Multilateral trading facility Nasdaq OMX Europe is inviting market participants to take a stake in the business in an effort to boost share trading volumes.
In order to become eligible for the equity investment programme, Nasdaq OMX Europe participants must achieve pre-determined market share thresholds. Participants that meet these thresholds will be eligible to receive options entitling them to purchase up to a total of 1.3 million shares of common stock of the Nasdaq OMX Group in two tranches, "provided they continue to meet specified market share thresholds".
The level of trading required to participate in the programme has not been publicly specified.
The initial period will be from 1 June to 31 August 2009.
Charlotte Crosswell, president Nasdaq OMX Europe, says: "A good number of participants have connected to Nasdaq OMX Europe over the last six months. Many have expressed considerable interest in supporting the growth of Nasdaq OMX Europe as well as The Nasdaq OMX Group. This programme offers our participants an opportunity to share in our success."
Nasdaq OMX Europe launched in September, entering a crowded market characterised by cut-throat pricing and declining trading volumes.
The importance of liquidity incentive programmes in the prosperity of MTFs has been emphasised recently by the experiences of Turquoise, which last week saw its dealing volumes slump by more than half as liquidity agreements with market makers expired.
The bank-backed Turquoise has moved to introduce a new tariff schedule that kicks in April, accompanied by a personal plea from chief executive Eli Lederman for the trading community to push more business away from established venues to MTFs.