British Backed By Cyprus, Malta In Hedge Fund Fight

Mar 19 2010 | 9:52am ET

The U.K. really is “very isolated” in its opposition to the European Union’s proposed hedge fund rules: The country counts only a pair of Mediterranean island nations in trying to sink the directive, which would impose strict reporting and custody requirements on hedge funds and private equity funds.

Of the 27 members of the EU, only Britain, Cyprus and Malta are against the adoption of the rules. Previously, the U.K. was thought to enjoy the support of the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland and Sweden, as well.

Like the British, the Maltese are concerned that the rules, which could also impose leverage limits and block overseas alternative investment managers from Europe, will damage its hedge fund industry.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week derailed—for the time being—the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive by making clear he would not accept the compromises being discussed by the bloc’s finance ministers. The rules are also being debated by the European Parliament.

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