ITG buys out BLOCKalert; reports fall in Q2 net income

ITG buys out BLOCKalert; reports fall in Q2 net income

New York-based Investment Technology Group (ITG) says it is buying the stake it doesn't already hold in BLOCKalert, a block trading joint venture it established with Merrill Lynch.

ITG says BLOCKalert averaged 10.4 million shares a day in the first half of 2008 and had an average execution size of 41,000 shares.

The block crossing service will be re-branded as Posit Alert and merged into ITG's Posit crossing suite.

Commenting on the move, Bob Gasser, CEO and President of ITG, says: "After a thorough evaluation of our global POSIT crossing suite, we felt that clients would benefit most if ITG focused on enhancing the system with direct buy side to buy side liquidity."

Posit Alert is now available under the same brand name in the US, Europe and Australia, says ITG.

The news comes as ITG reports a five per cent fall in second quarter net income to $25.7 million, from $27.2 million in the year ago quarter.

Total rose three per cent to $180.4 million in the quarter ending 30 June.

However ITG says non-US revenues rose 15% in the second quarter of 2008 to $48.7 million.

"Although major international market indices were down double digits, our non-US business delivered solid revenues in the second quarter and we remain confident about our future growth in Asia, Canada and Europe," says Gasser in a statement. "We are encouraged by the secular trends in these regions, particularly the further fragmentation of European market structure, and believe that our global product offering is particularly well positioned in an increasingly electronic marketplace."

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