As part of its control of issuers, stakeholders, companies and market infrastructures, the Moroccan Capital Market Authority noted various infringements in 2019. Following this, the Sanctions College issued 15 opinions. Details.
The supervision of financial markets by the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) aims to detect any event or behavior that may constitute a stock market offense, or any other breach of the regulations applicable to stakeholders.
The AMMC’s annual report highlights a 1,140 highlights in 2019. Note that a significant fact may relate to exceptional volume, price volatility, compliance with the terms of execution of buyback or promotion programs, etc.
10 cases of suspected crimes were identified and were the subject of an in-depth analysis. These cases of suspicion involve 4 course manipulations, 1 insider trading and 5 unspecified, belonging to the Others category.
6 awareness-raising actions were carried out, in particular vis-à-vis market participants or investors using the online stock exchange.
Failure to respect publication deadlines and the exhaustiveness of published statements
The AMMC checks the periodic information published by market issuers. The regular checks carried out by the Authority relate in particular to compliance with publication deadlines and media, the completeness of the content required by regulations, and the clarity, consistency and relevance of the information published.
The control of annual publications for the 2018 financial year generated 5 findings: 3 related to non-compliance with the publication deadline by the companies Ciments du Maroc, Ennakl Automobiles and Stroc Industries and 2 concern non-compliance with completeness statements published by Crédit Agricole du Maroc and DLM.
The year 2019 was marked by the entry into force of the AMMC circular relating to financial operations and information, in particular the publication of quarterly indicators. The first maturity of this obligation concerned the second quarter of 2019, the indicators of which were to be published at the end of August, i.e. less than three months after the introduction of this new obligation.
Monitoring compliance with the deadlines for the publication of this information revealed that:
– 16 issuers did not meet the publication deadline for the indicators for the 2nd quarter of 2019. These are: CFG Bank, Nexans Maroc, Promopharm, RCI Finance Maroc, Sogelease, ADI, Alliances darn, Cosumar Centrale Danone, DLM Med Paper unite immolog, CDG Capital Wafabail and industries Stroc ;
– 2 companies did not meet the deadline for publication of the accounts for the first half of 2019. These are companies DLM (consolidated accounts) and Stroc Industries ;
– 4 issuers did not meet the deadline for publishing the indicators for the 3rd quarter of 2019: Centrale Danone, DLM, IB Maroc and Stroc Industries.
16 control missions to brokerage firms, account holders and management companies
In order to ensure the progress of the activities of stakeholders and market companies in secure conditions and in compliance with legal and regulatory provisions, the AMMC exercises control in two forms: on-site control through inspections at within the premises of stakeholders and off-site control through the analysis of regulatory reports sent to the AMMC via the SESAM platform “Market Authority Exchange and Supervision System”.
As part of on-site inspections, the AMMC carried out 16 control missions with brokerage firms, account holders and management companies, divided between 2 SCAN missions (Supervision and Control of an Actor scheduled annually) and 14 SCRIN missions (Supervision and Control Restricted to Identified or Notified Risks) in 2019.
In detail, the 1st SCAN mission was conducted with the UCITS management company CFG Gestion. Its purpose was to ensure that the management company has the financial, human, organizational and technical resources necessary to carry out its activities under secure conditions and that it manages the UCITS in accordance with the regulations in force and in the exclusive interest of the shareholders and unitholders of said UCITS. This mission also focused on an assessment of the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing system put in place by the company.
The 2nd SCAN mission concerned the brokerage firm MENA CP. It focused on the financial base, the quality and adequacy of the resources deployed, the reliability of the processing and control processes, as well as compliance with legal and regulatory provisions in the exercise of its activities, as well as the system. of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing implemented by the company.
The SCRIN missions were carried out with 6 brokerage firms, 5 account holders and 3 management companies. The Autorité has indeed carried out an inspection mission with the UCITS AD Capital company in order to verify its financial capacity and compliance with ethical rules and legal and regulatory provisions.
The other 2 control missions were carried out with the management companies OPCR Upline Investments and Valoris Capital. Their objectives were to verify the means and modalities of effective launching of the activity, if necessary.
In addition, in order to monitor compliance with the terms and conditions for collecting subscriptions to the public sale offer for Itissalat Al Maghrib shares, the AMMC carried out missions with
9 members of the placement syndicate: Attijariwafa Bank, Attijari Intermédiation, Banque Centrale Populaire, BMCE Bank, BMCE Capital Bourse, CFG Bank, CFG Marchés, Upline Securities and Sogécapital Bourse.
Within the framework of market surveillance, 2 SCRIN missions were carried out with the brokerage firm Sogécapital Bourse and the account holder Societe Generale Maroc.
3 new investigations opened in 2019
Investigations are opened following the detection of anomalies in the capital market after receipt of a complaint or following a review by a stakeholder.
In 2019, the AMMC finalized the processing of 2 investigations opened in 2018. Last year also saw the opening of 3 investigations relating to behavior likely to undermine the proper functioning of the capital market.
The first, which originated in complaints from investors, concerned suspicions relating to the management of a fund of collective investment undertakings. The 2nd and 3rd, opened after an inspection mission, related to the behavior of a management company of collective investment in transferable securities.
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The AMMC received 11 complaints in 2019, the processing of which took an average of 25 days compared to 47 in 2018. Among these complaints, 3 were not admissible because their subject matter did not fall within the scope of within the competence of the AMMC. All of the complaints handled in 2019 concerned disputes between investors and market participants or issuers. Some of these complaints gave rise to an investigation.
14 sanctions decisions and 1 decision to forward a case to justice in 2019
The report underlines that the year 2019 was characterized by an increase in the number and complexity of the cases investigated by the Sanctions College.
Taking into account the suspicions and infringements raised previously, the Sanctions College, whose mission is to investigate the facts likely to give rise to a sanction pronounced by the President of the AMMC and to propose, at the end of the ‘examination of cases, the corresponding disciplinary sanction -; was seized of 17 files. 15 relate to administrative failures in connection with the activities of market participants and 2 cases relate to facts likely to be qualified as criminal offenses.
Following this, 15 opinions were issued by the Sanctions College: 12 compliant opinions recommending disciplinary and / or pecuniary sanctions or in the form of delay penalties against market participants; 1 assent recommending that a file of breaches be closed without further action, for unsupported facts; 1 opinion ruling on the dismissal and closure of an infringement file; and 1 opinion ruling on the transmission of an offense file to justice.
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