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ESMA sets out guidelines on risk measurement and the calculation of global exposure for certain types of structured UCITS

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ESMA publishes today the final report on the guidelines on risk measurement and the calculation of the global exposure for certain types of structured UCITS (ESMA/2011/112). The report contains the policy approach agreed by ESMA, the cost-benefit analysis, the feedback from the public consultation and the draft guidelines in English to be addressed to competent authorities and UCITS management companies.

The final version of the guidelines (which will be unchanged) will be translated into all the European Union languages and will be available at a later stage on the ESMA website. The guidelines will take effect when this translation process is completed and will accompany the Level 2 implementing measures of the UCITS Directive that take effect on 1 July 2011. The report published today will nevertheless help UCITS management companies and national competent authorities prepare in a timely manner.

The purpose of the guidelines is to propose, for certain types of structured UCITS, an optional regime for the calculation of the global exposure. The specific approach adopted by ESMA consists of the calculation, for each scenario to which investors can be exposed at any one time, of the global exposure using the commitment approach. Under this approach, each scenario must comply at all times with the 100% global exposure limit.

The guidelines, when they take effect, will supplement the guidelines published by the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) in July last year on Risk Measurement and the Calculation of the Global Exposure and Counterparty Risk for UCITS (Ref. CESR/10-788).

ESMA considers that the scope of this alternative approach must be clearly defined. Therefore, a list of all the criteria with which structured UCITS should comply in order to be able to benefit from this specific approach is set out in Guideline 1 of the report. A number of examples have also been included to illustrate how the optional regime should be applied in practice. Guideline 2 in the report, meanwhile, sets out additional disclosure obligations on UCITS that make use of the optional regime.

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