Position limits

ESMA Comments on MiFID II Implementing Measures

On June 16, 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement by on its work on implementing measures under MiFID II (Directive 2014/65/EU) and MiFIR (Regulation 600/2014).

The statement explains that the following three areas are receiving the most attention from stakeholders:

  • Non-equity transparency.  ESMA acknowledges that it will not be able to find the ideal system that perfectly balances transparency and liquidity and that will satisfy the preferences of all market participants. However, ESMA is trying to find reasonable and workable compromises and it is ready to look at the non-equity rules again, once they are in operation, to react to potential deficiencies. ESMA is also thinking about a more flexible system that better reflects market developments and that can be based on better quality data. ESMA’s approach on bond market transparency is likely to look different to the position consulted on.
  • Position limits. The range of contracts captured varies from highly liquid to completely illiquid. This wide variation implies that ESMA has to be cautious and that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be the solution.
  • Ancillary activity. There will be “major refinements” in ESMA’s proposal compared to the text that was consulted on in relation to the test of whether non-investment firms perform investment services as an ancillary activity to their main business.