(Bloomberg) -- Miami International Holdings Inc. plans to operate a trading floor in its namesake city for the first time.
The company, also known as MIAX, is building a 38,400-square-foot (3,500-square-meter) options trading pit and offices in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, according to Chief Communications Officer Andy Nybo. Its new options exchange will be part electronic, set to open in the second quarter of 2024, and part a physical trading floor, which will go live later in the year. The combination gives MIAX the ability to offer trading in either an old-school open-outcry or modern, electronic format.
Few exchanges have continued pit trading, where hand signals and verbal communication are used alongside electronic systems. But a physical trading floor creates an iconic image that harkens back to the days before speedier electronic market-making took over. A physical trading space can also be used as a marketing tool, and for executing larger, more complicated orders.
The New York Stock Exchange still maintains its trading floor, a historic landmark in New York City’s financial district, and Nasdaq Inc. operates its market site in Times Square without a physical trading space. Cboe Global Markets Inc. returned to its roots in Chicago’s financial district with the opening of a remodeled trading floor in 2022 that has both electronic and open-outcry formats.
MIAX’s launch comes on the heels of another new options venue that opened earlier this year from the Members Exchange, MEMX. That one is completely electronic, and is the nation’s 17th options exchange.
New venues are popping up amid surging options volume. The same lockdown angst that piqued retail traders’ curiosity in digital assets and meme stocks also pumped up options trading, with derivatives volume now more than double what it was in 2019, according to Options Clearing Corp. MIAX reported record year-to-date volumes in October at its existing options exchanges.
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MIAX’s new trading venue, MIAX Sapphire, is still under construction and takes up part of the ninth floor of a building that also houses Price Waterhouse Coopers and Sony Group Corp. Its location in Wynwood is one of the fastest developing neighborhoods north of downtown Miami, known for breweries and open-air art installations, including graffiti covering the outside of converted warehouses.
Once live, the new facility will house the first trading floor of MIAX’s fourth options exchange. The company also operates an equity exchange, two futures exchanges, one international exchange, a clearinghouse and a futures commission merchant. MIAX Sapphire electronic exchange, with a data center based in Secaucus, New Jersey, is set to operate under a so-called taker-maker model where users who take liquidity in the options market will receive a rebate, and those who make liquidity will pay a fee, Nybo said. The physical trading floor based in Miami hasn’t finalized its fee model, he said.
Like at NYSE and CBOE, MIAX plans to offer media the ability to broadcast from the new space, giving viewers a live view of the trading floor. The firm is still taking requests to determine the number of market makers and brokers that will be present on the new floor when it opens next year.
MIAX, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, expects about 10 of its employees to be located in the new Miami space, including regulatory, security and support staff, according to Nybo. The firm is awaiting approval from the US Securities & Exchange Commission after filing a new exchange application earlier this year.
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