Nasdaq Europe goes live with eight new  backers

Nasdaq Europe goes live with eight new backers

Nasdaq has secured the backing of eight major market participants for the launch today of its European Trading System (ETS). The New York-based exchange says it expects further investors to join the system, which has been built in collaboration with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Reuters and Global Crossing.

Nasdaq has named Bernard L. Madoff, BNP Paribas, CSFB, Fortis Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, and Santander Central Hispano Investment as equity investors. Knight Trading Group is already a significant investor in the new European stock exchange.

Jim Weber, chief operating officer of Nasdaq Europe, says: "Nasdaq Europe is taking shape extremely quickly. US equities can now be traded in European trading hours; the new trading system is now live and today we welcome eight blue chip investors. These eight highly regarded institutions share our vision of global equity trading and we look forward to working with them over the coming months as Nasdaq Europe builds market share and liquidity."

The launch of the system comes ten weeks after the Nasdaq Stock Market bought a 58 per cent stake in Easdaq, the ailing pan-European market for growth stocks. The new market effectively completes the third leg of a global, 24-hour trading platform alongside the New York exchange's US and Japanese operations.

Roger Nagioff, co-head of global equity for Lehman Brothers comments: "Lehman Brothers believe that Nasdaq Europe will become an important part of the financial community. Its brand and track record, together with Knight, have impressive credentials in this area of the marketplace."

The new exchange offers similar functionality to the current Nasdaq Stock Market and lays the foundations for a hybrid market model, combining the best features of quote driven and order-driven markets, says the company.

In simulated trading, network utilisation averaged just ten per cent when handling more than 1100 trades an hour and over 4700 quote updates. The ETS technology has been designed so that once a Nasdaq Europe member has installed a 'gateway' that enables an interface to the market, the trading applications can be run from a standard PC.

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