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02/10/2013 2013/1369 ESMA Technical advice on equivalence of Hong Kong for OTC and TR (Supplement) Technical Advice PDF
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02/10/2013 2013/1371 ESMA Technical advice on equivalence of South Korea for CCPs Technical Advice PDF
1.83 MB
03/10/2013 2013/1400 20 September 2013 meeting of the Principals of the OTC Derivative Regulators Group , Press Release PDF
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Principals and senior representatives of authorities responsible for the regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets in Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Ontario, Québec, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States met on 20 September 2013 at the headquarters of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in Paris.  The Principals and representatives include:  ·         Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA); ·         Greg Medcraft, Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; ·         Leonardo Pereira, Chairman of the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (Brazil); ·         Patrick Pearson, Acting Director at the European Commission; ·         Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; ·         Masamichi Kono, Vice-Commissioner of the Japan Financial Services Agency; ·         Howard Wetston, Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission; ·         Anne Héritier Lachat, Chair of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority; ·         Gary Gensler, Chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission; ·         Mary Jo White, Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; ·         Chuan Teck Lee, Assistant Managing Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore; ·         Louis Morisset, President and CEO, l’Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec.  The Principals discussed generally: the application of clearing requirements to foreign branches and affiliates; risk mitigation techniques for non-centrally cleared derivatives transactions, such as timely confirmation, portfolio reconciliation, portfolio compression, valuation and dispute resolution; the need to co-operate in the implementation of internationally agreed standards on margin for non-centrally cleared derivatives transactions; co-operation on equivalence and substituted compliance assessments among the relevant authorities; and co-operation between authorities in the supervision of registered foreign entities;  The Principals agreed to meet again in February to continue the discussion of the above points.

18/10/2013 2013/1292 ESMA’s Technical Advice to the Commission on procedural rules to impose fines on Trade Repositories Consultation Paper PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing this consultation paper to assist with the preparation of its Technical Advice to the European Commission on the procedural rules for imposing fines and periodic penalties on Trade Repositories. The Commission requested ESMA's advice on 29 April 2013 to assist it in formulating procedural rules by delegated act. (Annex I) The closing date for responses is 15 November 2013 and ESMA aims to provide its advice to the Commission by 31 December 2013.

07/11/2013 2013/1629 ESMA registers trade repositories , Press Release PDF
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ESMA registers DDRL, KDPW, Regis-TR, and UnaVista as trade repositories The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved today the registrations of the first four trade repositories (TRs) under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The following entities are registered as TRs for the European Union (EU):   DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd. (DDRL), based in the United Kingdom; Krajowy Depozyt Papierów Wartosciowych S.A. (KDPW), based in Poland; Regis-TR S.A., based in Luxembourg; and UnaVista Ltd, based in the United Kingdom. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Registering the first European trade repositories is an important component in making derivative markets more transparent and resilient. TRs play a fundamental role in the surveillance of derivatives markets and in risk monitoring. The data gathered by TRs will enable regulators to identify and reduce the risks associated with derivative markets. “ESMA’s TR supervision will ensure more robust market infrastructures and benefit investors, fi-nancial markets and the economy as a whole. Trade reporting to start mid-February TRs are commercial firms that centrally collect and maintain the records of derivatives contracts reported to them. The registration of these TRs means that they can be used by the counterparties to a derivative transaction to fulfil their trade reporting obligations under EMIR. The registrations will take effect on 14 November 2013, with the reporting obligation beginning on 12 February 2014, i.e. 90 calendar days after the official registration date. The registered TRs cover all derivative asset classes –commodities, credit, foreign exchange, equity, interest rates and others – irrespective of whether the contracts are traded on or off exchange. ESMA now assumes supervisory responsibility for the TRs who must continue to comply, on an on-going basis, with the regulatory requirements set out under EMIR. ESMA is currently processing further TR applications. Press release ref. 2013/1629

11/11/2013 2013/1635 ESMA announces financial statements’ enforcement priorities for 2013 , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its European Common Enforcement Priorities (Priorities) for 2013. These Priorities are to be used by European Economic Area (EEA) national authorities in their assessment of listed companies’ 2013 financial statements. ESMA has defined these Priorities in order to promote the consistent application of IFRS across the EEA. Listed companies and their auditors should take account of the areas set out in the Priorities when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2013. The Priorities identified refer to the application of IFRS in relation to: • Impairment of non-financial assets; • Measurement and disclosure of post-employment benefit obligations; • Fair value measurement and disclosure; • Disclosures related to significant accounting policies, judgements and estimates; and • Measurement of financial instruments and disclosure of related risks. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA, in setting out these enforcement priorities for listed companies financial statements, aims to ensure that the IFRS recognition, measurement and disclosure principles are consistently applied across the EEA. “Consistent application of accounting standards is a key factor in ensuring the transparency and accuracy of the financial information which investors rely upon, and ultimately contributes to the proper functioning of Europe’s capital markets. “Finally, considering the focus on asset quality in the financial sector, listed financial institutions and their auditors should pay particular attention to properly measuring financial instruments and the accurate disclosure of related risks.” ESMA and the national competent authorities will monitor the application of the IFRS requirements outlined in the Priorities, with national authorities incorporating them into their reviews and taking corrective actions where appropriate. In addition to these Priorities, national authorities may also focus on other locally relevant areas as part of their review. Therefore, national enforcement processes may not be limited to the specific issues contained in this statement. ESMA will collect data on how European listed entities have applied the Priorities and will publish its findings on these Priorities in early 2015. It expects to publish its findings on the 2012 Priorities in early 2014.

