High-frequency trading firm Virtu renews share offering

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Image caption Virtu plans to list it shares on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol VIRT

US high-speed trading firm Virtu has renewed efforts to make its stock market debut, after it was forced to delay plans due to a controversial book.

In a filing with US regulators, the firm said it planned to raise $314m, valuing it at nearly $2.6bn.

Virtu is one of the biggest so-called high-frequency trading firms that rely on algorithms to execute trades.

The practice came under fire after a "flash crash" in 2010.

The crash wiped 700 points off the Dow Jones index in a matter of minutes, and was attributed to a cascade of sales by computer trading programs.

High frequency trading is where traders create complicated algorithms programmed into computers to buy and sell stocks in milliseconds, faster than any human.

It has grown in popularity in recent years, but has also come under scrutiny for supposed risks.

Journalist Michael Lewis wrote a book on firms that engage in high frequency trading, Flash Boys, which was published in 2014.

The book, which questioned whether or not flash traders rigged markets in their favour, received wide attention, and several US Congressional hearings were called to look into regulations regarding flash trading.

In the wake of the negative press, Virtu was forced to delay its public share offering in March 2014.

Founded by former New York Mercantile Exchange head Vincent Viola, Virtu would be the first high-speed trading firm to become a publicly-listed company.

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