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Among the most important recent developments in the Belgian financial landscape are the transformation of the Brussels stock exchange into Euronext Brussels and the start of Nasdaq Europe following the takeover of the pan-European Easdaq market by Nasdaq.

Nasdaq Europe being located in Brussels, it is governed by and benefits from specific Belgian legislation. The modifications to the Belgian regulatory framework to accommodate Nasdaq Europe were published in the Belgian official gazette of May 31 2001. These include the replacement on March 30 2001 of the name Easdaq by Nasdaq Europe in the regulations that are specifically related to Easdaq and that remain applicable, as well as the approval of the new articles of association of Nasdaq Europe by a Ministerial Decree of May 21 2001. The new Nasdaq Europe rules (replacing the Easdaq rules of January 6 2000) were approved by two separate Ministerial Decrees, both dated May 29 2001 and entered into force on the date of publication in the Belgian official gazette, June 8 2001.

Euronext operates out of three locations, being Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, whereby each Euronext market is governed by laws of its country. The introduction of a new single centralized trading platform for the Brussels and Paris Euronext markets in May 2001, required the approximation of the relevant national legislation and in particular new Euronext rules. The latter were approved by Ministerial Decree of May 29 2001 and entered into force on May 21 2001. Other existing regulations pertaining to the Brussels stock exchange were adapted to accommodate Euronext by three separate Royal Decrees of May 28 2001. All these decrees were published in the Belgian official gazette of June 8 2001.

It is clear that the new Nasdaq Europe rules and Euronext Brussels rules, both published on June 8 2001, should be studied by the practitioners acting on or advising about both markets or initial public offerings on these markets.

Michael Olislaegers

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