The European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and its related regulation MiFIR enter into force on 3 January 2018. Article 23 MiFIR requires European investment firms to trade shares on a trading venue within the EU or a third-country trading venue assessed as equivalent. This requirement applies to all shares admitted to trading in the EU, which affects the majority of Swiss equities traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
In recent months, the necessary steps were undertaken to ensure that SIX Swiss Exchange attains the status of an equivalent third-country trading venue. The necessary recognition by the European Union of the equivalence of the Swiss legal framework was granted for a temporary period of one year with the EU Commission's decision of 21 December 2017.
SIX acknowledges that the EU Commission thereby recognises in principle the equivalence of the Swiss legal framework. SIX does, however, regret the temporary nature of the decision and is working on the assumption that equal value will be definitively recognised at a later date.
SIX operates the infrastructure underpinning the Swiss financial sector and offers a comprehensive range of services around the world in the fields of securities trading and settlement, financial information and payment transactions. The company is owned by its users (approximately 130 banks of various orientation and size). Its workforce of over 4,000 employees and presence in 25 countries throughout the world generated operating income of CHF 1.8 billion and a Group net profit of CHF 221.1 million in 2016.