A new Market Abuse regime became applicable in Ireland on 3 July 2016. The new regime consists of the Market Abuse Regulation(Regulation 596 of 2014) (MAD) and the Market Abuse Directive on criminal sanctions for market abuse (Directive 2014/57/EU) (CSMAD). The new regime replaces the framework which existed under the previous Market Abuse Directive (2003/6/EC).

  • Implementing legislation

The European Union (Market Abuse) Regulations 2016 (the 2016 Regulations) implemented the CSMAD and certain elements of the MAR, including the delegated acts, into domestic law. The 2016 Regulations replace the previous Market Abuse (Directive 2003/6/EC) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 342 of 2005).

  • Competent Authority and Rules / Guidance 

The 2016 Regulations designate the Central Bank of Ireland (the CBI) as the single administrative competent authority for the purposes of Irish market abuse law, as provided under the 2016 Regulations. The CBI has issued revised Market Abuse Rules and Guidance on "Market Abuse Regulatory Framework", which have been updated to reflect changes under the MAR and the implementation of the new Market Abuse regime.

The CBI has outlined the aims and objectives of the new framework as follows:

  • The new Market Abuse Regime strengthens the legal framework underpinning the function of detecting, sanctioning and deterring market abuse. It extends its scope to apply to new markets, new trading platforms and new behaviours and to cover a broader range of financial instruments. It contains prohibitions for insider dealing, market manipulation and unlawful disclosure of inside information and provisions to prevent and detect these.
  • MAR introduces a number of changes including a broadening of the scope of legislation to include trading platforms, such as Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs), and Over the Counter (OTC) trades, including in derivatives. Other changes include additional notification requirements in relation to suspicious activity, delay in the disclosure of inside information, managers' transactions and enhanced requirements regarding the preparation and maintenance of insider lists and the handling of inside information.
  • The Market Abuse Directive introduces minimum rules for criminal sanctions for market abuse and widens the range of activities which constitute an offence, to include, for example, inciting, aiding and abetting the commission of certain market abuse offences.