VVD uneasy over Euronext deal

31st July 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Liberal Party (VVD) parliamentarians have called on Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm to clarify whether US financial regulations will have influence on Dutch-listed firms if the merger between Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange goes ahead.

31 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Liberal Party (VVD) parliamentarians have called on Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm to clarify whether US financial regulations will have influence on Dutch-listed firms if the merger between Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange goes ahead.

"There is a chance that because of the merger the much stricter American regulations will work their way through to Euronext Amsterdam," VVD MP Eske van Egerschot told newspaper 'Het Financieele Dagblad'.

Euronext is a pan-European stock exchange with subsidiaries in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK. Van Egerschot's comments mirror criticism of the proposed merger by French politicians.

But both stock market operators have denied that American supervision will apply to European stocks. The merger proposal states there will be a strict separation between the two markets.

And the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US has said the Sarbanes-Oxley Law will not be enforced in Europe. The law was drawn up in the wake of the Enron scandal in 2002 and lays down tougher conditions in relation to bookkeeping and boards of directors.

European Union Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said on 5 July that Europe must continue to regulate companies listed in its region if the tie-up between Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange goes ahead.

"If there was to be a transatlantic merger, we will insist it must continue to be regulated under EU laws and EU regulatory systems," he said at the Paris Europlace business forum.

But this has not satisfied the VVD MPs and they want Zalm, also a member of the VVD, to guarantee the Dutch parliament that the merger will not change the situation.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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