SEC approves Amex hybrid market

Source: American Stock Exchange

The American Stock Exchange (Amex) today announced that the rules for its new equities and exchange traded fund trading platform - the Auction and Electronic Market Integration (AEMI) - and market structure were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The effective date for Regulation NMS rules is February 5, 2007.

"The SEC approval for AEMI is a watershed moment for the Amex and we appreciate the guidance from the SEC on our new hybrid market structure," said Neal Wolkoff, Chairman and CEO. "AEMI unites the best qualities of electronic and auction markets and we are looking forward to launching our new state-of-the-art trading platform and growing our market share."

The AEMI trading platform has been in development since April 2004. The system will contain functionality for both pre- and post-Regulation NMS compliance. A separate filing for approval of rules for pre-Reg NMS compliance will allow AEMI to be rolled out in the fourth quarter, subject to SEC approval, and ensure a smooth migration of Reg NMS functionality by February 2007, the timetable released by the SEC for SRO implementation of Reg NMS.

"This is a tremendous achievement for the Amex and the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination by a dedicated technology team," said Antoine Shagoury, Chief Information Officer. "I am confident that AEMI will make the Amex an even more competitive marketplace."

Amex's new market structure will offer market participants a greatly expanded range of automated transaction services for equities and exchange traded funds and will combine the speed of an electronic market with the dedicated liquidity of an auction market for times of order imbalances, complex trades, or when natural liquidity cannot be found. The Exchange believes that the fusion of automated execution and the auction market will meet the future needs of Amex customers - the investing public, institutional traders, liquidity providers and the Exchange's listed companies - and will enhance the Amex's competitiveness in a post-Regulation NMS environment.

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