On December 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release providing an update on its assessment of third-country trading venues (TCTVs) for the purposes of post-trade transparency and position limits under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MIFIR).

In December 2017, ESMA published two revised opinions on TCTVs in the context of MiFID II/MiFIR clarifying that:

  • EU investment firms trading instruments within the scope of MiFID II on TCTVs meeting a certain set of criteria are not required to make transactions public in the EU; and
  • Commodity derivatives contracts traded on TCTVs meeting a certain set of criteria are not considered economically equivalent over-the-counter (EEOTC) contracts for the purposes of the position limit regime.

(For further information on the revised opinions, please see the January 5 issue of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.)

ESMA received requests to assess more than 200 TCTVs against the criteria set out in the opinions. ESMA states that it has not yet reviewed a sufficient number of TCTVs to publish a comprehensive list and that it is important for all TCTVs to receive the same treatment in order to maintain a level playing field. ESMA has therefore decided to delay publication of the lists until a more significant number of TCTVs have been assessed.

Consequently, pending the publication of the lists, EU investment firms are not required to make public their transactions concluded on TCTVs, and commodity derivatives contracts traded on TCTVs will not be considered EEOTC contracts.

The press release is available here