Corporate weekly highlights—16 May 2019

Corporate weekly highlights—16 May 2019

This week’s edition of Corporate highlights includes news of the publication of new guidance on financial reporting for smaller quoted companies and the making of the Proxy Advisors (Shareholders’ Rights Regulations) 2019. It also provides details of our most recent Market Tracker trend report on current market practice relating to dividends payments across the FTSE 350.

In this issue:

Market Tracker trend report—Dividends 2019

Corporate analysis: Market Tracker’s latest trend report, Dividends 2019, gives an update on market practice regarding dividends payments across the FTSE 350 since last year’s report. The report follows the announcement by the Government that they are concerned about how some companies are going about paying dividends and have asked the Investment Association to carry out further research into the prevalence of such practices. This report includes an interview with the Investment Association and contributions from Martin Webster, Partner at Pinsent Masons LLP, and Jonathan Beastall, Senior Adviser at Pinsent Masons LLP.

For further information, see: Market Tracker Trend Report—Dividends 2019.

Financial service regulation for corporate lawyers

New guidance to help smaller quoted firms with the financial reporting process

The Financial Reporting Council and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales have jointly published a new guide to help smaller listed and AIM companies with the financial reporting process. The guide provides practical tips and questions for audit committees to consider, with a view to improving the quality of financial reporting by smaller quoted companies.

For further information, see: LNB News 13/05/2019 31.

ESMA publishes European Commission request for technical advice on elements of MAR

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a formal request it received for technical advice on the report to be submitted by the European Commission under Article 38 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014 on market abuse (MAR). The letter, dated 20 March 2019, asks for ESMA’s advice on a number of matters including insider dealing and market manipulation, the definition of inside information, the prohibition on trading, a potential EU-wide framework for cross-market order book surveillance, and the benchmark provisions.

For further information, see: LNB News 15/05/2019 34.


Proxy Advisors (Shareholders’ Rights Regulations) 2019

SI 2019/926: Provisions are made to transpose Article 3j of the revised EU Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II) into UK law, in line with the UK’s obligations as a member of the EU. Article 3j of SRD II places requirements on proxy advisors, which primarily offer voting services and/or advice to shareholders in publicly listed companies, to make certain disclosures about the way in which they conduct their business. These Regulations will come into force on 10 June 2019.

For further information, see: LNB News 14/05/2019 53.

Additional news—daily and weekly news alerts

This document contains the highlights from the past week’s news. To receive all our news stories, whether on a daily or a weekly basis, amend your personal settings within your ‘News’ tab on the homepage by clicking on either ‘Email’ or ‘RSS’ (depending on how you prefer to receive them) on the right hand side of the blue banner.

Dates for your diary

31 May 2019Deadline for feedback on NEX Exchange’s consultation regarding its Growth Market Rules for Issuers.
The main reason for the consultation is to reflect the changes being brought in by the Prospectus Regulation in July 2019, introducing the new EU growth prospectus for certain issues by SMEs. The EU growth prospectus will have a standardised format and allow reduced disclosure requirements.
For further information, see: LNB News 02/05/2019 35.
7 June 2019Closing date for the BEIS call for views on the quality and effectiveness of statutory audit in the UK. This follows BEIS publishing—in February 2019—the terms of reference for the independent review by Sir Donald Brydon into the quality and effectiveness of the UK audit market.
The review is seeking views, information and evidence from anyone with a direct or indirect interest in UK audits on the extent of the assurance that audit currently provides to users of financial statements and how it might develop to better meet those users' needs and to serve the interests of other stakeholders, as well as the public interest.
For further information, see: LNB News 10/04/2019 85.


To track key legislative and regulatory developments, see our Trackers:

  1. Brexit legislation tracker

  2. Brexit timeline

  3. Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) timeline

  4. Market Abuse Regulation timeline

  5. Prospectus Regulation tracker

  6. Transparency Directive tracker

  7. Listing Rules tracker

  8. Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules Sourcebook tracker

  9. Prospectus Rules tracker

Latest Q&As

New Q&A added this week: Can the articles of association have a bespoke quorum provision for an adjourned general meeting?

Useful information

To view analysis of the latest deals in the market and the underlying transaction documents, use our Market Tracker deal analysis tool.

To read about the latest corporate announcements, see our Market Tracker weekly round-up—10 May2019.

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