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Euronext reaches into currency trading with deal to buy FastMatch

Euronext, the European exchanges operator, will join the stock exchange encroachment on bank-dominated currency markets by purchasing FastMatch for an initial $153m.

The Paris exchange will take control of the fast-growing electronic network from a group of shareholders, which includes FXCM. The venue operates mainly in the cash, or spot, currency markets, and trades an average daily volume of around $20.8bn.

Although the market faces upheaval as banks deleverage their balance sheets, spot FX still remains a largely inter-bank market in which an average $1.7tn a day is traded, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements. In the last two years Euronext rivals Bats Global Markets and Deutsche Börse have also made acquisitions to get into the market.

Euronext will also pay earn-outs of up to $10m. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

“The acquisition of FastMatch breaks new ground for Euronext, through expansion into the FX market which is the world’s largest traded asset class,” said Stéphane Boujnah, chief executive of Euronext.