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EC Publishes Feedback On Transparency In Bond Markets

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

14 November 2006

The European Commission on Monday published a feedback statement in response to its call for evidence on transparency in the bond markets and other non-equity markets.

The feedback statement relates to a report that the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have asked the Commission to make by the end of 2007.

It will investigate whether and to what extent new requirements on pre- and post-trade transparency should be introduced at EU level to the trading in non-equity financial instruments such as bonds and derivatives. All interested stakeholders, including industry and individuals, were encouraged to reply to the call for evidence. The closing date was 15 September 2006.

Broadly, most industry feedback was to the effect that the MiFID transparency provisions that apply to equities should not be extended to apply to other instrument types such as bonds and derivatives.

On the other hand, there was industry support for exploring the possibility of self-regulatory measures to improve transparency, particularly for retail investors.

There was some support expressed by regulators, exchanges and consumer representatives for mandatory transparency to be extended to non-equities.

Lastly, there were a number of suggestions for enhancing non-trade transparency in a number of markets.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy observed that:

"These are massively important markets – so the Commission is carrying out scrupulous, fundamental research as part of the better regulation approach. I note there has been a good response from 59 respondents from all parts of the EU and internationally. As we work towards defining our position we will take careful account of the views of the various legitimate interest groups and will only act in this area if we see a compelling case to do so that would materially benefit the operation of the market without harmful side-effects."

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