Market Maker System

Every security listed on TSX, except for debentures/notes has a designated Market Maker firm and Registered Trader (RT) who is responsible for supporting an orderly market for trading of the security.

The role of the Market Maker is to augment liquidity, and ensure a 2 sided market exists, while maintaining the primacy of an order-driven continuous auction market based on price-time priority. A Market Maker manages market liquidity through a mainly passive role, and is often only visible when natural market forces are not sufficiently supporting a liquid trading environment.

Click here to access a list of TSX Market Making firms.

Responsibilities of TSX Registered Traders include:

  • Ensure a 2 sided market within a specified range (the "Spread Goal") exists at all times. The Market Maker must enter orders to maintain this range when natural market liquidity falls is not present at or within the Spread Goal.
  • Contribute to market liquidity and depth
  • Maintain activity in the market
  • Fulfill the needs of retail-sized order flow through the MGF facility.(see below) . The MGF facility provides a guaranteed fill at the best posted market for MGF eligible orders. Assist TSX and its regulators with inquiries and anomalies, report suspicious activity to IIROC.
  • Service odd lots

Benefits to TSX Market Makers:

  • Optional Registered Trader Participation (link to Participation & MGF page) feature that allows Market Makers to trade passively at the TSX BBO without requiring an order at the top of the book in order to accumulate or flatten a position in their assigned securities
  • Registered Traders receive preferential trading fees and are eligible for a monthly symbol credit per symbol of responsibility designed to offset various costs incurred by carrying out their Market Making responsibilities
  • Reputational benefit and industry-wide visibility associated with being an established trading firm that meets TSX requirements and allocation decisions

Market Maker firms and their Registered Traders (RTs) do not have any proprietary pre-trade information or access to information regarding trade order entry of other participants.

Performance measurement system

TSX continuously monitors the performance of all Market Makers with respect to their ability to contribute to the overall market in terms of creating liquidity, depth and continuity. Market Makers are assessed on their ability to call a 2-sided market (i.e. spread maintenance), their efforts to line the book with reasonable depth (i.e. liquidity), and their overall participation in trading of the security.

Allocation of securities of responsibility

Securities are allocated to Market Making firms upon listing, or soon thereafter (a Temporary MM will be assigned in this case) As most securities attract interest from multiple Market Making Firms, the TSX Allocation Committee determines which firms are assigned as Market Makers for specific securities via a competitive bidding process during which various criteria are analyzed including but not limited to:

  • A firm's overall performance in managing existing responsibilities
  • A firm's competitive service level bids
  • A firm's ability to remain within its qualification requirements
  • Special requests by listed companies

Requirements

Market Maker firms are required to:

  • Maintain sufficient expertise, technology, and firm capital to carry out their Market Making responsibilities
  • Maintain a minimum number of assignments so as to maintain their presence
  • Maintain a certain ratio of assignments in highly and less liquid securities

TSX Participating Organizations interested in becoming a TSX Market Maker, or requiring more information on the Market Maker program, may contact either a TMX Account Manager, or the TMX Manager of Market Quality (Vic Ciampini 416-947-4555 or victor.ciampini@tmx.com).

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