March 31, 2008 / 12:36 PM / in 10 years

US trading system BATS to open European platform

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. equity trading system BATS Trading announced on Monday the formation of BATS Trading (Europe) and plans to launch its European platform this year.

The move comes as bigger rival Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O) is opening a pan-European market in September following the introduction of the new European markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID) aimed at promoting competition.

Kansas City-based BATS has grabbed 10 percent of United States equities markets only two years after launching. “It’s critical for us to approach this initiative with a strong base of support, and we’re proud to have the backing of our group of broker-dealer owners, the same coalition that has played such a significant role as we move towards exchange status in the U.S.,” said BATS CEO Joe Ratterman.

“We expect to name London-based executives shortly to lead this initiative,” he added.

BATS, which opened for trading in January 2006, is backed by 11 investors, including Citi (C.N), Credit Suisse CSGN.VX, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), JPMorgan (JPM.N), Lehman Brothers LEH.N, Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Merrill Lynch MER.N.

The alternative trading system, which said last October that it was eyeing a European launch, said it has selected a data centre in the London area.

Turquoise, a cash equities venture backed by nine investment banks, also aims to go live in September. (Reporting by Daisy Ku; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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