NYSE Euronext lobbying more, rosy on market reform

April 30, 2010

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext has ramped up its lobbying effort in Europe, and the exchange operator’s chief said that it should benefit from regulatory changes on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The regulatory landscape in both regions is a net positive for the company,” Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer said on Thursday at NYSE Euronext’s annual shareholder meeting.

Deputy CEO Dominic Cerutti said the company’s renewed lobbying push ahead of a European market structure review could bode well. “I’m more optimistic that the outcome … in Europe could be quite beneficial for us,” he said.

European regulators are reviewing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID, rules that took effect a few years ago. The review mirrors a similar market structure probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Meanwhile, European and U.S. regulators and lawmakers are trying to push more derivatives through exchanges and clearinghouses in a effort to avoid a repeat of the recent financial crisis.

Shareholders at NYSE Euronext’s meeting in downtown New York voted for a shareholder proposal for the exchange operator to adopt a simple majority voting requirement, opposed to the current “supermajority” of 80 percent.

The vote margin was unclear.

Shareholders also voted last year to support the proposal. The company, which runs derivatives and stock exchanges, has said it was unlikely to get regulatory approval for the change given its unique status in the handful countries it operates.

Shares of the company were up 0.7 percent at $32.80 in morning trading. (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn) ((jonathan.spicer@thomsonreuters.com; +1-646-223-6253; Reuters Messaging: jonathan.spicer.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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