The premium segment of the UK’s Main Market offers investors the benefit of a gold plated package of shareholder rights, corporate governance and corporate disclosure above mandated EU-wide minimum standards that apply to all companies traded on regulated markets. In times of crisis these additional regulatory standards can hinder the efforts of a premium-listed company to self-help effectively with the required speed.
While there has been no forbearance from a listed company’s key obligation to announce inside information to the market as soon as possible under the EU’s Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), UK regulators and industry bodies have moved quickly to address the impact on listed companies of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the UK government’s social distancing and stay-at-home measures. This is in stark contrast to the approach taken in the financial crisis of 2008 to 2010.
We look at the unprecedented measures taken, and key guidance issued, over the three-week period in the run-up to the Easter weekend, to provide comfort to, and alleviate the regulatory burden on, the UK’s 480 or so premium-listed commercial companies.