On 11 June 2018, the FCA published Guidance Consultation 18/3: Primary Market Bulletin No. 19 (GC18/3). GC18/3 consults on a proposed update to the FCA’s existing technical note on periodic financial information and inside information (UKLA/TN/506.1), involving the delay in the disclosure of inside information under Article 17(4) of the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR).
The FCA’s proposals following the publication of European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) guidelines on delay in the disclosure of inside information under Article 17(4) of MAR. The guidelines give examples of legitimate interests of issuers that are likely to be prejudiced by immediate disclosure of inside information, and of situations in which delay of disclosure is likely to mislead the public. The examples in the ESMA guidelines are non-exhaustive and Member State national competent authorities can provide further examples and guidance.
In the proposed technical note, the FCA sets out an example of a legitimate interest of an issuer which may exist when an issuer is in the process of preparing a periodic financial report. The FCA does not think, and issuers should not assume, that this interest will always be present. The FCA adds that issuers should assess the existence or otherwise of a legitimate interest which may be prejudiced by immediate disclosure of inside information on an ongoing and case-by-case basis. Issuers who decide to delay the disclosure of inside information do so on their own responsibility.
The deadline for comments on GC18/3 is 23 July 2018.