On May 3, the European Securities and Markets Association (ESMA) published final reports on technical advice to the European Commission (EC) on integrating sustainability risks and factors in the core EU asset management directives:

  1. the Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive;
  2. the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD); and
  3. the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).


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On March 29, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a press release announcing that it has signed two updated memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both MOUs aim to ensure the continued ability of the United Kingdom and the United States to cooperate and consult with each other regarding the effective and efficient oversight of regulated entities across national borders.
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On March 29, the European Securities and Markets Association (ESMA) published an updated version of its questions and answers document (Q&As) on the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). ESMA last updated the Q&As on November 12, 2018 (as reported in the November 16, 2018 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).
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On March 29, the European Securities and Markets Association (ESMA) published an updated version of its questions and answers document (Q&As) on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

In their updated Q&As, ESMA has added the following under section VII:

  1. Q&A 6, on the treatment of short-term interest rate futures for

On April 4, two Commission Implementing Decisions (Amending Decisions) were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, amending the following December 20, 2018 equivalence decisions (Equivalence Decisions):

  • Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/2031, on the temporary equivalence of the UK’s regulatory framework for central counterparties (CCPs); and
  • Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/2030, on the temporary equivalence of the UK’s regulatory framework for central securities depositories (CSDs).


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On March 28, the European Securities and Markets Association (ESMA) published a statement updating market participants on its preparations for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, in the event of an agreement on transitional arrangements (Withdrawal Agreement) not being in place (No-Deal Brexit). ESMA’s update follows the European Council’s (EC’s) agreement to the UK government’s request to extend the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) to either April 12 if the House of Commons does not approve a Withdrawal Agreement by March 29, or to May 22 if it does.
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On March 19, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement on the impact on the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) trading obligation for shares (TO) if the United Kingdom left the European Union on March 29 (Brexit) without a withdrawal agreement (no-deal Brexit) and without an equivalence decision for the United Kingdom made by the European Commission.
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On March 19, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing the results of the annual transparency calculations of the large in scale (LIS) and size specific to the instruments (SSTI) thresholds for bonds. ESMA’s publication had originally been planned for March 1, but was postponed as its IT systems required more time than anticipated to complete the calculations, as reported in the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of March 8, 2019.
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On March 7, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement outlining its approach to the application of key provisions of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) and the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR), in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement (no-deal Brexit).
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On March 1, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release relating to the annual calculation of the large in scale (LIS) and size specific to the instruments (SSTI) thresholds for bonds.

In its press release, ESMA has announced that it will postpone publishing the results of the annual calculations because its IT systems require more time than anticipated to complete them. The publication was originally planned for March 1, in advance of the April 30 deadline set out in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/ 583, but ESMA will now aim to ensure that publication will take place later in March.
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