On March 12, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a public statement to note certain recommendations for EU financial market participants as a result of the impact and developments of COVID-19 (the Statement). ESMA’s recommendations include:

  1. financial market participants should be prepared to use their business contingency plans (BCP) to ensure that they maintain their operational continuity and regulatory compliance during this COVID-19 pandemic. For further information on this topic, please see the additional advisory prepared by Katten, available here;
  2. as soon as possible and in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), issuers of EU-listed shares must disclose any relevant significant information in relation to the impacts of COVID-19 on their fundamentals, prospects or financial situation;
  3. issuers should consider providing a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the actual and potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business via disclosure in their 2019 year-end financial report or in their interim reports; and
  4. asset managers should be continue to apply the requirements on risk management, and react accordingly.

The Statement notes that ESMA and EU financial regulators continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19’s impact on financial markets, and that ESMA is prepared to use its powers to ensure the orderly functioning of markets, financial stability and investor protection.

The Statement is available here.