envisage any exemption for market maker activities. 5. In the original notification to ESMA, the HCMC indicated that the measure was a complementary action to the ones already established on the 29th of June 2015 by the Greek Authorities, namely: • closure of the ATHEX regulated market and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” until the 6th of July (included); • closure of The Electronic Secondary Market “HDAT” for government bonds operated for the same period; • suspension of redemption of mutual funds’ units; • suspension of operation of ATHEXClear for the securities traded on the Greek market and the MTF “EN.A”; • suspension of the settlement of securities traded on the Greek market by the Hellenic Central Securities Depository; • trading suspension of all the securities of listed companies covered by the above measures, as well as the related financial instruments (the trading suspension is effective also in other Member States). 6. The reason for proposing a temporary prohibition for the creation, or increase, of net short position on the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and on “EN.A” was that the HCMC deemed it necessary for the protection of the investors and the preservation of financial stability. In fact, such prohibition was considered a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities. The HCMC also stated that given that the main liquidity and trading activity on those instruments normally is located within Greece, the measure would have not created disproportionate negative effects, since it would have affected a fairly small part of the EU overall market. 7. On the 6th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 5 were renewed by the Greek authorities and the bank holiday in Greece was also extended. On the same day, the HCMC notified ESMA and competent authorities of its intention to renew the short selling measure and ESMA issued a positive opinion concerning this first renewal pursuant to Article 27 of the Regulation. 8. The first renewal concerned the same financial instruments of the original measure (see paragraph 5), but the HCMC specified in the related notification that although the ban covers all transactions in the financial instruments listed in Part I of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012, transactions in index-related instruments and ETFs are included to the extent that the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” of which the relevant Competent Authority is the HCMC represent more than 5% of the total value (or composition) of these instruments. 9. This renewal entered into force at 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 7th July 2015 and will expire at 24:00:00 (CET) on 13th July 2015. 10. On the 13th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 5 were renewed again by the Greek authorities and the bank holiday in Greece was also extended. On the same day, in accordance with Article 26 of the Regulation, the HCMC has notified ESMA and other competent authorities of its intention to make use of its powers of intervention in exceptional circumstances and to renew again the current emergency measure under Article 20 of the Regulation. 11. In the notification for this second renewal, the HCMC explains that it believes the circumstances that justified the imposition of the original measure and of the first renewal did not improve yet and therefore the measure should be extended again. Moreover, all the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities were extended, and the short selling measure remains a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other ones. 12. The proposed second renewal would concern exactly the same instruments as of the first renewal. 13. The renewed measure shall apply for a period of seven days and shall be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 14th July 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on 20th of July 2015. III. Opinion 14. ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developments ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above mentioned threats that persist in the Hellenic Republic. On the duration of the measure ESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified and appreciates HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent that the measure may be lifted before the end of the established period or renewed in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 if circumstances that justified the imposition of the measure improve, persist or worsen.
21/07/2015 2015/1139 ESMA Opinion on the renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under the Short Selling Regulation , Opinion PDF
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OPINION Renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps I. Legal basis 1. According to Article 27(2) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (the Regulation), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall within 24 hours of the notification having been made by a competent authority under Article 26 of the Regulation issue an opinion on whether it considers the measure or proposed measure necessary to address the exceptional circumstances. 2. ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of Regulation (EC) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation). In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. II. Background 3. On the 29th of June 2015, ESMA issued an opinion on the emergency measure introduced by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) under Article 20 of the Regulation. The measure consisted of a temporary prohibition of transactions in any financial instrument that create, or increase, a net short position on any of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange) of which the relevant Competent Authority is HCMC and was applied from 30th June 2015 at 00.00.01 CET to the 6th July 2015 at 24:00:00 (CET). 4. The measure concerned the following financial instruments: all shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A”, as well as all related instruments included in the calculation of the net short position in accordance with Regulation (EU) N0 236/2012 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012 of 5 July 2012 (see in particular Annex I, Part I thereof). It applied to any person irrespective of their country of residence, and did not envisage any exemption for market maker activities. 