EU Rules Foundering—Again—On Foreign Hedge Funds

Sep 28 2010 | 12:52pm ET

France has led the battle for tough new hedge fund regulations for the European Union. But the country’s refusal to compromise on several outstanding issues may doom the controversial new rules.

Yesterday’s meeting between representatives of EU countries, the European Parliament and the European Commission was set to be the last, with many expressing confidence that a deal could be struck and that the rules could be passed by the end of next month. Now, however, another round of negotiations has been scheduled for this coming Monday, amidst reluctance by the French to accept the so-called “passport” that would give hedge funds that meet EU requirements access to all EU markets.

France wants individual countries to be able to decide which products are allowed within their jurisdiction. In particular, the French are thought to balk at allowing foreign hedge funds access without their approval.

“There is no doubt that this is the main problem,” one diplomat told the Financial Times.

Asset-stripping rules for private equity funds and the powers of the new European Securities and Markets Authority also remain sticking points.

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