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London Swiss share trading set for February return

Fri, 15th Jan 2021 17:18

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - British-based exchanges will once
again offer trading in Swiss shares from next month, but it may
take time to rebuild volumes, Britain's finance ministry and
exchanges said on Friday.

The ministry has set out legislation in parliament that is
expected to be approved quickly and allow platforms like Cboe,
Aquis Exchange and London Stock Exchange's Turquoise to be able
to offer trading in Swiss shares from or just after Feb. 3.

"Once in force, the Swiss State Secretariat for
International Financial Matters (SIF) have indicated they will
reciprocate by removing restrictions on UK trading venues," a
spokesman for the British finance ministry said.

SIF said that once the British parliament approves the
legislation, necessary steps will be taken on the Swiss side as
soon as possible thereafter.

Brussels blocked European Union investors from trading on
Swiss bourses in June 2019 after a treaty row, with Switzerland
then banning EU exchanges from trading Swiss shares.

But Britain is no longer bound by EU rules since its full
departure from the bloc on Dec. 31 and the British and Swiss
authorities flagged their intentions in June with plans for a
financial services agreement.

London platforms handled around 1.2 billion euros daily in
Swiss shares or about 27% of the total volume in the run up to
the EU ban, Cboe figures showed.

Swiss shares were Cboe's fourth biggest market, worth about
787 million euros a day in the first half of 2019, and Nick
Dutton, its chief regulatory officer in Europe, said it was
difficult to know if trading would return to June 2019 levels
immediately.

"Our participants are telling us they want it back, but it's
not a given and we have to rebuild that liquidity," Dutton said.

The return of Swiss shares will only partly make up for the
loss of 6.5 billion euros in daily trading of euro-denominated
shares that left London for EU platforms on Jan. 4.

"We are expecting Swiss volumes to return to where they were
on Aquis," said Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis Exchange, adding
this may not be straight away.
(Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt in Zurich; Editing by
Alexander Smith)

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