30 March 2022
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has carried out a supervisory engagement with investment funds together with National Competent Authorities (NCAs). The exercise focused on liquidity risk in corporate debt and real estate funds, with the results showing that the funds included in the scope of the analysis do not pose any substantial risk for financial stability.
While the overall degree of compliance is satisfactory, it also highlights some room for improvement and continued monitoring, especially on the liquidity stress testing and valuation of less liquid assets. Many NCAs reported that management companies were able to manage episodes of valuation uncertainty in March 2020 and that they have not identified any strong valuation issue for the funds in the scope of the exercise.
In May 2020, the ESRB recommended that ESMA coordinate with NCAs on a focused supervisory engagement with investment funds that have significant exposures to corporate debt (different from MMF) and real estate, in order to assess their preparedness to potential future redemptions and valuation shocks (ESRB/2020/4).
ESMA has followed-up on steps undertaken by NCAs with regard to the priority areas defined in the ESMA Final Report published on 12 November 2020.
ESMA, in 2022 will facilitate discussions on these topics among NCAs on the application of the Liquidity Stress Testing (LST) guidelines in UCITS and AIFs and is conducting a 2022 CSA on the valuation of less liquid assets in UCITS and open-ended AIFs.