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August 31, 1998

AT Deadline - SelectNet

By John A. Byrne

The National Association of Securities Dealers is seeking full regulatory approval for a new NASD policy giving institutional customers of member firms direct access to Nasdaq's SelectNet. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the NASD reiterated an earlier NASD interpretative staff letter supporting direct access for institutional accounts.

The NASD stated in the filing that advances in technology make it possible for firms to provide direct access to SelectNet, as well as the Small Order Execution System. Indeed, several members have recently approached the NASD about access.

Direct access on Nasdaq is comparable to the New York Stock Exchange's DOT system, which allows customers to send orders to the floor with minimal intervention from traders. The direct link to Nasdaq would give institutions even more access to Nasdaq than is currently available via electronic communications networks, experts say.