On June 3, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published updated versions of its opinions on transparency (Transparency Opinion) and position limits (Position Limits Opinion) for third-country trading venues (TCTVs) under MiFID II and MiFIR.

The Transparency Opinion:

The Transparency Annex to the Transparency Opinion includes a list of 137 TCTVs from 25 countries. Most have a positive assessment for all the instruments available on the venue, while several have a partially positive assessment (the assessment is limited to a subset of instruments).

Firms concluding transactions on TCTVs absent from the list should make those transactions post-trade transparent via an approved publication arrangement (APA) by October 3. ESMA clarifies that firms are subject to the same obligations for transactions executed on TCTVs with a partially positive assessment, but only for the instruments exempted from the positive assessment.

The Position Limits Opinion:

The Position Limits Annex includes a list of seven TCTVs from four countries. All TCTVs on this list have a fully positive assessment. ESMA notes that this means commodity derivatives traded on TCTVs on this list should not be considered as economically equivalent OTC contracts for the purposes of the position limits regime. ESMA confirms that each assessment of these TCTVs has been individually approved by ESMA prior to inclusion on the general list.

Although ESMA considers that this exercise has been finalized, it remains open to future submissions from TCTVs, should they have European Union market participants who consider that an assessment would be relevant.

ESMA’s Transparency Opinion is available here, and the Transparency Annex is available here.

ESMA’s Position Limits Opinion is available here, and Position Limit Annex is available here.