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Nasdaq Europe And The Berlin Stock Exchange Announce Partnership - Both Markets To Take A Significant Minority Stake In Each Other's Shares - Two Step Process To Create A Common Trading Platform

Date 14/11/2001

  • First international partnership with German market
  • Puts Nasdaq Europe in strong position to capture German order flow
  • Pooling liquidity offers benefits for issuers and investors alike
  • Important step forward in Nasdaq Europe's strategy of forging partnerships with leading markets and market participants
  • Offers German investors access to Nasdaq Europe under German regulation and at prices comparable to domestic trades
  • Agreement covers around 200 stocks (German and International), accounts for the majority of trading on German markets
  • Importance of the agreement highlighted by each market taking a significant minority stake in each other's shares
  • Each market to appoint a director on the other's board. Mr Michael Sanderson to the Berlin Stock Exchange and Dr Jörg Franke to Nasdaq Europe
Nasdaq Europe and Berlin Stock Exchange today announced a partnership - the first time an international market has formed a direct link with the German equities markets.

The partnership, which also includes an agreement for the markets to swap a significant percentage of their share capital, reinforces Nasdaq Europe's stated strategy of entering into partnership with key markets and market participants across Europe.

Michael Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer of Nasdaq Europe, commented: "Today's announcement highlights how much progress we have made towards establishing ourselves as the pan-European market of choice in a relatively short space of time.

"Having launched our trading platform in June, we are proud to become the first non-domestic market to form a direct link with Germany's equity markets. There is a compelling synergy behind this partnership and we are delighted to have found a partner of the quality and vision of the Berlin Stock Exchange. Pooling this liquidity offers huge benefits for issuers and investors alike".

Dr Jörg Franke, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Berlin Stock Exchange, added: "The Berlin Stock Exchange has always been very international in its outlook. Most of our trading is focused on US and other foreign stocks. The opportunity of this partnership with Nasdaq Europe allows us to benefit from the Nasdaq brand and trading method which is a meaningful attraction for us and all our market participants".

Strategy

As Nasdaq Europe has always been aware, non-German markets have historically found it difficult to attract significant order flow from German investors who tend to conduct their international trading through domestic exchanges. This is partly because of culture, but also because of cost and legal provisions.

Linking with the Berlin Stock Exchange, however, provides Nasdaq Europe with an unrivalled opportunity to capture German order flows because of the complementary nature of the two markets.

The Berlin Stock Exchange is already positioned as one of the premier markets for trading of foreign securities in Germany. By allying itself with Nasdaq Europe, however, the Berlin Stock Exchange becomes the gateway to German trading in US equities and looks set to raise its profile significantly through association with the Nasdaq brand.

For Nasdaq Europe, this partnership provides instant access to one of Europe's most important equity markets. It allows German investors to trade on a foreign market under domestic legislation, making it just as cost effective for the German retail public to trade on Nasdaq Europe as any domestic market.

Structure of the Initiative

Under the terms of the agreement, Nasdaq Europe will pool liquidity with the Berlin Stock Exchange by enabling German specialists to become Market Makers on Nasdaq Europe in selected stocks.

First Step:

The introduction of the "Nasdaq Europe" segment at the Berlin Stock Exchange creates trading that combines the advantages of the market maker system with the strengths of the German order driven market. On Nasdaq Europe, the market makers, which will include the Berlin market specialists (Maklers), compete for orders by entering quotes (price offers). The most favourable quotation for investors, the Best Bid Offer, will automatically be imported to the order book of the relevant market specialist. This approach will combine the liquidity of both Nasdaq Europe and the Berlin Stock Exchange, integrating it into the pricing quality of stock trading in Berlin.

The agreement covers around 200 of the most frequently traded stocks on the German markets, accounting for a majority of trades in the country's equity markets. It is expected that the new trading link between the Berlin Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Europe will enable market participants to reap the benefits of the new market model targeted for the second quarter 2002.

Second Step:

At a later date, it is intended that the partnership will be reinforced by implementing Nasdaq Europe's ETS as the joint trading system at Berlin Stock Exchange. This will link ETS directly with Xontro, the shared technical order routing system for all German regional exchanges. Through Xontro, more than 100 members of the Berlin Stock Exchange would be able to access the ETS trading platform via their existing infrastructure thereby avoiding having to make any significant new investment in IT systems. Settlement and clearing will be carried out through Nasdaq Europe.

Reinforcing the importance of this partnership, each market will take a significant minority stake in the other market's share capital. A representative from Nasdaq Europe, Michael Sanderson has been appointed to serve on the board of the Berlin Stock Exchange while Dr Jörg Franke will represent the Berlin Stock Exchange on the Nasdaq Europe board.