12/11/2013 2013/1645 ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations , , Press Release PDF
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ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive (TBD), focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert. It also contains information on how shareholders may cooperate in order to secure board member appointments by setting out factors that national authorities may take into account when considering whether shareholders are acting in concert. The statement is in response to a request by the European Commission for clarity on these issues, following its 2012 report on the application of the TBD. It is based on information collected about the TBD’s application and common practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). The statement was prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group, under ESMA’s auspices, that promotes the exchange of information on practices and application of the TBD across EEA. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Today’s statement means that shareholders can now be confident that they can expect authorities to take a consistent approach across the EEA to their cooperative activities. This consistency should in turn provide the reassurance needed by shareholders for the effective, sustainable engagement that is one of the cornerstones of listed companies’ corporate governance model allowing them to hold their boards to account. “ESMA believes that ensuring a consistent and convergent supervisory approach to this issue will be instrumental in affording equality of treatment to shareholders and investors across the EEA.” National competent authorities will have regard to the White List when determining whether shareholders are persons acting in concert under national takeover rules, but will also take into account all other relevant factors in making their decisions. Shareholder cooperation and acting in concert - The White List When shareholders cooperate to engage in any of the activities listed below, that cooperation will not, in and of itself, lead to a conclusion that the shareholders are acting in concert: 1. entering into discussions with each other about possible matters to be raised with the company’s board; 2. making representations to the company’s board about company policies, practices or particular actions that the company might consider taking; 3. other than in relation to the appointment of board members, exercising shareholders’ statutory rights; 4. other than in relation to a resolution for the appointment of board members and insofar as such a resolution is provided for under national company law, agreeing to vote the same way on a particular resolution put to a general meeting. If shareholders cooperate in an activity not included on the White List, this will also not result in an automatic assumption that they are acting in concert. Each case will be determined on its own particular facts. Cooperation in relation to the appointment of members of the board of a company The White List does not include any activity relating to cooperation on board appointments, due to differences in Member State approaches towards determining whether shareholders who cooperate in relation to board appointments are acting in concert. However, shareholders may wish to cooperate in order to secure board members’ appointment in a company in which they have invested. This cooperation might take the form of: 1. entering into an agreement or arrangement (informal or formal) to exercise their votes in the same way in order to support the appointment of one or more board members; 2. tabling a resolution to remove one or more board members and replace them with one or more new board members; or 3. tabling a resolution to appoint one or more additional board members. The statement therefore indicates which factors may be considered when assessing whether such cooperation is indeed an act of acting in concert. ESMA will keep the public statement under review in order to ensure that it continues to reflect accurately the practices and application of the TBD in the Member States. 2013/1642 Public Statement - Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive. 2013/1643 Cover Note to the Public Statement
18/11/2013 2013/1665 ESMA- Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures , , Press Release PDF
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ESMA - Financial institutions must improve financial statement disclosures The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Review of the comparability and quality of disclosures in 2012 IFRS financial statements of listed financial institutions. The Review makes recommendations aimed at enhancing the transparency of financial statements through the improvement of disclosures in certain key areas including: credit risk and impact of forbearance practices; liquidity and funding risk; asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments. ESMA, while finding that the required disclosures under IFRS were generally observed, also identified broad variations in the quality of the information provided, and found some cases where that was insufficient or insufficiently structured to allow comparability among financial institutions. