Feb. 18 (Westlaw Business) The much-ballyhooed merger of the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange with that of German exchange Deutsche Borse makes two things clear – if they can make it through the thicket of global regulatory approvals and similarly convince their shareholders to tender into the offer, they’re home free. The just-filed agreement and related corporate governance documents make equally clear that “home” will not really be New York, and the NYSE Euronext will be the New York Stock Exchange no more. This may make regulatory approval that much more difficult, with U.S. regulators in particular looking at issues from antitrust to financial markets, to national security. (more…)
Financial Regulatory Forum
Protests in Middle East, North Africa spur look at corporate risk disclosures globally -Westlaw Business
Feb. 18 (Westlaw Business) The winds of change blowing across the Northern Sahara all but demand a look at foreign operations disclosures, particularly as many companies are deeply entrenched in preparing this year’s annual reports. Political risk has many guises—war, expropriation, currency devaluation—but for companies doing business abroad, these risks don’t begin to give a complete picture of potential threats to earnings. Just six weeks into 2011, a number of well-known companies have already provided a glimpse of what’s keeping their board members awake at night.
By Keith Mullin, Editor at Large, International Financing Review; the views expressed are his own.
LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Qatar’s decision to ban conventional banks from offering Islamic banking services with immediate effect and to wind down their Islamic windows by the end of the year is an absurd development.
It is disgracefully anti-competitive, counter-productive and there is every likelihood that the government will come to regret it.
(Scott McCleskey is a managing editor for the ThomsonReuters Governance, Risk and Compliance unit. The views expressed are his own)
By Scott McCleskey
NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (Complinet) – With all the chest-thumping about U.S. financial reform last year, you would suppose that the regulatory authorities responsible for implementing the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act would now have the political wind at their back.
This is particularly the case given the tight deadline for most of the provisions — on or before the July 21 anniversary of the Act’s enactment. You would be wrong. Both sides of the aisle in Congress have taken or threatened steps which only serve to undermine the process of regulatory reform and leave the market with all the costs and none of the benefits of reform. (more…)
By John Mackie
Feb. 10 (Westlaw Business) The blockbuster merger bridging the London and Toronto Stock Exchanges may have been announced, but this London bridge may yet fall under the sheer weight of staggering legal complexity. A broad group, from AIM to Borse Dubai, and from the Montreal Exchange to Borsa Italiana, stand to be impacted by these issues. And what a set of issues it is, ranging from post-Potash foreign investment concerns to restrictive provincial securities laws to undertakings regarding corporate governance. Even legacy contractual commitments from past acquisitions by the TSX must be considered. Global markets affecting everything from equities to derivatives to venture funding await.
Of course, if it does stay standing, the London-Toronto structure, reported to be a $4 trillion transaction, would bridge not only the LSE and TSX, but also the venture-oriented AIM and TSX Venture Exchange, and significant foreign players including Borsa Italiana and Borse Dubai. Together, the parties represent 20 trading markets/platforms across North America and Europe, with major positions in equities, derivatives, energy and fixed income. The list of markets within the group also includes the Montreal Exchange, and the Natural Gas Exchange.
Once united, the combined group would become the global leader in number of listings (over 6,700), with a dominant position in natural resources, mining, energy and clean technology. Listed companies would include not only domestic Canadian and UK businesses, but many others with origins around the world that have turned to these exchanges for their access to deep capital pools and their expertise in industries from commodities to shipping. The megalith would offer listing, trading and post-trade services, along with global information services and technology solutions.
By Judith Gross
The following is a guest column for Complinet by Judith Gross, the principal and founder of JG Advisory Services. She develops compliance training for hedge funds, specializing in compliance and related topics, such as insider trading. The views expressed are her own.
Compliance regulations couldn’t get any more press coverage than they do today, given the almost daily raft of new SEC and Treasury rules. Putting the proposed and actual laws aside, however, have you ever stopped to wonder what the backbone of compliance law is?
The answer is the US Sentencing Guidelines, which were enacted in 1991 and later amended in 2004. These Guidelines set forth the sentencing recommendations for a variety of criminal offenses, including those for “organizations,” such as a hedge fund. Thus, if a hedge fund is convicted of engaging in criminal conduct, the court looks to these Sentencing Guidelines for a recommendation on penalties. (more…)
By Ross Kerber and Tom Hals
BOSTON/WILMINGTON, Del., Feb 3 (Reuters) – Delaware touts itself as a business-friendly haven, but a new strategy by a well-known whistleblower to pursue bank-fraud suits takes the rules in an unexpected direction.
Recent suits against major banks claiming they defrauded public pension funds were filed by Delaware partnerships tied to Harry Markopolos, an associate said.
By Carlyn Kolker
NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters Legal) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on corporate disclosure of litigation costs, a Reuters Legal analysis has found. In particular, the agency is targeting banks and other institutions that have reported large settlements of financial crisis-related lawsuits that they had not disclosed in prior regulatory filings. (more…)
By Emmanuel Olaoye
NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (Complinet) Proposed increases in federal rewards for whistleblowers who report securities violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission raise the risk that employees will go outside their firms to report trouble, according to industry officials. Firms can avoid being the victims of potential whistleblowers by better publicizing their internal channels for reporting wrongdoing and getting creative with incentives for using them, they said. (more…)
By Erik Krusch
Feb. 2 (Westlaw Business) – Dodd-Frank and SEC-bolstered shareholders officially have a say on company pay. The SEC recently adopted rules requiring companies to hold say-on-pay, say-on-pay frequency, and golden parachute approval votes. Companies from Deere & Co. and Apple to Johnson Controls and Monsanto’s proxies are drafted, filed and poised to comply with the new rules. Companies and shareholders, however, still have plenty to hash out around the mechanics of executive compensation votes this proxy season. (more…)