Up­start stock mar­ket on track to goals: CEO

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

The head of the Ae­quitas NEO Ex­change says the up­start stock mar­ket is on track to reach its goal of snatch­ing 20 per cent of Canada's trad­ing vol­ume within three or four years.

“We still have a long jour­ney ahead of us in con­tin­u­ing to grow, but we are def­i­nitely, at this stage, ahead of what we an­tic­i­pated,” said Jos Schmitt, the com­pany's pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

“I can only hope that we con­tinue on that track.”

Since its launch three months ago, Ae­quitas NEO - which bills it­self as a more fair al­ter­na­tive to the Toronto Stock Ex­change and has back­ing from a num­ber of fi­nan­cial in­dus­try heavy­weights in­clud­ing Royal Bank (TSX:RY) and Bar­clays - has cap­tured more than three per cent of trade vol­ume.

In dol­lar value, it's taken close to five per cent of the mar­ket.

A num­ber of other ex­changes have tried to com­pete with the TSX, but none has suc­ceeded in tak­ing away sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket share from the Cana­dian gi­ant.

Royal Bank has pre­vi­ously backed a TSX ri­val - Al­pha Trad­ing Sys­tems, which was launched in 2008. But a few years later, in 2012, the trad­ing plat­form was bought by Maple Group Ac­qui­si­tion Corp., which also ac­quired TMX Group, owner and op­er­a­tor of the Toronto Stock Ex­change.

Schmitt, who once ran Al­pha and left when the com­pany was taken over by TMX, says the Ae­quitas NEO Ex­change has unique fea­tures that he hopes will al­low it to suc­ceed where other TSX ri­vals have failed.

Among them is the ex­change's use of a time de­lay, or “speed bump,” to de­ter preda­tory high­fre­quency trad­ing (HFT) strate­gies.

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