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA has identified a number of areas where financial institutions can improve the information that they provide in their financial statements, particularly on issues such as credit risk and forbearance. “We expect that financial institutions and their auditors will take into account our recommendations when preparing and auditing the IFRS financial statements for 2013. “ESMA believes that accurate and comparable financial statements play a key role in maintaining both investor and market confidence, which in turn contributes to financial stability and promotes sound economic growth.” The Review ESMA decided to undertake a review of some of the key areas of the financial statements prepared by listed financial institutions across the EU in order to assess their comparability and the quality of disclosures. The review was based on a sample of 39 large European financial institutions from 16 jurisdictions, mostly consisting of banks that were included in the latest EBA stress-test exercise, most of which will move under the ECB supervision in 2014. The review focused on the following areas: • Structure and content of the income statement; • Liquidity and funding risk including the effects of asset encumbrance; • Hedging and the use of derivatives; • Credit risk with a focus on credit risk management, forbearance practices, non-performing loans and country concentration risk; and • Criteria used to assess impairment of equity securities classified as available-for-sale. Conclusions and Recommendations Some financial institutions provided disclosures that were not specific enough, lacked links between quantitative and narrative information, or provided disclosures that could not be reconciled to the primary financial statements. In particular, ESMA found: • it difficult to compare the income statements of the financial institutions, due to differences in their structure, the line items content and lack of comprehensive accounting policy disclosures; • that in many cases financial statements did not include sufficient information on the use of derivatives. The link between the business purpose and the classification in the financial statements was often unclear; and • significant divergence in the application of the significant or prolonged criteria when assessing impairment of the equity securities classified as available-for-sale. As a result of the conclusions and recommendations included in this review, ESMA expects enhanced disclosures to be provided in 2013 on exposures to credit risk, its mitigation e.g. by collateral, guarantees or credit default swaps, analysis of specific concentrations of credit risk and disclosure of impairment policies in order to enable investors to assess the overall credit risk. While progress was seen in the disclosures relating to forbearance practices following ESMA’s Public Statement in 2012, with more financial institutions providing information on forborne financial assets, ESMA expects financial institutions to provide more granular quantitative information on the effects of forbearance. This would enable investors to assess the level of credit risk related to forborne assets and their impact on the financial position and performance. Furthermore, ESMA believes that improving the level of transparency in the area of liquidity and funding risk, asset encumbrance and fair value measurement of financial instruments is needed as indicated in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities. Next Steps ESMA expects that national competent authorities will take appropriate enforcement actions where material breaches of the IFRS requirements have been identified as part of the review and will monitor their progress. As announced in the ESMA Public Statement on the 2013 European Common Enforcement Priorities, ESMA and national competent authorities will focus in the review of 2013 financial statements on a number of areas that are particularly relevant for financial institutions. ESMA will also provide suggestions to the IASB on those areas where it believes additional IFRS guidance can improve the quality and transparency of financial statements. Notes for editors 1. 2013/1664 Review of Accounting Practices - Comparability of IFRS Financial Statements of Financial Institutions in Europe. 2. 2013-1634 Public Statement - European common enforcement priorities for 2013 financial statements. 3. ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 4. ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU). As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU. ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity. Press Release 2013/1665 Final Report 2013/1664

24/01/2014 2013/1965 Technical Advice to the Commission on procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to Trade Repositories Technical Advice PDF
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Reasons for publication On 29 of April 2013 ESMA received a formal request from the European Commission (the Commission) to provide technical advice to assist the Commission in formulating procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to trade repositories (TRs) by delegated act. In order to deliver its advice to the Commission, ESMA consulted market participants regarding the procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to TRs. Respondents to the consultation were encouraged to provide the relevant information in support of their arguments or proposals. ESMA published the consultation on 18 October 2013. The market participants could provide their comments until 15 November 2013. In total ESMA received two responses to the consultation. The respondents have required confidential treatment for their input. ESMA would like to thank respondents for providing input. Contents This document sets out a summary of the responses received by ESMA regarding the procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to TRs and includes ESMA’s final technical advice to the Commission on the future Regulation on the procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to TRs which will be adopted by the Commission in the form of a delegated act. It is worth noting that all major ESMA proposals were supported by respondents and where comments were received ESMA has considered them carefully. Next steps ESMA will follow-up on this work with the Commission towards the adoption of the Commission delegated regulation on procedural rules to impose fines and periodic penalty payments to TRs.

