Manner of publication

When publishing potentially price-sensitive facts, provisions on the manner of publication must be observed in addition to the rules for selecting the time of publication.

Public disclosure in accordance with the principle of equal treatment of market participants

All market participants must have the same opportunity to take notice of potentially price-sensitive facts at the same time. In accordance with the principle of equal treatment of market participants, ad hoc notices must be widely disseminated.

Description of ad hoc notices

The target audience for ad hoc notices is the general public. The content of ad hoc notices must be factual, clear and complete. In particular, an ad hoc notice must not contain any inaccurate, misleading or contradictory information. Potentially price-sensitive facts must be presented in a prominent position. An ad hoc notice must be drawn up in such a way that an average market participant can determine the potential price impact from the text and draw appropriate conclusions.

Manner of distribution of ad hoc notices

To ensure that the information is disseminated as widely as possible among the public, ad hoc notices must be sent to the following addressees at a minimum:

  • SIX Exchange Regulation (90 minutes in advance if publication during critical trading hours is unavoidable)
  • at least two electronic information systems widely used by professional market participants (e.g. Bloomberg, Reuters or SIX Financial Information)
  • at least two Swiss daily newspapers of national importance and
  • any interested party on request using the push system (with the push system the issuer makes a service available on its website that enables any interested party to receive ad hoc notices from the issuer via email promptly and free of charge).

The ad hoc notice must also be published simultaneously on the issuer's website (pull system). Ad hoc notices must remain posted for two years.

Problematic scenarios

Selectively informing market participants of potentially price-sensitive facts constitutes a breach of the principle of equal treatment of market participants. Particularly problematic are selective conversations with analysts and media, e.g. in the context of disclosure of periodic information or extraordinary transactions, if the same information has not been made available to the public in accordance with the ad hoc publicity provisions. In particular, one-on-one talks and closed events can easily become problematic if subjects are broached that are even remotely sensitive. Media conferences that take place during trading hours should therefore not reveal new potentially price-sensitive facts. If in doubt, key data should therefore be disclosed outside critical trading hours and prior to the scheduled conference. Information may be formulated individually for each target group – provided all addressees receive the same information and information on potentially price-sensitive facts is not released selectively.

Care should also be taken to ensure that ad hoc notices with potentially price-sensitive content are not disclosed to only a few select parties prior to scheduled publication. Lock-up periods (also known as embargoes) have proven ineffective in connection with financial information.

Up-to-date information strategies that are known and enforced within the company are therefore needed. Key aspects of such strategies include a proactive confidentiality system, crisis management for delicate situations, clear and consistent public relations that are well known both internally and externally (contacts, rumor management, quiet periods, corporate calendars, insider lists, etc.) and the commitment to publish both good and bad news proactively and quickly.

Publications

Commentary / Guideline

Commentary on the Directive on Ad hoc Publicity

Commentary on the Directive on Ad hoc Publicity (DAH Commentary), Completely revised version as of 1 November 2011