The term Dark Pool Liquidity refers to the volume of trades made by institutional orders placed on private exchange platforms, where the general public has little access to the specifics of these transactions. The majority of this liquidity comes from block trades, which are executed away from the main stock market exchanges, predominantly by institutional investors, mainly investment banks.
In dark pools, trades are executed anonymously, and the details of the transactions are only made public after they have been completed. This method allows institutional investors to execute large orders without causing significant price movements that typically occur in the public market when such large volumes are traded. The anonymity and privacy offered by dark pools make them an attractive venue for handling large transactions.
Dark pools are primarily used by institutional investors, such as mutual funds, pension funds, and large private investors. They use these platforms to conduct large-scale trades while avoiding the potential adverse market impact of these trades being known in advance. Dark pools are also used for trading sensitive positions, where revealing the trading intention might lead to speculative trading.
The lack of transparency in dark pools has raised concerns about market fairness and equality among different market participants. Regulatory bodies often scrutinize these platforms to ensure they do not create an uneven playing field. Additionally, the opacity of dark pools can pose challenges in terms of price discovery, as the lack of visible trade data might affect the accurate valuation of securities.