30/01/2014 2014/123 ESMA Technical advice on equivalence of Japan for CCP II- Commodities CCPs Technical Advice PDF
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ESMA delivers second set of advice on EMIR equivalence Following its technical advice published on 9 September 2013, the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) has published a supplement to its advice to the European Commission on the equivalence of the regulatory regime for central counterparties (CCPs) of Japan with the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). This supplement to the September 2013 Final report sets out ESMA’s advice to the European Commission is in respect of the equivalence between the Japanese regulatory regime for commodity CCPs and the regulatory regime for CCPs under EMIR. ESMA proposes conditional equivalence As for ESMA’s advice to the Commission in respect of Japan for CCPs which clear transactions relating to securities, currencies, interest rates, credit, weather, GDP and other indices, ESMA considers that the Japanese regulatory regime for commodity CCPs contains legal provisions and involves supervision and enforcement similar to that of EMIR. The Commission is expected to use ESMA’s technical advice to prepare possible equivalence decisions. Where it adopts such a decision, certain provisions of EMIR may be disapplied in favour of equivalent third-country rules. In particular, ESMA may recognise within the EU a CCP which is authorised outside the EU. The different pieces of advice are available on ESMA’s website.

07/02/2014 2014/152 ESMA tells firms to improve their selling practices for complex financial products , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion on practices to be observed by investment firms when selling complex financial products to investors. ESMA is issuing this opinion to remind national supervisors and investment firms about the importance of requirements governing selling practices under MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive).ESMA is issuing this Opinion as it is concerned that firms’ compliance with the MiFID selling practices when selling complex products may have fallen short of expected standards. The concerns relate mainly to the suitability and appropriateness of complex products that are increasingly within the grasp of retail investors. The Opinion sets out ESMA’s minimum expectations with respect to the conduct of firms when selling complex products to retail investors.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Investment firms increasingly sell complex financial products such as warrants, different types of structured bonds, derivatives and asset-backed securities, which were previously accessible mainly to professional investors, to retail investors.“ESMA is concerned that this trend greatly increases the risk that customers do not understand the risks, costs and expected returns of the products they are buying. Therefore, we believe that it is crucial that investment firms act responsibly and in the best interest of their clients.“The level of concern regarding the risk posed by these products to investor protection when MiFID rules are not fully respected is such that we have also issued an EU-wide warning to investors in order to raise awareness about the risks arising from investing in these types of complex products.” The marketing and sale of complex financial products, in particular to retail investors, is an important investor protection area where ESMA wants to ensure a consistent approach to the application of the MiFID conduct business rules - thereby improving supervisory convergence.The areas covered by the Opinion relate to: firms’ organisation and internal controls; the assessment of the suitability or appropriateness of certain products; disclosures and communications in relation to products; and compliance monitoring of the sales functions.
