The three major U.S. stock exchanges continue to jockey for bragging rights in the burgeoning ETF landscape.
In its latest move, the Nasdaq Stock Market announced in July that it will introduce the Nasdaq Exchange Traded Fund Market, a market segment designed specifically for ETFs and Index Linked Notes (ILNs).
The Nasdaq ETF Market will allow the traditional floor-based specialist, who has historically provided initial liquidity to new ETFs, to play a similar role by placing two-side quotes in the Nasdaq Market Center.
"The Nasdaq ETF Market will complement Nasdaq's existing strengths by assisting ETF sponsors during the incubation phase of new ETFs, providing the liquidity and visibility for these ETFs to grow into mature, accepted products," explained William O'Brien, a Nasdaq senior vice president, when announcing the new initiative.
When it comes to ETFs, Nasdaq is best known for its PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ), the most heavily traded equity-based security in the U.S.
Over the past few years, index licensing revenue from fund providers has become a focal point for the firm. Other ETFs that follow Nasdaq indexes include the First Trust Nasdaq-100 Equal Weight Index (QQEW) and the First Trust Nasdaq-100 ex-Tech Sector (QQXT).
In May 2007, total ETF volume on Nasdaq topped 54 percent, beating out the market share enjoyed by competing exchanges.
Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.