Lobbying Battle Over EU Hedge Fund Rules

May 11 2010 | 7:16pm ET

Two lobbying groups have reached starkly different conclusions about the European Union’s proposed hedge fund and private equity regulations.

The Confederation of British Industry has come out against the rules, which would impose strict new reporting and custody requirements and possible leverage limits, as well as potentially blocking foreign firms from the European market. Such rules would be hurt the British economy, the CBI said.

“The proposed legislation would damage companies owned by private equity firms and discourage investment,” John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said. “The additional bureaucracy and forced disclosure of commercially-sensitive information would be a real problem.”

The CBI is recommending that members of the European Parliament vote against the tougher rules. A vote is expected by the Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee next week, following its postponement yesterday.

By contrast, the European Economic & Social Committee is backing the rules.

“Within the European economy, the impact of hedge funds and private equity funds is more serious in social and employment terms than in the economic and financial sense,” the EE&SC’s Angelo Grasso said.

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