SEC OK's sale of NYSE Amex stakes to Wall St firms
* Goldman, Citi, UBS, others to get 53 pct stake in venue
* NYSE Euronext giving up stakes, attracting trade volumes
NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators approved a plan by NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) to sell more than half of its Amex options market to a group of banks and others including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and hedge fund Citadel.
The seven Wall Street firms would get a 53 percent common stake in NYSE Amex, with no one holding more than 20 percent, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a June 24 notice on its website.
Though the plan has been in the works since 2009, the New York Stock Exchange parent formally requested permission for the rule change in March, and it has already attracted more orders from members of the joint venture. [ID:nN09207887]
The former American Stock Exchange had 13 percent of U.S. options trading last month, up from 10 percent a year earlier, according to OCC data.
Units of Bank of America (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), UBS AG (UBSN.VX), Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and online broker TD Ameritrade Holding Corp AMTD.O will get stakes in NYSE Amex.
The move comes as exchanges look to strike such "semi-mutualization" agreements with broker-dealers. They are meant to attract trading volumes and take advantage of laws that drive far more derivatives to their venues and through their clearinghouses in the wake of the financial crisis. (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer. Editing by Robert MacMillan)
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