Canada stock exchange operator TMX turns to cattle sales

Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:35pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp and Rod Nickel

June 16 (Reuters) - TMX Group Ltd, operator of Canada's main stock exchange, hopes to rope a piece of the $90 billion North America cattle sector, and said on Tuesday that it would offer the continent's first online sales platform of its kind.

The expansion into a new business comes weeks after the TMX completed a six-month operations review, which analysts read as focusing on streamlining its business. TMX shares were down 2.3 percent at C$52.77 in afternoon trade.

TMX touts AgriClear as a better way to facilitate the exchange of cattle, in which prospective U.S. or Canadian buyers and sellers could use a mobile phone to view video of live product, enter negotiations, transact and arrange delivery.

Cattle sales are currently handled through auctions or directly between buyers and sellers.

TMX Chief Executive Officer Lou Eccleston, who plans to push further into commodity sales, said the service could cut 30 percent off cattle trading costs.

"Cattle is for us simply the first foray into what we think is a pretty long list of opportunities," he said in a phone interview.

TMX said AgriClear is currently signing up ranchers and feedlots as members, as the U.S. herd rebuilds from years of drought.

AgriClear could cut costs and remove some risk in dealing with an unknown buyer, said Brian Perillat, manager of CanFax, the market research division of Canadian Cattlemen's Association.   Continued...