General legal supervision of exchanges
The Financial Market Authority supervises the Vienna Stock Exchange, listed issuers (regarding transparency requirements) and exchange members (regarding their trading behaviour).
There are commodity exchanges (supervised by the Ministry of the Economy, Family and Youth) and securities exchanges (supervised by the FMA). In Austria, Wiener Börse AG operates both types of exchange.
The term “stock exchange” covers more than meets the eye: differentiations need to be made with a view to regulation (particularly important in this context are Directive 2004/39/EC and its transposition into Austrian law by way of the Stock Exchange Act – BörseG; Börsegesetz and the Securities Supervision Act – WAG 2007; Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz) and the term as such. Wiener Börse AG operates both a “regulated market” (and only this market should be regarded as a stock exchange from a legal point of view) and a “multilateral trading facility” (e.g. the so-called third market of the Vienna Stock Exchange). This is a differentiation that is significant for investors too, as the level of protection varies greatly (particularly because of the different transparency requirements for issuers). However, due to upcoming “Market Abuse” regulatory and the overall “MiFID” approach, some of the obligation so far linked to the regulated markets are going to apply to “multilateral trading facilities” as well (for instance regarding “Ad-Hoc” – Transparency). Where the admission of financial instruments to trading on a regulated market is concerned, the Vienna Stock Exchange acts as an authority (charged with sovereign functions), while it operates in accordance with private law in the “third market”.
One practical example of the FMA’s supervisory activities is the approval of changes to the exchange operating company’s General Terms and Conditions of Business pursuant to Article 13 BörseG. Legal supervision also includes web-based coordination of suspensions and removals of financial instruments from trading with other European authorities, for example in the case of multiple listings.
The European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) publishes a regularly updated register of all regulated markets on its Website List of regulated markets (MiFID database; ESMA)