NU Online News Service

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The National Association of Securities Dealers is trying toprepare for an influenza epidemic that could force as many as halfof member firms' employees to stay home for extended periods.

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The NASD, Washington, has issued a request for comment about thetypes of regulatory relief that it ought to offer firms facing amajor flu epidemic.

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The self-regulatory group notes that member firms have suggestedthat they might respond by letting employees work at home, shiftingwork to overseas affiliates, or even arranging for other companiesto handle their operations.

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The NASD is asking about how a major flu epidemic should affectlicensing requirements, financial reporting requirements foroperations relocated overseas, supervision requirements, and rulesgoverning temporary account transfers.

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The group also is asking how trade reporting should be handledunder conditions in which a market, or markets, may not befunctioning.

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A copy of the request for comment, NASD Notice to Members 06-31- June 2006, is on the Web athttp://www.nasd.com/RulesRegulation/NoticestoMembers/2006NoticestoMembers/NASDW_016888

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