December 1, 2011 / 3:44 AM / 7 years ago

Getco to buy BofA's NYSE market-making business

(Reuters) - Getco LLC, an electronic market maker and high-frequency trading specialist, on Wednesday said it agreed to buy Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N) floor-trading operations at the New York Stock Exchange, significantly expanding its market-making operations.

Terms were not disclosed. Getco said the transaction will make it the second-largest NYSE-designated market-maker, responsible for trades in about 650 companies and 850 securities.

Among the companies it would be responsible for are blue-chip names such as Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), General Electric Co (GE.N) and McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N).

The transaction will leave just four designated market makers at the exchange: Getco, Barclays Plc (BARC.L), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Knight Capital Group Inc KCG.N. Barclays is the largest.

They had been preceded by so-called specialists, which according to the NYSE numbered 25 as recently as 2000, but the need for human traders has declined as the Big Board moved toward an electronic model.

Getco attained designated market-maker status in February 2010. It said it will assume responsibility for its new assignments from Bank of America over the course of December.

Bank of America is the second-largest U.S. bank, but has been shedding assets in an effort to comply with new international capital standards.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott

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