Aquis gets UK green light to trade shares across Europe
LONDON Nov 4 (Reuters) - Britain's financial regulator has given the green light for operations to start at Aquis, a new pan-European share trading platform which aims to take on bigger rivals by offering subscription-based pricing modelled on the mobile phone market.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given Aquis approval to open for business a year after it was set up by its chief executive Alasdair Haynes.
"We can now forge ahead with the introduction of subscription pricing to the European cash equities market," Haynes said.
Normally users are charged a percentage of the value of each stock trade they make but on Aquis they will pay a rate according to the level of activity.
The aim is to attract small trading firms that are traditionally disadvantaged by the way big exchanges charge, it said.
Aquis, in which Warsaw bourse operator GPW agreed in August to buy a 30 percent stake for 5 million pounds, will hold a "dress rehearsal" on Nov. 9 and, depending on its success, then announce a launch date.
It wants to become the third main share trading venue in each European country, meaning it will take on the local exchange and BATS Chi-X Europe, the largest pan-European bourse.
Haynes helped turn Chi-X Europe from a loss-making upstart into a profitable trading platform to take on the long established exchanges like the London Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse. He left Chi-X Europe after it was taken over by U.S. share market operator BATS Global Markets.
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