Omega ATS, Canada's low cost, low latency alternative trading system for exchange-listed equities and fixed income instruments, has today announced that its subscribers will be able to trade US securities, quoted in Canadian dollars, on the venue effective April 1, 2011.
The move brings traditional OTC instruments into the public view and eliminates the conversion charges associated with trading foreign securities in a domestic market.
Omega subscribers will be able to enter bid/ask prices directly in Canadian dollars on the US securities live on the venue. The first tranche of securities will include popular US stocks such as Bank of America, Google, Microsoft and several ETFs that trade on venues like NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX. The ATS expects to expand the range of foreign instruments available for trading to include any CDS-eligible security traded on a highly trafficked US exchange.
President of Omega ATS, Mike Bignell, comments: "Bringing US securities onto the venue shines some much-needed light on an area of the market that has traditionally been characterized by over-the-counter deals. In our business model, being an alternative trading system is all about giving the market something different and distinct from the traditional liquidity venues. We believe in bringing innovation to market players and providing real choices. It's a big part of our mission to increase transparency and eliminate foreign exchange premiums - which can be as high as three percent."
Bignell continues, "Having to maintain two different brokerage accounts to participate in US exchange traded securities was breaking the back of the retail investors with registered plans. By removing the middle man and providing a transparent way to trade US securities in Canadian dollars, we are taking another giant leap forward towards creating a more efficient and effective marketplace."
Omega ATS remains the most aggressively priced, innovative and fastest growing trading venue in Canada. The company's trade volumes increased by more than 750 percent in 2010 and Q1 2011 growth is trending even higher. Today's announcement follows Omega's installation of one of Canada's fastest order matching engines, Thyme-X, and the introduction of fixed-income instrument trading to the venue in December last year. Omega plans to continue investment in new technology throughout 2011.
Omega ATS requires all subscribers to complete and return a risk disclosure form for the trading of foreign securities before being able to participate in the trading of US securities through the ATS.