On September 28, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a final report (Report) containing draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS) on the new EU Market Abuse Regulation (MAR).

The Report, in line with ESMA’s November 2013 consultation/ discussion paper, has nine principal sections covering the main topics on which mandates were given to ESMA (by the European Commission (EC) and set forth in MAR itself) to develop draft RTS and ITS.

The draft RTS and ITS contained in the Report relate to:

  • content of notifications to be submitted to EU regulators and the compilation, publication and maintenance of the list of notifications (Annex V);
  • the timing, format and template of the submission of notification to EU regulators (Annex VI);
  • the conditions that buy-back programs and stabilization measures must meet (Annex VII);
  • the appropriate arrangements, systems and procedures for disclosing market participants conducting market soundings (Annex VIII);
  • systems and notification templates to be used by disclosing market participants conducting market soundings (Annex IX);
  • accepted market practices (Annex X);
  • the appropriate arrangements, systems and procedures as well as notification templates to be used for preventing, detecting and reporting abusive practices or suspicious orders or transactions (Annex XI);
  • the technical means for appropriate public disclosure of inside information and for delaying the public disclosure of inside information (Annex XII);
  • the format of the insider lists and format for updating the insider lists (Annex XIII);
  • the format and template for notification and public disclosure of managers’ transactions (Annex XIV); and
  • investment recommendations (Annex XV).

A press release from ESMA (which also covers the contemporaneous release of draft RTS and ITS under Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II) states that ESMA has sent the Report to the EC, which now has three months to decide whether to endorse the draft RTS and ITS. Once the EC endorses the Report, the next stage of the EU legislative process is for the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to assess the RTS and ITS and, if necessary, to raise any objections. If there are no objections, then the RTS and ITS may be finalized , which may be anticipated in January 2016. While MAR is itself directly applicable in all EU member states, the governments of all 28 EU member states are required to take necessary measures to amend their local securities laws so as to bring the new market abuse RTS and ITS into effect on a country by country basis. The new rules will be applicable across all the European Union from July 3, 2016.

The Report is available online here.

ESMA’s press release is also available online here.