Americas Trading Group readies for new Brazil stock exchange

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Americas Trading Group, the sole company seeking to contest the monopoly of B3 SA Brasil Bolsa Balcao on stock trading in Brazil, is close to starting operations once it resolves a dispute with B3, an executive told Reuters.

ATG has everything ready to clear stock trades, commercial director Francisco Gurgel Valente said in an interview this week. The company is now waiting for the result of arbitration in the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce to define custodial service fees for stocks, settling a dispute that began in 2015 between ATG and B3.

In conditionally approving the merger of BM&F Bovespa SA and Cetip SA to create the B3 monopoly last year, Brazil antitrust watchdog Cade imposed arbitration for settling the issue of custodial fees if ATG and B3 did not reach an agreement within 120 days. Once arbitration sets a price, B3 will be required to accept it.

Founded in 2010 by former executives at a Brazilian brokerage, ATG sells software for electronic trading to brokers and asset managers and announced in 2012 its plans to create a new stock exchange.

Since then, ATG and BM&FBovespa, now B3, have been in a protracted dispute. ATG says the securities industry regulator mandates that it have access to B3’s custody systems, which B3 contests.

B3 confirmed the arbitration and said it “was open to dialogue and negotiation with all of those potentially interested in access to its clearing and depositary services, with the aim of reaching reasonable agreements.”

Companies such as Bats Global Markets have previously announced plans to operate stock exchanges in Brazil before backing off.

Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Andrew Hay