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Feb 17, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS-Big traders face ‘landmine’ in CFTC energy rule

By Christopher Doering and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Buried deep in the proposal to set position limits on oil and gas futures is a possible “landmine” that could force the industry’s biggest traders to make a stark choice: Keep your hedging exemptions, or keep your speculative book. But you can’t keep both.

Weeks after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

unveiled its long-awaited proposal to prevent concentration in energy markets, industry executives have zeroed in on a little-noticed clause that would force big players to exit speculative trading positions if they wrest an exemption from

Feb 16, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

France draws up tax blacklist, to apply sanctions

PARIS, Feb 16 (Reuters) – France has drawn up a list of 18 countries accused of failing to cooperate on tax issues, and will slap punitive taxes on certain financial transactions involving them, an official document showed on Tuesday.

The document, obtained by Reuters, was signed by Economy Minister Christine Lagarde and Budget Minister Eric Woerth and lists Central American and Asian countries as well as tiny Caribbean and Pacific island nations.

Feb 16, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

EU to recommend start of Iceland talks – EU official

By Justyna Pawlak

BRUSSELS, Feb 16 (Reuters) – The European Commission will recommend next week that the European Union begin accession talks with Iceland, an EU official said on Tuesday, launching a process Reykjavik hopes will lead to EU membership by 2012.

Iceland, an island of 320,000 people in the far north of Europe, had been reluctant to join the bloc for decades and only applied last year when the global financial crisis devastated its banking system.

Feb 15, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

India amends foreign currency convertible bond rules

NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (Reuters) – India on Monday amended rules for foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) to allow issuers to revise their conversion price, a move aimed at reducing price uncertainty in a volatile equity market.

The change will give issuers a window of 6 months to adjust the conversion price of their bonds to the higher of either the two weeks average or the six months average of the issuing company’s stock.

Feb 11, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Talks resume in U.S. Senate on financial reform

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – In an unusual move that cuts a senior Republican out of the loop, bipartisan U.S. Senate negotiations have resumed on financial regulation reform, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said on Thursday.

Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, said in a statement that he has begun talks on legislation with Bob Corker, a first-term Republican member of the panel handling a sweeping regulatory overhaul package.

Feb 9, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

INTERVIEW – Proxy access for all, U.S. SEC Commissioner says

By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – All publicly traded companies should be required to give shareholders a way to influence the composition of their corporate boards, a top U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official said on Tuesday.

Luis Aguilar, one of five officials who decides on federal securities rules, said companies should not be given the option to opt out of potential rules being considered by his agency.

Feb 9, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Few post-crisis restrictions in finance trade-WTO

By Jonathan Lynn

GENEVA, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Few measures have been taken to curb trade in financial services in the wake of the crisis although the volumes have dropped sharply, according to a study by the World Trade Organization.

But measures to support troubled institutions will need to be unwound carefully to avoid distorting competition, the WTO said in an restricted report to members, dated Feb. 3, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Feb 9, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

India central bank increases securitisation disclosure requirements

MUMBAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The Indian central bank on Monday increased disclosure requirements for banks who sell securitised assets, to increase transparency for investors under the enhanced Basel II framework.

The Reserve Bank of India said banks needed to clearly state what role they had played in the securitisation of an asset, including whether they were an originator, investor, provider of credit enhancement or liquidity provider while securitising assets.

Feb 8, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Global accounting body told to improve governance

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The world’s most influential accounting rule setter is not answerable enough to users or the public and must improve its governance further, top financial regulators said on Monday.

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) rules are used in over 100 countries, including the European Union, with Canada, Japan and Brazil adopting them as well. The United States, however, is still mulling its position.

Feb 5, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Policymakers try to calm markets after euro sell-off


By Andrei Khalip

LISBON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – European policymakers scrambled on Friday to reassure markets about the stability of the 16-nation currency bloc as investors shed euro assets for a second day and Portugal backed a law that may push its swollen deficit higher.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny tried to play down a sharp fall in the euro, which hit its lowest level against the dollar since May 2009, and called talk of a euro zone breakup “absurd”.