Nasdaq president to finance companies: come hither

May 12, 2009

A fertile planting ground for tech, biotech and even some energy offerings, Nasdaq OMX has historically struggled to lure listings in some other areas, notably financial services.

Now, that could be about to change, Nasdaq OMX President Magnus Bocker said at the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit. As Nasdaq looks for ways to attract new listings and end a virtual drought in IPOs, it sees financial services firms as one of the most promising areas.

That Nasdaq would at least be hoping to narrow the gap in financial services listings with NYSE, the traditional ruler of the space, is not as out of left field as it might sound.

The exchange has already made some inroads and can point to some recent conquests like CME Group, which moved from a dual listing on Nasdaq and NYSE to a sole Nasdaq listing. Northern Trust, the fund administrator which has weathered the financial crisis with relative ease compared with some larger rivals, is another bright point.

And looking forward, such longtime NYSE stalwarts as Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have both recently been reportedly eyeing spinoffs of high risk units — like Morgan Stanley’s trading desk and Citigroup’s Phibro energy unit. And there’s even talk that Bank of America could eventually spin off Merrill Lynch.

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It’s a positive development that Nasdaq looks for ways to attract new listings and end a virtual drought in IPOs, but looking for only financial services firms is not a right approach. There are many other promising areas as well.

Posted by David Dzidzikashvili | Report as abusive