On the 14 November, the European Securities and Markets Authority published a Discussion Paper setting out its initial views on the implementing measures it will have to develop for the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). MAR aims to enhance market integrity and investor protection. It will achieve this by updating and strengthening the existing market abuse framework, by extending its scope to new markets and trading strategies and by introducing new requirements.The discussion paper presents positions and regulatory options on those issues where ESMA will have to develop MAR implementing measures, which are likely to include Regulatory Technical Standards Delegated Acts and Guidelines. These implementing measures are of critical importance to the new regime, as they set out how MAR's enlarged scope is to be implemented in practice by market participants, trading platforms, investors, issuers and persons related to financial markets. The discussion paper is based on the version of the MAR level One text agreed by the European Parliament on the 24th June last. The closing date for responses is Monday 27th January 2014. The discussion paper covers ten sections of MAR where ESMA is expected to have to provide input.These include:

  • conditions to be met by buy-back programmes and stabilisation measures to benefit from the exemption from market abuse prohibitions;
  • indicators and signals of market manipulation;
  • criteria to establish accepted market practices.

ESMA will consider the feedback it receives through this consultation and will incorporate it into its full consultation papers on both its draft Technical Standards and Technical Advice to the Commission.