Spanish exchange operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), is planning to offer share trading in tick sizes of up to four decimal places on its SIBE electronic equities trading platform. Testing began today, and the firm expects finer tick size trading to be available in Q2 2009.
BME said it is making the change to ensure that it continues to offer the best prices for Spanish stocks. In a further move to strengthen its market position, the exchange launched an anonymous platform for block trades based on the SIBE system in July.
Other exchanges have been reducing tick sizes to reduce spreads and compete with newer trading venues. For example, in September, NYSE Euronext’s European market introduced tick sizes of three decimal places for 71 stocks, following the completion of a 29-stock pilot. Chi-X, one of the new pan-European trading platforms offers tick sizes if up to four decimal places in certain euro- and dollar-denominated stocks. Rival platform Nasdaq OMX Europe, although it matches the tick sizes on primary exchanges, supports tick sizes of up to four decimal places.
BME is the parent firm for all Spain’s securities markets, including the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges.