Financial News: Fight To Block High-Frequency Trading Escalates

By Tim Cave and Tom Osborn of Financial News from The Wall Street Journal

Trading firms anxious to attract more institutional business are gearing up to create new exchange-type platforms that will exclude high-frequency traders. The moves reflect the growing concerns of buyside investors about how the activities of high-frequency traders are hampering their ability to conduct large blocks of trades. HFT now accounts for as much as 60% of total market activity, according to analysts.

CA Cheuvreux, the agency broker owned by Credit Agricole (ACA.FR), will this week relaunch Blink, its broker-crossing network, as a multilateral trading facility aimed primarily at institutional investors. Last month, a team left RBC Capital Markets to launch a buyside-only equities platform, as reported by Financial News.

Ian Peacock, global head of execution services at CA Cheuvreux, said: “We want to launch a very clean liquidity pool that contains only high-quality institutional and retail client flows. For asset managers, this is a very attractive proposition.”

Tony Whalley, head of dealing at asset manager Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, said: “The important thing is that people have a choice. If a buyside firm does not want to interact with high-frequency traders and hedge funds, then platforms preventing that sort of activity should be available.”

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