EU moves to recognise equivalence of US, Swiss stock exchanges before MiFID II

(Reuters) - The European Commission has adopted decisions to grant equivalence status to trading venues in the United States and Switzerland, a move that, if confirmed, would solve one of the major concerns for investors before new MIFID II markets rules apply in January.

Documents submitted to EU states for their approval, and seen by Reuters, say the Commission recognised the equivalence of 23 stock exchanges in the United States, including the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange, and of two Swiss trading venues.

EU states will have to back the decision by Nov. 22. A Commission’s senior official told Reuters the EU had reached an informal deal with the U.S. regulator on this and the final agreement was “almost certain.”

The EU’s revamped Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID), known as MIFID II, comes into force in January. Without an equivalence decision, EU investors in U.S. equities would not be able to access more liquid American stock exchanges.

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