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EU Delays Negotiations for Finance Ministers’s Deal on Mifid

European Union governments abandoned plans for a Nov. 13 deal on overhauling the bloc’s financial market rules amid a clash over boosting competition between clearinghouses.

Cyprus, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, took the draft law off the agenda for a meeting of finance ministers next month, according to an EU official, who can’t be identified because the talks are private. The decision follows a meeting yesterday between diplomats from the EU’s 27 national governments.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, has called for an overhaul of the bloc’s market rules. The proposals, known as Mifid, would rein in speculation with commodity derivatives, toughen oversight of high-frequency trading and boost competition by forcing exchanges to hand over trade data to rival clearinghouses.

The data-access rules are supported by the U.K. government, which says they will boost competition and reduce costs for investors. Germany and France have resisted the move, arguing that it would fragment markets and harm financial stability.

Nations are also yet to resolve splits over what exemptions should apply to pre-trade market transparency rules, according to documents on the EU’s website. They are also divided over rules for companies running new trading platforms, known as organized trading facilities or OTFs.

A spokesman for the Cypriot presidency declined to comment.

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