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TransactTools expands its certification services for the FIX protocol; ArcaEx begins to migrate the trading of Nasdaq-listed stocks from the Archipelago ECN to the ArcaEx trading platform; A proposal to halt municipal bond trading in times of emergency could do more harm than good.

TransactTools plans to expand its certification services for the FIX protocol beyond equities by posting fixed-income tests on www.OpenFIX.net, a free-FIX testing-platform it provides to the securities industry. TransactTools plans to announce the news next Thursday, February 18. As if to position itself as the "high volume platform" if and when the FIX Protocol Limited (FPL) organization should decide to offer FIX certification, the vendor of messaging connectivity revealed statistics that show ttCert--its certification and testing platform--has handled over 200,000 individual certification tests and over 1,200 unique users. Both ttCert and OpenFIX.net focus on peer-to-peer certification, an approach that takes into account the natural variations (in FIX) that exist from firm to firm, as opposed to a centralized approach that doesn't take into account these differences. Noting "FPL (FIX Protocol Limited) seems ready to back certification," TransactTools CEO Sam Johnson states, "the high volumes experienced by ttCert and OpenFIX "attest to both the tremendous need and the benefits that come from peer-to-peer certification."

The Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx), a fully electronic-stock exchange, is beginning a phase-in process on Feb. 14, 2003 to migrate the trading of Nasdaq-listed stocks from the Archipelago ECN to the ArcaEx trading platform. The phase-in process is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter. Archipelago's migration of Nasdaq stocks from the ECN platform to ArcaEx also means that Archipelago will no longer be a direct participant in Nasdaq's SuperMontage. Archipelago has been the second largest provider of liquidity (after Instinet) to SuperMontage. Upon completion of the phase-in, AcraEx will be the only national stock exchange trading all NYSE, Nasdaq, Amex and Pacific Exchange issues, the exchangestates.

A proposal to halt municipal bond trading in times of emergency could ultimately do more harm than good, Micah S. Green, president of The Bond Market Association told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets yesterday. Stating that "fixed income markets are global, trade continuously, and are highly inter-related," Green told Congressional leaders that "a decision to suspend trading in a specific security should not be made without consideration of the affect it will have on the market for other fixed-income securities." Because there is no exchange or central platform needed for trading, Green says that individual participants, who are highly decentralized, can trade on a bilateral basis even in times of disruption. "Rather than focus on closing the market," Green says the goal should be to keep the markets open in times of emergency.

SunGard Futures Systems, an operating unit of SunGard, will host "Futures Industry Career Day" on Tuesday, February 18 at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). About 40 students from four Chicago high schools are expected to attend the full-day event introducing them to the world of futures trading. In addition to a guided tour of the exchange, they will hear from guest speakers including Terry Savage, a finance expert, author and television commentator who is a founding member and first woman trader on the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Gordon Linn, president of The Linn Group, a market research group and futures commission merchant headquartered at the Chicago Board of Trade. Students will also see a demo of SunGard's simulated trading system--AudiTrack-- and get the chance to book their own mock futures trades on CME's E-Minim S&P 500 futures contracts.

Koch Supply & Trading, LP will deploy TradeCapture, Inc.'s ICTS Symphony system to track and manage its global trading of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Koch will use the system to track and monitor the trading business and manage risk position and profit/loss information. ICTS Symphony is a fully integrated multi-commodity trading and risk-management system, operating across the entire transaction chain and supporting all physical and financial transactions including exchange-based futures and OTC derivatives.

Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) Foreign Exchange launched a Web-based version of FX Index-Link -- a proprietary tool to help global money managers minimize their intra-day currency risk by providing benchmark neutral currency execution. The newWeb capability allows clients to access FX IndexLink for real-time reporting 24/7, trade and rate histories and chat capabilities.

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