UBS to sue Nasdaq over bungled Facebook IPO

Swiss banking giant UBS has pledged to "take appropriate legal action" against  tech-focused US stock exchange Nasdaq after losing $356 million on Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO) in May.

UBS says that technical issues on the morning of the IPO prevented "sell" orders it had placed on behalf of clients from being processed in a timely fashion.

"Due to multiple operational failures by Nasdaq, UBS’s pre-market orders were not confirmed for several hours after the stock had commenced trading," the bank said in its latest financial report. "UBS’s loss resulted from Nasdaq’s multiple failures to carry out its obligations, including both opening the Facebook stock for trading and not halting trading in the stock during the day.

"We will take appropriate legal action against Nasdaq to address its gross mishandling of the offering and its substantial failures to perform its duties."

Last month, Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld said the company "owed the industry an apology" for the technical glitches, and announced a plan to offer $40 million in compensation for financial firms that lost money as a result.

Market maker Knight Capital is already suing Nasdaq, claiming it lost up $35 million as a result of the bungled Facebook IPO.

Greifeld blamed the technical glitches on the "poor design" of its IPO auction software. The incident echoed the botched IPO of stock exchange operator BATS Global Markets, whose trading platform malfunctioned when it launched shares of its own stock exchange.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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