On 9 April 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) released a public statement directed at Fund Managers in regards to their obligations to publish yearly and half-yearly reports.
ESMA is issuing this Public Statment in order to promote coordinated action by National Competent Authorities (NCAs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This concerns the obligations of UCITS management companies, self-managed UCITS, investment companies, authorised AIFMs, non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs pursuant to Article 42 of the AIFMD, EuVECA managers and EuSEF managers (jointly referred to as “Fund Managers”) to publish annual and half yearly reports in respect of funds they manage, in relation to the reporting period ending from 31 December 2019 to 30 April 2020 inclusive.
ESMA is aware that the confinement measures taken by Member States to prevent COVID-19 create significant difficulties for Fund Managers and auditors in preparing their periodic reports for a publication within the regulatory deadlines. Nevertheless, where Fund Managers reasonably anticipate that publication of the annual reports and half-yearly reports will be delayed beyond the normal regulatory deadlines, they are expected to inform their NCA promptly of this and to inform investors as soon as practicable of the delay and to the extent possible the estimated publication date.
In the current situation, ESMA expects NCAs to adopt a risk-based approach and not prioritise supervisory actions against these market participants in respect of the upcoming reporting deadlines. ESMA will continue to closely monitor the situation and will take or recommend any measures necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on timely and appropriate periodic disclosure by Fund Managers in respect of the funds they manage or market.
ESMA’s public statement can be found here.