The Transparency Directive sets common EU rules over what information listed companies shall make public. The Danish Presidency is leading negotiations on the Directive, and has just received a mandate in the Council of Ministers to begin negotiations with the European Parliament. The agreement in Council is primarily intended to reduce the administrative burdens by removing a number of information requirements, including for example the requirement to publish quarterly reports.
Removing the requirement for quarterly reports will particularly make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to access new capital and implement investments, which can support economic development in the EU. Listed companies will continue to be able to choose to publish quarterly reports.
The rules aim to strike the right balance between investors’ need for information, and not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on firms. Although the general objective is to reduce administrative burdens, information requirements are also being strengthened in certain areas. Investors will as a result have to disclose to a greater extent than today their ownership of potential shares in listed companies, so that so-called hidden ownership can be avoided. This will increase transparency in the market to the benefit of investors.
Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior, Margrethe Vestager:
Minister of Business and Growth, Ole Sohn:
The new rules also create a common framework in all Member States for administrative sanctions in relation to issuers and investors who contravene the rules, so for example, there will not be as great a difference in the size of fines in the future as there is today.
The Danish Presidency will now wait for the European Parliament to take its position on the proposal, before commencing negotiations over the final rules in this area.