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May 25, 2007

REDI Adds BlockBook System

By Nina Mehta

BlockBook, an anonymous institutional block-trading system for Canadian equities listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, will be integrated into Goldman Sachs' REDIPlus trading platform by the end of this month, the firms announced. REDIPlus' 2,000 clients will then be able to access BlockBook from their desktop. BlockBook will also be a destination on Sigma X, Goldman's aggregator of dark, or hidden, liquidity pools.

The Canadian alternative trading system, launched August 2005, enables institutional buyside and sellside customers to negotiate block trades without information leakage. Goldman is one of the firm's shareholders.

BlockBook's 32 clients are comprised of two-thirds buyside, including two hedge funds, with the balance sellside firms. The crossing system charges buyers and sellers 2 cents (Canadian) per share for executed trades. Alternately, customers can pay a flat monthly rate to trade on BlockBook.

The average trade size is 37,000 shares; the average order size is 101,000 shares. So far BlockBook's average daily volume is less than 1 percent of the total Canadian equities volume, said Doug Steiner, CEO of the system's parent, Perimeter Financial. The company's goal, Steiner adds, is to eventually grab a 10 percent market share.