5. In the original notification to ESMA, the HCMC indicated that the measure was a complementary action to the ones already established on the 29th of June 2015 by the Greek Authorities, namely: • closure of the ATHEX regulated market and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” until the 6th of July (included); • closure of The Electronic Secondary Market “HDAT” for government bonds operated for the same period; • suspension of redemption of mutual funds’ units; • suspension of operation of ATHEXClear for the securities traded on the Greek market and the MTF “EN.A”; • suspension of the settlement of securities traded on the Greek market by the Hellenic Central Securities Depository; and • trading suspension of all the securities of listed companies covered by the above measures, as well as the related financial instruments (the trading suspension is effective also in other Member States). 6. The reason for proposing a temporary prohibition for the creation, or increase, of net short position on the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and on “EN.A” was that the HCMC deemed it necessary for the protection of the investors and the preservation of financial stability. In fact, such prohibition was considered a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities. The HCMC also stated that given that the main liquidity and trading activity on those instruments normally is located within the Hellenic Republic, the measure would have not created disproportionate negative effects, since it would have affected a fairly small part of the EU overall market. 7. On the 6th and 13th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 5 were renewed by the Greek authorities and the bank holiday in the Hellenic Republic was also extended. On the same days, the HCMC notified ESMA and competent authorities of its intention to renew the short selling measure and ESMA issued in both cases a positive opinion concerning these renewals pursuant to Article 27 of the Regulation. 8. The renewals concerned the same financial instruments of the original measure (see paragraph 5), but the HCMC specified in the related notification that although the ban covers all transactions in the financial instruments listed in Part I of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012, transactions in index-related instruments and ETFs are included to the extent that the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” of which the relevant Competent Authority is the HCMC represent more than 5% of the total value (or composition) of these instruments. 9. The renewal notified on the 13th July entered into force at 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 14th July 2015 and will expire at 24:00:00 (CET) on 20th July 2015. 10. On the 20th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 5 were renewed again by the Greek authorities. On the same day, in accordance with Article 26 of the Regulation, the HCMC has notified ESMA and other competent authorities of its intention to make use of its powers of intervention in exceptional circumstances and to renew again the current emergency measure under Article 20 of the Regulation. 11. In the notification for this third renewal, the HCMC explains that it believes the circumstances that justified the imposition of the original measure and of the previous renewals did not improve yet and therefore the measure should be extended again. Moreover, all the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities were extended, and the short selling measure remains a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other ones. 12. The proposed third renewal would concern exactly the same instruments as of the previous renewals. In the latest notification to ESMA and competent authorities, the HCMC revised its wording to the benefit of legal certainty regarding the nature of the emergency measure and the scope of the financial instruments concerned. In particular, the HCMC latest notification refers to short sales of shares under Article 20(2)(a) and any transaction referred to in Article 20(2)(b) of the Regulation (EU) N0 236/2012. The notification also lists explicitly all the categories of financial instruments relating to the concerned shares to which the measure will apply, rather than identifying these related instruments by cross referring to the Annex of Commission Regulation No 918/2012. Thus, the following financial instruments under MiFID are included: options, covered warrants, futures, index-related instruments, contracts for difference, shares/units of exchange-traded funds, swaps, spread bets, packaged retail or professional investment products, complex derivatives, certificates linked to shares, and global depositary receipts. 13. The renewed measure shall apply for a period of seven days and shall be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on 21st July 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on 27Th of July 2015. III. Opinion 14. ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developments ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist. Comparing the current situation in the Hellenic Republic with related events over the past few years, the threat to financial stability and investor protection at least in the Hellenic Republic is obvious. Despite the partial reopening of credit institutions on 20 July 2015, the situation of fragility in the financial system and in the broader Greek economy persists. The relation between this situation and the financial markets is clear, as evidenced by the closure of Greek financial markets. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above mentioned threats that persist in the Hellenic Republic. Allowing short positions to be built at this stage could exacerbate the threats to financial stability, especially as regards the financial sector. Besides, the inclusion of short positions built through related instruments is appropriate and proportionate since tolerating the build-up of over-the-counter (OTC) short positions and short positions through related instruments would put retail investors at a disadvantage compared to professional investors (who can access OTC wholesale markets more easily), given the main markets are still closed for trading, and would ultimately undermine the overall efficiency of the measure. On the duration of the measure ESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified. It is a relatively short renewal period that indicates that the measure is linked with specific events and allows its reconsideration at short intervals, which ensures that the assessment of the risks is also performed frequently. Besides, ESMA appreciates HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent that the measure may be lifted before the end of the established period or renewed in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 if circumstances that justified the imposition of the measure improve, persist or worsen.
