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November 1, 1998

At Deadline - Support

By John A. Byrne

The Boston Stock Exchange (BSE) is supporting the New York Stock Exchange's stance on the proposed plans for bolting the OptiMark Technologies trading facility to the Pacific Exchange (PCX), linking them both to the Intermarket Trading System (ITS). In a public comment letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the BSE argues that unmatched orders sent to the PCX via OptiMark should be first exposed to PCX specialists for potential execution before a commitment to trade is transmitted through the ITS.

For its part, OptiMark wants an arrangement that allows all trading interest on the PCX floor, including unmatched orders, to be included in a commitment to trade through the ITS. The National Association of Securities Dealers, in contrast, has basically supported the parameters of the PCX and OptiMark link. In the comment letter, the BSE says that the most "tried-and-true test of price discovery has been through the auction process for exchange-listed securities, and this process includes a probe or other form of market inquiry."

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