Institutional block trading network Liquidnet has seen record European trading volumes in the first half of 2014 after focusing on building its presence in continental Europe.
In the first six months of the year, trading hit US$66.1 billion on Liquidnet Europe, up 40% on its previous best in H1 2009. The crossing network also reported its biggest ever trading day on 8 April, with US$1.1 billion traded.
Aside from its biggest trading day, Liquidnet Europe achieved a number of other milestones in April, with a one-month record of US$11.6 billion traded and an average daily principal traded of US$580 million.
An improving macro-economic situation in Europe was a major factor in helping to boost block trading interest among asset managers.
"At the start of 2013, European equity prices were undervalued after a couple of difficult years and since then we've seen significant confidence in the market returning, especially from US managers buying into Europe," explained Mark Pumfrey, CEO of Liquidnet Europe.
Average daily principal traded on Liquidnet in Europe by US institutions increased 46% year-on-year to US$79.9 million.
Liquidnet has also been increasing its focus on members in continental European countries.
"Increased confidence in European equities gives us the opportunity to continue to build our continental European membership, particularly in France and Germany, as well as the Netherlands and Scandinavia." added Pumfrey.
Daily principal traded by European asset managers based outside the UK increased 39% to US$54 million compared to last year. Pumfrey said Scandinavia is expected to see particularly strong growth for the business as the Swedish market begins to unbundle, providing opportunities for firms focused exclusively on execution.
Liquidnet Europe also increased its average negotiated execution size in H1 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, up 32% to US$1.6 million.