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Transaction Tax at Odds With French Euronext Call, Perol Says

Groupe BPCE Chairman Francois Perol said he sees a contradiction between French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici’s call for support for the Paris stock exchange and Europe’s planned financial transaction tax.

Moscovici today urged the Paris financial community to defend its collective interest as IntercontinetnalExchange Inc. prepares to buy NYSE Euronext and spin off its European equity-trading business.

President Francois Hollande, who called finance his “greatest adversary” before he won office last year and has since enacted a tax on share trading, has struggled to rally backing from French banks. Moscovici said today that everyone who uses the Paris stock exchange needs to “pull together” and that the new Euronext will need a “core” group of shareholders.

Perol said that he understands that view, although he can’t see a reason to back the project with a potential European transaction tax undermining it.

“I find it bizarre to be promoting a transaction tax while at the same time extolling the importance of Euronext,” Perol said on the sidelines of a press conference today in Paris. “I understand the importance of maintaining Paris as a financial center but the government needs a coherent policy.”

Perol, a former advisor to Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, said the government hasn’t sought to consult him on the matter and he hasn’t studied the file closely.

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