On 19 December 2014 (“December Consultation”) the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final technical advice (“TA”) and launched a consultation on its draft regulatory technical and implementing standards (“RTS” / “ITS”) regarding the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”) and related Regulation (“MiFIR”)1.

Both ESMA’s TA and RTS translate the MiFID II/MiFIR requirements into practically applicable rules for market participants and national supervisors. The new regulatory framework aims at ensuring that secondary markets are fair, transparent and safe and that investors’ interests are safeguarded when being sold investment products.

As the section on transparency issues of the December Consultation did not cover some non-equity instruments, ESMA presented the analysis for these instruments in a separate Consultation Paper published on 18 February 2015.

This Consultation Paper covers the following non-equity asset classes:

  • foreign exchange derivatives;
  • credit derivatives;
  • other derivatives; and
  • contracts for difference (CFDs).

This paper builds on the analytical framework presented in December and covers the assessment of the liquidity of these instruments and the specification of the large in scale (LIS) and size specific to the instrument (SSTI) thresholds for pre-trade and post-trade transparency purposes.

The consultation runs until 20 March 2015. ESMA will use the input received to finalise its RTS which will be sent for endorsement to the European Commission in mid 2015.

MiFID II/ MiFIR and its implementing measures will be applicable as from 3 January 2017.