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Tim Quast
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August 31, 2001

Buyside Wants Better Express' Service

By Gregory Bresiger

The goal of improving the New York Stock Exchange's XPress system is commendable, but a proposed reform doesn't go far enough. That's according to a recent letter from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The NYSE reform under consideration would decrease the number of shares required for quotes and orders to become eligible for XPress. It would also reduce the time that a published bid or offer must remain at the same price.

But, Ari Burstein, who is Associate Counsel for the ICI, said that proposal is inadequate.

"In particular while reducing the minimun size of an XPress quote and order from 25,000 shares to 15,000 shares and the time period for designation of an XPress quote from 30 to 15 seconds represents an improvement, albeit a small one, to the XPress system as currently structured," Burstein wrote the SEC, "we do not believe it will effectively address the most pressing concerns that our members have - inadequate protection of limit orders placed on the exchange's limit order book and the inability of investors to effectively interact with those orders."