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BATS Trading Unveils Plan for European Equity Trading, Targeting September Launch

The ECN operator in US. equities is developing a high-speed platform for European stock trading with a data center near London.

BATS Trading today revealed plans to enter the European equities market, indicating that it has formed BATS Trading (Europe). The Kansas-City-based operator of BATS ECN said it will target live trading on the European platform in 2008.

BATS said it has also selected a data center in the London area and plans to release details shortly. BATS will be co-located in the data facility with numerous other trading firms and market centers, according to the release. BATS is offering firms the ability to link to the planned high-speed, low-latency BATS platform, and urged them to start the connection process.

BATS is the latest entrant into the European stock trading arena where MiFID has shaken up the trading landscape and allowed U.S. e-trading firms to set up shop as multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs) to offer off-exchange trading. BATS will encounter competition from several ECN-like platforms that are either live or going live: Instinet Chi-x, which has been operating since last year and Turquoise, the Pan European e-trading platform backed by a consortium of investment banks, which is scheduled to go live in September. Two weeks ago, Nasdaq OMX Group announced plans to build a Pan European trading and routing platform for blue-chip stocks that is expected to go live in September. Meanwhile, NYFIX Euro-Millennium rolled out its Pan European trading platform in early March, which is open to both buy and sell-side firms.

In a statement, BATS CEO Joe Ratterman indicated that the initiative has the backing of the group of BATS' broker dealer-owners, adding the same consortium has played a significant role in its move toward exchange status in the U.S. (BATS' application to become a U.S. securities exchange is at the Securities and Exchange Commission and is in the comment period. )

BATS plans on hiring London-based executives to lead the initiative, stated Ratterman, noting the importance of having a management team with extensive knowledge of local markets. Ken Conklin, SVP in charge of business development for BATS Trading, has been heading up the move into Europe. Conklin will continue to be involved in BATS Trading (Europe), traveling frequently to London and will assist the soon-to-be-named executive team as needed, noted the release.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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