A rival to NYSE just landed a big win as it grabs for a bigger share of America's hottest market

Calveras big tree parkShutterstock/Sam SpicerWisdomTree is listing ETFs on BATS for the first time.

BATS Global Markets, the Kansas-based stock exchange that competes with The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, has landed a big endorsement.

WisdomTree, one of the leading sponsors of exchange-traded funds, is listing three of those funds on BATS for the first time.

The WisdomTree listings follow the listing of two State Street ETFs on BATS last week, and a concerted effort from BATS to win business from NYSE and Nasdaq.

Bryan Harkins, Head of US markets at BATS, told Business Insider that the WisdomTree listings are a sign of the firm’s momentum.

“We want to be number one in ETF listings in a few years time”, he said.

The funds, which will start trading Thursday, are: WisdomTree Europe Local Recovery Fund, WisdomTree Strong Dollar Emerging Markets Equity Fund and WisdomTree Global ex-US Hedged Real Estate Fund.

The growth of ETFs

Exchange-traded funds have exploded in number and size over the past 10 years. More than $US1.4 trillion of net new ETF shares have been issued in the past decade, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, with US ETF industry assets at the end of 2014 coming to close to $US2 trillion.

That means ETFs are making up a bigger percentage of total equity trading volume. BATS puts the figure at 25% of the consolidated market volume.

While BATS ranks as the number two US market for total equities trading, and the number one exchange operator for ETF trading, it only has around 36 exchange-traded products listed on its platform. That’s a tiny sliver of the more than 1,400 exchange-traded funds in the US.

That means it will have to win business from ETF issuers which have long used either Nasdaq or NYSE for their listings if it is to hit its target of becoming the number one listings venue.

To that end, BATS announced two new incentive programs for issuers and market makers on October 1, and is now in the middle of what Harkins called a fourth-quarter push to win business.

“The exchange can go to the large issuers and tell them that we’re trading their products better, we’re more focused on secondary liquidity, we’re cheaper, we’re additive for the ETF industry. When you convince some of those issuers, they can make those decisions in bulk. They can decide to move buckets of products,” Harkins told Business Insider.

“We’re not going to be satisfied with a trickling of new listings.”

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