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Nasdaq Delays Nordic Clearing Choice, Citing Regulation

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., which runs seven Nordic and Baltic exchanges, said it will delay giving customers a choice of clearinghouse to process their trades, citing regulatory uncertainty.

Nasdaq had previously said it will offer “competitive clearing” in the Nordic equity markets by April 2012. The New York-based exchange didn’t give a new date in a statement today.

Alternative trading systems have pushed so-called interoperability, which offers traders a choice of who processes their transactions, trimming the cost of post-trade services. Clearinghouses including Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s EuroCCP, LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd., the European Multilateral Clearing Facility NV, in which Nasdaq owns a stake, and SIX x-clear Ltd. compete for clearing in Europe.

“There is still uncertainty regarding the detailed requirements for interoperability even though there is a political agreement” regarding the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of Nasdaq OMX Nordic, said in the statement. “There needs to be clarity and a level playing field in this area before we can introduce interoperability.”

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