FRENCH FINANCIAL PANEL URGES CODE OF CONDUCT

FRENCH FINANCIAL PANEL URGES CODE OF CONDUCT

A committee of French regulators, bankers and other financial authorities Thursday urged that Paris market traders adopt a new voluntary code of conduct.

The aim is to ensure that recent violations and irregularities that have plagued the markets and led to the suspension of two brokerage firms are not repeated.In a report released Thursday, the group proposed a series of measures to be implemented by the end of this year designed to:

* Increase the transparency of market operations;

* Avoid insider trading;

* Ensure the efficiency and honesty of market operators;

* Provide for a proper separation of banking, broking and management duties where their exercise by one individual or firm might lead to a conflict of interests.

The report called for the best possible execution and proper documentation of all client orders and the provision of impartial advice on trading strategy.

The report also noted that the difficulty of regulation over-the-counter trading makes such transactions dangerous. Some committee members urged that OTC trading be prohibited, but for the time being the question remains open, the report said.