EU balks on hedge funds regulation amid British, U.S. opposition

08:10, March 17, 2010      

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British opposition is believed to have halted European Union (EU) moves for tougher hedge fund regulation, a plan that has also sparked anger in the United States.

EU finance ministers were to discuss the proposed regulation, which would subject hedge funds to tougher authorization and registration requirements, at their monthly meeting today.

But EU officials said Spain, EU's rotating presidency, took the issue off the agenda as soon as the meeting opened.

"As I mentioned the decision taken by the (Spanish) presidency to defer the discussion planned for today on hedge funds and private equity, that is responsibility of the presidency... so we take note of the decision," Michel Barnier, EU commissioner for internal market and services, told reporters after the meeting.

Britain was believed to be a fierce opponent to the new rules as it feared their impact on London-based foreign hedge funds.

Barnier said EU governments would use the next few weeks to continue discussion on the issue.

The proposed regulation has also been opposed on the other side of the Atlantic. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner accused the EU of discrimination against U.S. hedge funds.

Source: Xinhua
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