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London Stock Exchange Cuts Trading Fees to Woo Retail Investors

London stock exchange cuts trading fees
Since starting in May last year, Xavier Rolet has been trying to diversify LSE’s business and stem its loss of market share to multilateral trading facilities. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

London Stock Exchange Group Plc, which is fighting competition from new rivals, will cut fees for private client brokers and offer free trading for six months as Chief Executive Officer Xavier Rolet seeks to woo retail investors.

Starting Aug. 2, private client brokers who sign up for the pricing promotion will get six months free trading when they send orders to LSE, the exchange said in an e-mailed statement today. At the end of the period, the tariff will rise to 0.1 basis point, which compares with the “typical” fee of 0.45 basis point at present.

Since starting in May last year, Rolet has been trying to diversify LSE’s business and stem its loss of market share to multilateral trading facilities such as Bats Europe and Chi-X Europe Ltd., which have taken business mostly from institutional investors. Now he’s also contending with competition from Equiduct Systems Ltd., an MTF majority owned by Citadel Investment Group LLC, which is focused on retail brokers. The Order Machine, an alternative trading system owned by brokers BinckBank NV, Optiver and ABN Amro Holding NV, is also focused on retail banks.

“We are keen to grow the order flow from retail brokers,” said Nicolas Bertrand, LSE’s head of equity and derivative markets, in the statement today. “This new pricing scheme will make it cost effective for private client brokers to offer their customers the option to trade directly on the exchange’s order book.”

LSE on July 14 reported fiscal first-quarter sales rose 0.8 percent to 158.2 million pounds ($241.3 million) as Europe’s largest bourse by value of listed companies made more money from technology. LSE also said its share of trading of U.K. stocks rose in the first quarter, with an average 62.4 percent of total cash equities trading compared with 60 percent in April. It’s Turquoise MTF had a 5.4 percent market share in June compared with 4.3 percent in April.

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