ESMA publishes annual report on accepted market practices under MAR

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today its annual report on the application of accepted market practices (AMP) in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). AMPs are a defence against allegations of market manipulation. In particular, dealings in financial markets which are carried out for legitimate reasons and in conformity with an established AMP will not constitute market manipulation.

ESMA’s report provides an overview on the establishment and application of AMPs in the EU, with particular reference to the AMPs established on the basis of the Market Abuse Directive and which were still in force when MAR became applicable, and the AMPs which have been established under MAR.

This report (the Report) is the annual report to the Commission on the application of accepted market practices in the markets concerned, pursuant to Article 13(10) of MAR. It contains information on the accepted market practices established in the EU both under the Market Abuse Directive and under the Market Abuse Regulation, and data on their application. In particular, the Report provides a general description of the legislative framework concerning the adoption of accepted market practices under the Market Abuse Regulation, and of the ESMA Opinion “Points for convergence in relation to MAR accepted market practices on liquidity contracts”. The Report identifies the accepted market practices which have been established on the basis of the Market Abuse Directive and which were still in force when the Market Abuse Regulation became applicable, and the accepted market practices which have been established under the Market Abuse Regulation. As regards the application, the data gathered in the Report concerns accepted market practices established:

– under the Market Abuse Directive and subsequently terminated by the relevant National Competent Authority after 3 July 2016;

– under the Market Abuse Directive and still applicable as of the date of this Report, and

– under the Market Abuse Regulation.

The conclusions provide views from ESMA on the application of accepted market practices together with recommendations to National Competent Authorities, and further considerations specific to the accepted market practices concerning liquidity contracts.