Nasdaq, Other Trading Exchanges To Meet With Texas Gov. Abbott About Potential Move
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will welcome representatives from major stock exchanges, including Nasdaq, to Austin on Nov. 20 as the state makes a bid to be the top choice if the exchanges make good on threats to move their trading platforms out of New Jersey.
The Dallas Morning News reported last month that the governor’s office was in talks with Nasdaq and other exchanges about moving data centers to Dallas that power billions of dollars in trades each day on Wall Street.
The governor’s office confirmed the meeting, touting the state’s business-friendly environment.
“Texas continues to be the premier economic destination in the country, attracting more leading businesses than any other state,” spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement to The News. “The governor looks forward to meeting with Nasdaq and showcasing Texas’ business-friendly environment, skilled workforce, robust infrastructure, and low taxes, all of which foster greater economic growth in the Lone Star State.”
The group meeting with Abbott calls itself the Coalition To Prevent the Taxing of Retirement Savings, according to two sources familiar with the discussions but not authorized to speak publicly. The coalition includes Nasdaq, CBOE Global Markets, Citadel Securities, data center operator Equinix, IEX, Members Exchange, New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., Virtu Financial and UBS.
Texas and its economic development council were the first of several states to reach out to the coalition to express interest in housing the exchange data centers, according to one source. Officials in Virginia, North Carolina and Illinois have also reportedly had discussions with Nasdaq.
The talks are being driven by a potential tax on financial transactions in New Jersey, where Nasdaq and other exchanges house the data systems that are behind Wall Street’s daily activity.
Under one legislative proposal, New Jersey would charge a quarter of a cent per “financial transaction” at entities processing at least 10,000 transactions annually via electronic infrastructure. That tax would generate an estimated $10 billion annually for the state.
If the exchanges leave New Jersey for North Texas, it would bolster the region’s burgeoning financial services sector and signal a move away from Wall Street’s reliance on the East Coast.
It would also be a boon for the growing data center industry in North Texas. Facebook and others have built massive data centers in Dallas-Fort Worth that draw on the state’s renewable energy sources.