M&A Weekly Update: market abuse — UK rules will continue to be super-equivalent; and other items

In last week’s update, we noted that, following official publication on 12 June, a new EU directive and regulation on market abuse will be implemented across the EU within the next two years. The UK had previously announced its decision not to opt in to the directive. It is now clear, following publication by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority of the ‘Fair and Effective Financial Markets Review’ that the government intends to stand behind that decision. It announced that the UK will ‘not opt in to EU rules — our own rules will be as strong or stronger than those of the EU, but will preserve flexibility to reflect specific circumstances in the UK’s globally important financial sector’.

The UK currently maintains super-equivalent market abuse rules, over and above those required by EU law. The government’s announcement that it may implement stronger market abuse rules when the EU rules become effective in July 2016 may not be welcomed by all. The announcement, made on the same day that the EU rules were officially published, departs from the government’s previously stated intention that it would generally avoid gold-plating EU provisions…

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