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New Zealand Government Introduces Bill To Create Financial Markets Authority

Published Tuesday, 14th September 2010 09:58 am - © 2010 Dow Jones

WELLINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The New Zealand government Tuesday introduced a bill to parliament to create Financial Markets Authority, a new regulator that will consolidate functions currently carried out by several different entities.

The bill "sets out the objective and functions of the new regulator, which consolidates the regulatory functions currently fragmented across the Securities Commission, the Ministry of Economic Development, including the Government Actuary, and the New Zealand stock exchange," Minister of Commerce Simon Power said in a statement.

Power said that if the bill is passed, the new FMA will be able to publicly enforce duties of issuers, directors, auditors, trustees, and others involved in financial markets, when it's in the public interest to do so.

"It has become apparent that there have been situations in which misconduct has occurred, but individual investors do not bring civil cases because of the costs and risks involved or because they have limited legal standing," said Power.

Under the bill the new FMA will have the power to exercise a person's right to bring a civil action against a financial markets participant if deemed necessary.

Power also said the bill will enable the government to make regulations preventing products being structured to avoid oversight by the FMA.

The bill is expected to be passed early next year.

"It's clear New Zealand needs a single market regulator with a culture of visible, proactive, and timely enforcement," he said.

-By Rebecca Howard, Dow Jones Newswires; 64-4-471-5990;

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