Broad MiFID Review to Change the Landscape of the Commodity Derivative Markets

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On 8 December 2010, the European Commission (EC) published a far reaching consultation on the revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The review of MiFID (Review), the principal piece of European securities legislation, is part of the EC’s ongoing efforts to fulfil the targets set out by the G-20 “to improve the regulation, functioning, and transparency of financial and commodity markets to address excessive commodity price volatility”. The EC’s approach to achieving the heightened transparency is three-fold:

• The formal proposals set out in September 2010 to regulate the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market through enhanced market oversight [see White Paper on EU Financial Reforms: Impact on the Commodities Market]

• The forthcoming review of the Market Abuse Directive

• The ongoing revision of MiFID

The Review is more expansive than some market commentators expected and targets areas in which shortcomings have been previously identified. Far from the expected “minor tweaks” to MiFID, the Review covers proposals relating to, inter alia, data consolidation, transaction reporting, investor protection and provision of investment services.

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