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Nasdaq Asks SEC for Greater Role in Equity Exchange Supervision

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. asked federal regulators to approve a broader oversight role for the second-largest equity-exchange operator, expanding its supervision of potential market manipulation.

The request to take on some of the policing duties now handled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the brokerage industry watchdog organization, was made in an Aug. 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nasdaq’s request to tweak its responsibilities as a self-regulatory organization comes the same month that Wall Street firms asked the SEC to consider stripping public exchanges of their SRO designation. The proposed change would give Nasdaq greater leeway to look for market manipulation, particularly at the open and close of the trading day.

“Nasdaq believes that its expertise in its own market structure coupled with its continued monitoring of these activities in real-time will enable it to enhance existing patterns to better detect improper activity on its market,” wrote the exchange in an SEC filing.

Nasdaq said it will take on oversight for real-time monitoring of compliance by market makers who are also part of any underwriting syndicates. Finra will continue to watch for activities that take place across U.S. stock markets, said Nasdaq, and deal with suspected infractions.

“Nasdaq will continue to refer potentially violative conduct to Finra for further review,” wrote the exchange. “Moreover, Finra will continue to perform the vast majority of surveillance activity for Nasdaq’s equities markets.”

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