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June 30, 2002

Exchange Setback

By Gregory Bresiger

Island ECN's application for exchange sta tus has been returned by the Securities and Exchange Commission. "It hasn't been rejected. It is still pending," said a spokesman for the SEC. However, Island officials still believe they can win exchange status approval by the end of the year.

"Basically, the problem is that the application has become outdated," said a spokesman for Island. "Much of the information on the application, about how we would structure the market and what our volumes would be, had become stale, which is why the SEC sent it back."

Island's original application was filed some two-and-a-half years ago. The spokesman conceded that more delays are possible but he hopes that Island would be granted exchange status sometime this year. He added that the status of the exchange would have no effect on Island's pending merger with Instinet, a merger that would result in the combined entity becoming the biggest ECN. Although Island officials are still confident that they will win SEC approval, the delay will likely help Nasdaq. It means less competition from Island for listings.