RealTime IT News

Nasdaq to Cross the Pond

High-tech stock market Nasdaq announced Friday that it will launch in Europe next year, and will base its new exchange in London.

The U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown applauded Nasdaq's choice of location, saying that it was massive vote of confidence for the City and would be good for the European economy as a whole.

"Job creation and economic growth depend on efficient capital markets channelling funds to businesses to finance their expansion," said Brown. "This is more than ever true in the Internet economy."

When Nasdaq-Europe launches in the fourth quarter of 2000, European investors will have an Internet-accessible, high performance trading platform linked with other Nasdaq markets in the United States and Asia. Although Europe already has a Brussels-based equivalent to Nasdaq, called Easdaq (European Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system), it has not to date been very widely supported.

Nasdaq's announcement was welcomed by traders, but the news cannot be entirely welcome at Germany's Neuer Markt nor at the London Stock Exchange which is attempting to kick-start its new techMARK index. High-tech companies may prefer Nasdaq which is already host to such top companies as Microsoft and Intel.

Nasdaq's entry into Europe may oblige the various European markets to cooperate more closely with each other. There is still no common trading platform between the six European exchanges, although plans have been initiated to create one.