UPDATE 1-Nasdaq shareholders mum on Facebook IPO
By John McCrank
NEW YORK May 22 (Reuters) - Not a single shareholder asked a question at Nasdaq OMX's annual meeting on Tuesday, just days after the exchange operator bungled Facebook's widely anticipated market debut, which helped launch the new stock into a three-day slide.
When Nasdaq Chairman H. Furlong Baldwin called for questions at the Tuesday morning meeting in New York, he got eight seconds of silence.
Technical glitches marred Facebook's IPO on Nasdaq's exchange on Friday, delaying the social networking giant's market debut by 30 minutes and delaying order confirmations for hours afterward. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now looking into the matter, and at least one lawsuit has been filed accusing Nasdaq of negligence.
Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld barely mentioned Facebook in his remarks at the meeting at the company headquarters in Times Square.
"While clearly we had mistakes in the Facebook listing, we still want to highlight the fact that it was the largest IPO ever and on Friday of last week, we processed over 570 million shares," he said.
Nasdaq vies with NYSE Euronext's New York Stock Exchange for new listings, and some industry players have said the Facebook fiasco could make it more challenging to win big names.
Greifeld said Nasdaq's "proposition for the listings business has never been stronger."
None of the shareholders at the meeting questioned Greifeld or asked for elaboration. Media organizations were not allowed inside the event, which lasted slightly more than 20 minutes.
Christopher Edwards, an advertising manager in Danbury, Connecticut, who is a Nasdaq shareholder, said that about 40 people attended the meeting and many of them appeared to work for the exchange. He said that while the attention over the Facebook IPO had prompted him to attend the meeting, it didn't really concern him, and he did not expect much fallout.
Nasdaq held a conference call with its members on Tuesday for which the media were not permissioned.
The company did not plan to say anything new about what went wrong during the Facebook IPO on the call, John Jacobs, Nasdaq's vice president of global indexing and chief marketing officer, told Reuters following the shareholders meeting.
"There is nothing more to fix," he added.
Nasdaq said it had all orders, executed or not, returned to member firms by 1:50 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1750 GMT) on Friday.
The company said Monday it changed its IPO procedures, and would use for IPOs the software it currently runs for its regular opening and closing numbers, rather than the software in place during Facebook's market launch.
It also tasked the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority with reviewing requests from investors whose orders were not filled at the opening price of $42 or less.
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