The Financial Regulator's consultation on the Markets in Financial Instruments (Disclosure) Regulations, 2009 (the Regulations) closed on 5 June 2009. The Regulations, as currently drafted will, for the first time, bring holdings in Contracts for Difference (CFDs) (as well as any other financial instruments having a similar effect to CFDs) within the Transparency Regulations disclosure regime.

The Regulations will apply to holdings in issuers whose shares are admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange and who have Ireland as their home Member State for the purposes of the Transparency Regulations. Interestingly and in contrast to the Transparency Regulations, the Regulations propose to also include holdings in issuers admitted to trading on the IEX.

The effect of the Regulations is that a holding in CFDs is to be regarded as a holding in the votings rights of the underlying issuer and so must be included in any calculation of the total voting rights held in that issuer for Transparency Regulations purposes.

While there is no definitive timeline as yet for implementation, we understand that once the Financial Regulator has completed its review of the responses to the consultation draft regulations will be sent to the Minister for Finance for consideration and signing.