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In April 1998 the government submitted a bill to parliament regarding a reform of the Finnish Companies Act to enable the conversion to the euro in private and public limited companies during the transition period between January 1 1999 and December 31 2001 and set the rules governing the move to no par value (NPV) shares in limited companies.

Provisions on minimum share capital in limited companies will be amended to enable companies to state their equity in euros instead of Finnish marks. All amounts in Finnish marks mentioned in the Companies Act will be transferred into euros. New issue of shares in euros would require the conversion of the existing share capital into euros.

According to the transition plan from HEX (the Helsinki Exchanges), all trading and clearing in shares and derivatives will be in euros from the beginning of the third stage of Emu. All trading will be interrupted during the transition weekend between December 31 1998 and January 3 1999.

The changes required in the Helsinki Exchanges' rules and regulations are being prepared in cooperation with the Finnish Financial Supervision and will become effective in the autumn of 1998.

During the transition period between January 1 1999 and December 31 2001, listed companies may choose whether or not to transform their operations into euros. Due to the euro-trading of shares, the Helsinki Exchanges, however, advises companies to publish all the numerical information that may have an effect on stock prices either only in euros or in euros parallel to figures in domestic currency. The Helsinki Exchanges also recommends companies to produce financial statements with key figures, dividends and all comparison figures in euros.

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