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A market maker or liquidity provider is a
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared ...
or an individual that quotes both a buy and a sell price in a tradable asset held in inventory, hoping to make a profit on the ''
bid–ask spread The bid–ask spread (also bid–offer or bid/ask and buy/sell in the case of a market maker) is the difference between the prices quoted (either by a single market maker or in a limit order book) for an immediate sale ( ask) and an immediate ...
'', or ''turn.'' The benefit to the firm is that it makes money from doing so; the benefit to the market is that this helps limit price variation ( volatility) by setting a limited trading price range for the assets being traded. In U.S. markets, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines a "market maker" as a firm that stands ready to buy and sell
stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the Share (finance), shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which owners ...
on a regular and continuous basis at a publicly quoted price. A Designated Primary Market Maker (DPM) is a specialized market maker approved by an exchange to guarantee that they will take a position in a particular assigned security, option, or option index.


In currency exchange

Most foreign exchange trading firms are market makers, as are many banks. The foreign exchange market maker both buys foreign currency from clients and then sells it to other clients. They derive income from the price differentials on such trades, as well as for the service of providing
liquidity Liquidity is a concept in economics involving the convertibility of assets and obligations. It can include: * Market liquidity, the ease with which an asset can be sold * Accounting liquidity, the ability to meet cash obligations when due * Liqui ...
, reducing transaction costs, and facilitating trade.


In stock exchange

Market makers that stand ready to buy and sell
stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the Share (finance), shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which owners ...
s listed on an exchange, such as the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List o ...
(NYSE) or the
London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange in the City of London, England, United Kingdom. , the total market value of all companies trading on LSE was £3.9 trillion. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul ...
(LSE), are called "third market makers". Most
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance) ...
s operate on a "matched bargain" or "order driven" basis. When a buyer's bid price meets a seller's offer price or vice versa, the stock exchange's matching system decides that a deal has been executed. In such a system, there may be no designated or official market makers, but market makers nevertheless exist. there were over two thousand market makers in the United States, and over a hundred in Canada.


New York

In the United States, the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List o ...
and
American Stock Exchange NYSE American, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and more recently as NYSE MKT, is an American stock exchange situated in New York City. AMEX was previously a mutual organization, owned by its members. Until 1953, it was known ...
(AMEX), among others, have designated market makers, formerly known as "specialists", who act as the official market maker for a given security. The market makers provide a required amount of liquidity to the security's market, and take the other side of trades when there are short-term buy-and-sell-side imbalances in customer orders. In return, the specialist is granted various informational and trade execution advantages. Other U.S. exchanges, most prominently the
NASDAQ The Nasdaq Stock Market () (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations Stock Market) is an American stock exchange based in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the ...
stock exchange, employ several competing official market makers in a security. These market makers are required to maintain two-sided markets during exchange hours and are obligated to buy and sell at their displayed bids and offers. They typically do not receive the trading advantages a specialist does, but they do get some, such as the ability to
naked short Nudity is the state of being in which a human is without clothing. The loss of body hair was one of the physical characteristics that marked the biological evolution of modern humans from their hominin ancestors. Adaptations related to h ...
a stock, i.e., selling it without borrowing it. In most situations, only official market makers are permitted to engage in naked shorting. Changes to the rules in the 2000s and 2010s have explicitly banned naked shorting by options market makers. In liquid markets like the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List o ...
, nearly every asset has open interest, providing two benefits: price takers can buy or sell at any time, and observers can continually monitor a precise price of every asset. A prediction market, or market explicitly designed to uncover the value of an asset, relies heavily on continual price discovery holding true. Prediction markets benefit from automated market makers, or algorithmic traders that maintain constant open interest, providing needed liquidity to the markets that would be difficult to provide naturally. Examples of New York market makers are Optiver, Jane Street Capital, Flow Traders, IMC, and
Virtu Financial Virtu Financial is an American company that provides financial services, trading products and market maker, market making services. Virtu provides product suite including offerings in execution, liquidity sourcing, analytics and broker-neutral, m ...
, according to Article 17(13) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012.


