The exemptions under the Instrument are only exemptions from the insider reporting requirements contained in the Instrument and are not exemptions or defences from the provisions in Canadian securities legislation imposing liability for improper insider trading.
The definition of “reporting insider” includes certain enumerated persons or companies that generally satisfy the criteria contained in subsection (i) of the definition of reporting insider, namely, routine access to material undisclosed information and significant power or influence over the reporting issuer. Although there is no general exemption for the enumerated persons or companies based on lack of routine access to material undisclosed information or lack of power or influence, we will consider applications for exemptive relief where the issuer or reporting insider can demonstrate that the reporting insider does not satisfy these criteria. This might include, for example, a situation where a foreign subsidiary may appoint a locally resident individual as a director to meet residency requirements under applicable corporate legislation, but remove the individual’s powers and liabilities through a unanimous shareholder declaration.
The reference to “material facts or material changes concerning the investment issuer” in section 9.3 of the Instrument is intended to include information that originates at the insider issuer level but which concerns or is otherwise relevant to the investment issuer. For example, in the case of an issuer that has a subsidiary investment issuer, a decision at the parent issuer level that the subsidiary investment issuer will commence or discontinue a line of business would generally represent a “material fact or material change concerning the investment issuer”. Similarly, a decision at the parent issuer level that the parent issuer will seek to sell its holding in the subsidiary investment issuer would also generally represent a “material fact or material change concerning the investment issuer.” Accordingly, a director or officer of the parent issuer who routinely had access to such information concerning the investment issuer would not be entitled to rely on
the exemption for trades in securities of the investment issuer.
The exemption in paragraph 9.7(b) of the Instrument is limited to pledges of securities in which there is no limitation on recourse since a limitation on recourse may effectively allow the borrower to “put” the securities to the lender to satisfy the debt. The limitation on recourse may effectively represent a transfer of the risk that the securities may fall in value from the insider to the lender. In these circumstances, the transaction should be transparent to the market.
A loan secured by a pledge of securities may contain a term limiting recourse against the borrower to the pledged securities (a legal limitation on recourse). Similarly, a loan secured by a pledge of securities may be structured as a limited recourse loan if the loan is made to a limited liability entity (such as a holding corporation) owned or controlled by the insider (a structural limitation on recourse). If there is a limitation on recourse as against the insider either legally or structurally, the exemption would not be available.
The exemption in paragraph 9.7(f) of the Instrument is limited to situations where securities of the reporting issuer do not form a material component of the investment fund’s market value. In determining materiality, similar considerations to those involved in the concepts of material fact and material change would apply.