SIX Swiss Exchange has shut down the Swiss Block, non-displayed liquidity platform for Swiss blue-chip shares powered by SmartPool, the NYSE Euronext owned pan-European dark pool, which will now offer trading in Swiss stocks.
Swiss Block's last day of trading was 30 June, barely three years after it was launched in conjunction with US technology provider NYFIX's Euro Millennium dark pool. SmartPool took over operating the service in December 2009, after NYSE Euronext acquired NYFIX.
The 20 Swiss stocks that comprise the Swiss SMI index, which were previously available via Swiss Block, and the 30 components of the SMIM mid-cap index, are now available on SmartPool's main order book.
In January, SIX Swiss Exchange and Liquidnet, the buy-side block trading platform, announced an agreement that would allow exchange members and Liquidnet's buy-side participants to execute large block trades with one another in both Swiss and other European equities. The new arrangement is expected to include approximately 3,600 international securities initially covering Switzerland, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands and will launch on 8 July.
“We are delighted to announce the addition of Swiss securities to our expanding service offering. By capturing a deep and diverse liquidity pool, SmartPool users regularly achieve price improvements of between 4-6 basis points per trade in large cap securities with even greater price efficiencies evidenced in mid-cap stocks – we look forward to extending these benefits to our Swiss segment,” said Lee Hodgkinson, SmartPool CEO and head of European sales and relationship management at NYSE Euronext.
Hodgkinson was previously head of the client and product management division and member of the management committee at SIX Swiss Exchange until leaving the organisation in Q2 2009. He was also CEO of the exchange's SWX Europe platform, which enabled trading of Swiss blue-chip stocks in London.
Launched in February 2009, in partnership with HSBC, J .P. Morgan and BNP Paribas, SmartPool offers trading in blue-chip and mid-cap indices across 15 European equity markets, including securities listed on the four NYSE Euronext markets. As a result of this expansion, the total number of securities traded on SmartPool now exceeds 2,200. EuroCCP is the central counterparty for all European markets traded on SmartPool.