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Weekly newsletter - year XXIII - No. 5 - 13 February 2017

Commission decisions:

N.B. measures adopted by Consob are published in the Bollettino and, where envisaged, also in the Gazzetta Ufficiale. This newsletter summarises the more important or general measures and their disclosure here is therefore merely to update readers on Commission activities.


- NEWS OF THE WEEK -

CONSOB COMMUNICATION FOR INVESTOR PROTECTION

The National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (CONSOB) has suspended for a period of 90 days, as a precautionary measure, the advertising activity carried out through the website www.coinspace1.com relating to the public offering promoted by Coinspace Ltd regarding “cryptocurrency extraction packages(resolution 19866 of 1 February 2017).

* * *

The National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange reports that the site www.smartbotpro.com cannot be traced to subjects authorised to provide investments services and activities in Italy.


CONSOB COMMUNICATION FOR INVESTOR PROTECTION ON RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH INVESTMENTS IN CFDS AND BINARY OPTIONS

The Commission has published a communication for investor protection on the risks associated with new highly-speculative, risky and complex forms of financial investment such as contracts for difference (CFDs), rolling spot forex and binary options which, over the last few years, have spread more widely in the various European Union countries, including Italy.

The communication describes the characteristics of these products and their forms of placing, which usually occurs through particularly aggressive commercial practices and misleading advertising messages. It follows that investors end up, almost always, accepting them without a real understanding and assessment in advance of the effective scope of the risks that this entails.

The Commission stressed that almost all the subjects offering these products in our country are (a) EU investment firms or banks that operate in Italy under the freedom to provide services (that is directly from the country in which they have their registered office and on the basis of the authorisation granted by the Supervisory Authority of the home country) or (b) EU or non-EU investment firms or banks operating through a secondary office established in Italy (branch).

On the basis of current EU legislation, CONSOB has limited direct powers of supervision and/or intervention in relation to these community intermediaries. It should also be considered by the investor that disputes on the subject of CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options between Italian clients and EU investment firms without a branch in Italy cannot be taken to the new Arbitrator for Financial Disputes (AFD), set up recently at CONSOB.

In Italy, it must be added, the sector is characterised by the presence of numerous abusive subjects, subjects that do not have authorisation to operate, that offer contracts over the Internet without however being subject to administrative supervision by the Supervisory Authorities.

In brief, in its warning CONSOBtells investors to take care stressing that:

  • investment in CFDs, rolling spot forex and binary options, is not suitable for most investors;

  • this form of investment can entail losses even much greater than the capital initially invested;

  • it is necessary to proceed to begin operations only after effectively understanding and assessing all the risks connected with the investment in question;

  • it is necessary to ascertain always that the offering subject is authorised to operate in Italy, consulting the specific lists maintained by CONSOB (as regards investment firms) and by the Bank of Italy (as regards banks), which can be found on the respective institutional websites. To this end it is opportune to consult also the section “Warnings for investors” present on the CONSOB institutional website, containing the reports, coming from foreign supervisory authorities, as well as from CONSOB itself, of financial activities carried out abusively and of the subjects responsible for them.


COMMUNICATIONS FOR INVESTOR PROTECTION OF OTHER AUTHORITIES

The supervisory authorities of the United Kingdom (Financial Conduct Authority - FCA), Austria (Financial Market Authority - FMA), Poland (Polish Financial Supervision Authority - KNF) and Switzerland (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority – FINMA) report companies and websites that are offering investment, financial and insurance services without the required authorisations:

Reported by the FCA:

  • Ambrosia Capital (www.ambrosia-capital.com), clone of the authorised company Ambrosia Capital Ltd (www.ambrosiacapital.com), with headquarters in London (reference no: 712156);

  • The Finance Solutions (www.thefinancesolutions.co.uk, www.thefinancialsolutions.co.uk), with declared headquarters in the United Kingdom;

  • Hansford / Hanford and Associates (www.hanfordlaw.com), with declared headquarters in the USA;

  • JJ Matthias Asset Management (www.jjmatthias.com), clone of the authorised company Jager Johann Matthias (reference no. 444572).

Reported by the FMA:

  • Erste Allgemeine Arbeitnehmer Kranken- und Unterstützungskasse (www.ak-uk.at), with declared headquarters in Vienna;

  • Evo Binary International Dwc (www.evobinary.com), with declared headquarters in Dubai.

Reported by the KNF:

  • MoneyNetInt Limited;

  • Blue Sky Trade Services Limited;

  • Blue Sky Trade Limited;

  • Noble Brothers Sp. z o.o..

