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Will exchanges&#39 merger stamp out duty?

The proposed merger of the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges has led to

renewed calls for the abolition of stamp duty on share dealing.

Investors who buy stock in UK listed companies are charged 0.5 per cent

stamp duty on every share purchase. Germany and most of the rest of Europe

have no similar tax.

After the merger of the exchanges, it will be increasingly easy for

investors to avoid paying the tax by investing in companies registered in

Germany.

The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers has

been joined by the AITC, Autif and Opposition political parties in calling

for change to the stamp duty.

Apcims Brian Mairs says: “Britain is completely out of step with the rest

of Europe in imposing stamp duty on share purchases. The fact that we have

a common trading platform on the horizon between London and Frankfurt

accentuates this.”

But a Treasury spokesman says: “The creation of a merged exchange makes no

difference as far as stamp duty on shares is concerned. I am not aware of

any companies that would relocate simply because of the 0.5 per cent stamp

duty.”

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