AP News

Knight Capital OKs Nasdaq plan on Facebook refund

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — After balking at a less generous plan, Knight Capital Group Inc. has accepted the Nasdaq stock exchange's proposal to pay out $62 million to investment firms that lost money on Facebook's debut trading day in May because of computer glitches.

The broker said in a letter to the Securities Exchange Commission on Wednesday that while it would have preferred that the exchange reimburse companies for all losses, it endorses the increased amount and Nasdaq's amended plan to pay fully in cash rather than count it as credit against future trading fees.

Knight released the letter publicly Thursday.

Technical problems at the Nasdaq the day Facebook went public on May 18 caused havoc. The opening was delayed by half an hour, and the glitches kept many investors from buying and selling shares when they wanted and even from knowing whether their orders went through.

As a broker with more than 3,000 clients, Knight had publicly objected to Nasdaq's initial plan to pay out $40 million, all but $14 million of it in credit. Knight, which is based in Jersey City, said the planned reimbursements weren't nearly enough, echoing the complaints that other brokers and investment firms were making privately.

The company has estimated that it lost as much as $35 million because of Nasdaq's glitches.

Nasdaq still has to get approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for its plan.

The Facebook problems occurred months before Knight's own software malfunctioned and flooded the market with erroneous trades earlier this month. That debacle led to a $440 million loss at the firm, and forced it to accept a rescue plan that required signing over a 73 percent stake and three board seats to The Blackstone Group, General Atlantic's trading arm Getco and online broker TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

Knight Capital shares declined 12 cents to end Thursday trading at $8.51.

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