Federal Council adopts dispatch on amending the Stock Exchange Act
Berne, 01.09.2011 - At its meeting yesterday, the Federal Council approved the dispatch on amending the Stock Exchange Act (stock market offences and market abuse). With the revision, standards will be created to combat market abuse efficiently and thus strengthen the competitiveness of Switzerland's financial centre.
In terms of criminal law, the criminal offence of insider trading will be expanded, in particular. It will now be prohibited for anyone to exploit insider information. Insider trading as well as price manipulation will be predicate offences for money laundering. In future, both offences will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General and judged by the Federal Criminal Court, and no longer by the cantonal prosecution authorities. Regarding supervisory law, insider trading and market manipulation will now be prohibited for all market participants.
In addition, the obligation to disclose holdings will be expanded and its implementation improved with the revision. In particular, FINMA will have the authority in cases of justified suspicion of a breach of the disclosure obligation to declare a suspension of voting rights and a ban on additional purchases for all market participants until the disclosure obligation is fulfilled or it is established that no disclosure obligation exists. If a breach of the disclosure obligation is detected, FINMA can now implement specific supervisory instruments even for market participants who are not subject to its supervision. These include, for example, the confiscation of any profits.
Regarding takeovers, the possibility of paying a control premium will be abolished, among other things. Furthermore, the Takeover Board will also have the authority to declare a suspension of voting rights and a ban on additional purchases as precautionary measures in the case of sufficient indications of failure to observe the obligation to make an offer.
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