General legal supervision of exchanges
The Financial Market Authority supervises the Vienna Stock Exchange (Wiener Börse), listed issuers (regarding transparency requirements) and exchange members (regarding their trading behaviour).
It is necessary to differentiate between commodity exchanges (supervised by the Ministry of the Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ)) 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 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. Wiener Börse AG’s so-called “Third Market”). This is a differentiation that is significant for investors, as the level of protection varies greatly, in particular because of the different transparency requirements for issuers. However in conjunction with Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (“Market Abuse Regulation” – MAR) the “ad hoc” disclosure obligations are also extended to issuers, whose financial instruments are included for trading on an MTF, with the level of transparency of a regulated market having been adjusted to that of a “mere” MTF.
Where the admission of financial instruments to trading on a regulated market is concerned, Wiener Börse AG 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 23 BörseG 2018. 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.