EU Hedge Fund Vote Delayed Again

Sep 10 2010 | 12:50pm ET

Despite confident words this week from the European Union’s internal markets commissioner, a vote on the bloc’s proposed hedge fund regulations could still be more than a month away.

The European Parliament has again delayed voting on the controversial directive, which would impose tough new reporting and custody requirements on hedge funds and private equity firms. Representatives of the Parliament and EU member states are still trying to hammer out a deal on several outstanding issues, most prominently the question of a “passport” that would allow fund managers to operate across the EU.

The vote had been scheduled for the week of Sept. 20.

Now, Jean-Paul Gauzes, the French member of Parliament leading the negotiations, the vote will not come until next month, and possibly not until the end of the month. Gauzes’ own country, France, is thought to be one of the main stumbling blocks, refusing to give up its opposition to the passport, which may be crucial for British support.

Under that proposal, any foreign hedge fund that meets the EU’s strict new guidelines would be free to operate in any EU country. France, however, wants the power to license hedge fund managers left with individual countries’ financial regulators.

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