Proposed amendments to Listing Rules regarding Advertisements

Dr Anton John Mifsud | Published on 28 Jul 2011

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The Listing Authority is proposing to replace the existing Listing Rule 4.55 and introduce new Listing Rules regarding advertisements.

The proposed Listing Rules will prohibit advertisements during the period starting from when an Applicant/Issuer intends to apply for Admissibility to Listing or has submitted its application, to the date it receives the Listing Authority’s approval of its Admissibility to Listing. During such period, direct and indirect advertisement related to the Applicant/Issuer and its securities will not be allowed. Advertising such as interviews in the media by the Applicant/Issuer’s top management, inserts in newspaper about the business of the Applicant/Issuer or any hidden, surreptitious and any other indirect forms of advertising will be prohibited.

Under the new rules, where Malta is the Home Member State, the Listing Authority will have the power to assess compliance with the requirements of Listing Rules relating to advertising activity prior to the admissibility to listing of securities. Applicants applying for admissibility to listing of their securities may engage in advertising activities only upon receipt of final written notice of the approval of the Listing Authority as regards the admissibility to listing of the securities.

Advertisements related to any securities which have been authorised as admissible to listing or which are to be listed or traded on a Regulated Market must clearly recognize them as such and be easily readable and comprehensible. The content of any advertising which is not prohibited, must be accurate, factual and not misleading; consistent with the information contained in the Prospectus, if already published, or with the information required to be in the Prospectus if the Prospectus is published afterwards and must not contain any unverifiable claims.

Any advertisement issued for the purpose of announcing the admissibility to listing of securities, is to contain a statement that a Prospectus has been or will be published and the addresses and times at which copies of the Prospectus are or will be available to the public. Information concerning the admission to listing on a Regulated Market disclosed in an oral or written form, even if not for advertising purposes is to be consistent with the information contained in the Prospectus.

One of the new Listing Rules expressly lays down that in case of any doubt as to what constitutes an advertisement in terms of the proposed Listing Rules, it is the applicant/issuer’s responsibility, to consult with the Listing Authority without delay prior to any proposed publication. An issuer must refrain from publishing any proposed material prior to the Listing Authority’s determination as to whether such material constitutes an advertisement.

The stated rationale behind the proposed Listing Rules is to avoid situations whereby applicants/issuers applying or intending to apply for admissibility to listing embark on aggressive marketing creating a hype which could be misleading to the investing public and which could affect the potential investors’ objective evaluation of the potential investment upon the opening of subscriptions.


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