ITG POSIT hits block trading record

POSIT Alert block crossing network set new record as MiFID II continues to see greater large-in-scale activity.

Agency brokerage and technology vendor ITG registered a new record in value traded on its block crossing network in Europe this month as traders continue to seek block liquidity under the new MiFID II regime.

The POSIT Alert block crossing system crossed £1 billion in value traded on 24 January, up 30% from the previous record set in November last year.

Duncan Higgins, managing director and head of electronic sales at ITG, attributed block trading’s increasingly popularity to its capacity to reduce market impact and lower trading costs.

“As the market unbundles we expect to see buy-side traders continue to take ownership of their executions and choose the lowest cost trading approach for their funds,” he said.

“In many cases this leads them to trade blocks and use other methods that limit information disclosure while sourcing liquidity.”

The introduction of MiFID II on 3 January caused a spike in large-in-scale (LIS) activity across block venues. The proportion of dark traded as LIS blocks reached a record 28.7% on 12 January compared to 22.5% in November last year, according to statistics from Fidessa.

The following week, ending 19 January, the proportion dropped to 23%, although this is still above pre-MiFID II block trading activity.  

Several LIS venues in Europe have seen a surge in block trading, with LSEG-operated Turquoise Plato Block Discovery having also set a new record this month for daily value traded, which peaked at €575 million on 11 January.

Robert Barnes, CEO at Turquoise, told The TRADE at the time that “an increasing number of firms are consistently trading in larger blocks than ever before”.