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July 31, 2002

Another ETF Blow by Big Board

By Staff Reports

The Big Board is once again stealing some of the American Stock Exchange's ETF thunder.

A fixed-income exchange traded fund, iShares, introduced by the Amex, is available on the New York Stock Exchange. The Big Board is offering the same product on an unlisted trading privileges (UTP) basis. The NYSE's plan is a damaging but not a fatal blow to the Amex, which has pioneered an array of ETFs but watched helplessly as volume was picked up by other players. Island ECN, in particular, has taken a lead trading the popular QQQs.

The NYSE so far trades more than two dozen ETFs listed at the Amex, which include Diamonds, SPDRs as well as the QQQs. Now iShares - seven fixed income funds from Barclays Global Investors - are available on the NYSE.

Despite the latest blow, the Amex is still a major player in ETFs, which track an index or market sector but trade like an individual stock. Kim Atwater, a spokesman for the Amex, said the NYSE's latest ETF gambit was not a surprise. The Amex, however, was excited about its own prospect with iShares, she added.