When and on what terms should I inform the market of any strategic decisions and/or negative impacts on the company’s business?

  • Generally, companies must assess the potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business and keep the shareholders updated of such assessment, pursuant to applicable law.
    If the impacts can materially impact the assessment made by investors of the financial instruments issued by listed companies, such information could be deemed privileged information.
    The classification as “privileged information” is subject to certain legal requirements to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, notably considering the accuracy of the information and its sensitivity regarding the price of the shares (or of other financial instruments). Save if legally deferred, privileged information must be immediately disclosed.
    If justified in light of their materiality, non-financial impacts regarding company stakeholders other than its shareholders (employees, suppliers, customers and others) are also subject to the non-financial report obligations to which the company is bound.
    On the other hand, also as part of takeover bids or admission to trading of securities, the quality of the information on the matter, notably in the relevant prospectus (including risk factors and a description of the company’s business) must be ensured. 
    Information is one of the subjects particularly stressed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which issued a set of recommendations to financial market participants, covering the following topics: business continuity planning (ensuring business continuity), disclosure to the market (referred to above), financial reporting (annual or interim accounts should reflect the impact of COVID-19) and fund management (applying risk management requirements).

    The release is available at:

Along the same lines, with further developments in these and other fields, you may consult CMVM’s Communication dated 20 March 2020 on:

More recently, we highlight the CMVM’s Recommendations to Securities Issuers on the adoption of sustainability principles in financial information, and in dividend, remuneration and operational resilience policies dated 14 April 2020, available on:

 

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

All information contained herein and all opinions expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to substitute recourse to expert legal advice for the resolution of real cases.