On March 30, 2016, the ESMA launched a consultation on proposed guidelines on information expected or required to be disclosed on commodity derivatives markets or related spot markets under the Market Abuse Regulation. MAR will replace the current Market Abuse Directive and its implementing legislation from July 3, 2016. One of the changes that MAR will introduce is the expansion of the definition of inside information relating to commodity derivatives to cover price sensitive information relevant to the related spot commodity contracts as well as the derivative. This means that transactions in commodity derivatives based on inside information relating to underlying spot transactions will be expressly prohibited. In addition, the market manipulation prohibitions will include transactions in derivatives markets that manipulate the related spot commodity transaction and transactions in spot commodity markets that manipulate the related derivative. The definition of inside information for commodity derivatives includes information which is “reasonably expected to be disclosed or is required to be disclosed in accordance with legal or regulatory provisions at the Union or national level, market rules, contract, practice or custom, on the relevant commodity derivatives markets or spot markets.” ESMA’s proposed guidelines aim to set out the types of information that would be considered inside information for commodity derivatives or spot transactions by establishing a non-exhaustive indicative list of information that would be reasonably expected or required to be so disclosed. The consultation closes on May 20, 2016, and ESMA aims to publish its final report by late Q3 2016.

The consultation paper is available at: https://www.esma.europa.eu/press-news/consultations/consultation-future-marlist-information-regarding-commodity-and-spot