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My company is instituting a similar program beginning January 2000 and I had a similar question. I just got off the phone with my accountant who indicated the time long term capital gains would kick in is one year from when the stock is purchased. In my case we have a six month granting period (from January thru June and then July thru December). For the stock purchased at the end of June, actually bought July 3 2000, the stocks must be held until at least July 4, 2001.
Hope this helps,
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