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July 31, 2003

Struggling Euro Market Keeps Trying

By Staff Reports

Will a new approach save a Euro market?

Euronext, facing competitive pressure, has a new fee structure, which it claims will reduce transaction costs and level "the playing field" for participants. Euronext says that broker costs, under the new schedule, could be reduced by as much as 11.5 percent compared to last year.

The biggest savings are expected in the cash and equity markets, according to Euronext officials. These are the primary products of Euronext's NSC trading platform.

The new fee schedule, slated to take effect the beginning of 2004, calls for five new tariff packages for trading in each of Euronext's markets. Euronext runs markets in Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. The new approach is critically important for Euronext. That's because Dutch stockbrokers recently have been transacting business elsewhere. Some have taken or threatened to take their business to British or German exchanges.

Besides what are perceived to be Euronext's high costs, there have been complaints about all too frequent system breakdowns on Euronext markets.