13/02/2014 2014/175 ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures , Consultation Paper PDF
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Reasons for publication In October 2005, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), ESMA’s predecessor body, published a Recommendation on Alternative Performance Measures (“CESR Recommendation” CESR/05-178b). The CESR Recommendation was issued mainly in order to reinforce the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards. Given the CESR Recommendation has now been in force for more than 8 years, ESMA has decided to review it with the objective of strengthening the principles contained in it. ESMA now plans to re-issue the principles as ESMA [draft] guidelines thus ensuring that issuers and NCAs will make every effort to com-ply with them. Contents ESMA is issuing this Consultation Paper (CP) to inform market participants about the background to its decision to revise the CESR Recommendation and seek their views on such revision. Section II “Introduction” indicates the reasons for which ESMA believes that these [draft] guidelines on APMs should be issued. Section III “Scope and purpose of the [draft] guidelines” indicates when the [draft] guidelines apply and how these [draft] guidelines interact with financial statements. Section IV “Compliance and reporting obligations” describes how issuers and NCAs should comply with the [draft] guidelines. Section V “[Draft] Guidelines on APMs (Background)” describes the rationale followed in preparing the [draft] guidelines and explanations on the principles provided, which are included in full in Annex III. ESMA would appreciate any comments and answers from stakeholders on the questions contained in the consultation paper. For your convenience, the questions are summarised in annex II. Next steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation in 2014 and expects to publish final guide-lines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

13/02/2014 2014/174 ESMA consults on Guidelines for issuers performance measures , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APMs). The aim of the guidelines is to encourage European issuers to publish transparent, unbiased and comparable information on their financial performance in order to provide users with a better understanding of their performance. Some examples of APMs include EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Tax), EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation), free cash flow, underlying profit or net-debt. The Consultation Paper follows on from ESMA’s decision to review and replace the 2005 CESR Recommendation on APMs with Guidelines under Article 16 of the ESMA Regulation to tackle concerns about APMs used by issuers. Those relate mainly to APMs being used in such a manner as to present a confusing or optimistic picture of their performance by removing certain negative aspects, or even where this is not the case, APMs can be misleading if they are inconsistently calculated or presented. The proposed guidelines set out the principles that issuers should follow when presenting APMs, and are based on the requirements applicable to financial statements, as required by the IAS Regulation, mainly referring to their labelling, calculation, presentation and comparability.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “The proposed guidelines aim to improve the transparency and comparability of financial information published by issuers. APMs presented in an appropriate way may reduce information asymmetry among the users of financial statements.“These guidelines will ensure that APMs are used and presented in a coherent fashion across the EU, which will in turn contribute to restoring confidence in the accuracy and usefulness of financial information and improve investor protection.” The proposed guidelines would apply to issuers with securities traded on regulated markets and all competent authorities and other bodies in the EU that undertake enforcement activities under the Transparency Directive. The proposed guidelines are aligned with other regulations and guidance issued by securities regulators in the United States, Australia and Canada on this matter. The closing date for responses to this consultation is 14 May 2014 and ESMA expects to publish the final guidelines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

20/03/2014 2014/299 Draft Technical Standards for the Regulation on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (CSD) Consultation Paper PDF
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ESMA is calling for public feedback on possible content to draft technical standards on matters such as settlement discipline, CSD registration and requirements, including confirmation rules (acceptance or rejection of terms in good time before the intended settlement date) for trading venues and investment firms, as well as access to CSDs by other CSDs, participants and other market infrastructures. ESMA has a mandate to draft technical standards on more than 30 aspects under CSDR. ESMA will consider all comments received by 22 May 2014. A public hearing will take place on April 14th at ESMA in Paris, from 13h30 to 17h. As provided for by the ESMA Regulation, a full public consultation will be conducted on the draft technical standards before they are submitted to the European Commission (EC). Therefore, following this DP and on the basis of the relevant input received, ESMA will finalise its proposed draft technical standards, that will be included in a consultation paper. The date of publication of such a consultation paper and the commenting period will depend on the date of publication of the CSDR in the Official Journal and the final deadline for ESMA to deliver the draft RTS and ITS to the EC. Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions summarised in Annex IV. Comments are most helpful if they: indicate the specific question to which the comment relates; respond to the question stated; contain a clear rationale; and describe any alternatives ESMA should consider. ESMA will consider all comments received by 22 May 2014. All contributions should be submitted via ESMA’s website. Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation period, unless you request otherwise. Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publically disclosed. A standard confidentiality statement in an email message will not be treated as a request for non-disclosure. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with ESMA’s rules on access to documents. We may consult you if we receive such a request. Any decision we make is reviewable by ESMA’s Board of Appeal and the European Ombudsman. Data protection Information on data protection can be found at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading ‘Disclaimer’. Who should read this paper All interested stakeholders are invited to respond to this discussion paper. In particular, responses are sought from CSDs, CSD users or linked entities, market infrastructures and investors.

