Bats Global Markets sent a message to its members from CEO Joe Ratterman on Sunday night, noting: “Bats experienced a serious technical failure Friday morning and I want to apologise for not measuring up to the level of excellence that you have come to expect from us. You undoubtedly have heard that we experienced a system problem in our attempt to open the BATS ticker symbol for the first time on Friday morning. We failed to roll into continuous trading with our new BATS ticker immediately following the opening auction. In effect, our newly issued stock did not begin trading as it should and was halted before it ever started trading.”
The message also explained: “In addition to several months of our own internal testing, we thoroughly tested this new auction functionality with trading participants for many weeks prior to Friday. It shouldn’t have failed, but it did, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.” The Bats IPO was in fact the first usage of this new functionality, following on from the exchange’s move into the primary listings business.
In a follow up message Monday morning, Bats acknowledged that the glitch “played a role” in a dive in Apple’s share price, which resulted in trading of it being suspended for five minutes under circuit breaker rules.
The exchange also noted that its IPO is now on hold, and that it has “a lot of work to do” to be seen as a credible venue for the listing of other companies’ stock.