Aquis on the up with ambitious growth plans

Aquis is challenging rival City markets  (PA Archive)
Aquis is challenging rival City markets (PA Archive)

Aquis, the challenger stock exchange with ambitious plans to become a serious competitor to larger rivals, gave evidence today it is on track for strong growth.

With some of the City in the doldrums due to a lack of new flotations and lower share trading, it saw revenues jump 17% to £9.7 million in the half year to June.

Profit before tax is up 64% to £1.1 million.

It saw five new listings on its exchange in the last six months, despite what it admitted are “tough market conditions”.

The Aquis data, tech and markets arms also saw decent progress.

CEO Alasdair Haynes says customers are benefiting from new offers.

He said: “Following the successful integration of the Aquis Matching Pool in 2022, Aquis Markets has seen increased revenues. We have also worked to further diversify the products that will be made available to members, adding block trading via OptimX Markets and changing our proprietary trading rule to give members greater execution choice along with best execution outcomes.  These changes are laying the foundations for future growth in market share over the medium-term.”

EU plans to provide data on share transactions across multiple trading platforms in the European Union should also boost earnings.

The EU is finalising rules to set up records of share transactions - known as "consolidated tapes" - across the region’s many trading platforms.

The aim is to offer an aggregated feed of share prices for investors to spot the best deals in a fragmented trading environment.

This will include Aquis, which opened a hub in Paris to serve EU customers and avoid disruption from Britain’s financial services being partly cut off from the bloc due to Brexit.

Haynes said even a very low level of revenue from contributing data to a tape would be a material amount of money for Aquis.

Aquis is also ending its eight-year self-imposed ban on high-frequency traders (HFT), who dart in and out of markets to exploit tiny differences in prices, from accessing its market.

Haynes, a City of London veteran who founded Aquis a decade ago, said the ban had crimped Aquis’ ability to build up its business and that in the medium term lifting it would have a "very significant impact on market share".