Nasdaq to unveil new European exchange

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FRANK ZARB, the chairman of Nasdaq, the American hi-tech stock market, is expected to unveil plans for a new European stock exchange in London today.

Nasdaq has been working on a plan to create a pan-European stock exchange, tentatively called Nasdaq Europe, to rival Tradepoint and the alliance of the eight European stock exchanges who are working to link their trading systems to create a pan-European stock-trading platform.

Nasdaq Europe could trade any stocks listed on a recognised European exchange without formal listing requirements or permission from the companies concerned. Unlike Easdaq, the hi-tech stock market launched in Brussels with Nasdaq backing, Nasdaq Europe would not be limited to technology stocks.

The initiative would increase pressure on existing exchanges to come up with a coherent response to demands from big investment houses for a platform which would enable them to trade European stocks as if they were from the same market.

The new exchange is to be created by a Nasdaq-led consortium which also includes the French conglomerate Vivendi; e-partners, the Rupert Murdoch- backed Internet fund and Softbank of Japan.