Pursuant to the MiFID rules, execution venues are required to make public the current bid and offer prices and the depth of their trading books in respect of listed shares. Competent authorities may waive this publication requirement. ESMA has published an amended waiver policy document in that regard.
Pursuant to (national regulations implementing) the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”), European regulated markets (such as NYSE Euronext or London Stock Exchange) and multilateral trading facilities (such as NYSE Alternext) are required to publish in ‘real time’ the price of listed shares, as well as data concerning the depth of their trading books. Pursuant to the MiFID, certain exemptions from these requirements may apply. Furthermore, MiFID allows national competent authorities to waive these requirements upon request by markets operators, based on the ‘market model’ or the type and size of orders. The predecessor of the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) had developed guidance for national competent authorities to deal with waiver requests in an attempt to build common supervisory approaches and practices.
On 26 March 2012, ESMA published updated guidance on MiFID pre-transparency waivers. ESMA makes a distinction between: (i) reference price waiver, (ii) negotiated trade waiver, (iii) order management facility waiver and (iv) large in scale waiver.
ESMA’s guidance document also provides information on the pre-trade transparency of trading systems already set up in Europe and the compliance of such systems with MiFID. In the table included in the document, ESMA sets out examples of waivers and the conditions to be complied with.