09 April 2020

This article was written by Natalie Lim.

The statement relates to fund managers’ obligations to publish annual and half-yearly reports in respect of the funds they manage, specifically in relation to reporting period ending from 31 December 2019 to 30 April 2020 inclusive. In this context, fund managers include:

  • UCITS management companies
  • Self-managed UCITS investment companies
  • Authorised AIFMs
  • Non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs pursuant to Article 42 of the AIFMD
  • EuVECA managers
  • EuSEF managers.

ESMA recognises that the actions taken by EU member states to prevent COVID-19 contagion present significant difficulties and challenges for fund managers and auditors in preparing their funds’ annual and half-yearly reports, carrying out timely audits, and publishing them within the reporting deadlines set out in the relevant Directives and Regulations.

While acknowledging the importance of periodic reports for timely and transparent disclosure, ESMA considers that the burdens on fund managers resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak should be taken into account by national competent authorities ('NCAs') in a co-ordinated way. ESMA expects NCAs to act in accordance with national rules applicable in their respective member states and, where possible, not to prioritise supervisory actions against market participants in respect of the upcoming deadlines set out in the regulations regarding:

  • Annual reports referring to a year-end occurring on or after 31 December 2019 but before 1 April 2020 for a period of two months following the relevant deadline
  • Annual reports referring to a year-end occurring on or after 1 April 2020 but before 1 May for a period of one month following the relevant deadline
  • Half-yearly reports of UCITS referring to a reporting period ending on or after 31 January 2020 but before 1 April 2020 for a period of one month following the deadline set out in the UCITS Directive.

NCAs are further encouraged to adopt a risk-based approach in the exercise of supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of the sectoral acts.

However, fund managers are reminded that certain funds continue to be subject to the disclosure obligations laid down in Article 17 of the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014). Such funds must continue to disclose any inside information as soon as possible. 

ESMA will continue to closely monitor the situation and will take or recommend any measure necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 timely and appropriate periodic disclosure by fund managers in respect of the funds they manage or market. ESMA will also, as necessary, reassess any potential need to amend the timelines the NCAs are expected to apply under the statement.


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