Tag Archives: CapLaw-2013-28

New Regulatory Framework for Share Buy-backs

In a far-reaching revision of the Stock Exchange Act (SESTA), which entered into force on 1 May 2013, the prohibitions of insider trading and market manipulation were moved from the Penal Code (PC) into the SESTA. As the scope of the prohibitions is very broad, the Stock Exchange Ordinance (SESTO) has been amended to include certain safe harbor exemptions, in particular concerning share buy-back programs. By and large, these safe harbor rules mirror some of the rules developed by the Takeover Board (TOB) for share buy-backs and set out in former versions of TOB Circular No. 1. As the TOB consequently amended Circular No. 1 with the goal of eliminating duplications, the regulatory framework of buy-backs is now spread across TOB Circular No. 1, articles 33e–33f SESTA, articles 55b–55d SESTO, as well as the related FINMA Circular 2013/08 on Market Conduct Rules, and enforced by different authorities. Changes in substance include the publication and confirmation requirements or the elimination of the “safe harbour” exemption for public buy-back programs relating to less than 2% of the shares.

By Dieter Gericke / Vanessa Isler (Reference: CapLaw-2013-28)