On November 20, 2015, the FCA published proposals to amend its guidance on when an issuer can delay disclosure of inside information under the FCA’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules. Under the UK market abuse regime, which includes the transposition of the EU Market Abuse Directive, an issuer can delay disclosing inside information to protect its legitimate interest subject to certain conditions being met. FCA guidance on when an issuer might have a legitimate interest states that there are unlikely to be other circumstances where a delay would be justified except in relation to impending developments, the provision of liquidity by a central bank to the issuer or a member of its group and the non-exhaustive list of examples included in the DTR, which are taken from MAD. The FCA is proposing to delete that guidance. As a result of recent case law, stakeholders have highlighted to the FCA that issuers are concerned that more information should be considered inside information than was previously thought to be the case. However, the ability of the issuer to delay disclosure of that information is constrained by the FCA’s guidance which goes further than the EU requirements. Under the Market Abuse Regulation, which comes into effect in the UK on July 1, 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority must issue guidelines on an issuer’s legitimate interest, including a non-exhaustive indicative list of examples. The FCA therefore does not intend to define a list of legitimate interests at this time. Responses to the FCA’s consultation are due by February 20, 2016.
The consultation paper is available at: http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/cp15-38.pdf.