28/07/2015 2015/1218 ESMA Opinion on the renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under the Short Selling Regulation , Opinion PDF
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OPINION Renewal of emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps I. Legal basis 1. According to Article 27(2) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps (the Regulation), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) shall within 24 hours of the notification having been made by a competent authority under Article 26 of the Regulation issue an opinion on whether it considers the measure or proposed measure necessary to address the exceptional circumstances. 2. ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of Regulation (EC) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation). In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. II. Background 3. On the 29th of June 2015, ESMA issued an opinion on the emergency measure introduced by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) under Article 20 of the Regulation. The measure consisted of a temporary prohibition of transactions in any financial instrument that create, or increase, a net short position on any of the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” (Alternative Market of the Athens Exchange) of which the relevant Competent Authority is HCMC and was applied from 30th June 2015 at 00.00.01 CET to the 6th July 2015 at 24:00:00 (CET). 4. The measure concerned the following financial instruments: all shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A”, as well as all related instruments included in the calculation of the net short position in accordance with Regulation (EU) N0 236/2012 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012 of 5 July 2012 (see in particular Annex I, Part I thereof). It applied to any person irrespective of their country of residence, and did not envisage any exemption for market maker activities. 5. In the original notification to ESMA, the HCMC indicated that the measure was a complementary action to the ones already established on the 29th of June 2015 by the Greek Authorities, namely: • closure of the ATHEX regulated market and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” until the 6th of July (included); • closure of The Electronic Secondary Market “HDAT” for government bonds operated for the same period; • suspension of redemption of mutual funds’ units; • suspension of operation of ATHEXClear for the securities traded on the Greek market and the MTF “EN.A”; • suspension of the settlement of securities traded on the Greek market by the Hellenic Central Securities Depository; • trading suspension of all the securities of listed companies covered by the above measures, as well as the related financial instruments (the trading suspension is effective also in other Member States). 6. The reason for proposing a temporary prohibition for the creation, or increase, of net short position on the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and on “EN.A” was that the HCMC deemed it necessary for the protection of the investors and the preservation of financial stability. In fact, such prohibition was considered a relevant component to ensure the effectiveness of the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities. The HCMC also stated that given that the main liquidity and trading activity on those instruments normally is located within the Hellenic Republic, the measure would have not created disproportionate negative effects, since it would have affected a fairly small part of the EU overall market. 7. On the 6th, the 13th and the 20th of July 2015, the measures described in paragraph 5 were renewed by the Greek authorities. On the same days, the HCMC notified ESMA and competent authorities of its intention to renew the short selling measure and ESMA issued in all cases a positive opinion concerning these renewals pursuant to Article 27 of the Regulation. 8. The renewals concerned the same financial instruments of the original measure (see paragraph 5), but the HCMC specified in the related notification that although the ban covers all transactions in the financial instruments listed in Part I of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) No 918/2012, transactions in index-related instruments and ETFs are included to the extent that the shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of “EN.A” of which the relevant Competent Authority is the HCMC represent more than 5% of the total value (or composition) of these instruments. 9. The renewal notified on the 20th of July entered into force at 00:00:01 hours (CET) on the 21th of July 2015 and will expire at 24:00:00 (CET) on the 27th of July 2015. 10. On the 27th of July 2015, while the measures described in paragraph 5 were still in force. in accordance with Article 26 of the Regulation, the HCMC has notified ESMA and other competent authorities of its intention to make use of its powers of intervention in exceptional circumstances and to renew again the current emergency measure under Article 20 of the Regulation. 11. In the notification for this fourth renewal, the HCMC explains that it believes the circumstances that justified the imposition of the original measure and of the previous renewals did not improve yet and therefore the measure should be extended again. Moreover, being the other measures adopted by the Greek authorities still in force, the short selling measure remains a relevant component to ensure their effectiveness. 12. The proposed fourth renewal would concern exactly the same instruments as of the previous renewals. The latest notification featured the same wording used in the 20th of July 2015 notification to ESMA and competent authorities, where the HCMC revised its previous wording to the benefit of legal certainty regarding the nature of the emergency measure and the scope of the financial instruments concerned. In particular, the HCMC latest notification refers to short sales of shares under Article 20(2)(a) and any transaction referred to in Article 20(2)(b) of the Regulation (EU) No 236/2012. The notification also lists explicitly all the categories of financial instruments relating to the concerned shares to which the measure will apply, rather than identifying these related instruments by cross referring to the Annex of Commission Regulation No 918/2012. Thus, the following financial instruments under MiFID are included: options, covered warrants, futures, index-related instruments, contracts for difference, shares/units of exchange-traded funds, swaps, spread bets, packaged retail or professional investment products, complex derivatives, certificates linked to shares, and global depositary receipts. 13. The renewed measure shall apply for a period of seven days and shall be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on the 28th of July 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on the 3rd of August 2015. III. Opinion 14. ESMA is adopting the following opinion on the notified measure, on the basis of Article 27(2) of Regulation 236/2012 on Short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps: On the adverse events or developments ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist. Comparing the current situation in the Hellenic Republic with related events over the past few years, the threat to financial stability and investor protection at least in the Hellenic Republic is obvious. Despite the partial reopening of credit institutions on 20 July 2015, the situation of fragility in the financial system and in the broader Greek economy persists. The relation between this situation and the financial markets is clear, as evidenced by the continued closure of Greek financial markets. On the appropriateness and proportionality of the measure ESMA considers that the measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the above mentioned threats that persist in the Hellenic Republic. Allowing short positions to be built at this stage could exacerbate the threats to financial stability, especially as regards the financial sector. Besides, the inclusion of short positions built through related instruments is appropriate and proportionate since tolerating the build-up of over-the-counter (OTC) short positions and short positions through related instruments would put retail investors at a disadvantage compared to professional investors (who can access OTC wholesale markets more easily), given that the main markets are still closed for trading, and would ultimately undermine the overall efficiency of the measure. On the duration of the measure ESMA considers that the duration of the measure is justified. It is a relatively short renewal period that indicates that the measure is linked with specific events and allows its reconsideration at short intervals, which ensures that the assessment of the risks is also performed frequently. Besides, ESMA appreciates HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent that the measure may be lifted before the end of the established period or renewed in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 if circumstances that justified the imposition of the measure improve, persist or worsen.
