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21 February 2008

This week in "Brussels"

European Finance Forum

Friday, 29 February 2008, 10.00 – 13.00 hours

Confirmed speakers include:

Sharon Bowles (MEP)

Karel van Hulle (European Commission)

Carlos Montalvo (CEIOPS)

Michaela Koller (Director General, CEA)


Topics to include:

Solvency II 


Plenary Meeting 18-21 February

21 February 2008

Member States should ratify the Lisbon Treaty by the end of this year to pave the way for the June 2009 European elections, said the European Parliament in a resolution adopted on Wednesday. Members nonetheless voice some concerns, notably about exceptions made for some countries. View

BIS: Liquidity risk - management and supervisory challenges

21 February 2008

The BIS released a paper entitled Liquidity Risk: Management and Supervisory Challenges. The paper outlines initial observations from the current financial turmoil, highlights financial market developments that affect liquidity risk management, and discusses national supervisory regimes and their components. View

EU interim forecasts: growth moderates while inflation temporarily surges

21 February 2008

Economic growth is expected to slow to 2.0% this year in the European Union. The global economic situation and outlook remain unusually uncertain at the start of 2008. The re-pricing of risk, which began in the summer of last year in the financial markets, is not over yet. View

CESR feedback statement on MiFID Database

21 February 2008

CESR published a feedback statement on improving the functioning of the MiFID database. Several respondents agreed with the addition of the proposed three new data fields to the database. CESR will include this new information to the database from 5 March 2008 at the latest. View

CEIOPS member meeting

21 February 2008

The CEIOPS member meeting was held in Frankfurt on 18 February. The meeting addressed a number of issues and draft documents for further development or publication after editorial refinement. View

CESR feedback statement on call for evidence on Transparency Directive

21 February 2008

CESR issued a feedback statement on the call for evidence on the possible CESR level 3 work on the Transparency Directive (TD). CESR noted that there is general support for the Q&A format. View

AMF and India sign agreement to enhance technical co-operation

21 February 2008

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the AMF confirmed their plans for closer co-operation between the two authorities. The agreement aims to promote mutual regulatory understanding within the framework of the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding of the IOSCO on the exchange of information. View

Speech Sato: Strengthening the Competitiveness of Japan's Financial and Capital Markets

21 February 2008

Takafumi Sato, Commissioner of Japans FSA underlined that one of the top policy priorities is to strengthen the competitiveness of Japan’s financial and capital markets. "Now is an excellent time for the nation to close the gap with the global front-runners”, Sato said with a view to the policy package the Japan FSA announced in December last year. View

CEA response to Call for Advice on QIS4

20 February 2008

The CEA submitted its response to the Commission’s Draft Call for Advice on QIS4. CEA notes that the industry does not support the concept of tiering and eligibility limits. View

Speech Kroes: Competition Policy challenges in 2008

20 February 2008

Speaking at the 100th meeting of the OECD Competition Committee in Paris, Commissioner Kroes talked about the Commission’s plans for EU competition policy in 2008. “We see inquiries with consumer interests are in the centre of our enforcement action”, the Commissioner underlined. View

FSA proposes further simplification of investment advice disclosure

19 February 2008

The FSA published a Consultation Paper containing proposals which aim to further help investment advisers provide consumers with clear and simple information about services and costs. View

Commission clears acquisition of Reuters by Thomson

19 February 2008

The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the UK-based Reuters Group by Thomson Corporation of Canada, subject to conditions and obligations. View

AMF guide to compiling the registration document for small and mid caps

19 February 2008

The AMF issued a guide to help listed companies deemed to be small and mid caps to prepare their registration document. It contains the requirements set out at all levels for compiling the registration document and indicates which recommendations from CESR and the AMF apply to the drafting of certain sections. View

NYSE Euronext launches valuation service

19 February 2008

NYSE Euronext announced the launch of an independent comprehensive valuation service called Prime Source. Prime Source allows users to access prices and valuation from different sources, including markets, dealer contributions, and valuation models. View

EBF remarks - EC and CESR MiFID Q&As

19 February 2008

The EBF is concerned about the process and nature of the Q&A sections that the European Commission already maintains on its website on issues related to the MiFID, and that CESR intends to set up in the near future. View

Bank of China profits increase "visibly" after offsetting sub-prime influence

19 February 2008

Bank of China, the largest holder of sub-prime-related assets in the country, will report a "visible increase" in 2007 net profits despite the crisis influence, Chairman Xiao Gang said on Monday.  Despite increasing pressure from the deepening U.S. sub-prime crisis, the bank remained confident. View

Japan does not expect serious impact on real economy

19 February 2008

Japan does currently not expect a serious impact of the subp-rime crises on the Japanese financial system, said Yoshimi Watanabe, Minister for Financial Services. View

Telegraph: EC rules threaten Treasury's Northern Rock plans

19 February 2008

The UK Government will fall foul of European rules if it attempts to grow the newly nationalised Northern Rock, it has emerged. The UK risks breaking key competition laws unless it proves that it is taking action to restructure and slim the stricken mortgage lender. View

CESR changes to MiFID database

18 February 2008

CESR agreed on changes to the database of shares admitted to trading on regulated markets following a consultation on potential modifications. An updated version of the database will be made available at the latest by 5 March 2008.  View

