High Frequency Trading and The New-Market Makers (VU University Amsterdam)

August 14, 2011

KEYWORDS: High-Frequency Trading


Albert J. Menkveld, VU University Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Duisenberg School of Finance

  • VU University Amsterdam


This paper links the recent fragmentation in equity trading to high-frequency traders (HFTs). It shows how the success of a new market, Chi-X, critically depended on the participation of a large HFT who acts as a modern market-maker. The HFT, in turn, benefits from low fees in the entrant market, but also uses the incumbent market Euronext to offload nonzero positions. It trades, on average, 1397 times per stock per day in Dutch index stocks. The gross profit per trade is 0.88 euro which is the result of a 1.55 euro profit on the spread net of fees and a 0.68 euro ‘positioning’ loss. This loss decomposes into a 0.45 euro profit on positions of less than five seconds, but a loss of 1.13 euro on longer duration positions. The realized maximum capital committed due to margin requirements is 2.052 million euro per stock which implies an annualized Sharpe ratio of 9.35.

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