ESMA Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues
On 25 July 2012, ESMA published its guidelines in relation to issues surrounding exchange traded funds ("ETFs"), the use of financial indices by UCITS and other general UCITS issues. These guidelines are based on discussions and consultation with the industry.
The key provisions of the guidelines are as follows:
- UCITS that fall under the definition of ETFs will be required to carry the identifier "UCITS ETF" in their name.
- UCITS ETFs will be required to ensure that there are appropriate redemption conditions available to secondary market investors – this may take the form of opening the ETF to direct redemptions from the secondary market.
- All revenues net of operating costs generated by EPM activities will be required to be returned to the UCITS and UCITS will be required to inform investors clearly about any risks related to the use of EPM.
- UCITS investing in financial indices will be required to ensure that investors are provided with the full calculation methodology of such financial indices.
- UCITS may only invest in financial indices which respect strict criteria regarding, amongst other things, the rebalancing frequency and their diversification.
Details of the transitional period to facilitate UCITS compliance with the various aspects of the ESMA guidelines are set out in the paper. A link to the guidelines is available here.