Spanish MTF Plataforma Alternativa de Valores Españoles (Pave) has "temporarily postponed" its launch, blaming the "harsh" financial environment.
Pave first announced itself to the world in August 2010, promising to launch early the following year, taking on the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), which enjoys a near-monopoly in Spain.
The MTF aimed to bring a new, ultra-fast marketplace focusing on Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American listed equities and ETFs, improving competition, efficiency and liquidity.
Last June, after a deal with technology provider Equiduct fell through and was replaced by an agreement with Cinnober, Pave said it hoped to launch in the first quarter of 2012.
However, says a statement, the project has now been put on ice thanks to "the very challenging market and harsh financial environment in Europe, especially in Spain".
The current climate has "highlighted the need for greater patience, resources and a broader, more decisive support from both international and domestic partners. With the Spanish banks and brokers hit particularly hard under the current economic conditions, this needed support is currently both difficult and unrealistic to achieve."
Javier Tordable, CEO and founding partner, Pave, says: "After one and a half years of hard work, and achieving many important milestones that will clearly help the Spanish equities markets in the future, we have finally decided to temporarily postpone the Pave MTF project and pursue other business interest."