There are a number of recent regulatory developments affecting listed companies and the UK's equity capital markets. This article summarises the key highlights to note from the last month.

ABI (now IMA) publishes new guidance

On 30 June 2014, the ABI Investment Affairs merged with the Investment Management Association (IMA). The enlarged IMA, which will be re-branded as 'The Investment Association' in January 2015, has assumed responsibility for guidance previously issued by the ABI. Before the merger, the ABI issued its 'Transaction Guidelines' for equity capital markets transactions. Additionally, since the merger, the IMA has published its 'Share Capital Management' guidelines. Click here to read our article in this edition of the newsletter on the new guidance.

Abolition of requirement to publish interim management statements

The Transparency Directive Amending Directive, which came into force on 26 November 2013, removed the requirement for issuers of shares admitted to trading on a regulated market to publish interim management statements (IMS). Member States are required to implement the new Directive within 24 months, however the UK Government is keen to remove the requirement as soon as possible in order to lessen the administrative burden for issuers. Consequently, the FCA has published consultation paper CP 14/12: 'Removing the Transparency Directive's requirement to publish interim management statements' which proposes changes to the Disclosure and Transparency Rules to reflect the removal of the requirement. Responses to the consultation must be submitted by 4 September 2014. The FCA intends to remove the requirement to publish IMS in autumn 2014. Click here to read the consultation paper.

Market abuse: ESMA consultation papers on draft technical standards and technical advice concerning the Market Abuse Regulation

On 15 July 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published for consultation draft technical standards on the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) (the Technical Standards consultation paper) and technical advice on the possible delegated acts concerning the Market Abuse Regulation (the Technical Advice consultation paper). The consultation papers follow the discussion paper published by ESMA in November 2013 which sought the views of interested parties on ESMA's policy orientations and initial proposals for MAR implementing measures. The Technical Standards consultation paper covers areas including the following:

  • conditions for buy-back programmes and stabilisation measures
  • market soundings and accepted market practices
  • technical means for public disclosure of inside information and delays, and
  • insider lists and managers' transactions.

Click here to read the Technical Standards consultation paper.

The Technical Advice consultation paper covers areas including the following:

  • specification of the indicators of market manipulation
  • determination of the competent authority for notification of delays in public disclosure of inside information, and
  • managers' transactions.

Click here to read the Technical Advice consultation paper.

The consultation period for both consultations closes on 15 October 2014.