IOSCO's [Business Conduct Principles] prescribe the observance of such conduct in securities trading as honesty, fairness, diligence [etc]. The Capital Adequacy Standards for Securities Firms set a globally acceptable common framework for minimum requirements. The Basle Agreement (1987) which resulted in the creation of the consultative body of "Basle Committee", sets standards for all financial firms.
In Europe, the EEC/EU Directives played a key role in facilitating free and fair securities trading. As a consequence of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, investors in any EEA country can purchase securities issued by corporations or by local/central government in any other EEA co un try. For issuers of securities, the enlargement of the capital market may entail adopting easier and cheaper ways to raise capital, on condition that investors receive reliable information about issuers, that they find these securities sufficiently liquid and that legislation is protective enough to avoid manipulations on the securities markets.
The European Union may have a more competitive and rationalized capital market at the turn of the century if all the directives are fully implemented. This process may however face opposition from the present fragmented and protected market actors who fear loss of activities. The example of Europe may be followed by developing countries with some reservation, given the different global economic position of the two.