Transatlantic exchange operator Nasdaq OMX says trading has begun on its new MiFID-compliant pan-European trading and routing facility.
Nasdaq OMX has become the first US-based exchange to launch a multilateral trading facility (MTF) in Europe. The group disclosed plans to establish a platform back in March and received FSA approval earlier this month.
The new facility is initially offering trading in 25 components of the UK FTSE 100, although this will be followed by a staggered roll-out of 600 European securities, which is expected to be completed by the end of October.
In addition to share trading the Nasdaq OMX Europe platform provides electronic routing of orders to other exchanges and venues across the region.
"With our unique order routing capability, not offered by any other MTF, we have the capability to revolutionise the trading environment in Europe," says Charlotte Crosswell, president of Nasdaq OMX Europe. "We are looking forward to delivering a better trading experience to investors as securities trading moves towards higher volumes executed at faster speeds."
As well as going up against domestic exchanges, the new platform is competing against other MTFs that have launched in the European market following the introduction of MiFID such as Chi-X and Turquoise.
However several major banks and securities firms - including Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley - have already agreed to push orders through Nasdaq OMX's new platform.
Furthermore, Instinet Europe says it has successfully completed conformance testing on Nasdaq OMX Europe and its institutional clients will have immediate access to the new MTF.
Commenting on the launch, Richard Balarkas, CEO of Instinet Europe - which has a majority stake in the Chi-X Europe MTF - says: "Nasdaq OMX's launch heralds an important new phase of competition amongst Europe's traditional exchanges and new MTFs, and should provide improved liquidity and prices to the international trading community."
News of the launch of Nasdaq OMX Europe comes as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) reports a 27% jump in trading volumes on its electronic order book Sets in the five months ending 31 August 2008, although the average daily value dropped by eight per cent.
The LSE says demand for professional terminals receiving its real time data "remained firm" at 111,000, up 9000 over last year, but slightly down since the first quarter.Instinet CEO Richard Balarkas will deliver the keynote speech at Finexpo - Execution Management, a one-day conference from Finextra in London in October, that will debate trends in smart order routing, low latency and and multi-lateral trading in European markets. Registration is free for approved delegates from financial institutions.