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Tim Quast
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We're All HFTs Now

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December 1, 1998

ITG's POSIT Launches U.K. Crossing Session

By Staff Reports.

POSIT, the electronic stock- crossing system run by New York's Investment Technology Group, has opened for business directly out of the U.K. matching buyers and sellers of U.K.-listed equities twice daily.

On November 18, the first day of trading, POSIT reported that more than 17 million shares were traded on behalf of roughly 30 customers. The value of the shares was GBP78 million (U.K. pounds). POSIT said each match session had orders with a total value of GBP400.

"In Europe, trading costs traditionally are high, forcing money managers to seek ways to reduce costs," Alasdair Hayes, chief executive of ITG Europe, the U.K.-based joint venture of ITG and Societe Generale in Paris, said in a prepared statement. "POSIT can be a useful tool in reducing those trading costs, while providing the added benefit of an additional pool of liquidity."

The U.K. matches occur at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (in London). Trade executions occur at the mid-point between the bid and ask, similar to the U.S. version of POSIT. POSIT said its European trading desk will also handle traditional stock orders on an agency basis

POSIT trades about 23 million shares daily in U.S. stocks, excluding residual trades, during its five crossing sessions in the U.S. The firm was launched in 1987 by Los Angeles-based institutional third-market firm Jefferies & Co., and BARRA, a California software and investment-research firm.