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November 1, 2002

Island and Instinet Skip the Launch

By Gregory Bresiger

SuperMontage went active and was trading a handful of stocks by the middle of October, but Nasdaq officials were privately saying that they will have some 1,000 stocks by the end of November.

"Most ECNs, except for Island and Instinet, have signed on to use the SuperMontage," noted a Nasdaq source who didn't want to be quoted by name, as Traders Magazine went to press. He said that soon Nasdaq will be reporting the results of its new trading platform. "By the end of November we will have an extensive record and will likely call a press conference to demonstrate how well we are doing," he said.

Hundreds of Stocks

But SuperMontage skeptics abound. They believe that SuperMontage's biggest test is still coming. "Let's see what happens when they have to trade hundreds of big stocks. Then we'll see what the executions are like," said Sanjiv Gupta, a trading official with Bloomberg Tradebook. Gupta's organization, which filed many critical comment letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission during the some three and half year period in which the SuperMontage plan was being reviewed. Bloomberg is using both the new trading platform as well as the Alternative Display Facility (ADF), which most trading organizations seem to be doing in the short term.

Another ECN official said, "let's see what Island is going to do. That's the biggest ECN of all and let's see if and when they're signing on."