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February 17, 2012

US regulator poised to soften derivatives curbs

US regulators are poised to increase 20-fold the amount of derivatives a company can sell before it is subject to strict new rules for the biggest traders, softening a significant plank of financial market reform.

The potential shift comes ahead of a vote at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US regulator, set for February 23 on how to define dealers and other leading participants in swaps, the previously unregulated derivatives whose size and lack of transparency exacerbated the financial crisis.

The rule has drawn criticism from energy and commodities companies seeking to avoid the burdens of compliance.

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