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On February 17, 2021, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has released a statement to highlight to retail investors the risks connected with trading decisions based exclusively on exchanges of views, informal recommendations and sharing of trading intentions through social networks and unregulated online platforms. The statement is issued as part of ESMA’s investor protection objective to safeguard retail investors, whose participation is key to the development of the Capital Markets Union.

Extract from the ESMA statement:

"Discussing the opportunity to buy or sell the shares of an issuer does not constitute market abuse. However, organising or executing coordinated strategies to trade or place orders at certain conditions and times to move a share’s price could constitute market manipulation.

Similarly, special care should be taken when posting information on social media about an issuer or a financial instrument, as disseminating false or misleading information may also be market manipulation. Additionally, care should be taken when disseminating investment recommendations through any media, including social media and online platforms, as they are subject to a number of regulatory requirements.

ESMA and the National Competent Authorities will continue analysing market events and consider adopting further initiatives aimed at preserving investor protection and market integrity as appropriate."

The full ESMA’s supervisory warning is available via the link below.