BATS Global Markets to offer primary listing service in the US

EQUITY trading platform BATS Global Markets is to launch its own primary listings business to bring it directly into competition with national stock exchanges, it said yesterday.

The new platform will be called BATS Listings and launch in the last quarter of this year to compete directly with exchanges such as the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.

Kansas-based BATS currently operates the third-largest US equities trading platform, and by offering a primary listing service will enable companies to raise capital as well as allow traders to buy and sell stocks.

“Market conditions have become increasingly favourable to companies looking to gain access to the capital markets so we’re excited to launch our listings business later this year,” its chief executive Joe Ratterman said.

It follows BATS’ purchase of European platform Chi-X Europe last month, amid a flurry of exchange mergers. National exchanges are scrambling to retain market share as multilateral trading platforms gain ground but until now proprietary services such as derivatives trading and listing have only been offered by established exchanges. BATS has submitted draft rules to markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission.