Canada's Neo stock exchange to waive market data fees for some

Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:15pm EDT
 
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TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - A new Canadian stock exchange set to launch in late March will offer attractive fees for market data or waive them altogether in a bid to challenge the dominance of TMX Group Ltd's Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Aequitas Innovations Inc said on Wednesday that its Neo exchange will not charge retail investors for access to real-time displayed market data for securities listed on the primary and venture TSX exchanges.

It will waive those fees for professionals trading on the Neo exchange until it reaches 5 percent market share, and will give away market data for Neo-listed companies.

"There is a current stranglehold on the dissemination of trading information in Canada and it has resulted in prohibitive and virtually monopolistic pricing," Aequitas Chief Executive Jos Schmitt said in a statement.

"This prevents numerous investors, including the vast majority of Canadian retail investors and their advisors, from seeing in real-time the full picture of what is really happening in the markets," he said.

Aequitas said Canadian retail investors pay more than four times what such investors pay in the United States.

The Neo exchange will launch on March 27. The exchange will begin listing companies in mid 2015.

Aequitas - a Latin term denoting fairness and the origin of the English word equity - is backed by Royal Bank of Canada , Barclays Plc, pension fund OMERS Capital Markets, mutual fund managers CI Financial Corp and IGM Financial Inc, telecom company BCE Inc and others.

The Aequitas model, which also includes plans for a private marketplace to fund early stage companies, will attempt to limit controversial high-frequency trading strategies by implementing extra costs and speed bumps for them.

High-frequency traders use sophisticated algorithms to trade shares in milliseconds. Many players, including some large fund managers, criticize their market impact. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Andrew Hay)