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August 31, 1999

ITG Europe Adding Stocks As Competition Heats Up

By Peter Chapman

ITG Europe, the joint venture which operates the European version of POSIT, is expanding its electronic stock crossing system.

Starting as early as the first quarter of next year, ITG POSIT said it will execute trades for shares of stocks listed on European exchanges, as well as the U.K.-listed stock trades it currently executes

ITG Europe is run by New York-based Investment Technology Group and France's Societe Generale bank. POSIT has been matching institutional trades at the bid-offer midpoint in London twice daily since last November. POSIT executes nearly 10 percent of all UK stock trades, according to Alasdair Haynes, ITG Europe's chief executive.

POSIT is one of a handful of alternative trading systems operating in Europe. Several dozen operate in the U.S. That handful could grow in Europe as U.S. and domestic expertise takes root. Among the ATSs operating in Europe right now are Reuters Group's Instinet.

Also in early 2000, E-Crossnet, a crossing network recently formed by the U.K.'s Barclays Global Investors and Merrill Lynch Mercury Asset Management, is slated to open for business. About 17 other institutions have agreed to trade on the system.

POSIT and E-Crossnet will compete for order flow. Joining the same competition for order flow is the soon-to-be-formed pan-European bourse comprised of the London Stock Exchange, the Deutsche Bourse, and six other traditional exchanges.