Small cap market share: At last, some competition!
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Small cap market share: At last, some competition!

A rival trading platform for smaller stocks in London is giving the LSE a run for its money.

Much to the chagrin of its users, the London Stock Exchange has proved extremely adept at maintaining its effective monopoly on equity trading in the UK. The LSE has so thoroughly crushed previous challengers that they have been all but erased from history. Erstwhile competitor Jiway is more commonly referred to as “Ji-what-was-it-called-again?” while TradePoint died only to be reborn as the still gasping Virt-X.

Over the past few months, however, one competitor has quietly been making headway. In just six months, Plus, the trading platform of the market formerly know as Ofex, has quietly stolen a market share of 15% of the trading outside the FTSE 350 from the LSE’s SetsMM and Seaq platforms. It also claims a market share of more than 20% of the trading activity of the FTSE Fledgling Index and more than 9% of the trading in the FTSE SmallCap.

These are the smallest, least liquid shares in the UK but Plus’s success in winning such significant market share is by far the most notable achievement of any of the LSE’s competitors to date; previous rivals never achieved more than 2%.

Winning market share from an incumbent exchange is by no means easy, as the LSE is well aware from its own sorry attempt at taking on Euronext’s Dutch equities stranglehold.

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