MSA Trading Practices Guideline - February 18, 2004

February 18, 2004

To All Market Participants

RE: MSA Trading Practices Guideline

Pursuant to the Electric Utilities Act, the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) has the mandate to issue guidelines in furtherance of fair, efficient, and openly competitive electricity markets.  In this regard, the MSA is today issuing its Trading Practices Guideline concerning the use of asset outage information for trading in the forward market.

The potential for trading on future outage information that is not in the public domain creates the perception and/or reality of unfairness in the forward market.  Such behaviour or its potential impairs the development of forward market liquidity and is detrimental to the evolution of Alberta’s wholesale and retail power markets.  Therefore, the MSA is establishing the following Trading Practices Guideline:

Market participants must not trade on the basis of known but not public information about the status of supply, load or transmission assets that can reasonably be expected to have a material impact on market price.  Trading shall be understood to include any type of financial or physical transaction or operational strategy designed to extract value from known but not public information about the status of supply, load, or transmission assets.  
The MSA’s report can be accessed directly on the MSA’s website by following the link -

"MSA Trading Practices Guideline".

The TPG will be supported by an implementation plan whose details will be proposed in a companion document to this report - “Trading Practices in Alberta’s Forward Market – Seeking Solutions.” This report will be posted to the MSA’s website by the end of February, 2004.  As part of the implementation plan, the MSA will introduce an interim scheme for the disclosure of outage information to become effective on March 8, 2004.

Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned if you have any questions.

Yours truly,

“Original signed by Rob Spragins”

Robert F. Spragins
Manager, Investigations,
Market Surveillance Administrator