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European Top Twenty

I was visiting our American cousins in NY last week, but it was great to see the new weekly format FFI and the spangly “Top of the Pops” style list of the most fragmented stocks across Europe. It’s interesting to note that 15 of the top 20 are London based, although you can see from the graphs that fragmentation in mainland Europe seems to be accelerating too.

Anyway, thanks to the guys at Fidessa labs for a such a quick turnaround on these improvements.

I was also looking at the BATS web site last week, which now includes a real-time look at market share. It’s a useful additional view and one that is complementary to our own activities in this area. Our approach has always been to try and provide a macro view of the landscape rather than the detailed view now offered by BATS. It’s a bit like the difference between using binoculars and a microscope – it all depends upon what you are trying to measure.

In another sign of the market’s continued enthusiasm for alternative trading, we also saw public confirmation of the imminent launch of another MTF – Quote MTF. Although based out of Hungary, Quote MTF promises to run its platform in London. It will be interesting to see how Quote MTF intends to differentiate itself from the other alternative venues and whether it will seek to attract liquidity from the traditional exchanges or from the existing MTFs.

Finally, now that Fidessa is a FTSE 250 company, I couldn’t resist a peek to see how fragmented trading in Fidessa shares has been. From the graphs, it looks like Nasdaq and BATS are slugging it with Chi-X for the honour of being the biggest alternative venue for Fidessa stock. Although, with a total value traded last week of less than £0.5 million, I am not sure we are much of an indicator of what is happening in the broader market. This does highlight a more serious question however, which is why fragmentation is so much lower for smaller caps? Last week the FFI for the FTSE100 was 1.70 as compared to 1.23 for the FTSE 250.

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