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BATS IPO Debut Hit By Technical Snag


Equity exchange operator BATS Global Markets Inc. had a messy IPO debut as its shares were halted following faulty price quotes, and a technical glitch at its exchange hurt trading in shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and other companies.

BATS last night priced its shares at $16 each and trading began today morning on its Lenexa, Kansas-based exchange. But soon after its shares were trading for pennies. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. later said they were canceled and BATS suspended its own stock until further notice.

The matter is being looked into by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is yet to ascertain as to what caused the problem.

Meanwhile, shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) were halted for five minutes on BATS's own exchange following erroneous trades of the world's most valuable company.

At 10.57 am ET, a single trade of 100 shares of Apple on BATS's platform saw the iPhone maker's shares drop to $542.80 that triggered a circuit breaker leading to a pause in trading of shares.

Trouble began after BATS at 10.48 am ET said it is investigating system issues trading in symbols range A through BFZZZ. At 11.53 am ET, BATS advised that all issues at its Exchange in symbol range A through BF have been resolved.

In its latest update, at 3.10 pm ET, the company said on its website that BATS exchange will not be opening the symbol BATS today, and that all executions in the opening auction will be canceled.

BATS said last night that it has priced its IPO of about 6.3 million shares at $16.00 each. Also, one of the the company's selling stockholders has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 944,524 shares. The company's shares were to trade under ticker symbol "BATS".

BATS will not receive any proceeds from the sale of any shares by the selling stockholders. The offering is expected to close on March 28.

BATS, which is the third largest U.S. stock exchange operator, was founded in 2005 by a high-frequency trader. It rose to prominence in tandem with the proliferation of electronic firms that now dominate the buying and selling of stock in the U.S.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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