Turquoise backs down on plans for early opening

Turquoise backs down on plans for early opening

Bank-backed equities trading platform Turquoise has accused rival exchanges of "fear mongering" after being forced to abandon plans to open its market 15-minutes earlier than incumbent bourses.

Eli Lederman, Turquoise chief executive, told the FT the decision to back down had been taken after "fear mongering" by established exchanges. He said Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange had contacted Turquoise threatening to open earlier if the tyro exchange went ahead with its plan.

Turquoise had set its sights on opening at 7.45am UK time, 15 minutes ahead of other European exchanges in an effort to gain critical mass on its auctions ahead of the official start of trading. Such a move would have contravened an informal agreement among Europe's bourses to synchronise the opening at 8am UK time.

According to the FT, the Investment Managers Association contacted Turquoise and Deutsche Börse earlier this week, warning them against lengthening the trading day. Guy Sears, director of wholesale, told the pink paper: "We told them you will not gain market share by having a war over how early you open."

The sabre rattling by the traditional exchanges has had the desired effect, forcing Turquoise to retreat.

"Now that we approach our rollout, some of the incumbent exchanges have stated their intent to move to an opening time before Turquoise," Lederman told the FT. "It would appear to be a response to the competitive threat that they see in Turquoise. In any event, there was an active campaign, call it fear-mongering, to warn of lengthening the trading day."

Deutsche Börse has issued a statement saying it supports the status quo, but has revised the Exchange regulations allowing it to adapt the start of trading "should the competitive situation make this necessary in the future".

"Bringing the start of trading forward would cause significant additional expense for market participants and investors," the statement continues.

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