The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued an opinion in response to a notification by the European Commission (the Commission) about intended changes to a draft Implementing Technical Standard (ITS) on the disclosure of inside information under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR).

On 28 September 2015, ESMA submitted draft ITS on the technical means for appropriate public disclosure of inside information and for delaying the public disclosure of inside information pursuant to Article 17(10) of MAR.

In a subsequent letter, the Commission indicated its general support of ESMA’s draft ITS but proposed that for emission allowance market participants (EAMPs) who are also subject to disclosure obligations under the Regulation on Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency (REMIT), compliance with REMIT’s disclosure requirements would be sufficient for disclosing inside information under MAR.

However, ESMA has now published an opinion disagreeing with the Commission’s proposals. ESMA considers that the Commission’s amendments would eliminate two essential features of the system: the active dissemination of inside information and the marking of that information as inside information under MAR. ESMA argues that the absence of those features would damage the disclosure regime under MAR, which is aimed at protecting investors who will be investing in emission allowances and financial instruments related to them compared to if they were investing in any other financial instruments. The proposed amendments will expose investors in emission allowances and financial instruments related to them to more risks, notably in terms of accessibility of the information and confusion with regards to the information disclosed. ESMA remains convinced that the initial wording of the draft ITS should be maintained and is therefore not proposing a revised draft ITS.

View ESMA issues opinion on inside information disclosure under MAR, 17 June 2016