Investment bank consortia sift through technology options

Investment bank consortia sift through technology options

The seven investment banks behind Project Turquoise - a pan-European equities trading platform that will compete with the region's exchanges - have stepped up their search for a vendor to build the system, while the nine-member Project Boat banking collective have settled on Markit and Cinnober as suppliers for a new trade reporting platform for European equities.

According to a report by UK broadsheet The Daily Telegraph, the group, comprising Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS, are thought to have seen a number of suppliers including virt-X, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Plus Markets.

However the consortium are keen to look at as many different operating platforms as possible and are not thought to be close to making a final decision, says the report.

The group said last year that they would set up the platform to compete head-to-head with the region's domestic stock exchanges - in particular the LSE - following the introduction of the EU's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

Currently EU rules require all trades to go through a stock exchange but MiFID will enable banks to trade shares internally - off-exchange - although they will be required to publish the prices of intended trades to the rest of the market beforehand.

The group said last year they were repsponding to MiFID by creating a multi-trading facility (MTTF) where equities can be traded more cost effectively.

US stock market Nasdaq has used the threat from the Turquoise banks to destabilise support for the LSE during its hostile takeover attempt.

In a similar vein, reports have surfaced that Markit and Cinnober have won a deal to suply technology for Project Boat, a European trade reporting platform to be established by ten City banks.

Cinnober will provide the software that will form the basis of the Boat platform and will supply hosting and operational services; Markit will manage substantially all the business operations for member banks.

The consortium members - a number of whom also feature in the Turquoise collective - are working together to set up a system for the collection and sale of trading data that would by-pass those operated by the LSE and other European exchanges.

Last week the LSE responded to the threat by cutting some trading charges and introducing a discounted trade reporting tariff to support the launch of its own MiFID European trade reporting service.

OMX, virt-x, Deutsche Börse and Euronext have also reacted to the plans with their own initiatives for trade reporting post-MiFID.

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