News

Facebook Aims To Boost Volumes

02.14.2012

Traders on the floor of exchanges and upstairs have been moaning about slug-like volumes and volatility for the past few months now, with some of the worst days on record vis-à-vis volumes occurring in February.

Despite a boost in the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) on Tuesday’s trading – the VIX was up 8% and back above 20 – volumes remain vapid and lacking. But there is hope and it comes in the form of the Facebook IPO that will occur in the second quarter of 2012.

The demand for shares of Facebook from both the retail and institutional sides will make it one of the hottest IPOs of the past decade. Earlier in the month, the big question was whether the tech-centric company would list on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange. The exchanges were courting the company for several reasons with the primary drivers being volume and yearly fees the exchanges collect.

Now that Facebook has gone with NYSE, listing under the ticker FB, the question remains: will Facebook be the key to growth in volumes at the exchange. The frenzy for Facebook shares could also boost auxiliary names like Zynga (ZNGA) and GSV Capital Corp. (GSVC), which is one of the few publicly-traded investment firms that owns shares of Facebook.

“Facebook is expected to be a huge driver of volume when it begins trading,” noted one specialist at the NYSE.