Corporate Disclosure

ESMA publishes review of accounting treatment of Greek sovereign debt

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published Review of Greek Government Bonds accounting practices in the IFRS Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2011, which sets out the results of the review conducted by ESMA on accounting practices and disclosures regarding exposure to Greek government bonds. The ESMA review considered a sample of 42 European financial institutions, each with significant exposure to Greek government bonds totalling an estimated gross exposure of around €80 billion.

Call for Evidence on Empty Voting

ESMA launched a Call for Evidence on Empty Voting in September 2011 to analyse the potential issues and concerns raised by the practice of empty voting and to examine whether there was a possible need for further action.
An analysis of the responses received to the consultation has led ESMA to conclude that there is insufficient evidence to justify any regulatory action at the European level at present.

ESMA seeks views on proxy advisors

ESMA published last Thursday a discussion paper (ESMA/2012/212) on proxy advisors active in the European Union, seeking views of stakeholders. The paper aims at giving an overview of the state and structure of the market, advisor’s methodologies, and on possible policy options. Generally, proxy advisors assist (institutional) investors and asset managers in their voting policy and strategy.  Currently, there are no rules in place on a pan-European basis regarding proxy advisors.

Discussion Paper - An Overview of the Proxy Advisory Industry. Considerations on Possible Policy Options

This Discussion Paper focuses on the development of the proxy advisory industry in Europe, which mainly serves institutional investors such as asset managers, mutual funds and pension funds. Following its fact-finding work in 2011, ESMA recognises the proxy advisory industry within Europe is, or is expected to be, growing in prominence and investors are, or are expected to be, increasingly using proxy advisor services. In this paper ESMA identifies several key issues related to the proxy advisory market which may have an impact on the proper functioning of the voting process.