Alternative Trading System (ATS)

Channel News Asia  Aug 14  Comment 
Nasdaq Inc and a Wall Street watchdog will raise fees for private stock trading platforms, such as "dark pools," that report trade executions to a Nasdaq-run entity, in response to higher operational costs and off-exchange trading volumes,...
Financial Times  Mar 13  Comment 
London and Brussels cannot look to the EU-Swiss deal for comfort
Financial Times  Mar 7  Comment 
Temporary ban on companies expected to hit London the hardest amid new Mifid rules
Financial Times  Jan 19  Comment 
Little evidence that banks and investors are pushing trades on to public exchanges
Euromoney  Jan 11  Comment 
Some of the blips thrown up by the launch of the new regime look like more than just teething problems.
Financial Times  Jan 10  Comment 
European regulators efforts to bring more transparency to stock trading risk confusion
Banking Business Review  Dec 22  Comment 
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) stated that parties interested in establishing and operating an Alternative Trading System (ATS) in Malaysia can apply to participate in regulatory sandbox sessions under the SC’s FinTech Innovation Lab...
Mondo Visione  Nov 8  Comment 
Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network, today published Shape Shifting: Accessing the Dark Post MiFID II research on how buy-side traders plan to trade in the dark once broker dark pools are no longer admissible. Today, 65% of...
Reuters  Nov 7  Comment 
European Union efforts to bring greater transparency to stock dealing risk having the opposite effect, forcing regulators to intervene once again after new rules come into force in January.


An alternative trading system (ATS) is a non-exchange trading venue approved by regulatory authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Services Authority (FSA). In the broadest sense, an ATS is an alternative venue - usually an electronic system - where buyers and sellers can execute trades in existing financial instruments. Instruments may include shares, bonds and derivatives. An ATS provides an additional pool of liquidity to trade in existing instruments. No new securities can be listed on an ATS.

There are predominantly two types of ATS: a) matching systems; and b) crossing networks. An ATS can be started by a proprietary firm or even an exchange. For example, the London Stock Exchange has plans to introduce an ATS of its own called Baikal.

Alternative Trading Systems are examples of dark pools i.e. private markets where the trading of securities is not visible to the public eye. These systems are popular among large, institutional buyers, such as hedge funds, because it allows them to purchase or liquidate large portfolios without others becoming aware of this and front-running their trades. Trades executed in dark pools do not report data back to the market and therefore do not affect prices listed on exchanges.

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