The launch of pan-European equity trading platform Turquoise, originally planned for November, has been delayed until early 2008 due to complex contract negotiations over the technology platform used to power the venture, according to a spokesperson.

A spokesperson from Turquoise dismissed media reports that infighting between the seven leading investment banks involved was the cause of the launch date slipping.

The spokesperson said the original launch date was a "self-imposed opportunistic timetable".

"There is no official launch date," he said. "We haven't yet signed the large complex contract with the technology provider."

The spokesperson said there was one leading contender to supply the technology platform, shortlisted from an original list of 17 potential providers, but there were still "a couple of other options". Media reports speculate that Nordic bourse operator OMX is the front-runner.

Turquoise – backed by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs , Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS - hopes to select its technology provider by the end of August, and will appoint a chief executive shortly afterwards.

The spokesperson said that the final choice of provider would be influenced by the outcome of the contract negotiations. The chosen platform needs to be robust, with rich functionality and capable of low latency.

Similarly, the appointment of the CEO will be influenced by the technology platform that is chosen. The spokesperson confirmed Turquoise has narrowed down the list to just two candidates, both with a depth of experience within exchanges. However, the final decision will depend in part on the technology selected.

Turquoise will compete with domestic European exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange, following the introduction of the EU's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – or MiFID – in November.

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