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July 31, 2002

Instinet Back in the Winner's Circle

By Staff Reports

Instinet, which was toppled last November by Island as the largest ECN, is back on top this summer.

It squeaked ahead of Island, having trailed its former arch enemy in recent months. Instinet had 12.7 percent of Nasdaq share volume in May, compared with Island's 12.4 percent.

Then in June the lead widened for Instinet when it generated 14.3 percent of Nasdaq volume, according to Nasdaq data. That compares with volume of 12.6 percent for Island. Island's volume includes the 1.2 percent of the Nasdaq share volume it reports directly to Nasdaq. The bulk of Island's volume - 11.4 percent - is reported on the Cincinnati Stock Exchange.

Instinet's comeback was helped by the introduction of rebates, discounting and new services and technology. Instinet has a new order routing system, Portal. [See Trading & Technology.]

Instinet and Island, former archenemies, plan to bury the hatchet. Instinet is proposing to acquire Island in a $500-million all-stock deal.