Bloomberg News

Spain Presses EU for Agreement on Law for Hedge Funds

March 01, 2010

Spain, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, pressed EU countries to reach a consensus on proposals for regulating hedge-fund and private- equity managers.

EU countries disagree on how the proposed rules should apply to funds from outside the bloc and whether managers of smaller funds, with less than 100 million euros under management, should be covered, the Spanish government said in a statement. The European Parliament is discussing scrapping the minimum threshold in favor of regulating funds based on size among their peer group.

“In the parliament it seems members are going for the issue of proportionality rather than setting minimum threshold limits,” said Syed Kamall, a U.K. Conservative member of the EU Parliament. “This could be a point of contention between the council and the parliament.”

Hedge-fund managers have come under fire from politicians and regulators since the collapse of the U.S. subprime-mortgage market triggered a global crisis. British lawmakers last month urged the U.K. to reject EU hedge fund laws while other countries, including France, have pushed to strengthen them.

Spain asked EU nations to “resolve the outstanding issues” and “agree on the general approach” to the law, according to the statement on the EU Web site.

The European Commission proposed the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive to tighten supervision of hedge funds last year. Finance ministers from the 27-member EU bloc are scheduled to vote on the rules later this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Moshinsky in Brussels at bmoshinsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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