News Corp. behind Euro Nasdaq

Venture launches online trading o'seas

NEW YORK — News Corp.’s new venture capital fund “epartners” is one of four groups that will become founding shareholders in a new Pan-European stock market.

The media giant created epartners earlier this year. It is run by former BSkyB topper Mark Booth.

The National Assn. of Securities Dealers announced Friday that it will work with Japan’s Softbank Corp., France’s Vivendi as well as News Corp. to fund the new exchange. Called Nasdaq-Europe, it will be modeled on the Nasdaq National Market in the U.S.

The group is in discussions with U.S. and European financial institutions, which it expects to take significant equity stakes in the venture. Scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2000, the new market will offer European investors an Internet-accessible trading platform linked with Nasdaq markets in the U.S. and Asia.

News Corp. chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch said the company “has always supported entrepreneurial companies and, I hope, embodied their spirit.”

Nasdaq, he added, “has been responsible for helping such companies raise capital and achieve value recognition. As such, it has played a crucial role in speeding up the development and acceptance of new ideas. It is especially pivotal in the new media, and it will fulfill a very important function in Europe.”