On 23 July 2012, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published yet another updated version of its Prospectuses: Questions and Answers document.  This is the 16th iteration of the Q&A document since its inception in 2006. The purpose of the ESMA Q&A document is to promote common approaches and practices in the application of prospectus law across the EU, by providing responses to frequently asked questions posed by the general public and competent authorities in the area.

The 16th updated version of the Q&A document includes all the questions and answers previously adopted and reflects recent changes in the EU prospectus regime (following Directive 2010/73/EU, recently implemented in Ireland by the Prospectus (Directive 2003/71/EC) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, and recent amendments made to Commission Regulation 809/2004).

The changes since the last published version are the addition of a new Question 81 which provides guidance on consent given in retail cascades and the deletion of Question 56 in relation to retail cascade offers.

Earlier in the same month, on 2 July, ESMA had published a 15th version of the same document. The principle change made in that version was the addition of a new Question 80 which provides guidance on the requirements of the prospectus summary, including specific wording to be incorporated into the summary.  Question 45, regarding information on taxes on the income from securities withheld at source, and Question 78, regarding the specific details in the case of Category B items, were also updated.

For a link to the 16th updated Q&A, please click here.