Reported by the FINMA:

  • Accam AG (www.accam.ch).

MEMO: THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE OF ITALIAN LISTED COMPANIES: THE ANALYSES BY CONSOB, THE COMMITTEE FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ASSONIME. MILAN, 17 FEBRUARY 2017

CONSOB, the Committee for Corporate Governance and Assonime are organising a meeting for this coming 17 February in Milan on the subject of “Corporate Governance of Italian listed companies”, intended mainly for members of boards of directors and boards of statutory auditors.

Taking part among others will be: Giuseppe Vegas (Chairperson of CONSOB); Gabriele Galateri di Genola (Chairperson of the Committee for Corporate Governance), Maurizio Sella (Chairperson of Assonime and of Emittenti Titoli), Andrea Sironi (Chairperson of Borsa Italiana) and Tommaso Corcos (Chairperson of Assogestioni).

The three analyses will be presented in detail during the meeting by representatives of the organisations that are promoting the event.

For more information, please see the programme. Attendance at the meeting is free after registration online through the following link: “https://sites.google.com/site/lacorporategovernance”.


SECURITIES MARKETS: TRENDS, RISKS AND POLICIES - CONSOB–ESMA–BOCCONI CONFERENCE

CONSOB, ESMA and Bocconi University, through the Baffi - Carefin Research Centre, are organising on 24 February 2017 in Milan, at Bocconi University, Room AS01 (via Rontgen 1), starting a 8:45 a.m., the conference entitled "Securities markets: trends, risks and policies".

The conference will be opened by the Deputy Rector for Research of the Bocconi University, Marco Ottaviani, and by the CONSOB commissioner, Carmine Di Noia.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Colin Mayer, Peter Moores Professor of Management, Said Business School, University of Oxford.

The event will be structured in two academic sessions:

1. “Securities and Financial Markets”, chaired by Massimo Guidolin (Bocconi University);

2. “Financial Institutions and Corporate Finance”, chaired by Giovanni Siciliano (CONSOB);

A policy session will follow on the subject of “Technology and Financial Services: The Development and Regulation of Robo-advice”, chaired by Francesco Saita (Bocconi University).

The complete programme with guidelines for registration will be available on the CONSOB (www.consob.it) and Bocconi University (www.unibocconi.it) websites.

The conference will be held in English and attendance is free, after registration online at the web address www.unibocconi.it/eventi.


- COMMISSION DECISIONS -

taken or made public during the week
(the documents with a link or underlined in the printed edition are immediately available in the respective sections of the website www.consob.it; the other measures will be available in the next few days) 

Prospectuses

  • Approval has been given for the registration document and the supplement to the base prospectuses concerning the programme of public offering and/or listing of certificates issued by Unicredit Bank AG (decision of 8 February 2017).

  • Approval has been given for the prospectus related to the offer of units of the unreserved Italian real-estate AIF (Alternative Investment Fund) “Opportunità Italia – Fondo comune di investimento immobiliare di tipo chiuso” (“Opportunity Italy – closed-end real-estate mutual fund”) managed by Torre SGR SpA (decision of 8 February 2017) .

Registers and lists

  • Spafid Family Office Sim SpA, with head office in Milan, has been registered in the roll pursuant to art. 20, paragraph 1, of Italian Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24 February 1998. The Company is authorised to provide the service of investment advice, pursuant to art. 1, paragraph 5, letter f), of the said legislative decree. Authorisation to provide the said service is issued with the following operational limits: “without holding, even on a temporary basis, cash and cash equivalents or financial instruments of customers and with no assumption of risk by the company itself ” (resolution no. 19873 of 8 February 2017).

  • Cristina Fabbri has been removed from the single register of financial consultants (resolution no. 19811 of 13 December 2016).

  • As a disciplinary measure, Alessandro Zorza has been suspended from the single register of financial consultants for four months (resolution no. 19761 of 18 October 2016).

  • As a disciplinary measure, Franco Gentile has been suspended from the single register of financial consultants for two months (resolution no. 19859 of 25 January 2017).


CONSOB INFORMS (Rome Tribunal Registration no. 250 of 30/10/2013) Chief Editor: Manlio Pisu - Editorial board: Antonella Nibaldi (coordinator), Claudia Amadio, Riccardo Carriero, Luca Cecchini, Laura Ferrri, Alfredo Gloria - Address: CONSOB Via G. B. Martini, 3 - 00198 Rome - telephone: (06) 84771 - fax: (06) 8417707. Documents or reports can be submitted via the interactive section of the web site www.consob.it, where CONSOB INFORMA can also be consulted via the "newsletter" link.

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