The American Stock Exchange has lost its biggest listing client now that Barclays Global Investors has moved 81 of its exchange-traded fund listings. All but one of Barclay's iShares will now have their prime listings with the New York Stock Exchange, soon to merge with Archipelago Exchange, an all-electronic market, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Why move?

"It's not so much anything was going wrong there," said Lee Kranefuss, chief executive of the iShares business. "We wanted to look at which venues were best looking forward. [The NYSE is] the premier global exchange, with global ambitions, strong commercial instincts and a specialist system, which really provides comfort to investors."

The merger with Archipelago did not play a role in Barclay's decision, which has been in the works for a year, Kranefuss said. He added that listing fees also do not play a significant role in this type of decision. Ultimately, this move is part of an overall plan to list the ETFs in the exchanges where they see the most active trading, so 99 of the iShares, some listed elsewhere, will end up with NYSE or Archipelago's system, ArcaEx.

The listings will shift between the end of this year and the end of 2007. The one ETF that will remain with Amex tracks the Nasdaq biotech index. Barclays is Amex's biggest listing client, according to an executive with the exchange.

For a long time, ETFs were only available on Amex, and one industry watcher credits them for saving Amex. The mutual fund scandal helped accelerate their growth as investors sought alternatives to mutual funds.

Right now, ETFs comprise over a third of trading on Amex. While the exchange did not have precise statistics on the relative volume of iShares trading, Barclay's ETFs rank high among the most actively traded.

Although iShares' prime listing is with Amex, the lion's share of trading occurs through other exchanges. Right now, Amex handles only a fifth of iShares volume, Kranefuss said. While ArcaEx currently has no ETF listings, in the second quarter, it handled 34 percent of all ETF trading.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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