One of New York’s two biggest e-commerce businesses, NASDAQ, aimed a volley of enthusiastic press releases at its own moribund stock this morning (NDAQ), one of which announced the launch of an exchange dedicated to 144A offerings.
For those who haven’t spent years boning up on Wall Street lingo, 144A basically means “stock owned by super-rich people and institutions that doesn’t trade publicly.” 144A “private placements” are handy for companies who want to raise money (or investors who want to trade 144 stock), but don’t want to deal with the likes of you. For big investors and companies, this is good news: The 144A market is illiquid, in part because of the time it takes for buyers and sellers to find each other, and exchanges like this will make it easier to trade restricted stock and raise capital.
Never really thought of NASDAQ as an e-commerce business? Well, think again. The company has a $4 billion market capitalisation and generated $2 billion in trading and listing revenue over the past year.