NY: Nasdaq Still Unprepared for Decimals

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NY: Nasdaq Still Unprepared for Decimals

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq, the nation's largest electronic stock market, has already spent $100 million to display stock quotes in decimals rather than fractions but will still miss federal regulators' July 3 deadline to make the switch, a Nasdaq executive said on Friday.

Nasdaq has spent half of the $100 million in the last six months, but Gregor Bailar, executive vice president and chief information officer for Nasdaq, reiterated that the exchange would not be able to comply with the ``decimalization'' deadline.

``We have at least until the first quarter of 2001 in our minds,'' Bailar said. He could not put a figure on Nasdaq's final cost for the conversion but said it would exceed the $100 million already spent.

Concerns about capacity due to explosive trading volume are the main obstacles to meeting the July 3 deadline set by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has indicated it would consider postponing the deadline. Nasdaq had planned to convert to decimals on a system with maximum capacity of 2 billion shares in daily trading volume. But on March 2 trading volume in Nasdaq stocks totaled 2.23 billion shares.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), March 31, 2000

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