London

On the
London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange in the City of London, England, United Kingdom. , the total market value of all companies trading on LSE was £3.9 trillion. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul ...
there are official market makers for many securities. Some of the LSE's member firms take on the obligation of always making a two-way price in each of the stocks in which they make markets. Their prices are the ones displayed on the Stock Exchange Automated Quotation (SEAQ) system and it is they who generally deal with brokers buying or selling stock on behalf of clients. Proponents of the official market making system claim market makers add to the liquidity and depth of the market by taking a short or long position for a time, thus assuming some risk in return for the chance of a small profit. On the LSE, one can always buy and sell stock: each stock always has at least two market makers and they are obliged to deal. In contrast, on smaller, order-driven markets such as the JSE Securities Exchange it can be difficult to determine the buying and selling prices of even a small block of stocks that lack a clear and immediate market value because there are often no buyers or sellers on the order board. Unofficial market makers are free to operate on order driven markets or, indeed, on the LSE. They do not have the obligation to always be making a two-way price, but they do not have the advantage that everyone must deal with them either. Examples of UK Market makers since Big Bang Day are Peel Hunt LLP, Winterflood Securities, Liberum Capital, Shore Capital, Fairfax IS and Altium Securities. Prior to the Big Bang, jobbers had exclusive rights of market making on the LSE.


Frankfurt

The
Frankfurt Stock Exchange The Frankfurt Stock Exchange (german: link=no, Börse Frankfurt, former German name – FWB) is the world's 12th largest stock exchange by market capitalization. It has operations from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm (Time in Germany, German time). Orga ...
(FWB) runs a system of market makers appointed by the listed companies. These are called "designated sponsors". Designated Sponsors secure higher liquidity by quoting binding prices for buying and selling the shares. The largest market maker by number of mandates in Germany is ODDO BHF Corporates & Markets AG.


Tokyo

Since 2018, the
Tokyo Stock Exchange The , abbreviated as Tosho () or TSE/TYO, is a stock exchange located in Tokyo, Japan. It is the third largest stock exchange in the world by aggregate market capitalization of its listed companies, and the largest in Asia. It had 2,292 listed co ...
has had an ETF Market Making Incentive Scheme in place, which provides incentives to designated market makers who maintain quoting obligations in qualified ETFs. This list of market makers includes Nomura Securities, Flow Traders, and Optiver.


Decentralized network protocols

Liquidity provision in a decentralized network protocol works rather differently. There are no companies nor other centralized entities involved at the protocol level. Companies or individuals may, however, choose to ''use'' the protocol, by providing liquidity to the protocol, typically in return for the prospect of making an ROI on the assets committed to the liquidity pools. Traditional
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of justice in Civil law (common law), civil, C ...
s with
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Jur ...
in defined geographic boundaries may have difficulty regulating or shutting down such protocols, since the protocols have no central or headquarters jurisdiction in which they operate. The network operates on the principles, and according to the code, that is running on the network, similar to an AI.


Income of market makers

The income of a market maker is the difference between the
bid price A bid price is the highest price that a buyer (i.e., bidder) is willing to pay for some goods. It is usually referred to simply as the "bid". In bid and ask, the bid price stands in contrast to the ask price or "offer", and the difference between ...
, the price at which the firm is willing to buy a
stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the Share (finance), shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which owners ...
, and the
ask price Ask price, also called offer price, offer, asking price, or simply ask, is the price a sales, seller states they will accept. The seller may qualify the stated asking price as firm or negotiable. Firm means the seller is implying that the price i ...
, the price at which the firm is willing to sell it. It is known as the market-maker spread, or
bid–ask spread The bid–ask spread (also bid–offer or bid/ask and buy/sell in the case of a market maker) is the difference between the prices quoted (either by a single market maker or in a limit order book) for an immediate sale ( ask) and an immediate ...
. Supposing that equal amounts of buy and sell orders arrive and the price never changes, this is the amount that the market maker will gain on each round trip. Market makers usually also provide
liquidity Liquidity is a concept in economics involving the convertibility of assets and obligations. It can include: * Market liquidity, the ease with which an asset can be sold * Accounting liquidity, the ability to meet cash obligations when due * Liqui ...
to the firm's clients, for which they earn a commission.


See also

* Divide and choose, analogous to a two-way price *
List of finance topics The following Outline (list), outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to finance: Finance – addresses the ways in which individuals and organizations raise and allocate monetary factors of production, resources over time, ta ...
*
Sales and trading Sales and trading is one of the primary front-office divisions of major Investment banking, investment banks. The term is typically reserved for the trading activities done by sell-side investment banks who are primarily engaged in making markets fo ...


References


External links


Understanding Derivatives: Markets and Infrastructure - Chapter 1 Derivatives Overview
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Financial Markets Group {{Authority control Financial markets