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Facebook Trading Losses May Near $200 Million, Knight CEO Says

Industry trading losses from Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s mishandling of Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering may be close to $200 million, Knight Capital Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Joyce said.

Knight said last month its losses ranged between $30 million and $35 million. Nasdaq’s $40 million plan to compensate brokers for losses is “underwhelming at best,” Joyce said today at the Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference in New York.

“Nasdaq made decisions that created this problem that the industry suffered through, and it’s up to Nasdaq to create a solution,” he said. “Nasdaq has got to go back to the drawing board and come back with something sensible.”

Nasdaq OMX’s computer systems used to establish the opening price for Facebook were overwhelmed on May 18 by order cancellations and updates for the IPO. After the exchange repaired the problem, order updates for 30 million shares didn’t participate in the auction because of an error, Nasdaq said in a notice the next day.

Knight is one of the largest wholesalers, a category of market makers that executes orders for individual investors sent to the firm from retail brokers. These firms may guarantee customers executions in the auctions at the start and end of trading each day at the resulting price, assuming they can manage their financial risks by buying and selling in the market. Other large wholesalers include UBS AG, Citigroup Inc., Citadel LLC and E*Trade Financial Corp.

Facebook declined 29 percent to $26.81 yesterday from the $38 price set by underwriters on May 17. Knight shares rose 2.3 percent to $12.86 in the same period, while Nasdaq OMX was down 3.3 percent.

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