WSJ: Big Board is front-runner to land Alibaba listing; HFT inquiry opened


The listing - in which Alibaba is expected to raise up to $15B - is the largest ever for a Chinese company, and the NYSE (ICE -0.9%) is in the lead to win it, according to the Journal's sources. It would be another setback for the Nasdaq (NDAQ -3.6%) which has struggled to hold onto its reputation as the spot for tech issues following the bungling of the Facebook IPO in 2012.

The financial impact of the listing by itself is insignificant, says Richard Repetto, but bragging rights and momentum for future tech IPOs, and boosted trading revenue over time is.

In other news, NY AG Eric Schneiderman has reportedly launched a probe into whether stock exchanges give improper advantages to high-frequency traders. His staff has discussed concerns with execs at both Nasdaq and ICE and requested more information. Goldman reiterates its Sell rating on Nasdaq, seeing 17% downside amid this issue.

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