By Terry Flanagan

SIX Becomes Three On Turquoise

Turquoise is the latest exchange in Europe to offer its customers a wider choice of clearers in the post-trade process.

The London Stock Exchange-owned venue, which is the second-largest multilateral trading facility (MTF) in Europe, can now give its users the opportunity to pick from three providers—the platform’s existing London-based clearer, EuroCCP; Anglo-French clearing house LCH.Clearnet; and SIX x-clear, the Swiss facility—to clear their trades, a process also known as interoperability.

“Interoperable clearing on Turquoise is great news for our customers, and a positive step forward for European market infrastructure as a whole,” said Adrian Farnham, chief Executive of Turquoise.

“It gives customers choice and drive competition in clearing. This will in turn encourage further efficiency and innovation in the post trade space. Offering interoperable clearing underpins Turquoise’s commitment to the development of a truly competitive, customer- focused trading environment.”

Turquoise hopes to add a couple of other clearers to its roster later this year. This could include CC&G, the Italian clearing house that the LSE acquired as part of its takeover of Borsa Italiana in 2007, and the Netherlands-based pan-European clearer European Multilateral Clearing Facility (EMCF), which is majority owned by ABN Amro.

SIX x-clear, which is owned by the Swiss exchange SIX Swiss Exchange, is the latest addition to Turquoise’s list of fully operational clearers and it is also looking to build on the tie-up.

“This is another important step towards achieving true competition in clearing and is great news for our clients, who can now consolidate their operations across an ever-broadening range of venues,” said Tomas Kindler, head of clearing relations at SIX x-clear.

“To this end, we will continue our expansion across Europe and look forward to offering our services on even more platforms in 2012.”

The Swiss clearer is planning to launch interoperable services in the Nordic markets such as on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic and Burgundy exchanges.

Bats Chi-X Europe, Europe’s largest trading venue by share volume and also the largest MTF in the region, has offered four-way interoperable clearing since the start of this year, allowing its customers to choose from EMCF, EuroCCP, LCH.Clearnet and SIX x-clear.

Upcoming European regulations—including the second instalment of the 2007 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation—support full interoperability between exchanges and clearing houses for equities and listed and over-the-counter derivatives.

However, the region’s leading incumbent exchanges have been slower on the uptake. Although the LSE was the first to offer interoperability—through LCH.Clearnet and SIX x-clear—in 2008, it has now fallen behind other venues that can offer a four-way choice. Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext have yet to agree to the reforms.

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