Swiss Exchange links up with Liquidnet dark pool

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Swiss Exchange and Liquidnet, a trading platform for asset managers, said on Thursday they would link up so investors can anonymously trade large parcels of 3,600 European stocks.

Swiss Exchange members will from the second quarter be able to use Liquidnet as a “dark pool” to trade blocks of British, French, German, Dutch and Swiss listed shares initially.

Dark pools match buyers and sellers out of the public glare, a step that investors say is useful to avoid prices moving away from them during execution if the market becomes aware that a major transaction is underway.

“Having access to this additional liquidity will greatly simplify and accelerate our members’ trading activities,” Swiss Exchange Chief Executive Christian Katz said in a statement.

Liquidnet offers trading for 620 asset management firms in over 38 national markets. The two companies said they expected to get regulatory approval for the venture in due course.

Exchanges are looking for ways to lock in trading volumes that are migrating to new and cheaper platforms such as dark pools. Bourses like NYSE Euronext NYX.N have gone as far as to open their own dark pool.

Regulators are looking at whether more transparency is needed at dark pools and whether they leave other investors at a disadvantage. (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Will Waterman)