VIDEO | Norway’s non-membership of the EU has led to a later implementation of the second version of the Shareholder Rights Directive, SRD II – but now it is coming up. Nations are permitted to add additional requirements into it, and Norway does: Here, anybody will be able to request the name and holding per every shareholder, on the beneficial-owner level. On stage with PostTrade 360° Oslo, legal experts Henriette Broch and Anne Lise Ellingsen Gryte summed up the situation.

Even third-country intermediaries go under the new Norwegian rules, if they provide services for shares that do – else they would block the targeted effect in chains of intermediaries from different countries. The intermediaries will need the capability to respond to requests for this ownership data a lot faster than historically. A response should be given the next day, and if the requests needs to be transmitted to the next link in a nominee chain this should normally happen on the same day as the request was received. Anne Lise Ellingsen Gryte contrasted this against her experience of intermediaries needing about three weeks to supply this type of information, and suggested custodians may be wise to look into their setups.

Henriette Broch and Anne Lise Ellingsen Gryte are, respectively, Senior Associate and Partner with Norwegian law firm Wiersholm.

New possibilities, too

Historically, Norway has supported transparency on share ownership by obliging issuers to share information on shareholding, according to their shareholder registers, to anybody who asks. And this is the logic that is now applied as the country introduces its national take on the directive.

Not to forget, however: With shareholders well identified, new opportunities for communication and engagement also open up for the issuers, and for new forms of service provision along the custody chain between the two.

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