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Italy

A significant reorganization of the regulatory provisions applicable to Italian investment firms (SIMs) is in the process of being implemented. Under a decree, dated August 4, issued by the governor of the Bank of Italy a unified text of rules has been approved to govern SIMs. The new regulation ties together EU and national regulatory provisions on investment firms, taking into consideration their most up-to-date operational requirements.

This legislative reform constitutes the implementation of various provisions set forth in the consolidated law on financial intermediation (Lgs D No. 58, February 24 1998) and comprises a unified text including all regulatory provisions regarding investment firms which have been enacted since 1991.

The new set of rules will enter into force as of January 1 2001 (except for specific provisions for which different effective dates have been provided) and is divided in four main sections comprising: (i) definitions; (ii) the incorporation of SIMs and cross-border operations; (iii) supervision (which includes capital adequacy and risk-weighting provisions); and (iv) financial statements.

Prudential rules for limiting and spreading the risk and rules on drafting of financial statements have been amended in order to increase the operational abilities of financial intermediaries and to increase the level of transparency on accounting documents, respectively.

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