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Merkel urges more far-reaching financial regulation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her shadow on an European Union (EU) flag as she arrives for a news conference after talks with Yemen'
German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her shadow on an European Union (EU) flag as she arrives for a news conference after talks with Yemen'

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the world's top economies to push ahead with further financial regulation, saying that not enough had been achieved so far.

The global financial crisis has prompted an overhaul of regulation in almost every part of the financial system from over-the-counter derivatives to bank capital requirements.

But Merkel said in her weekly podcast that more was needed.

"In my view, we are not where we ought to be yet," she said.

"We had planned to regulate every financial centre, every financial actor and every financial market product. Significant progress has been made but the rules have not yet been implemented everywhere and we are still missing further areas."

The chancellor pointed to "shadow banks", or non-bank financial institutions that are less regulated than banks, as an area where progress needed to be made.

"For instance the regulation of shadow banks will hopefully be concluded at the next G20 meeting," Merkel said.

Leaders of the world's top economies (G20) made recommendations for regulation a year ago that also include hedge funds, special investment vehicles and repurchase agreements.

Regulators worry that as traditional banks get more heavily regulated, risky credit activities will shift to shadow banks.

Merkel meets with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International Labour Organisation, the World Trade Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Berlin on Tuesday.

One of the topics of discussion will be the euro zone debt crisis. Merkel said tough steps were starting to show results.

"The structural reforms - despite being painful - are beginning to show effects in the individual countries, such as in Ireland and Portugal but also in Greece and Spain."

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday that, while he wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone, that was not yet a done deal.

"We want Greece to stay in the euro zone but Greece has a lot to do. That's not yet decided," Schaeuble told ZDF television.

Greece is due to receive almost 31 billion euros in the next tranche of emergency loans from the euro zone bailout fund, if international inspectors agree that it has implemented reforms set as a condition for aid.

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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