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Investment Dealers to Launch New Alternative Trading System (ATS)

    New Equities Trading Platform to Increase Canadian Competitiveness

    TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Seven of Canada's leading investment dealers today
announced their intention to establish a new Alternative Trading System (ATS)
that will increase the country's equity trading efficiencies and make Canada
more globally competitive.
    "Global capital markets are changing," said Jos Schmitt, Chief Executive
of the new ATS initiative. "The future strength of Canadian capital markets
depends on our ability to achieve the same kind of efficiencies already being
realized around the world by leveraging today's technology. This new
Canadian-driven trading platform is being designed to find those efficiencies,
increasing both competitiveness and liquidity," Schmitt added.
    The new ATS project, named Alpha, will feature a continuous electronic
order platform where trading will occur on a price-time priority basis. The
system will be designed so that trades are made on the best market available
taking into account the current exchanges in operation and other ATS's being
launched in Canada.
    "Our trading system will provide a seamless integration of trading venues
so that investors in Canadian equities can enjoy the benefits of trading on a
best execution basis in a multiple marketplace environment," Schmitt said.
    The new ATS will be introduced under rules established by securities
regulators for the competitive operation of Canadian marketplaces. National
Instrument 21-101 (Marketplace Operation) was approved by the Canadian
Securities Administrators (CSA) in 2001. The rules set out comprehensive
requirements for order and trade reporting, information consolidation and
market integration to ensure fair and transparent trading.
    The ATS is expected to launch in 2008 subject to receiving the required
regulatory approvals.
    The dealers include: BMO Capital Markets, Canaccord Capital Corporation,
CIBC World Markets, National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets, Scotia
Capital Inc. and TD Securities Inc. The new trading system will be open to all
dealer institutions who want to join as participating organizations.

For further information:
For further information: Meghan Warby, (416) 413-4618,