Swiss launch plan to block Swiss share trades on EU exchanges

ZURICH, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Swiss government launched plans on Friday to ban trading of Swiss shares on European Union stock exchanges as of the start of next year in an escalating row with Brussels that could put a severe dent in cross-border stock trading.

Frustrated by lack of progress on a new bilateral treaty, Brussels has said it would withdraw at year’s end recognition of Swiss stock market regulations that allows EU-based investors to trade in Switzerland.

In a tit-for-tat response, the Swiss government said in June it could ban by decree trading of Swiss shares on exchanges in the EU. The ordinance it unveiled on Friday puts that plan into effect, unless the European Commission recognises Swiss regulatory equivalence by the start of next year.

Heavyweights like Nestle, Novartis, Roche , UBS and Zurich Insurance make the SIX Swiss Exchange the fourth-largest in Europe with listed companies worth around $1.6 trillion. Trading turnover was 1.35 trillion Swiss francs ($1.35 trillion) last year.

$1 = 0.9996 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by John Miller