LONDON Nov 6 Bats Chi-X Europe, the largest
alternative trading venue in the region, has applied to the
British regulator to be registered as a fully fledged exchange
in a move to further boost competition for Europe's top stock
Bats Chi-X Europe, which is owned by its largest banking and
trading clients, has made an application to the Financial
Services Authority (FSA) to become a Registered Investment
Exchange, according to two sources close to the firm.
The firm wants to put itself on a level footing with
Europe's regulated exchanges and compete for business from some
retail and institutional clients mandated to trade on regulated
Bats Chi-X Europe sees itself missing out to rivals such as
the London Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext and
Deutsche Boerse because it is not an exchange.
"This seems like a natural progression for the company to
further legitimise its business," said Peter Lenardos, an
analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
Registration as a full exchange in London will also entitle
Bats Chi-X Europe to compete for listings, though a source close
to the company said this was not the main driver for the move
Bats Chi-X Europe declined comment.
The application marks the latest challenge by Bats Chi-X
Europe to undermine the dominant trading positions of Europe's
top stock markets.
Bats Chi-X Europe is the region's top pan-European trading
venue with a European market share of 24.5 percent, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
This puts it on a par with the LSE Group, which has 25.9
percent of European activity, though this business is largely
concentrated in London and Milan.
"Competition in the exchange industry is intense. We expect
intense competition to always be present in the exchange
industry," said Lenardos.