Selective conversations with analysts and media, e.g. in the context of disclosure of
periodic information or extraordinary transactions, are particularly problematic if the
disclosed information is not made available immediately to the public as well.
In particular, one-on-one talks and closed events can easily become problematic
if subjects are broached that are even only remotely sensitive (e.g. slightly corrected forecasts that
concern only one area of business of a given group). It is also possible that statements will be
interpreted far differently than intended. Media conferences that take place during trading
hours should therefore not reveal surprising new information. In cases of doubt, key data
should be disclosed outside trading hours and prior to the scheduled conference. Information may be
formulated individually for each target group if this does not interfere with the provision of
price-sensitive facts on an equal-opportunity basis.
Care should be taken not to disclose potentially price-sensitive facts prior to their scheduled
publication, not even to a few select and closely linked parties. Embargoes have proven
ineffective in connection with financial information. Publication should, whenever possible,
not be delayed or delayed only for a short time in order to prevent information leaks.
Should a leak occur, the obligation to provide ad hoc publicity must be met immediately. The fact must
be published immediately, even if its publication was scheduled for later. If such
publication must take place during trading hours, SIX Exchange Regulation must be contacted immediately by
telephone, so that further action can be discussed.
Invitations on short notice to media and analyst conferences encourage rumours and
speculation, in particular when little or no information is provided on the content.
Forecasts of possible or expected future developments must also often be considered
highly price-sensitive facts.
Up-to-date information concepts that are known and enforced within the company are needed.
These concepts must take into account not only the disclosure requirements pursuant to stock-exchange
law, but also the interests of investor relations, marketing and corporate communications and must be
tailored to the situation of the company. Key aspects of such concepts include a
proactive confidentiality system, crisis management for delicate situations,
clear and consistent public relations that are well known both internally and externally
(contacts, rumour management, quiet periods, corporate calendar, etc.) and the commitment to publish
both good and bad news proactively and quickly.
At the very least, ad hoc notices must be distributed to the following recipients:
- SIX Exchange Regulation (90 minutes ahead of time if published during trading hours);
- at least two electronic information systems widely used by professional market participants
(e.g. Bloomberg, Reuters, SIX Financial Information);
- at least two Swiss newspapers of national importance;
- all interested parties upon request (push and pull system, cf. the following).
The issuer must provide a service on its Website that allows interested parties to receive, via
e-mail distribution, free and timely notification of potentially price-sensitive facts (push system).
When a published ad hoc notice is distributed, it must simultaneously be made available on the
issuer's Website and remain available there for two years (pull system).