21/03/2014 2014/300 Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on major shareholdings and indicative list of financial instruments subject to notification requirements under the revised Transparency Directive , Consultation Paper PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) under the revised Transparency Directive relating to the notification of major shareholdings and the indicative list of financial instruments subject to notification requirements. The consultation runs until 30 May 2014. The revised Transparency Directive 2013/50/EC (TD) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 6 November 2013 and entered into force on 27 November 2013. ESMA is required to submit certain draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTSs) on major shareholdings (for details on each RTS, see the relevant section) to the European Commission (Commission or EC) by 27 November 2014. According to Articles 10 and 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing ESMA (ESMA Regulation), ESMA must conduct a public consultation before submitting draft RTSs to the Commission. This Consultation Paper (CP) therefore seeks stakeholders’ views on proposals for such RTSs. The input from stakeholders will help ESMA finalise the draft RTSs. Respondents to this CP are encouraged to consider the costs and benefits that the draft RTSs would imply and provide the relevant data to support their arguments or proposals. The CP also seeks stakeholders’ views on the proposed content of an indicative list of financial instru-ments referenced to shares and with economic effect similar to holding shares and entitlements to acquire shares. To respond
21/03/2014 2014/302 ESMA consults on major shareholders disclosures , Press Release PDF
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ESMA consults on major shareholders disclosures The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a consultation on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) under the revised Transparency Directive relating to the notification of major shareholdings and the indicative list of financial instruments subject to notification requirements. The consultation runs until 30 May 2014. The revised Directive harmonises transparency requirements relating to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on an EU regulated market. This harmonisation aims to enhance transparency in respect of the ownership structure of an issuer, to improve legal certainty and reduce the administrative burden for cross-border investors. The revised Transparency Directive also addresses the issue of the disclosure regime for new types of financial instruments that expose investors to an economic risk similar to when holding shares. The draft RTS support these objectives by facilitating the creation of a harmonised regime regarding the aggregation of holdings of shares and financial instruments, the calculation of notification thresholds and the exemptions from notification requirements. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Transparency is essential for ensuring that markets function properly and investors are afforded adequate protection when making investment decisions. “Today’s proposals support the aims of the Transparency Directive to improve the effectiveness of the transparency regime on corporate ownership. Clarity on this issue will ensure that shareholders and potential investors are in possession of the information needed to make informed investment decisions.” Draft Regulatory Technical Standards The draft RTS on the major shareholding notifications addresses the following issues: • Method of calculation of 5% threshold exemption regarding trading books and market makers; • Calculation method regarding a basket of shares or an index; • Methods for determining the ‘delta’ for calculating voting rights; and • Exemptions regarding notification of financial instruments. The Consultation Paper also sets out the proposed content of an indicative list of financial instruments which should be subject to the notification requirements laid down in the Directive, and outlines the processes for updating that list. The input from stakeholders will help ESMA in drafting the final report and determining the content of the draft RTS. Comments to this consultation can be submitted via ESMA’s website and the deadline for submission is 30 May 2014.
22/05/2014 2014/548 Discussion Paper on MiFID II/MiFIR , Consultation Paper PDF
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This publication is the first step in the process of translating the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules and regulations to address the effects of the financial crisis and to improve financial market transparency and strengthen investor protection.MiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes that will have a large impact on the EU’s financial markets, these include transparency requirements for a broader range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on-exchange; requirements on algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. It will also strengthen protection for retail investors through limits on the use of commissions; conditions for the provision of independent investment advice; stricter organisational requirements for product design and distribution; product intervention powers; and the disclosure of costs and charges.Responding to this paperThe European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) invites responses to the specific questions listed in the ESMA MiFID II/MiFIR Discussion Paper.Please use this “form to reply”.The level 1 texts adopted by the European Council during its 13 May 2014 meeting are available here: MiFID II and MiFIR. These links are from the Council Press Release.
22/05/2014 2014/549 Consultation Paper on MiFID II/MiFIR , Consultation Paper PDF
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This publication is the first step in the process of translating the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules and regulations to address the effects of the financial crisis and to improve financial market transparency and strengthen investor protection.MiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes that will have a large impact on the EU’s financial markets, these include transparency requirements for a broader range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on-exchange; requirements on algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. It will also strengthen protection for retail investors through limits on the use of commissions; conditions for the provision of independent investment advice; stricter organisational requirements for product design and distribution; product intervention powers; and the disclosure of costs and charges.Responding to this paperThe European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) invites responses to the specific questions listed in the ESMA MiFID II/MiFIR Consultation Paper.Please use this “form to reply”.The level 1 texts adopted by the European Council during its 13 May 2014 meeting are available here: MiFID II and MiFIR. These links are coming from the Council Press Release.
