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Focus - January 27, 2021

Focus on the priorities of the French Market Authority (AMF) for 2021

On January 11, 2021, the AMF published its action and supervision priorities for 2021.

 

 

It draws the attention of issuers to certain key topics that will be the main areas of focus during this year.

Focus on certain priorities:

Priority 1: Involvement of the AMF to overcome the health and economic crisis

In the context of the health crisis, the AMF will continue to ensure the quality of dialogue with shareholders:

  • Reminder of the AMF’s recommendation that shareholders be offered remote and direct voting and participation methods for general meetings held without the physical presence of the shareholders.
  • The AMF will ensure that the conditions for remote vote and participation provided for by the emergency regulations applicable during the epidemic period are applied.
Priority 2: Participation of the AMF in the reforms to define tomorrow’s financial regulations

Building the framework for European innovative markets in digital finance:

  • Two proposals for regulations were published by the European Commission in September 2020 as part of its “Digital Finance” package: one aims at facilitating the development of crypto-assets as financial instruments (security tokens); the other one aims at regulating at the European level digital assets (crypto-assets) that are not financial instruments.
  • The AMF welcomes and encourages these two European initiatives, which should unlock a number of regulatory obstacles to innovation and create a single market for crypto-assets.
Priority 3: Accelerate  transition toward sustainable finance

To help issuers improve the quality of non-financial information and contribute to making European regulations on non-financial information more robust:

  • Announced by the European Commission as part of its “Green Deal” for Europe at the end of 2019, the upcoming revision of the NFRD directive in 2021 will therefore be crucial to ensure relevant information for investors but also for all of the company’s stakeholders.
  • The AMF intends to put forward proposals made in its response to the European Commission’s consultation in the summer of 2020, concerning - for example - the content and reliability of information, the scope of companies subject to reporting and the governance of the future European reporting standard.
  • The AMF will conduct a new review exercise to evaluate non-financial performance statements in its 2021 report on CSR, with the aim of guiding companies in raising the level of requirements expected in this area.

Facilitate innovative approaches in the field of sustainable finance:

  • The AMF notes the emergence in 2020 of new types of sustainable bonds, indexed on environmental and social performance.
  • New asset classes will be concerned (short-term financing, securitization, derivatives, etc.) and new incentive mechanisms may be tested.
  • These new developments should lead to new and complex legal issues, as well as supervisory challenges. The AMF intends to support these innovations by assessing potential regulatory obstacles and identifying possible responses.

Our team remains available to discuss with you the AMF’s key issues and priorities for 2021.