On February 3, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final report to the European Commission (EC) with technical advice on possible new secondary legislation under the European Union’s Market Abuse Regulation.

ESMA’s technical advice:

  • specifies key indicators of market manipulation and provides examples of manipulative practices;
  • recommends setting minimum thresholds for the purpose of the exemption for certain participants in the emission allowance market from the requirement to publicly disclose inside information;
  • suggests a way for EU regulators to determine how/when disclosures of inside information can be delayed and to which regulator(s) those delays must be notified;
  • publishes clarification on the enhanced disclosure of managers’ transactions (ESMA also clarifies the transactions that can be allowed by the issuer during a closed period when normally managers are prohibited from trading); and
  • proposes procedures and arrangements to ensure sound whistleblowing infrastructures.

The EC is currently considering ESMA’s technical advice and is in the process of drafting its implementing standards.

All of the subordinate legislation (technical standards and implementing standards) have to be adopted by the EC such that they enter into force two years after the European Union’s Market Abuse Regulation came into force (i.e., by July 2016), unless the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union object and send the standards back to the EC for revisions.

ESMA’s report is available here.