asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals the European Commission is currently considering for the harmonisation of company law.
Details of proposals being discussed by the staff of the European Commission with member states or private interests and of directives being discussed by the Council of Ministers are contained in my Department's booklet "Harmonisation of Company and related law in the European Community", copies of which are in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to seek to reform company law on nominee shareholdings.
The possibility of changing company law on nominee shareholdings and other matters is already under consideration as part of the review of the operations of the takeover panel which I announced in the House on 28 January. Both I and companies concerned have powers under the Companies Act 1985 to inquire into the ownership of shares. The Act also provides, in certain circumstances, for the restriction of rights attaching to shares in the event of inadequate responses to such inquiries.