ECGI newsletter on capital market competitiveness

18 February 2008

The fifth edition of the ECGI Research Newsletter focuses on capital market competitiveness. There is a widely-held view in America that US capital markets might have become less competitive. If this is true, is it caused by the corporate governance reforms introduced in the USA after Enron, in particular by Sarbanes-Oxley? View

MLex: Northern Rock nationalisation won't remove state aid imperative or its consequences

18 February 2008

The nationalisation of Northern Rock won't change the UK government's obligations under Europe's state aid rules. The European Union treaty is neutral on ownership, it doesn't matter whether the bank is owned by private shareholders or the state. View

Telegraph: Alistair Darling nationalises Northern Rock

18 February 2008

The economic credibility of Gordon Brown's government has suffered a serious blow after the Chancellor was forced to announce the nationalisation of Northern Rock - the first time that a major high street bank has been taken into state ownership in modern times. View

UK Treasury: Northern Rock under “temporary public ownership”

17 February 2008

“The UK Government decided to take Northern Rock into a period of temporary public ownership”, announced Alistair Darling in a statement on Sunday. “Northern Rock will continue operating as a bank on a commercial basis”, he continued. View

CESR advice to improve retail investor information for UCITS

15 February 2008

CESR publishes its advice on ‘the content and form of Key Information Document disclosures for UCITS’ - KID. CESR recommends among others that the KID should contain only the essential elements for making and carrying out investment decisions, which excludes information serving only legal or regulatory requirements.   View

IASB latest draft of ED on SME Project

15 February 2008

The IASB has posted the latest draft of an Exposure Draft on IFRS for SMEs. IASB underlines that the draft is not a finished product. Further changes, some of which could be substantial, will be made to this draft before the IASB publishes it for public comment. View

EFRAG final comment letter on ED of proposed amendment to IAS 39

15 February 2008

EFRAG has completed its due process regarding the IASB Exposure Draft of Amendment to IAS 39. The ED proposes to amend IAS 39 to specify what risks qualify for designation as hedged risks, and when an entity may designate a portion of the cash flows of a financial instrument as a hedged item. View

US regulator Dinallo considers rebuilding Bond Insurance market

14 February 2008

New York Insurance Superintendent Dinallo considers a split-up of monoline bond insurers to insure the critical AAA ratings. “We cannot allow the millions of individual Americans who invested in what was a low-risk investment to lose money because of sub-prime excesses”, Dinallo said. View

Testimony Bernanke on US economy and financial markets

14 February 2008

In a statement before U.S. Senate Ben Bernanke said that the outlook for the US economy has worsened in recent months, and the downside risks to growth have increased. “Although the baseline outlook envisions an improving picture, it is important to recognize that downside risks to growth remain”, Bernanke said. View

US advisory committee progress report on improvements to financial reporting

14 February 2008

The Committee proposes enhancements to the financial reporting system in the U.S. stating that there are “various paths to convergence" of IFRS and US GAAP, and that "it may take years for full convergence to be achieved”. View

Trichet calls for pre-funded deposit insurance schemes

13 February 2008

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said that for further convergence of deposit insurance it may be advisable to move towards pre-funded schemes. He also underlined the important role deposit insurance plays in crisis prevention and resolution. View

IMF urges global action to counter slowdown

13 February 2008

IMF Managing Director Dominque Strauss-Kahn urged industrial and emerging market countries to do their share through macro-economic and financial market policies to mitigate the impact of the current financial crisis which is causing a global slowdown. View



10 March 2008

Conference on the European Private Company

The European Commission will organise a conference on the SPE in Brussels, ahead of a forthcoming proposal for a SPE. The Conference will address the SPE both from a practical and from a legal point of view. Expert panellists from several Member States will share their views of what should be the key aspects of the future SPE.

Conference Programme, registration form


26 March 2008

CESR consultation on the role of Credit Rating Agencies

CESR will hold a public hearing for interested market participants at the CESR premises in Paris. CESR will welcome interested parties (other than CRAs) to attend the hearing. 

Online registration


8 April 2008

Commission hearing on non-harmonised retail funds/real estate funds

The Commission hearing will examine recent developments in European retail funds and assess possibilities for cross-border retail distribution of these products and devote particular attention to markets for European real estate funds.

Online registration form, programme


8 April 2008

Cass-Capco Institute Risk Conference

The conference draws together practitioners and academics to discuss how risk can be managed to lessen its impact on business and economic growth. It offers four panel discussions on the topics of "Reputational Risk", "Operational Risk", "Pricing of Risk", and "Challenges of Complex products".

More information, programme


16 April 2008

IBC Legal Conferences' EU and UK Financial Services Forum

The EU and UK Financial Services Forum will assess the key developments mid-way through implementation of the Commissions White Paper on Financial Services. Sir Christopher Bellamy QC from Linklaters LLP in London is chairing the event.  Joining him is a panel of experts from the Commission, banks, the Office of Fair Trading, the London Stock Exchange and leading law firms.

More information and booking


June 2008

Commission Public Hearing on "substitute" retail investment products


© Graham Bishop

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