To take advantage of the new European trading landscape resulting from the implementation of MiFID, Investment Technology Group (ITG) in February developed POSIT Now, a continuous intraday crossing system for equities that covers 9,000 stocks in 15 countries, while continuing to operate its POSIT Match platform, which crosses orders intermittently and was launched in 1998. ITG and other crossing networks are staking out their turf in trading pan-European equities as a prelude to competing with traditional exchanges under MiFID. The popular reasoning is that alternative trading systems (ATSs) will benefit under MiFID because the regulation's best-execution obligation requires traders to examine all sources of liquidity.
Though the idea of crossing stocks in Europe initially "was seen as an alien U.S. thing that wouldn't work," according to Belinda Keheyan, head of international marketing for ITG, now there is a huge demand on the continent for continuous crossing. With the rise of algorithms, the use of which is expected to increase further as a result of MiFID, traders don't want to wait for a specific time to cross stocks, she explains. Keheyan contends that POSIT is the biggest source of nonexchange liquidity in the European markets.
Recognizing MiFID as a boost to crossing networks, other U.S. operators of ATSs also are expanding into European equities. In January, Instinet launched Chi-X as an ATS for trading 7,500 pan-European equities. And Liquidnet, one of ITG's main competitors in the U.S., also is expanding in Europe.
Even exchanges are looking to cash in on MiFID. Last month, according to reports, The Nasdaq Stock Market offered to license its INET technology to Project Turquoise -- a consortium of investment banks that is forming an electronic trading platform to compete with the London Stock Exchange -- even though Nasdaq holds a 29 percent stake in the LSE. 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