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Trading Newsflashes: NYSE Wins SEC Approval for Hybrid Market

Royalblue Targets Buy-Side Market With U.S. Launch of Fidessa Workstation, Interactive Brokers Invests in OneChicago Stock Futures Exchange, ICE Opens Telecommunications Hub in London, Sungard's Decalog Integrates With UBS Algorithms

NYSE Wins SEC Approval for Hybrid Market

The New York Stock Exchange received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to begin full implementation of the Hybrid Initiative, the exchange announced yesterday.

This SEC approval allows the exchange to advance the Hybrid Market implementation program, which currently includes 154 listed companies and incorporates advanced trading technology for floor brokers and specialists, to all member firms representing customer orders in all NYSE-listed stocks.

"The Hybrid Market will increase efficiencies by marrying the best of electronic trading and the auction market. We will better accommodate our customers' diverse trading strategies by giving them new choices in order execution to access our superior prices and market liquidity," stated NYSE CEO John Thain, in the release.

The NYSE Hybrid Market will offer customers greater choice in order-execution services by offering sub-second automated, anonymous transactions for NYSE-listed stocks or the opportunity to have orders represented in the floor-based auction market with the benefits of human judgment and accountability at the central point of sale.

Phase one, which began on Dec. 15, 2005, integrated features such as e-Quotes, c-Quotes, s-Quotes, q-Quotes, reserves and layering of quotes, among other functionality. Phase II will follow shortly after full implementation of Phase I with exact implementation timeframes announced separately.

The exchange says it's actively engaged in working with customers and the trading floor community to continue to further refine the Hybrid Market platform and develop new features that further augment brokers and specialists' ability to add value and improve market quality in the NYSE marketplace.

Royalblue Targets Buy-Side Market With U.S. Launch of Fidessa Workstation

Royalblue will announce this week that it's launching the Fidessa execution management workstation in the U.S. market. The London-based trading systems provider is targeting the buy-side trader with the ability to execute both domestic and global equities through a single platform.

"We believe that we can address the gap to support international and domestic equity trading for the buy side that will allow them to trade DMA, algorithms and care order flow in a consistent format from a multi-broker workstation," says Adrian Begley, EVP of marketing at royalblue.

With 140 brokers on its network, the core execution management functionality is the ability to hit all of the services that a broker is offering up, says Begley. Currently, the workstation is in live use with four buy-side firms in the U.S. There are about a dozen users in these firms using the workstation to primarily trade European equities.

The company initially introduced Fidessa workstation in the United Kingdom about a year ago. Currently, there are about 2,000 users in Europe, including sell-side firms using the workstation to access global markets from Europe as well as a mix of hedge funds and conventional institutional firms, says Begley.

In the U.S., the vendor is using the same ticker plant it uses for the sell-side to deliver market data to its new buy-side clients. The workstation provides full Nasdaq Level II quotes, ECN book feeds and consolidated feeds as well as Dow Jones and AFX news and background data on companies.

The new Fidessa workstation leverages royalblue's global presence as a firm, notes Begley. It covers the major markets in Europe, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Belgium, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Ireland and virt-x. In North America, the workstation covers Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange, the regional exchanges and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In Asia, it covers Tokyo, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, while it continues to add brokers across the markets in India, Taiwan and Korea.

According to Begley, royalblue is filling a void in the market through its ability to address the domestic market here in the United States efficiently and the global equity markets. He contends that no other platform offers the breadth of international markets coverage, noting that the firm is an independent vendor and is not owned by a broker-dealer.

Interactive Brokers Invests in OneChicago Stock Futures Exchange

Interactive Brokers, an electronic broker-dealer, says it made a significant equity investment in OneChicago, LLC, the electronic single-stock futures exchange. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

The investment by Interactive Brokers recognizes the growth potential of stock index futures and strenghtens the financial position of the exchange, according to the release. OneChicago is the all-electronic security futures exchange that trades futures on 208 individual stocks.

As a result of the transaction, Interactive Brokers joins Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) as major investors in OneChicago. According to the release, Interactive Brokers -- which provides professional traders and investors with direct access to stocks, options, futures bonds and forex on over 50 market centers worldwide -- will combine its key strengths, including broad access to customers, market making expertise and advanced trading technology with those of CBOE, CME and CBOT, to accelerate the market's growing interest in security futures.

Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers, said in the release that Interactive Brokers' professional customers are realizing that stock futures are the low-cost alternative to margin loans or short rebates for financing their positions. "Interactive Brokers has the lowest margin rates in the industry, but by using stock futures on OneChicago, our customers can do even better," Peterffy stated. He added that the firm will work with its Chicago exchange partners to broaden the list of products, order types and facilities offered by OneChicago.

According to OneChicago President Marty Doyle, who is quoted in the release, volume on the single stock futures exchange grew 188 percent last year. Volume through February is up more than 400 percent over the same period in 2005, and open interest reached a record 1.8 million contracts last month. Average daily volumes are 30,000 contracts.

ICE Opens Telecommunications Hub in London

IntercontinentalExchange, the electronic energy marketplace, opened its new London telecommunications hub on Monday. The new hub is designed to improve access and reduce connectivity costs to ICE's electronic trading platform for current and prospective ICE market participants in the region, the release said.

The London location is the third telecommunications hub that ICE has opened thus far; it previously opened a Chicago hub in January and a European hub outside of London last year for Western European customers. ICE plans to open hubs in Singapore in May and in New York in June. Market participants can use these hubs to access ICE's energy futures and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, and ICE can customize the bandwidth size for their connections, as well as the type of circuits they require to meet their specific data needs.

ICE operates an electronic global futures and OTC marketplace for trading energy commodity contracts, including crude oil and refined products, natural gas, power and emissions.

Sungard's Decalog Integrates With UBS Algorithms

Sungard's Decalog business unit struck an agreement with UBS investment bank to allow customers of the order management system (OMS) to directly access UBS's algorithmic trading product.

The product, known as UBS Direct Strategy Access (UBS-DSA), is a global suite of strategies uniting technology, performance and global reach to help clients achieve best execution, stated the release.

"We are pleased by this agreement, which will help Decalog users to access the UBS-DSA suite of tools," commented Tim Wildenberg, managing director, head of European Direct Execution at UBS Investment Bank. "Our advanced algorithmic tools predict trading trends by combining historical tick data with real-time analysis and highly developed quantitative models with the unique depth of our unrivaled liquidity network," further stated Wildenberg in the release, adding that UBS will continue to enhance its current offerings and provide more client customization.

According to Eyal Yaron, VP at SunGard's Decalog business unit, who is quoted in the release, the UBS-DSA algorithmic trading strategies are embedded within the Decalog 5.0 Trading Blotter that combines order routing details with the algorithm's unique parameters. "Our customers are able then to receive new and custom algorithms directly into their trading blotter helping them to use new trading strategies as soon as they are published by UBS," Yaron stated.

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