AIM to be ready for the Market Abuse Regulations

On 3 July 2016 the Market Abuse Regulations (MAR) will introduce a new common regulatory framework on market abuse. The regulations will apply to AIM companies. Specified measures include stricter rules on the disclosure of inside information, a requirement to maintain insider lists and restrictions on dealings by persons discharging managerial responsibilities and their connected persons. 

The requirement to maintain an insider list for AIM companies should, hopefully, be short-lived. AIM falls within the SME Growth Market definition under MiFID II (Directive 2014/65/EU), which is expected to come into force on 3 January 2017 at the earliest.  Once MiFID II is in effect, and provided that AIM Regulation applies for SME Growth Market status, AIM companies can utilise the SME Growth Market exemption under MAR meaning that they will no longer have to comply with the full insider list requirements outlined in the European Securities and Markets Authority's technical standards.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has confirmed that it intends to retain its AIM Rule 11 (disclosure requirement) alongside the new MAR disclosure obligations, which will sit within the Financial Conduct Authority’s remit to enforce. As a result, AIM companies are at risk of facing two different regulators, each applying a different set of rules, in the event of any breach.  However, LSE has said that it sees AIM Rule 11 as crucial to the integrity of AIM and the maintenance of an orderly market and will therefore work closely with the FCA to minimise duplication.  LSE has consulted on any necessary changes to the AIM Rules and we will report once the results of that consultation are known.

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