[Note: ESMA has also issued guidelines under article 16(3) of the ESMA Regulation covering various topics relating to automated trading and direct electronic access.See http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/other/esma-guidelines.pdf]
This chapter provides assistance in determining whether or not behaviour amounts to market abuse. It also forms part of the UK's implementation of the Market Abuse Directive (including its EU implementing legislation, that is Directive 2003/124/EC, Directive 2003/125/EC, Regulation 2273/2003 and Directive 2004/72/EC) and the auction regulation.4 It is therefore likely to be helpful to persons who:
Assistance in the interpretation of MAR 1 (and the remainder of the Handbook) is given in the Readers' Guide to the Handbook and in GEN 2 (Interpreting the Handbook). This includes an explanation of the status of the types of provision used (see in particular chapter six of the Readers' Guide to the Handbook).
Part VIII of the Act, and in particular section 118, specifies types of behaviour which can amount to market abuse . This chapter considers the general concepts relevant to market abuse, then each type of behaviour in turn and then describes exceptions to market abuse which are of general application. In doing so, it sets out the relevant provisions of the Code of Market Conduct, that is:4
descriptions of behaviour that are or are not accepted market practices in relation to one or more identified markets (see section 119(2)(d) and (e) and section 122(1) of the Act (subject to the behaviour being for legitimate reasons)); and
The Code does not exhaustively describe all types of behaviour or may not amount to market abuse. In particular, the descriptions of behaviour which, in the opinion of the FSA, amount to market abuse should be read in the light of:
Likewise, the Code does not exhaustively describe all the factors to be taken into account in determining whether behaviour amounts to market abuse. If factors are described, they are not to be taken as conclusive indications, unless specified as such, and the absence of a factor mentioned does not, of itself, amount to a contrary indication.
For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that any reference in the Code to "profit" refers also to potential profits, avoidance of loss or potential avoidance of loss.