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New investors in the ISE market

Nomura Holdings Inc., Van der Moolen Holding NV and E*Trade Financial Corp. joined a group of seven brokerages that invested in an electronic equity market created by the International Securities Exchange Inc.

The ISE, the world's largest equity options exchange, was founded on the principle that technology fosters and infuses new efficiencies and operational innovations into securities trading. After developing an innovative market structure that integrated auction market principles into an advanced screen-based trading system, ISE launched the first fully electronic US options exchange in May 2000. ISE continually enhances its trading systems to provide investors with the best marketplace to execute their options orders.

The investments help New York-based ISE, the second-largest U.S. options market, expand into equity trading and compete against larger rivals Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange. The ISE Stock Exchange, as the new venture is called, is majority owned by the ISE and will start operating this quarter pending regulatory approval, the company said in a statement today distributed by Business Wire. Nomura, Japan's largest brokerage, Van der Moolen, a market maker on the NYSE, and on-line discount broker E*Trade bring to 10 the number of firms backing the ISE. The amount of the investments by the three companies wasn't disclosed. In April, ISE got a $32 million investment from seven brokerages, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bear Stearns Cos., Deutsche Bank AG, Interactive Brokers Group LLC, Knight Capital Group Inc., Citadel Derivatives Group and Sun Trading LLC. Shares of ISE fell 54 cents to $37.92 at 1:06 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen 38% so far this year. (Bloomberg, iseoptions.com)