Stockholm and Toronto exchanges settle lawsuits

Stockholm and Toronto exchanges settle lawsuits

The Stockholm Stock Exchange has reached an agreement to repay 19 of its customers Skr99 million plus interest in settlement of a VAT lawsuit. The Toronto Stock Exchange, meanwhile, has settled with Ashton Technology to pay C$3.33 million plus C$0.2 million costs over a collapsed agreement to provide stock pricing technology.

The Stockholm bourse settlement reflects a dispute over Skr144 million in VAT refunds awarded to the exchange following a change in status for trading conducted over the SAX and SOX system.

In 2002, 19 banks and brokerage firms filed a lawsuit against the Stockholm Stock Exchange, claiming repayment of the VAT that they paid to the stock exchange during the period. The Stockholm Stock Exchange rejected the lawsuit.

The Exchange's climbdown comes a week ahead of the first court hearings on the case.

In a joint statement, Lars O Grönstedt, chairman of the Swedish Bankers' Association and president and CEO of Handelsbanken - one of the major creditors in the claim - and Magnus Böcker, president and CEO of OMX, say: "OMX has a vision of an integrated Nordic securities market, which the Swedish securities trading community should support. Therefore it has been important to reach this settlement."

Seperately, the Toronto Stock Exchange has reached a settlement in a long-running dispute with Ashton Technology over the cancellation of an order for the Philadelphia company's eVWAP large block trading system. An independent arbitrator ruled against TSX in June last year. The C$3.53 million total payout is significantly less than the US$30 million originally claimed by Ashton.

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