Central clearing of derivatives in EU delayed: report

VIENNA Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:38am EST

VIENNA (Reuters) - Central clearing of derivatives contracts in Europe will probably not start until the end of next year, a German newspaper reported, citing the head of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The Boersen-Zeitung cited ESMA leader Steve Maijoor as saying Europe "will not be able to completely meet" the original goal of January 2013 for rolling out the overall European Markets Infrastructure Regulation.

Implementation will probably take until 2014, the paper said.

The regulation, the European equivalent of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act, aims to cover over-the-counter derivatives. It includes clearing derivatives by a central counterparty, something that officials have until now said was expected by mid-2013.

World leaders agreed in 2009 during the financial crisis to crack down on trading in the opaque $648 trillion derivatives market that is conducted mainly between 15 of the world's biggest banks.

(Reporting by Michael Shields)

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