30/07/2015 2015/1235 ESMA's opinion to the European Parliament, Council and Commission and responses to the call for evidence on the functioning of the AIFMD EU passport and of the National Private Placement Regimes Opinion PDF
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AIFMD and the request to ESMA for an Opinion In accordance with Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD, non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs managed by EU AIFMs are subject to the NPPR of each of the Member States where the AIFs are marketed or managed. However, the AIFMD makes provision for the passport, which is currently reserved to EU AIFMs and AIFs, to be potentially extended in future. Article 67(1) of the AIFMD establishes that, by 22 July 2015, ESMA shall issue to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission the following: An opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU AIFMs pursuant to Articles 32 and 33 of the AIFMD and on the functioning of the national private placement regimes set out in Articles 36 and 42 of the AIFMD. Advice on the application of the passport to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs in accordance with the rules set out in Article 35 and Articles 37 to 41 of the AIFMD. Within three months of receipt of positive advice and an opinion from ESMA, and taking into account the criteria of Article 67(2) and the objectives of the AIFMD, the Commission should adopt a delegated act specifying the date when the rules set out in Article 35 and 37 to 41 of the AIFMD become applicable in all Member States. As a consequence, the EU passport would be extended to non-EU AIFs and non-EU AIFMs. In order to produce this opinion and advice, ESMA must look into the elements listed in Article 67(2) and (4) of the AIFMD , notably on the basis of the information provided by the national competent authorities (NCAs) about the EU and non-EU AIFMs under their supervision. Indeed, Article 67(3) of the AIFMD requires NCAs to provide information to ESMA quarterly as from 22 July 2013. ESMA has received input from NCAs for the periods covering 22 July 2013 to 31 March 2014, 1 April to 30 June 2014, 1 July to 30 September 2014, 1 October to 31 December 2014, and 1 January to 31 March 2015. In order to supplement the input provided by NCAs via the quarterly surveys, ESMA launched a call for evidence in November 2014 aimed at gathering information from EU and non-EU stakeholders on the functioning of the EU passport, the NPPRs and the potential extension of the AIFMD passport to non-EU countries. ESMA received 67 responses (including 15 confidential responses), from 13 non-EU Authorities, 21 EU and non-EU trade associations of asset managers, 17 EU and non-EU asset managers, and 16 other trade associations and private firms (e.g. providers of services for funds, law firms etc). Summary of the opinion In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the EU passport, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in the transposition in some Member States make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the passport after a longer period of implementation in all Member States. However, even at this early stage, ESMA has identified several issues in relation to the use of the EU passport. These issues include: i) divergent approaches with respect to marketing rules, including heterogeneity of fees charged by the NCAs where the AIFs are marketed and the definition of what constitutes a “professional investor”; ii) varying interpretations of what activities constitute “marketing” and “material changes” under the AIFMD passport in the different Member States. With that in mind, ESMA sees merit in greater convergence in the definition of these terms. Nevertheless, ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the AIFMD EU passport has raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework. In relation to the timing of the assessment of the functioning of the NPPRs, ESMA considers that the delay in the implementation of the AIFMD together with the delay in transposition in some Member states make a definitive assessment difficult. ESMA would see merit in the preparation of another opinion on the functioning of the NPPR Regime after a longer period of implementation has passed in all Member States (although this is linked to the decision to be taken by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on whether to extend the passport to one or more non-EU countries in the meantime). ESMA is of the view that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that the NPPRs have raised major issues in terms of the functioning and implementation of the AIFMD framework.