Chi-X follows LSE in speedy IT overhaul

AN ARMS race has broken out between the world&rsquo;s top stock exchanges as they rush to revamp their computer systems in a bid to improve performance and win back business from their newer rivals.<br /><br />Chi-X, which launched in March 2007, will today announce an agreement with IBM to use the IT giant&rsquo;s high-speed messaging technology on its platform, a move which the exchange said would ensure it continues to meet &ldquo;the speed and mission-critical reliability requirements&rdquo; of today&rsquo;s trading communities.<br /><br />The news comes one day after the London Stock Exchange (LSE) confirmed it will acquire IT group MillenniumIT for $30m (&pound;18.2m) to ramp up its own high-speed offering.<br /><br />The LSE plans to begin migrating clients to an in-house system provided by MillenniumIT next year.<br /><br />The exchange has faced increased competition over the past few years, as new firms such as Turquoise and Nasdaq OMX Europe entered the market offering a faster alternative with lower fees.<br /><br />Xavier Rolet, the LSE&rsquo;s new chief executive, said improving the firm&rsquo;s technology and increasing its competitive position in the fast-moving trading environment was &ldquo;vital&rdquo;.<br /><br />Separately, LSE shares rose up to 10 per cent in trading yesterday on speculation Deutsche B&ouml;rse was preparing a bid for the group, though the suggestion was firmly played down by both sides.