Alternative trading systems (ATSs) in Canada have stepped up their challenge to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) with a series of technology initiatives designed to improve their services.
Atrium Network, a specialist connectivity provider, has teamed up with Chi-X Canada, an ATS operated by Chi-X Global, to launch a ‘live market ecosystem’, which will enable market participants access to five Canadian displayed markets using one connection. The link is expected to go live during March 2010.
Access to the ecosystem will be provided via Chi-X Canada’s primary data centre on Front Street, Toronto, which sits at the end of several fibre optic cables originating in New York and Chicago. According to Chi-X Canada, the link will provide a cost-effective solution for proximity-hosted access to Canada’s displayed equity markets and will be particularly beneficial to market participants that currently connect to Canada using a technology vendor and want a lower-latency connectivity solution.
“Managing low-latency, proximity-hosted connections into each of Canada’s five displayed market centres has become a costly and time-consuming process for Canadian trading participants,” said Tal Cohen, CEO of Chi-X Canada, in a statement. “The new Chi-X Canada/Atrium ecosystem will provide access to the Canadian markets and Chi-X Canada’s back up data centre in the Exchange Tower through a single, dedicated connection that is not only an extremely cost-effective solution, but one that will free trading participants’ internal technology resources to focus on their core businesses.”?
Atrium Network has also announced low-latency access to another ATS, Pure Trading via the latter’s data centre at Wellington Street, Toronto.
“Since launch we have continually sourced providers of innovative, low-cost, technology services in order to enhance the competitiveness of our offering while delivering cost efficiencies to our end client base,” commented Richard Carleton, vice president, corporate development, Pure Trading.
Separately, Canadian financial services advisory firm Tactico has bought a 24% stake in Omega ATS and has committed to providing the trading venue with financing, infrastructure support and consulting services.
Tactico completed the stock purchase on January 24, 2010 and has said it intends to invest additional capital, largely focused on further improving Omega’s technology infrastructure and its service offerings.
“Omega’s volume has tripled in the past two months and they have significant price and speed advantages over TMX, Alpha, Chi-X and Pure,” said Eric Stoop, managing director, Tactico. “Coupled with Tactico’s investment and experience, Omega is poised to challenge the larger alternatives by providing an improved trading experience at a much lower cost.”
Francesco Pasin, CEO of JitneyTrade, an online Candian brokerage, added: “We have seen Omega take a leading role in challenging traditional pricing models and Tactico’s investment will help them continue to become a great alternative to other marketplaces in Canada.”
Omega ATS was launched in August 2007 by financial technology firm Perimeter Finance, investment bank MarLar Group and market access provider Swift Trade.