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Market Abuse Regulations (MAR) and compliance with new website disclosure rules

15 Jul 2016

We’ve made changes to our Regulatory News Service (RNS) tool to help our clients comply with ESMA’s new Market Abuse Regulations which came into effect on 3rd July 2016

MAR and what it means for corporate website disclosure

As many of our readers will be aware, the new ESMA Market Abuse Regulations (MAR) came into force on at the beginning of July.

There’s already been a lot of discussion about what these rules are and what they mean for companies, but part of the new rules concern “Posting on the issuer’s website” and we’re naturally interested in ways we can help our clients comply with this part of the new regulations.

The technical standards document, specifically point 7.2.3, offers the relevant information and in summary of the new regulations concerning disclosure of Insider Information within the corporate website:

ESMA considers that the website where inside information is posted by the issuer in fulfilment of Article 17(1) and (9) should have the technical features to allow the following:

a. the access to the inside information posted on the website is non-discriminatory and free of charge;
b. inside information should be easy to find: it should be located in an easily identifiable section of the website;
c. disclosed inside information should clearly indicates date and time of the disclosure.

The definition of what constitutes Insider Information has remained largely the same as it did previously, and Article 7 of MAR defines it as:

“information of a precise nature, which has not been made public, relating, directly or indirectly, to one or more issuers or to one or more financial instruments, and which, if it were made public, would be likely to have a significant effect on the prices of those financial instruments or on the price of related derivative financial instruments”

Our clients already disclose this sort of information as Regulatory News announcements which, in the case of both MAIN and AIM market participants, is then posted to the corporate website as fair disclosure and for transparent dissemination of potentially price sensitive information.

If I’m already posting RNS that means I’m covered, right?

Well, not quite. The new MAR rules require Inside Information to be “clearly and easily identifiable”.

The new rules fall short of requiring it to be posted in its own section of the site, to save duplication of effort and content, but the requirement still stands for Inside Information to be freely available and easy to access.

And that’s where we can help.

As part of our commitment to roll updates out to our clients without additional cost, we’ve redeveloped our Regulatory News Service announcements tool to include a new “Inside Information” category dropdown. The category will include announcements that contain certain keywords or phrases and users can display a list of all Inside Information announcements at the click of a button.

It might also be necessary to change the name of the webpage that hosts your regulatory news announcements. If you go this route we would suggest changing “Regulatory News” or “RNS Announcements” to “RNS and Inside Information”. This, we believe, is enough to ensure compliance, as the information will be accessible free of charge, clearly labelled and provided for the purposes of meeting the new disclosure rules.

If you’re interested in how Brighter IR can help you comply with MAR, or indeed other regulatory obligations, please get in touch to chat with one of the team.