Nasdaq Eyes Canada for New Exchange


The Great North could be seeing more of the Red, White and Blue, if Nasdaq has its way.

In a recent report in the Financial Post, Nasdaq has reportedly applied to operate an exchange in Canada, a move that could bring foreign competition to a market currently dominated by the TMX Group, which operates the country’s largest bourse.

Nasdaq Canada and its parent company Ensoleillement Inc. have applied for recognition as exchanges in Canada, starting the clock on a 30-day comment period to close on Nov. 13, according to a posting on the Ontario Securities Exchange website.

Nasdaq already has a presence in the country, as it purchased Chi-X Canada, an ATS almost two years ago. But this new exchange is going right after the behemoth TMX Group’s Toronto Stock Exchange for public trading and possibly listings.

In the application, Nasdaq said, “Nasdaq Canada will transition its market operations from those of an ATS to those of an exchange, with no substantial changes to its current trading platform or operations,” it says in its application. Functionality currently in place to support the Nasdaq ATS trading platform will continue to be available after the recognition date. … Nasdaq Canada will operate a continuous auction market Monday through Friday, excluding Canadian banking holidays.”

So far, the US exchange said it has no plans to be a listing venue but it doesn’t seem to be stretch for Nasdaq.

The Post added that Maureen Jensen, chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission, said its staff has reviewed an application by Nasdaq to operate a stock exchange in Canada but it hasn’t yet come before the board.

She said she expects the OSC to consider the application at one of its upcoming meetings.

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