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New EU Exchange:

March 20, 2000|Bloomberg News

The French, Dutch and Belgian stock exchanges, facing stiffening competition from global online trading networks, could announce as early as today that they intend to merge. The unified exchange would be Europe's second-biggest behind London, trading stocks with a combined value of $2.17 trillion. Paris would make up two-thirds of that capitalization. Increasing competition from new exchanges is forcing the old national stock markets to combine to cut the cost of trades and make investing across borders easier. The Nasdaq Stock Market plans to start a pan-European exchange in 2001 to cater to the growing number of investors who select stocks by industry rather than by country. The provisionally named IEX, or International Exchange, aims to be up and running by the last quarter of 2000, Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported, citing no sources.

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