Brussels Daily
04 Jan 2019


Brussels Daily

Commission publishes draft rules to ensure investment firms and insurance distributors consider sustainability topics when advising clients

The Commission has today published draft rules on how investment firms and insurance distributors should take sustainability issues into account when providing advice to their clients. Today’s announcement forms part of the Commission’s Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth first put forward in May 2018, and would amend delegated acts under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Insurance Distribution Directive. The new draft rules will help integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations and preferencesinto investment advice and portfolio management, and into the distribution of insurance-based investment products. The Commission can only officially adopt these draft rules once new disclosure provisions for sustainable investments and sustainability risks, which put in place an EU-wide definition for ESG considerations, have been agreed at EU level. At the same time, today’s publication should ensure that investment firms and insurance distributors can already prepare to take ESG considerations and preferences into account in the suitability assessments they undertake to see if proposed investments are appropriate for a client. Once adopted by the Commission, the delegated acts will enter into force after their publication in the Official Journal, unless the European Parliament and the Council object to them within a period of three months (extendable to six months). The Sustainable Finance Action Plan is part of the broader Capital Markets Union’s (CMU) efforts to connect finance with the specific needs of the European economy to the benefit of the planet and our society and is one of the key steps towards implementing the historic Paris Agreement and the EU’s agenda for sustainable development. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 29 58615; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)

Eurostat: Euro area annual inflation rate down to 1.6%

The euro area annual inflation rate is estimated at 1.6% in December 2018, compared with 1.9% in November according to a rapid estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. As regards the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in December (5.5%, compared to 9.1% in November), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (1.8%, compared to 1.9% in November), services (1.3%, stable compared to November) and non-energy industrial goods (0.4%, stable compared to November). A full press release is available online (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel .: +32 229 56153, Annikky Lamp – Tel .: +32 229 56151)

Commission clears acquisition of joint control over F&B by the Oetker-Group and the Coop-Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over F&B – Food and Beverage Services GmbH (“F&B”) by Dr. August Oetker KG (“Oetker-Group”) both of Germany and the Coop-Gruppe Genossenschaft (“Coop-Group”) of Switzerland. F&B, through its holding in Team Beverage AG of Germany, is active in the procurement and supply of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The Oetker-Group, through its subsidiaries, is inter alia active in the production and distribution of beer, wine, sparkling wine and non-alcoholic beverages. The Coop-Group is a retail and wholesale trading company. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns because there are only limited horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the companies’ activities. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9085. (For more information: Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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