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Nasdaq, SSI Creating Infrastructure for Japan, European Exchanges

The Nasdaq Stock Market Tuesday formed a joint venture with an India-based technology company to create the infrastructure for its upcoming expansions.

Nasdaq and SSI Technologies, a subsidiary of SSI Ltd., formed a joint venture dubbed IndigoMarkets which is chartered to create the Net-based trading and market system for Nasdaq's global efforts. The first two markets to run on the sytems will be the Nasdaq Europe and the Nasdaq Japan.

Testing for the Nasdaq Japan system is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year, while no target date was specified for the Nasdaq-Europe. John Hilley, chairman and chief executive officer of Nasdaq International, Ltd., said that the Nasdaq-Europe launch is expected to follow shortly upon the opening of the Nasdaq-Japan. Both exchanges are expected to be operational by the end of the year.

The venture's portfolio of offerings will include Nasdaq market structure mainstays, including order- and quote-driven services, and access to third market trading. Access to IPOs will also play a role in the creation of the new system.

"Our new joint venture with SSIT represents another important step in our strategy of building on our position as the worlds leading global stock market," said Hilley. "It underlines our determination that the new Nasdaq-Europe and Nasdaq-Japan markets will be based on the very best state-of-the-art technology."

SSIT will create a center in Chennai, India, to support IndigoMarkets as an off-shore partner.

The Nasdaq-Japan exchange was announced last year, but in December the target date for its launch was moved up by six months following the opening of the Mothers exchange in Tokyo. The Osaka Stock Exchange will provide interim system support.

Nasdaq-Europe was announced in November and is the creation of a venture between Softbank, News Corp.'s epartners VC fund, and Vivendi's Viventures Capital.

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