Passing of the Law on Criminal Sanctions for Market Abuse

by:MICHAEL KYPRIANOU & CO. LLC

In December 2016 the House of Representatives passed a law which provides for the regulation of criminal sanctions for market abuse.

The purpose of the said Law is the establishment of rules which will impose criminal sanctions for actions of individuals which constitute abuse of confidential information, for illegal disclosure of confidential information and for market manipulation, so as to safeguard the integrity of the financial markets of the Republic and to reinforce the protection and the trust of the investors in the said markets.

According to the Law:

  • Abuse of confidential information is committed when an individual possesses confidential information and he makes use of it by buying or selling on his account or on a third party’s account, directly or indirectly, financial instruments relating to the said information.
  • Illegal disclosure of confidential information is committed when an individual possesses confidential information and he discloses it to any other person, except where the disclosure is conducted in the course of his business or his duties.
  • Market manipulation is the realisation of a transaction which creates false or misleading appearances with respect to the behaviour, the demand or the price of a financial instrument, or the realisation of a transaction which forms the price of a financial instrument as abnormal or artificial, or the realisation of a transaction which affects the price of other financial instruments with which other misleading methods are used or the dissemination of information through the mass media and the internet that provide false or misleading appearances in relation to the supply, the demand or the price of a financial instrument.

The provisions of the said Law are applicable, amongst others, to financial instruments:

  • which are admitted to trading on a regulated market or for which an application for their admission on a regulated market has been submitted,
  • which have been admitted to trading, are accepted for trading or for which their admission to trading on a multilateral trading facility was requested,
  • which are admitted to trading on an organized trading facility.