22/05/2014 2014/557 ESMA consults on MiFID reforms , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched the consultation process for the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). This is the first step in the process of translating the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules and regulations to address the effects of the financial crisis and to improve financial market transparency and strengthen investor protection.MiFID II/MiFIR introduces changes that will have a large impact on the EU’s financial markets, these include transparency requirements for a broader range of asset classes; the obligation to trade derivatives on-exchange; requirements on algorithmic and high-frequency-trading and new supervisory tools for commodity derivatives. It will also strengthen protection for retail investors through limits on the use of commissions; conditions for the provision of independent investment advice; stricter organisational requirements for product design and distribution; product intervention powers; and the disclosure of costs and charges.MiFID II/MiFIR contains over 100 requirements for ESMA to draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS), and to provide Technical Advice to the European Commission to allow it to adopt delegated acts. In order to ensure that MIFID II achieves its objectives in practice, ESMA is publishing the following documents:1.    Consultation Paper on MiFID/MiFIR Technical Advice – ESMA needs to deliver this advice to the European Commission by December 2014 and is therefore subject to a condensed consultation process for this paper; and2.    Discussion Paper on MiFID/MiFIR draft RTS/ITS – this will provide the basis for a further consultation paper on the draft RTS/ITS which is expected to be issued in late 2014/early 2015. The closing date for responses to both papers is Friday 1 August. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:“The launch of today’s MiFID II/MiFIR consultation process is an important step in the biggest overhaul of financial markets regulation in the EU for a decade. The reform of MiFID is an integral part of the EU’s strategy to address the effects of the financial crisis and aims to bring greater transparency to markets and to strengthen investor protection. These changes are key to restoring trust in our financial markets.“We appreciate the magnitude of this exercise for stakeholders. We strongly encourage all those affected by these reforms to provide their views to ensure that we take them into account in our final proposals.”The main issues covered in the Discussion and Consultation Paper are divided into those addressing the structure, transparency and regulation of financial markets, and those aimed at strengthening investor protection.Financial Markets Structure, Transparency and RegulationThe main proposals in this area cover the following issues: enhanced transparency and trading obligations - increasing pre- and post-trade transparency for many categories of instruments, e.g. shares, ETFs, certificates, bonds and derivatives, limitations to trade shares OTC and new obligations to trade derivatives on trading venues; micro-structural issues – refining the definition of high frequency trading and direct electronic access and specifying the requirements for operating in the market using algorithmic techniques; data publication and access – issues related to the development of the consolidated tape including requirements for tape providers, approved publication arrangements and reporting mechanisms, and the definition of a reasonable commercial basis for data sales; and the access to CCPs,  trading venues and benchmarks; other organisational requirements for trading venues; and commodity derivatives – new regulatory tools, including position limits. Investor ProtectionThe main proposals relating to the improved protection of retail investors include technical advice on: inducements – new limitations on the receipt of commissions (inducements); independent advice – clearly distinguishing independent from non-independent advice; product governance – requirements on the manufacture and distribution of financial products including target market and risk identification; product intervention/banning - introducing powers for both ESMA and national regulators to prohibit or restrict the marketing and distribution of certain financial instruments; and improved information on costs and charges – requirements to provide clients with details of all charges related to their investment (relating to both the investment service and the financial instrument provided) so they can understand the overall cost and its effect on their investment’s return. In addition, the draft regulatory technical standards in the investor protection area relate to the authorisation of investment firms, passporting, and certain best execution obligations.Next StepsESMA will hold three public hearings about secondary markets, investor protection and commodity derivatives issues on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 July. Further details on the hearings will be published on ESMA’s website. 2014/548 2014/549
11/07/2014 2014/799 Consultation paper Clearing Obligation no1 IRS Consultation Paper PDF
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With the overarching objective of reducing systemic risk, EMIR introduces the obligation to clear certain classes of OTC derivatives in central clearing houses (CCPs) that have been authorised (European CCPs) or recognised (third-country CCPs) under its framework.ESMA defined the IRS classes to be subject to central clearing following an analysis of all IRS classes which are currently offered for clearing by European CCPs. ESMA’s draft RTS propose to subject the following four classes: Basis swaps, fixed-to-float interest rate swaps, forward rate agreements and overnight index swaps on a range of currencies and maturities. The clearing obligation will take effect following a phased implementation depending on the types of counterparties.Responding to this paperThe European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) invites responses to the specific questions listed in the consultation paper on the clearing obligation no.1. Please use this “form to reply”Details on EMIR and the clearing obligation can be found at the following link: http://www.esma.europa.eu/page/OTC-derivatives-and-clearing-obligation