As Nasdaq entry looms, TMX says Canada market rules must adapt

Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:41pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, March 30 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Canada's dominant stock exchange operator, TMX Group Ltd, said on Wednesday the country's capital market rules must swiftly adapt to technological changes and rising competition.

Lou Eccleston declined to say what specific changes the company wants to see, but suggested the market is now fundamentally different with the entrance of new exchanges and the Toronto Stock Exchange operator should not be held to a higher standard than emerging rivals.

The comments come two days after transatlantic exchange operator Nasdaq Inc said it plans to turn the Canadian operations of Chi-X it bought last month into full-blown stock exchanges.

"The whole concept of TMX as a dominant player in the market is going to be challenged as the market evolves," Eccleston told reporters after the speech.

The platforms, renamed Nasdaq CX and Nasdaq CX2, currently operate as alternative trading systems, which are more lightly regulated than exchanges.

TMX dominates the listings business in Canada, though it does have competition from the Canadian Securities Exchange, and upstart Aequitas' NEO Exchange, which landed its first listing - an exchange-traded fund - in January.

Eccleston joined TMX in late 2014 and has since put more focus on technology services such as products to help customers better analyze market data. It also recently expanded its mutual fund industry offerings and added a cattle trading platform.

The company has struggled in recent years as sustained low commodity prices hurt a large portion of its resource-based issuers. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Andrew Hay)