Exchange group NYSE Euronext is planning to cut 200 jobs from its European operations by the end of 2009 in a bid to reduce fixed costs further. The staff reductions form part of a restructuring plan for the European division, although a spokesperson told theTRADEnews.com that further details of the restructuring were not yet available.
The spokesperson cited increased competition ushered in by MiFID in Europe as one of the reasons. Four new multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) are now competing with Europe’s traditional exchanges, with more on the way.
NYSE Euronext itself is poised to launch two MTFs: SmartPool, a block trading platform that will begin its soft launch this year, and NYSE Arca Europe, a displayed order book trading platform for Europe’s most active non-Euronext stocks, which will start operating in the first quarter of 2009. The group has also adjusted fees to stay competitive in Europe’s new trading environment. It introduced Pack Epsilon, a pricing package for high-frequency traders, in July, and in October it launched a global pricing programme.
The restructuring announcement follows rising costs at the group’s European unit. Fixed operating expenses for the division rose to $199 million in the third quarter this year from $178 million in the same quarter of 2007. For the first nine months of 2008 fixed costs were $573 million, compared with $508 million in the same period last year.
By contrast, fixed operating costs at NYSE Euronext’s US division fell to $221 million in the third quarter of 2008 from $230 million in the same quarter last year. For the first nine months of the year, US costs fell to $661 million in 2008 from $718 million.
Group fixed expenses overall fell 9% for the third quarter of 2008 compared with the same period last year, and 6% for the first nine months of the year.