Bloomberg News

Sarkozy Transaction Tax May Weaken French Position, Jouyet Says

January 26, 2012

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- France’s top financial regulator said a tax on financial transactions advocated by President Nicolas Sarkozy would weaken the country’s position in the asset-management industry.

The tax “could penalize our asset management industry” by pushing professionals and transactions elsewhere if France acts alone, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, president of the Autorite des Marches Financiers, said in Paris today.

The European Commission has proposed a tax covering a wide range of trading that could raise 57 billion euros ($74 billion) a year. Financial institutions would pay in their home countries, regardless of where transactions take place. U.K. officials have led opposition to the tax, which they say would be ineffective unless adopted globally.

Sarkozy has pushed to implement the levy unilaterally, while French officials including Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer and Sarkozy’s own ministers have cautioned that such action could cause difficulties. Noyer said this month “numerous problems” need to be resolved and that any such tax needs to be “Europe-wide.”

Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate seeking to unseat President Nicolas Sarkozy, also supports the transaction tax.

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Peter Chapman

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

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


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