Hedge-fund rules spark U.S., EU friction

March 11, 2010 at 5:29 PM
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BRUSSELS, March 11 (UPI) -- The European Union reacted defensively Thursday to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's complaints about proposed hedge-fund regulations.

The proposals include a provision called an EU passport that treats deals within the 27 EU countries as deals within "a single trade bloc," The New York Times reported Thursday.

Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for EU financial markets chief Michel Barnier, said, "New hedge-fund rules do not discriminate against foreign players and are not protectionist."

The Times said Britain is expected to oppose the regulations, as they may drive business away from the financial hub of London, where 70 percent of the hedge funds in the European Union are located.

Altafaj also said the rules were consistent with the international financial community's expectations.

Geithner sent a letter to Barnier to complain about the proposals, which require agreement among financial ministers before being forwarded to the European Parliament for consideration.

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