Interagency broker Instinet is touting for equity partners for its new pan-European MiFID-compliant equity alternative trading system (ATS) Chi-X, which is now in live production for the trading, clearing and settlement of Dutch and German stocks.
Chi-X is based on Instinet's Continuous Block Cross (CBX) platform, which has been redeveloped for the European market to help sell-side firms address the best execution requirements of the EU's MiFID directive.
The system is now being used to trade stocks of the AEX 25 (Dutch) and DAX 30 (German) indices. Instinet says Chi-X will begin trading the component stocks of the FTSE 100 index by the end of Q2, with other major European markets to be introduced ahead of MiFID later this year.
With this phase in place, Chi-X is the first platform to offer trading and clearing services that completely bypass Europe's existing exchanges and central counterparty infrastructure, says Instinet.
The broker says Credit Suisse's advanced execution services (AES) trading desk has already begun routing orders to Chi-X. In addition, BNP Paribas Securities Services has also been approved as a 'general clearing participant' and its membership will cover several European markets, starting with Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
Tony Mackay, MD of Instinet Chi-X Limited, says Chi-X is an open and MiFID-compliant trading platform, that institutional and private client investors can access through accredited partners.
Mackay also says that Instinet intends to make offers of "equity ownership to selected participants".
Instinet said last year that its Chi-X platform would undercut the clearing and settlement fees currently charged by the major European clearing houses and custodians. But the platform is just one of a number of alternative trading facilities that are being launched to compete with the region's domestic stock exchanges following the introduction of MiFID in November.
Equiduct, the MiFID-ready pan-European trading platform headed by Bob Fuller, is set to launch later this year, while a consortium of seven investment banks have also pledged to set up their own trading infrastructure, dubbed Project Turquoise, to compete with domestic exchanges in Europe.