Exchange group Nasdaq OMX has revealed plans to start trading equities listed in Norway from 23 March, pitting itself against Oslo Børs, the country’s incumbent exchange. Oslo Børs has returned fire with plans to cut trading fees.
Norway is the only Nordic country where Nasdaq OMX does not dominate equities trading. The group owns the national stock exchanges in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
Nasdaq OMX will start by trading the stocks of the 25 largest companies listed in Norway and add the remaining shares in later phases. The Norwegian stocks will be traded on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, and will be subject to the same trading rules and market surveillance as other shares traded on Nasdaq OMX’s Nordic bourses.
“We undertake this initiative in light of customer demand, which is dramatically changing the competitive landscape for exchanges,” said Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of Nasdaq OMX Nordic, in a statement. “We want to extend our trading offering to include shares from all Nordic countries on one trading platform, thereby creating substantial benefits – such as lower costs of trading – to our customers.”
In response, Oslo Børs issued a statement saying it is planning to publish reduced trading fees at the end of March for trading stocks on its main board and Oslo Axess, its market for growth stocks. The exchange last reduced its fees in September 2008.
Nasdaq OMX’s desire to move all Nordic trading onto one platform is part of its three-point plan for the Nordic equities market. The other points are launching full central counterparty clearing for the Nordic markets from 9 October and introducing the INET trading platform, as used by Nasdaq OMX’s US exchange and European multilateral trading facility Nasdaq OMX Europe, to its Nordic exchanges on 7 December.