Equiduct Trading, the pan-European trading platform owned by Börse Berlin, has pushed back its launch to January 2009, because only two of its 10 members have established connections to it.
Equiduct was due to launch before the end of the year but will now delay while more members hook up to the platform. “People are still testing and as such, we don’t have the quality of members we need to launch,” Artur Fischer, joint CEO of Equiduct, told theTRADEnews.com. “We expect to make an announcement with a launch date in around two weeks.”
The platform has also appointed Swiss clearing house SIX x-clear as its central counterparty (CCP) for German and Swiss securities, replacing Eurex Clearing. Eurex Clearing is a division of European derivatives exchange Eurex, which is jointly operated by Deutsche Börse and SIX Swiss Exchange. The switch to allows Equiduct to continue its commitment to using the local clearing and settlement infrastructure for trades executed on its platform.
“After an in-depth analysis, we found that SIX x-clear gives us more potential for the future and matches our current thinking on clearing and settlement – leverage where possible, the use of incumbent clearing houses and making use of local central securities depositories,” said Fischer. “We analysed different alternatives and Eurex Clearing was one of them. However, none could guarantee us the same time to market and functionality for German instruments as SIS x-clear. SIX x-clear is also a frontrunner when it comes to interoperability and local settlement.”
The SIX x-clear connection will be in addition to Equiduct’s existing CCP contracts with LCH.Clearnet SA, for clearing Belgian, French, Dutch and Portuguese securities, and LCH.Clearnet Ltd, for clearing UK stocks. Securities cleared through SIX x-clear will be delivered via the respective national custodian – Clearstream Frankfurt and Clearstream Luxembourg for German securities, and SIX SIS for Swiss securities.
Equiduct is a registered investment exchange under MiFID, owned by
Börse Berlin. SIX x-clear is the clearing services arm of SIX Group, the Swiss financial market infrastructure operator.
Fischer also admitted there has been a low take-up of Equiduct’s volume-weighted best bid and offer (VBBO) service, a virtual order book which bundles together all visible pre-trade information and calculates a real-time best price for any given order size.
“There is a growing demand for a European consolidated tape, and we have been doing this since April,” said Fischer. “However, buy-side firms don’t seem to be aware of this yet, despite the fact that we already have seven venues on there and it can be accessed from Bloomberg and Reuters.”