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July 31, 2003

NYSE Exec Snubs ATS Marts

By Gregory Bresiger

The dynamic new electronic markets are failing in capturing listed business, a Big Board official argues in an internal letter. Robert Britz, president and co-chief operating officer, argues that "the new breed" stock exchanges like ArcaEx are succeeding in non-listed business, but are not effectively serving their listed clients.

"ArcaEx and the Island ECN, two of the competitive leaders in the Nasdaq market, have captured a market share in NYSE listed stocks that averages about half of one percent," Britz writes. ArcaEx officials said both the comparison and numbers were bogus because the "Big Board has a 200-year head start and is a monopoly."

Nevertheless, Britz argues that Arca is "less competitive than the old breed Pacific Exchange that it replaced - a circumstance most would not have thought possible." He added that, as a group, "new age" markets are capturing two percent of NYSE listed trading. An Arca spokeswoman dismisses the number. She noted that, on the new products in which the two exchanges began at the same point - such as exchange traded funds -"we are beating them."