Coba Project Drops Plan to Administer Consolidated Tape

The Coba Project Ltd. has abandoned its attempt to administer a consolidated tape for European share prices because of “insufficient support” from banks, fund managers, data providers and stock exchanges.

Consolidated tape lacks support from the institutions needed to make it happen, according to Graham Dick, the former head of business development at Chi-X Europe Ltd., and Mark Schaedel, the former global head of market data at NYSE Euronext, who started the Coba Project.

FIX Protocol Ltd., the London-based organization that owns the global-messaging format for financial trading, published a set of guidelines in November for how trade reports and market data should be consolidated to improve price transparency for European equities. Days later, Dick and Schaedel established the Coba Project as their plan to implement the FIX proposals, setting out the costs and how to share revenue from the model.

“Given the distance that’s left between the different positions, we are suspending the project,” Schaedel said in an interview. “We don’t have enough support.”

Incumbent exchanges continue to provide the reference price for stocks listed on their markets, prompting calls for a consolidated tape that calculates prices from all the trading venues where equities are traded.

The European Commission is working on an update to its Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid. It wants to make a data feed that shows the price, volume and location of individual stock trades. The commission has considered three ways of introducing a consolidated tape: creating competition between different providers, selecting a single provider, or finding a utility to run the project on a non-profit basis.

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