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Alternative Market Briefing

EU member states propose a harder line on dark pools in new agreement

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: According to a statement just released by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a General Approach among EU Member States has been reached on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). The agreement includes a harder line on dark pools which have recently been under tougher scrutiny from regulators. Earlier this month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sent 15 examination letters to operators of dark pools as exchange activity continues to drop.

The agreements seek to provide clearer rules around not only dark pools but OTC derivatives, high frequency trading, pre-trade transparency, and market structure. According to the statement, "member states have decided to limit 'dark pool’ trading and introduce a new trade transparency regime for non-equities markets." The EU is also looking at measures that would make it easier for small and medium sized enterprises to access capital markets.

The agreement will be presented to will be presented by Minister Noonan to EU Finance Ministers for their approval at the meeting of the Ecofin Council on Friday June 21, 2013.

Despite moves by regulators in both the EU and the US, new dark pools are still being announced. Societe G......................

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