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Dark Pool of Liquidity

Dark Pool Of Liquidity Dark Pool Of Liquidity

Dark pool of liquidity is a private electronic trading network created by institutional orders by major banks and securities companies that are unavailable to the public. In the United States there are over 40 dark pools in operation that work alongside 13 public exchanges. Over the years, exchanges have raised concerns about dark pools, arguing that the continued flow of trades to the opaque trading venues could be a disadvantage to the overall markets and retail investors. Block trades facilitated away from the central exchanges represent the bulk of dark pool liquidity. Traders involved in dark pool liquidity are referred to as dark pool operators. Dark pools range from completely opaque to semi-transparent. Order flow can range from transient to stationary with manipulation more readily available, as the transparency of the liquidity pool increases. Depending on availability, pricing and client preference, dark pool operators have the ability to route orders through either an exchange or through their own private network. Buyers and sellers are matched by bid and ask price however, since the entire transaction is done within control of the bank, prices are not published to the exchanges and the identity of the buyer or seller are not publicly disclosed. Securities and Exchange Commission officials are meeting with top executives of the three largest U.S. stock exchange operators to have restrictions placed on dark pool operators. According to representatives from the three exchanges the meeting with the SEC involves NYSE Euronext (NYX), Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) and BATS Global Markets. Off-exchange trading in shares has increased dramatically in 2013 increasing pressure on the exchanges. Reportedly during Q1 2013, nearly 36% of all daily stock trades have occurred in private markets, such as dark pools. Institutional investors have been migrating large block order flows to dark pools to avoid negative price impact that comes with trading in the public markets.

The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust watchdog is investigating MasterCard Inc. (MA), in a fresh probe into fees and practices. The investigation stems from concerns that some of MasterCard’s interbank fees were anti-competitive. MasterCard said in a statement Tuesday that it would “fully cooperate” with regulators and that it “always aims to balance the interests of both consumers and retailers.” Three main areas the EU is reviewing include payments made by foreign card holders such as U.S. tourists when visiting Europe. “When a U.S. tourist uses a MasterCard to make purchase in the European Economic Area, these fees can be quite high, generally much higher than those paid in Europe,” Mr. Colombani explained. The EEA includes all 27 EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. MasterCard’s restrictions on merchants who wish to use banks outside their own country, which could be cheaper are also being reviewed by regulators. Interchange fees - fees paid by the merchant bank to the cardholder bank - largely determine prices paid by merchants for accepting MasterCard payment cards and these can vary widely - for example: in the Netherlands a transaction of 50 euros ($65.04) would incur a 10-cent fee while transactions in Poland would incur an 80-cent fee. MasterCard’s honor-all-cards rule - that requires a merchant to accept all types of MasterCard cards - is also under investigation by the EU. MasterCard is appealing for the second time, a probe from the commission which banned the company’s interbank fees within the EU in 2007. Antoine Colombani, an EU commission spokesman told reporters in Brussels, “This new investigation is in order to make sure consumers are not harmed. We are concerned that some of MasterCard’s fees may be anti-competitive.” The EU commission intends to propose a regulation on interbank fees for card payments to provide more legal certainty as well as to keep the playing field level for providers across the EU, the commission said.

National Federation of Independent Business March small-business optimism index fell 1.3 points to 89.5. NFIB index made up of responses of 759 randomly sampled small businesses. The biggest fall in the index came from a 5-point slide in "expect real sales higher" followed by 4-point slides in both "plans to increase employment" and "plans to increase inventories."
 

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April 9, 2013


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