Firms Join to Offer Block Trading Solution

September 28, 2006 ( - Six brokerage firms have formed Block Interest Discovery Service (BIDS), an alternative trading system that provides an alternative liquidity source in the block trading market.

According to a press release, BIDS is a collaboration of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS Fund Consortium designed to increase competition for block trading. The service allows market participants to complete sizable block trades through continuous order matching and trade negotiation.

The solution addresses the block trader’s need to find legitimate trading counterparties without prematurely revealing trading intentions, the release said. Information about trading intentions is only revealed when both parties present a legitimate opportunity to trade with each other. In addition, orders and executions remain anonymous – counterparties’ identities are never revealed to each other.

BIDS, developed by Alberta Market Solutions, Ltd, a firm specializing in capital markets infrastructure, market design and technology, is accessible to all qualifying broker-dealers and their institutional clients, subject to basic credit and regulatory considerations.