European Hedge Fund Rules Won’t Come Until Fall, If Ever

Jun 25 2010 | 12:09pm ET

Hedge funds in Europe—and around the world—have won a reprieve from the European Union’s proposed alternative investment regulations after negotiations over them broke down.

Spain, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has abandoned hopes that a deal between the 27 EU governments and the European Parliament, both of which must approve the directive. So the member of the Parliament responsible for the bill has cancelled a vote on the measure, tabling the bill until September.

“The Spanish presidency informed me it would not be possible to reach a deal before the end of June,” Jean-Paul Gauzes told Reuters. “I have yesterday taken the decision to delay the vote until the second parliamentary session in September.”

Whether a deal could be reach by then, however, is unclear, leaving the fate of Europe’s tough new hedge fund rules uncertain. At issue is the so-called “passport” in the Parliamentary bill but not in the version approved by the EU finance ministers, which would give foreign hedge funds that meet certain standards access to all EU markets.

As if that were not problem enough, the British have once again stepped in, demanding that foreign hedge funds that fail to meet those standards have a second bite at the apple, and be allowed to apply to individual countries for access.

But Parliament is reportedly in no mood to compromise.

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