Source AP ©

Netherlands-based securities trader quits NYSE

Netherlands-based securities trader Van der Moolen Holding NV claimed it will cease its U.S. specialist business and delist from the New York Stock Exchange. After that company's shares more than halved.

The stock plunged 58 percent to €3.27 (US$4.79).

The specialist business "has not succeeded in bringing its operations back to profitability and will not be able to meet its second half year U.S. target," said Chief Executive Richard den Drijver. "Therefore, we have decided to terminate the VDM US specialist activity as promptly as possible."

The role of specialists, traders who famously shout buy and sell orders in the exchange pits, has been reduced by competition from electronic trading platforms. In October Van der Moolen said it planned to cut 25 percent of its U.S. staff to reduce costs.

The company will also delist its American Depositary Shares.

Stock exchange specialists provide liquidity and act as brokers for stocks bonds and other securities.

Van der Moolen also said Thursday its net loss narrowed to €5.8 million (US$8.5 million) in the third quarter from €35.3 million (US$51.68 million) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 13 percent to €33.1 million (US$48.5 million).