NEW YORK, April 18 High-speed trading firm Virtu
Financial Inc, which has been pursuing an initial public
offering, has received a letter of inquiry from the New York
attorney general amid a wider probe of the industry, a person
familiar with the matter said on Friday.
News of the request by the office of New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman came amid heightened attention to
high-frequency trading following the publication of author
Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" last
Schneiderman's office had earlier sent subpoenas to more
than half a dozen high-speed trading firms including Tower
Research Capital LLC, Chopper Trading LLC and Jump Trading LLC,
a person familiar with the matter previously told
Federal agencies including the Justice Department,
Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading
Commission have also said they had active probes into high-speed
and automated trading.
Virtu's IPO, which was expected in April, was seeking to
raise about $200 million to $250 million, valuing the firm at
about $3 billion.
Reuters reported earlier this month that Virtu delayed the
launch of its IPO as it awaited regulatory approval, which was
expected within days rather than weeks.
A person familiar with the matter said on Thursday that
Virtu has not set a date to go to market with the IPO at this
Shares of KCG Holdings Inc, a firm that engages in
electronic market making practices similar to Virtu, are down
16.7 percent since the beginning of April.
A spokesman for Schneiderman declined comment on Friday.
News of the letter of inquiry was first reported by Bloomberg
(Reporting by Mike Stone and Nate Raymond in New York;
Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Marguerita