Seven banks announce plan for new European stock market

LONDON, Nov 15, 2006 (AFP) – Seven big investment banks said on Wednesday that they planned to create a new pan-European platform for trading shares to rival established stock markets. The seven banks are Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

The initiative by the banks is aimed at reducing the cost of executing trades and increasing the speed of the trading system.

The move comes at a turbulent time for the European stock market industry and is a direct challenge to the venerable stock market companies in Europe which dominate stock trading arrangements.

The European stock market landscape has been in flux for the last two years amid repeated attempts at consolidation by platform operators and investors within Europe and beyond.

The Frankfurt operator Deutsche Boerse and pan-European group Euronext have both attempted to buy the London Stock Exchange, and Deutsche Bank has launched a takeover bid for Euronext, which operates the Paris, Brussels, Lisbon and Brussels markets.

Since then, Euronext has agreed to be taken over by the New York Stock Exchange to create the first intercontinental market, and the Lond