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ESMA issues Public Statement – Implications of the COVID-19 outbreak on the half-yearly financial reports

The European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Public Statement promoting transparency and consistent application of European requirements for information presented in half-yearly financial reports impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the Public Statement, ESMA acknowledges that the coronavirus outbreak poses significant challenges to business activities and introduces a high degree of uncertainty on the expected development of the pandemic and the associated knock-on effects on the economic and financial system. Against this backdrop, ESMA continues to highlight the need for issuers to continue providing the necessary level of transparency in financial communication.

In particular, ESMA’s Public Statement:

  • emphasises the requirement for issuers to provide updated information that is useful to investors to adequately reflect the current and expected impact of the COVID-19 situation on the financial position, performance and cash-flows of issuers;
  • highlights the importance of providing information on the identification of the principal risks and uncertainties to which issuers are exposed; and
  • calls on management, directors, and Audit Committees and, where applicable, auditors, to ensure that half-yearly financial reports provide comparable, relevant and reliable information and an adequate level of disclosure and transparency to users of those reports.

 The Public Statement may be accessed here.