Canadian Hedge Funds Cry Foul On EU Proposals

Apr 15 2010 | 10:57am ET

Add another set of voices to the chorus of boos inundating proposed European Union hedge fund regulations: That of the Canadian hedge fund industry.

The Canadian chapter of the Alternative Investment Management Association is lobbying the country’s government to join in the fight against the rules, which could bar most, if not all, foreign hedge funds from the European market. That access is necessary for Canadian hedge funds to continue to grow, according to AIMA Canada chief Gary Ostoich.

“We are hoping the Canadian government voices its concerns about the directive” as U.S. Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner has done, Ostoich told the Globe and Mail, at the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting later this month.

Canadian hedge funds manage about US$25 billion.

The proposed EU rules are currently mired in intra-bloc squabbling. It’s chief sponsor in the European Parliament, Jean-Paul Gauzes, is attempting to build a compromise in that body based around the idea of “passports” that would give foreign managers who adhere to European standards access to all EU markets. That idea is opposed by France, and the U.K. has blocked the rules’ adoption by EU finance ministers in response to what it sees as protectionism.

The rules, as written, would impose strict new reporting and custody requirements on European hedge funds, as well as possible leverage limits.

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