Norway – NORFSA Mutual Funds, UCITS

On 20 December, NORFSA issued amended rules on UCITS mutual funds.

  • Ministry of Finance made changes to Securities Funds Act under UCITS V directive.

Amendments

  • Changes concerned the remuneration scheme for senior executives in mutual fund
    management companies, depository receivers, calculation of penalties, for breach.
  • Rules currently do not contain provisions implementing Reg (EU) 2016/438 on the
    custodian’s duties, since it has not yet been incorporated into the EEA Agreement.
  • UCITS V Directive changes rules for mutual funds in 3 areas, applies to custodians,
    remuneration schemes for senior executives and others in mutual funds, sanctions.
  • Ministry of Finance will prescribe regulations implementing the rest of the UCITS V.

Effectiveness

  • Amendments effective from 1 January 2018.

E.U. – ESMA Advises Short-Selling Rules

On 21 December, ESMA issued advice to EC on elements of short-sales.

  • Proposed amendments for controversial areas of short-selling regulation (SSR).
  • Aims to improve relevance, effectiveness, coherence, and efficiency of the SSR.
  • SSR lays down common regulatory framework for powers on short sales, CDS.
  • Aims to ensures greater coordination and consistency between Member States.
  • Enhance transparency, reduce certain risks, and common regulatory approach.

Market Making Exemption

  • Proposes will include addition of the different types of on-venue market making
    activities described in MiFID II within the definition of ‘market-making activities.
  • Market makers only need to be member or participants, of only one of the trade
    venues where market-making activity takes place, do not need for all of them.
  • Do not require any membership requirements, for OTC market-making activity.
  • ESMA also suggested introducing new reporting obligations for market makers.

Bans on Short-Selling

  • Recommended only authority of most relevant market to impose ban across EU.
  • Transform current short sale bans into entering or increasing net short positions.

Transparency of Short Positions

  • Improvements building a centralized notification and publication system for EU.
  • ESMA supported requiring the LEI, for identification of certain position holders.

E.U. – ESMA Commodity Limits FAQ

On 19 December, ESMA issued FAQs on commodity derivatives per MiFID.

  • ESMA also updated liquid commodity derivative contracts list, re limits.
  • List now include position limits, ESMA opinion in relation to ICE Brent Crude contract.
  • Position limits Q:15, on how spot month should be defined for contracts where there
    are daily, weekly, quarterly or calendar as well as monthly variants of same contract.
  • Spot month determination for the application of the spot month position limit should
    be made by NCA, on basis of contract specification, the characteristics of the market.
  • Position reporting Q:17 on who has to report to the trading venue, NCA where chain
    investment firms, that have to comply with commodity position reporting obligations.
  • Position reporting Q:18 on how investment firm clients should inform intermediaries
    of the nature of each of their positions (hedge or speculation), i.e. for each position?
  • Or should clients indicate all positions be deemed for hedging, non-hedging purpose?
  • Position reporting Q:19 on how the position quantity field is reported for the contract
    which relate to the delivery of the same underlying over the different periods of time.
  • Position quantity held in contract reported same unit used by CA to set position limit.
  • Position reporting Q:20 positions in daily or weekly contracts whose delivery period is
    completely included in spot month should be reported as spot month positions, SPOT.
  • Positions in weekly contract whose delivery period not completely included in the spot
    month, ie contracts that straddle months, reported as other months’ positions, OTHR.
  • Positions in quarterly and annual contracts whose delivery periods straddles the spot
    month, and other months, should also be reported as other months’ positions, OTHR.

E.U. – ESMA MiFID Post-Trading FAQ

On 14 December 2017, ESMA updated FAQs on the segregation level for indirect clearing.

  • If clearing member default impermissible for CCP to liquidate all collateral recorded
    in all gross omnibus indirect client accounts together apply resulting sum collectively.
  • So as to cover the losses or enable the netting of positions across different accounts.

Malta – MFSA Exchange Traded Funds

On 6 December, MFSA proposed rules on listing of exchange traded funds.

  • Encouraged foreign ETFs to list under the National Capital Markets Strategic Plan.
  • Also wished to enable the formation of local ETF listings, to develop liquid market.
  • Listing authority approved introduction of draft rules for listing of ETFs on market.
  • Invited feedback from parties, to analyze how ETFs will impact and risks involved.

Effectiveness

  • Comments due by 12 January 2018.

U.S. – CFTC ICE German Sovereigns

On 13 December, CFTC proposed relief to ICE hold German sovereigns.

  • Exemptive order to derivatives clearing organizations ICE Clear Credit/US/Europe.
  • To invest futures and swap customer funds in French and German sovereign debt.

Scope of Investment

  • Expanded the lists of counterparties and depositories that the ICE DCOs may use.
  • CEA S. 4d CFTC Reg 1.25(a)2 sets out permitted investments, for DCOs to invest.
  • Section 4d limits investment of customer money to obligations of US Government
    general obligations of State or of any political subdivision thereof, and obligations.

Consultation

  • CFTC sought comments for 30 days after proposal is published in federal register.

E.U. – ESMA MiFID Registers January 2018

On 8 December, ESMA update provision of MiFID registers in January 2018.

  • ESMA will provide updated register information, for requirements of MIFIR/MiFID.

Interim Register Information

  • Launch on 3 January 2018 will update existing MiFID I registers and supply new ones.
  • ESMA compiles registers based on data provided by EEA from the 3 January 2018.
  • Working on new release of registers in Q1 2018, until then provide interim solution.
  • Interim publication every 2 weeks, of latest register information, in an excel format.

List of Affected Registers

  • Regulated markets; Multilateral Trading Facilities; NEW Organised trading facilities.
  • Systematic Internalisers; NEW Approved Publication Arrangements; NEW Consolidated
    Tape Providers; NEW Approved Reporting Mechanisms; Suspension/Restorations (SARIS).
  • Central counterparties will become obsolete and removed from the ESMA publication.
  • Shares admitted to trade on EU markets, replaced by FIRDS Transparency 3 January 2018.
    ESMA will monitor data submitted, and may make the files available, more frequently.

U.S. – SEC Form N-PORT Filing Rules

On 8 December,  SEC revised approach to Form N-Port filing requirement.

  • Amended pending rule for investment companies to file form N-Port electronically.
  • Follows SEC November 2016 liquidity risk reporting rules with Forms N-PORT.
  • Report information on their monthly portfolio holdings in a structured data format.
  • Pending SEC continuation of announced review, to strengthen EDGAR and systems.
  • Raise sound data security practices, protocols for sensitive, non-public information.

Delayed Reporting

  • For the first 9 months, after the prior Form N-Port compliance date of June 1, 2018.
  • Require larger fund groups to maintain the form N-Port information in own records.
  • Make information available to SEC on request, in lieu of filing the form with EDGAR.
  • Small fund groups continue to benefit from filing start date year after large groups.

In SEC Cyber-Review

  • SEC initiated an assessment of cybersecurity risk profile and approach to mitigation.
  • Included focused review and uplift of EDGAR system, which is used by Form N-Port.
  • Assess SEC data needs will include how and when it collects market-sensitive data.

New Effective Date

  • Filing of Form N-Port via EDGAR system will begin April 2019, for larger fund groups.
  • Begin in April 2020 for smaller fund groups, retain one year delay from large groups.
  • Ensure investors do not lose access to data, requiring funds to continue public filing.
  • Report with existing form N-Q, until begin filing reports on form N-Port using EDGAR.