Category Archives: Securities

Exemptions and Alleviations from the Duty to Publish a Prospectus under FinSA and FinSO – A Practical Perspective

On 1 December 2020, the revised duty to publish an approved prospectus in accordance with the Financial Services Act and the Financial Services Ordinance became fully effective. A remarkable novelty of the new Swiss prospectus regime is the introduced set of explicit exemptions and alleviations from the duty to publish a prospectus, which are largely in line with the Prospectus Regulation (earlier, the Prospectus Directive) of the European Union. This article discusses the exemptions and alleviations from the duty to publish a prospectus under the new Swiss prospectus regime from a practical perspective.

By Valentin Jentsch (Reference: CapLaw-2020-70)

Federal Council proposal of 3 April 2020 to strengthen the Swiss capital market

On 3 April 2020, the Swiss Federal Council opened the consultation procedure for the new proposal to reform the Swiss withholding tax system and the proposal to abolish the transfer stamp duty on trading in certain securities. The consultation period ended on 10 July 2020. The present article provides for an overview over these proposals.

By Stefan Oesterhelt (Reference: CapLaw-2020-41)

A new proxy adviser regulation in Switzerland?

The Swiss Parliament has adopted a motion requiring the Swiss government to propose a new regulation addressing the conflicts of proxy advisers. The primary focus seems to be on ISS and to a lesser extent on Glass Lewis for their potential dual role in advising institutional investors on voting recommendations and listed companies on corporate governance and compensation. In the absence of a physical presence of these proxy advisers in Switzerland, it remains unclear how the required legislation could be effectively enacted. 

By Thomas U. Reutter / Annette Weber (Reference: CapLaw-2020-24)

Position Paper on Legends and Selling Restrictions for Cross-Border Offerings of Securities (excluding Collective Investment Schemes and Structured Products) into Switzerland under the Prospectus Regime of the Swiss Financial Services Act

(Reference: CapLaw-2020-13)

“What are you, and if so, how many?” – Considerations on Compliance with the new 500-Investor Rule in Practice

Under the newly enacted Financial Services Act (FinSA), a prospectus is not required if a public offer of securities is directed at less than 500 investors. This article considers the new 500-investor rule from a practical perspective and proposes guidelines for potential offerors who wish to rely on it.

By David Weber (Reference: CapLaw-2020-14)

Sustainability Considerations in Debt Finance Transactions

The financial sector plays an important role in addressing climate change issues. While it is recognized that climate change can have an impact on financial stability, the financial sector can contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This article provides an overview of the various green / sustainable financing methods and their main characteristics, and summarizes recent developments in financial law and regulation to strengthen credibility of and faith in sustainable financial products.

By Charlotte Rüegg (Reference: CapLaw-2020-15)

New Rules on the Disclosure of Beneficial Owners and the Death Knell for Bearer Shares

On 21 June 2019, the Swiss Federal Assembly passed the Federal Act on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Act) into law. The Act sounds the death knell of bearer shares for non-listed companies. It also introduces criminal law sanctions for breaches of the obligation to disclose beneficial ownership of shares and several corporate housekeeping duties regarding the share register and the register of beneficial owners. Finally, it provides for draconian sanctions for holders of bearer shares who would fail to comply with their disclosure duties and for companies who would fail to maintain the requisite corporate registries or issue bearer shares in breach of the new provisions. At the same time, the Act also introduces some clarifications around the disclosure of beneficial owners and several issues that were subject to controversy.

By Rashid Bahar (Reference: CapLaw-2019-39)

Expiration of Swiss Stock Exchange Equivalence and Activated Protective Measure

On 30 June 2019, the European Commission did not extend the so-called equivalence recognition of the Swiss legal framework applicable to stock exchanges. As a reaction, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance activated countermeasures designed to protect Swiss financial market infrastructures, in particular Swiss stock exchanges. This article provides an overview of the events surrounding the equivalence of the legal and supervisory framework applicable to stock exchanges and further discusses key legal considerations relevant to financial market participants.

By Ramona von Riedmatten (Reference: CapLaw-2019-26)

The Rise of Swiss Domestic Covered Bond Programmes

In the recent past, Swiss domestically oriented covered bond structures have become increasingly popular. Under recent successfully established domestic, purely Swiss law governed covered bond structures, Swiss issuers have been able to replicate traditional English law elements of covered bonds under Swiss law, enabling the covered bonds to be assigned a triple-A rating. This article discusses the key features.

By Stefan Kramer / David Borer (Reference: CapLaw-2019-27)

Discontinuation of LIBOR and Swiss Law-Governed Legacy Bonds – Time to Take a Closer Look

LIBOR was – and still is – the dominant reference rate for CHF-denominated floating rate and other variable interest rate bonds. There is still a significant number of outstanding “legacy bonds” with such variable interest rates that have maturities beyond the end of 2021, the announced time for the discontinuation of LIBOR. This article discusses considerations for issuers and bondholder representatives in dealing with such “legacy bonds”.

By René Bösch / Eduard De Zordi / Benjamin Leisinger / Lee Saladino (Reference: CapLaw-2019-28)