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Liquidnet Lee Porter

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Institutional demand for Asian equities surges on Liquidnet

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Liquidnet, the equities institutional marketplace, reported record volumes in the trading of Asian securities in January 2011, reflecting the company’s growing leadership role in serving institutional equity demand in Asia.

Liquidnet’s award-winning trading platform broke a monthly record for principal traded in Asia Pacific, with USD1.58 billion traded across eight markets in the region during January 2011. This is on the heels of the record volume achieved in 2010. This momentum is driven by an increase in institutional demand to trade equities in this region in size – safely and efficiently.

The milestones come amid the backdrop of strong economic growth in the region. Asia’s economy as a whole may expand 6.7% in 2011, according to the IMF’s forecasts released in October 2010. This compares to IMF estimates for 2011 growth of 2% in the UK. and 3% in the US.

Lee Porter, Head of Asia Pacific for Liquidnet, says: “As Asia continues to grow and develop economically, Liquidnet is helping drive investment in the region through our safe and secure institutional trading platform. The institutional trading community is increasingly recognizing that the Liquidnet trading platform – proven for almost a decade in more developed markets – has come of age in Asia and is a vital source for efficient trading of large blocks of stock.

“The recent addition of Malaysian and Indonesian equities – two exciting and popular markets for money managers – has also helped give more choice to our Members and, in turn, deliver additional liquidity to the Liquidnet community.”

Volume traded for Liquidnet in Asia Pacific jumped 25% in January compared to January 2010. Average execution size in January rose 26% to USD1.44 million year-on-year, which is approximately 122 times the average principal amount executed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). Approximately a third of Asian trades (32%) are conducted by Members outside of the Asia Pacific region providing institutional investors globally with safe and efficient access to these markets.

The trading of Indonesian equities on Liquidnet commenced January 25 this year and recorded volumes of USD4.3 million on the first day of trading. Malaysian equities were added to the platform on November 29, 2010 and have met with equal success with an average execution size on Liquidnet of USD1.5 million. Liquidnet now offers institutional investors trading access to 39 equity markets (plus London and Luxembourg GDRs) around the world.

John Barker, Head of International for Liquidnet adds: “Investing in this region while preventing information leakage and market impact has long been a challenge for the institutional trader in Asia Pacific and Liquidnet’s success has come as a result of delivering larger executions in a safe environment.”

Liquidnet now has 195 Members trading Asia Pacific equities. The January record for Liquidnet Asia Pacific follows another record year for Liquidnet’s operations in the region. Principal traded in 2010 smashed through the previous year’s record, rising 37 percent year-on-year to USD14 billion.

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