In the speech, Maijoor sets out the rationale for ESMA’s Opinions on the three technical standards which the Commission has advised ESMA it intends to endorse with amendments. These technical standards relate to transparency measures for non-equity instruments, position limits for commodity derivatives, and the definition of what constitutes ancillary activities for non-financial firms.
For non-equity transparency, we agree that a cautious approach is warranted and we have always been of the view that a phase-in of mandatory transparency provisions for such a large group of asset classes is desirable. Such a phase-in allows us to see the impact of the new requirements and adjust them when necessary. We have therefore adapted the non-equity transparency standard so that bonds face a stricter liquidity test when MiFID II first applies and all non-equity asset classes benefit from a lower size-specific-to-the instrument threshold at which quotes do not have to be pre-trade transparent. In plain English this means that fewer bonds will be subject to real-time transparency in the beginning and bonds and derivatives will only have to be pre-trade transparent if they are of a significantly lower size than under the original proposal.
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