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CEOs Say Different Listing Standards Won't Slow NYSE-Euronext Combo

John Thain, chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that different listing standards in the United States and Europe create an opportunity – not a barrier – for Euronext.

“I think it’s an opportunity because what we can do if we’re bringing an international company to be listed here and it does business outside the U.S., particularly in Europe, we can list it here (NYSE) and Euronext,” Thain said Wednesday. “Second, for those companies that don’t want to enter the U.S. market, who up until now would typically go to London or Hong Kong, we believe that our combination will make Euronext a much stronger competitor for those listings against London or Hong Kong.”

Jan-Michiel Hessels, chairman of Euronext’s supervisory board, said the combination can free companies of stiff regulations imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley.

“I think the advantage, if you don’t go to New York and of course that’s a very liquid market, you are not subject to Sarbanes-Oxley which for a lot of foreign companies is a very important consideration,” he said.

Thain and Hessels opened the market in Paris and closed it in New York to underscore the extended reach of the newly merged markets, the first international exchange. Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange agreed to merge last June. Shareholders approved the deal in December.

Officials said the capitalization of companies listed on the exchange is about $28.5 trillion, or larger than the combined total of the world’s four largest exchanges, London, Tokyo, Nasdaq and the Deutsche Borse.