In autumn 1996, the ministry of finance appointed a working group to assess the need for securities legislation and to propose amendments. The working group prepared a memorandum called Securities Markets 2000 on the Finnish securities markets and securities legislation. The memorandum was published in February 1998.
One of the main functions of the working group was to consider the challenges raised by the third phase of European economic and monetary union (Emu) and other developments on the international securities markets. According to the memorandum, changing over to a common currency will reinforce and accelerate progress, such as international harmonization of regulations and technical development.
The task of the working group turned out to be far-reaching and therefore the preliminary research and assessment work concerning proposals to amendments was continued separately in several different projects. For example, a project resulting from the work of the group concentrated on ownership reporting rules. The draft for a government bill on the flagging rules was discussed in the February 1998 IFLRev (see page 58). However, the proposed stricter flagging thresholds of 2% and 5% were criticized (compared to the minimum 10% threshold now in force) and the minimum threshold is not expected to be enacted lower than 5%.
Although the memorandum is general in nature and does not include any preliminary proposals for bills, the Securities Market Act is intended to be further revised and a bill is expected to be issued later this year.