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Off-key notes in Paris’s chanson d’amour

Much of the singsong about the advantages to Euronext of the merger with the NYSE sounds flat.

Now that the French market regulator has given its seal of approval to the merger between the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext, the deal is as good as done, although technically it still needs to hear from a number of other European regulators. With more than 90% of the votes cast in favour of the deal, the French establishment is now singing its praises – a remarkable change of tune from a few months earlier when the big hit was “a European solution”.

But while French bankers and Euronext’s shareholders talk grandly of enlarged liquidity pools, creating transatlantic cross-listing opportunities and attracting foreign IPOs, the main impact is that European shareholders have been given equal representation with the Americans on the board.

This is probably the only relevant impact on Paris’s position as a financial centre. Transatlantic dual listings are so passé these days and it’s hard to see a revival anywhere in sight.

As for foreign IPOs, it’s hard to see what difference the merger makes to the attractiveness of either party. What makes a market attractive as a listing destination is a combination of its rules and national regulations, a company’s profile in that market’s country, the presence of similar companies already there and access to a particular investor base.