On May 27, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published issue 63 of its Market Watch newsletter in relation to market conduct and transaction reporting issues (the Newsletter).

In the Newsletter, the FCA sets out its expectations around the identification and handling of inside information in light of increased capital raisings and working from home arrangements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA notes that market participants should continue to comply with their obligations under the relevant regulations, including the Market Abuse Regulation. In particular, market participants should:

  1. ensure that inside information continues to be appropriately identified and handled by all persons involved in the information chain;
  2. ensure that inside information is appropriately disclosed by issuers so that investors are not misled;
  3. maintain robust market surveillance and suspicious transaction and order reporting by relevant market participants, in the context of changes in market conditions and the current use of alternative working arrangements;
  4. meet the transparency and short position covering requirements under the Short Selling Regulation; and
  5. identify and manage conflicts of interest that may arise around capital raising events.

In the Newsletter, the FCA emphasizes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue to monitor inside information disclosures and price movements to identify any actions which may impact the integrity and orderly functioning of the market and, where necessary, the FCA may take enforcement action.

The Newsletter is available here.