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April 1, 2002

Morgan Stanley's New Internalization Move?

By Staff Reports

In a move some in the trading industry see as a prelude in internalizing order flow, Morgan Stanley recently ceased operations on the floor of the American Stock Exchange. Market observers have speculated that Morgan Stanley wants to re-direct its order flow to the Primex Auction System.

"It is merely an attempt to automate our operations at this point," a Morgan Stanley official said privately. "Are we going to go for internalization? We're still looking at that," the official said.

The move on the Amex comes a short time after Morgan Stanley decided to close all specialist operations on the equity floors of the Boston and Philadelphia stock exchanges. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said the firm, however, remains a member of the American Stock Exchange and will continue to send order flow to the Amex.

Major Move

Still, others in the trading business believe the move to cease operations is significant because Morgan Stanley is a part owner of Primex Auction System. Other owners in Primex include trading heavyweights Salomon Smith Barney and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.