Tradepoint and the SWX Swiss Stock Exchange are teaming up to create a new pan-European blue chip exchange, to be called virt-x.
Under the arrangements, Tradepoint will be renamed virt-x and SWX will transfer trading of its blue chip shares to the new market. The new exchange will use the SWX EBS trading platform under a facilities management agreement. SWX members will be granted automatic membership of virt-x and shift their trading of Swiss blue chips to the new platform.
All trading will be conducted within a single regulatory environment, supervised by the FSA. LCH, Euroclear, SIS and Crest have been lined up to provide full central counterparty and clearing and settlement infrastructure on an integrated basis.
The transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter. It is anticipated that SWX and the Tradepoint consortium of banks and brokers will hold an equal 38% of virt-x.
Virt-x will be based in London. Peter Stevens will continue as chairman. Richard Kilsby will be vice chairman. Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter will head the management team as CEO.
The new pan-European exchange will aim to support trading of all the major European indices by the end of the first quarter of 2001. As part of the arrangement SWX will transfer trading in SMI index stocks – which have an average daily turnover value of CHF 3.4 billion – onto virt-x, giving the new exchange immediate critical mass in the European blue chip equity market. Swiss and UK stocks that are not constituents of the blue chip European indices will continue to be traded on the existing SWX and Tradepoint platforms.
In a seperate announcement, Tradepoint today adds approximately 230 continental European equities, specifically: FTSE EuroTop 300, MSCI Euro Index, MSCI Pan-Euro Index, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Dax 30, CAC 40 and MIB 30. Additional stocks will be added at a later date. The anonymus order matching exchange has also extended its trading hours, from 07.00 to 17.30 UK time.