EU of­fers Swiss bourses deal

Business Day - - International Companies - Francesco Guaras­cio Brus­sels

The EU ex­ec­u­tive will of­fer Swiss stock ex­changes a twoyear ex­ten­sion of their right to op­er­ate in the bloc if the Swiss gov­ern­ment ap­proves an over­all deal on fu­ture re­la­tions on Fri­day, EU sources say. If Switzer­land does not back the draft pact, how­ever, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion will not ex­tend the recog­ni­tion of the SIX Swiss Ex­change — the coun­try’s main stock ex­change — and other trad­ing venues beyond 2018,EU sources said fol­low­ing a meet­ing of EU diplo­mats on the is­sue on Wed­nes­day.

The Swiss cab­i­net is ex­pected to de­cide on Fri­day on whether to back the draft agree­ment reached with the com­mis­sion on fu­ture bi­lat­eral ties.

“It’s deal time. Play­ing for time wouldn’t change any­thing. The draft will not be changed any­more,” an EU of­fi­cial said.

Un­der the draft deal, which would gov­ern EU-Swiss re­la­tions cur­rently reg­u­lated by about 120 ac­cords by sec­tor, Switzer­land would au­to­mat­i­cally adapt its mi­gra­tion and so­cial se­cu­rity rules to changes in EU leg­is­la­tion, EU diplo­mats said.

The EU wants the over­all frame­work agree­ment be­fore it ex­tends recog­ni­tion of Swiss ex­changes beyond the end of 2018, when it will other­wise ex­pire. Fi­nan­cial oper­a­tors from coun­tries that are not mem­bers of the EU can op­er­ate in the bloc un­der a so-called equiv­a­lence regime which recog­nises that for­eign-coun­try mar­ket rules are com­pat­i­ble with EU laws.

This regime, which would also con­cern Bri­tish firms after Bri­tain leaves the bloc, is granted for lim­ited pe­ri­ods and could be sus­pended by the EU any­time if sig­nif­i­cant changes are made in for­eign rules.

The SIX bourse has re­peat­edly warned that it risked los­ing much of its ex­change busi­ness if no EU-Swiss deal was reached by the end of 2018 on fu­ture re­la­tions. Switzer­land has been for decades in­te­grated in the EU mar­ket but is not a mem­ber of the 28-coun­try bloc.

But the chances of a deal re­main slim.


Fu­ture in the spot­light: Peo­ple walk in front of the head­quar­ters of the Swiss Stock Ex­change oper­ated by the SIX group in Zurich in Novem­ber.

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