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Belgium

Third release of the Easdaq rule book

Although Easdaq is pan-European by nature, its location in Brussels means that the market is regulated by Belgian legislation (including Belgium's implementation of the European Investment Services Directive) and its rule book is formally part of Belgium's financial markets regulation and therefore subject to approval by the Belgian authorities. (See IFLR, January 1997 "Easdaq opens for business").

The Belgian Minister of Finance's decree of January 6 2000 approving the third release of the Easdaq rule book was published in the Belgian Official Gazette in February 2000.

The Easdaq rule book aims to be a comprehensive restatement of the rules applicable to and on the Easdaq market. Since 1996 it has been remodeled, modified and expanded to accommodate new trading opportunities as well as the decisions made by the Easdaq Market Authority. The new release of the Easdaq rule book became effective on January 11 2000.

The most notable modifications to the Easdaq rule book relate to the further strengthening of the transparency and integrity of the market and the introduction of a new market facility: trading on Easdaq, as opposed to listing. This new facility makes it possible to have trading on Easdaq in securities listed or traded on certain designated US markets (currently NYSE, Nasdaq and Amex), the EU's Regulated Markets (as defined by the ISD), Israeli or Swiss regularly functioning and regulated markets. The application for admission to trading is to be made by a market maker and must not involve the issuer of the relevant security. The Easdaq rules make it clear that neither the request by an Easdaq market maker to have securities admitted to trading on Easdaq, nor the subsequent trading, should impose additional obligations on the issuer. Admission to trading and continued trading on Easdaq of these securities will be subject to the Easdaq market authority being satisfied that the integrity, security and fair dealing of Easdaq are ensured.

Michael Olislaegers

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