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Briefs

Takeover grows stock exchange

Stock exchange operator BATS Global Markets is buying Direct Edge to create the nation’s second-biggest stock exchange.

The new company will account for about 21 percent of the approximately 6.5 billion shares that are traded daily on exchanges, according to BATS. It would leapfrog over the Nasdaq and rank behind the New York Stock Exchange.

The combination is “an important milestone for the U.S. equities market,” said BATS CEO Joe Ratterman, who will serve as CEO of the merged company.

The deal is part of a trend of consolidation among global stock exchanges. Technology has increased the speed at which trades are processed but has reduced the profit margins that exchanges can make on shares traded.

Egypt official: Planes arriving nearly empty

The chairman of Egyptian Airports Co. says some flights are arriving nearly empty to Egypt and that passenger traffic in the past week has fallen by half.

Chairman Gad el-Karim Nasr said in a statement released Monday that arrivals to the Red Sea resort cities of Sharm el-Sheik and Hurghada over the past seven days have borne much of the decline. Because of the country’s violent turmoil, some flights that can carry more than 100 passengers from Europe arrive with just nine and return full from beach resorts.

In a statement released Monday, the chairman said Egypt will likely see an even steeper decline in the number of visitors by next month. A number of airlines have canceled their flights.

Exchange halts trading after technical glitch

A technical glitch halted trading on Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives market, for about 60 minutes, adding to this month’s tally of exchange breakdowns that included a three-hour shutdown of the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Eurex first said it was investigating “technical issues” in a post on its website at 8:30 a.m. Frankfurt, Germany, time on Monday, with data compiled by Bloomberg showing no prices for futures on the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 Index and Germany’s DAX Index from about 8:15 a.m. Trading resumed at 9:20 a.m., Eurex said in a separate statement.

“It added to the concern about electronic markets you’ve seen recently,” said Christoph Hock, an equity sales trader at Alpha Wertpapierhandels GmbH in Frankfurt.

“It wasn’t really a catastrophe because the U.K. is closed for a bank holiday and volumes are relatively thin compared to a normal Monday. But it adds to the recent problems.”

Facebook value tops $100 billion

Facebook’s market value passed $100 billion amid optimism that the world’s largest social network can bolster sales from mobile advertising.

The stock touched $41.94 Monday, the highest intraday price since Facebook’s first trading day on May 18, 2012. Before Monday, the shares had advanced 52 percent this year, compared with a 17 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The burgeoning market value is a turnabout for Facebook, which slumped as low as $17.73 in September. Concern about Facebook’s ability to sell more ads for wireless devices weighed on the shares after its $16 billion IPO, the largest technology offering on record.

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