Big Launch For NASDAQ Along With BGI's iShares

March 28, 2008

With BGI's extensive launch on Friday of five new ETFs and a currency ETN, it was also clearly a huge boost for the NASDAQ exchange.

With the ETF listing game down to two main players, Barclays clearly threw the NYSE a bone. It listed three single-country ETFs through its Arca system. Although having direct access for the first time to Turkey, Thailand and Israel will please a lot of U.S. investors, the obvious plumbs in the mass launch were iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund (ACWI) and iShares MSCI ACWI ex-US Index Fund (ACWX).

But both of those are going on the NASDAQ. And that exchange was crowing on Friday. In a statement released at midday, officials noted that Barclays is the undisputed global leader in ETFs.

"NASDAQ is the most liquid U.S. market for ETFs, capturing 39.0% of all U.S. ETF volume in February. Matched volume was 8.1 billion, more than any other U.S. exchange," the statement pointed out.

The NASDAQ also "allows the traditional floor-based specialist, which has historically provided initial liquidity to new ETFs, to play a similar role by placing two-sided quotes in the NASDAQ Market Center," NASDAQ added.

This enables ETF sponsors to continue to have the ability to develop ‘preferred' relationships with intermediaries, NASDAQ claims.

Stay tuned. Besides more of these all-encompassing global ETFs, we're sure to see the battle between exchanges heat up for new listings.

Let the games begin, on all levels ...




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