Capital Markets Update – February 2019

Business Meeting 10 Print publication


Welcome to the current edition of Capital Markets Update, the monthly briefing from the Corporate Group at Walker Morris rounding up the previous month’s regulatory developments within the equity capital markets and looking ahead to future developments.

January’s news

Shareholder co-operation and ‘acting in concert’

On 8 January 2019 the European Securities and Markets Association published an update to its statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive, focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert.

PLSA responds to consultation on ethnicity pay reporting

On 16 January 2019 the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association published its response to the Government’s consultation on ethnicity pay reporting.

London Stock Exchange launches consultation on Rule amendments

On 18 January 2019 the London Stock Exchange (LSE) issued a consultation on proposed changes to the Rules of the LSE. The proposed amendments are intended to remove the restriction on the self-clearing of agency business and clarify the requirements for off order book on LSE trades. The consultation closes on 14 February 2019.

IA launches consultation on sustainability and responsible investment

On 25 January 2019, the Investment Association issued a Press Release announcing that it seeks the views of asset managers on key aspects of sustainability and responsible investment. The consultation closes on 1 March 2019.

FCA announces consultation on changes to FCA Handbook

On 28 January 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority launched a consultation on proposed changes to the FCA Handbook to align it with the new Prospectus Regulation. Feedback is requested by 28 March 2019.

PLSA publishes Corporate Governance Policy and Voting Guidelines

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published its 2019 Corporate Governance and Voting Guidelines providing practical guidance to schemes considering how to exercise their vote at AGMs in 2019. The new guidelines have also been updated to mirror the new UK Corporate Governance Code and highlight some of the key developments in UK corporate governance policy and practice.

NEX Exchange publishes response to market consultation

On 29 January 2019, NEX Exchange published a Response to Feedback following its consultation on proposed changes to the Growth Market Rules for Issuers. The proposed changes aim to reflect the new requirements now that NEX Exchange is designated as a SME Growth Market. A marked up copy of the Rules for Issuers is available on the NEX Exchange website.

FCA launches consultation on proposed changes to the FCA Handbook to reflect the Shareholder Rights Directive II

On 30 January 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority published for consultation proposed changes to the FCA Handbook for the purpose of implementing those provisions of Shareholder Rights Directive II that would require qualifying companies to have safeguards with respect to material transactions with related parties. The consultation closes on 27 March 2019.

Looking ahead to February 2019

Benchmark voting policies

The new ISS benchmark voting policies apply to shareholder meetings taking place on or after 1 February 2019.

FCA Handbook amendments

The deadline for comments on the FCA Quarterly Conduct Paper on the FCA Handbook amendments is 6 February 2019.

London Stock Exchange Rules

The consultation on proposed changes to the London Stock Exchange Rules relating to the self-clearing of agency business ends on 14 February 2019.

FRC consultation

The Financial Reporting Council consultation into ethical and accounting standards ends on 15 February 2019.