In December 1996, the Austrian legislature adopted the Securities Supervision Act (Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz), which provides for the formation of the Federal Securities Supervision Authority (Bundes-Wertpapieraufsicht). On January 1 1998, a substantial part of the law's provisions concerning notification requirements entered into force. At the same time, an ordinance issued by the Ministry of Finance for implementation of the Securities Supervision Act became effective (Wertpapier-Meldeverordnung).
Under the new provisions, which implement parts of Council Directive 93/22/EEC of May 10 1993 on investment services in the securities field (Investment Services Directive), finance institutions must notify the Federal Securities Supervision Authority of all finished transactions (purchase and sale), regarding the following instruments, no later than the working day after the transaction's conclusion:
- shares or other instruments giving access to capital;
- bonds and other forms of securitized debt;
- standardized forward contracts relating to shares and share indices; and
- standardized options on shares and share indices.
This is provided the instrument is admitted to a regulated market in Austria or in a member state of the EEA, irrespective of whether the transaction was performed in the regulated market.
Unlike the Investment Services Directive, the Securities Supervision Act requires notification of certain transactions concerning share indices.
The notification requirements above affect the following types of financial institutions:
- domestic credit institutions incorporated in the meaning of section 1 para 1 of the Austrian Banking Act (Bankwesengesetz);
- domestic branch offices of credit institutions, financial institutions and investment firms of other EEA member states as defined in Section 9-14 of the Banking Act;
- credit institutions and investment firms with their official seat in a member state, provided the firm is a member of the Viennese Stock Exchange, and the instrument in question is admitted to a regulated market in Austria;
- the Austrian National Bank.
The Securities Supervision Act exceeds notification requirements set out in the Investment Services Directive by requiring notification of transactions of investment firms from other member states. Notification must include the following information:
- details of names and identification numbers of the instruments (eg International Securities Identification Number ISIN);
- dates and times of transactions or the relevant fixing of transaction prices;
- transaction price and, if available, the number and nominal amount of instruments;
- identification of credit institutions or investment firms by sort code, Bank Identifier Code, SWIFT address, or a special registration number issued by the Securities Supervision Authority;
- relevant market;
- identification of the transaction;
- specification whether the transaction was entered into for the institution's own account.
Peter Huber and Kurt Retter