The European Union (EU) Transparency Directive is legislation that requires companies that trade securities on regulated markets in EU member states to publish financial information across the continent. Businesses that have securities traded in EU member states must adhere to the directive as part of their regulatory compliance efforts. The EU Transparency Directive took effect on 20 January 2007.
The directive defines financial reporting requirements designed to enhance transparency. In accordance with the directive, businesses must produce annual and half-yearly financial reports, as well as interim management statements for the first and third quarters of their financial years. The directive also requires immediate disclosure of any significant financial news.
According to the directive, such information must be disseminated by a Regulatory Information Service. These agencies operate according to regulatory standards and distribute information to electronic financial media firms such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and AFX.
The EU Transparency Directive also requires member states to ensure there is at least one Officially Appointed Mechanism (OAM) for the central storage of regulated information. As of April 2010, final arrangements had not been made to set up the network of OAMs and ad hoc measures were in place. In the UK, for example, businesses retain information in PDF format on their websites.