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Microsoft does not plan move to N.Y. Stock Exchange; Addition to Dow index to keep Nasdaq listing

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW YORK -- Microsoft Corp., the world's most valuable company, doesn't plan to move the listing of its shares to the New York Stock Exchange from the Nasdaq Stock Market, Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Gates said yesterday.

"We've done very well as a Nasdaq stock. I don't expect that we will make that change" to the New York Stock Exchange, said Gates, who was receiving a leadership award from the New York Institute of Technology.

Microsoft and Intel Corp., both Nasdaq stocks, will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average Monday. The 30 stocks currently listed in the Dow industrial index are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Being in the Dow will put more pressure on them to switch," said Pat Healy, president of the Issuer Network, a Chevy Chase company that advises companies on where to list. "Some would argue that now Microsoft and Intel are in the club, they should go all the way and list on the NYSE."

NYSE officials have said they're reserving "M" and "I" stock ticker symbols for Nasdaq's prize listings: Microsoft and Intel. The exchange has poached many of Nasdaq's leading companies, including America Online Inc.

The world's largest software company has been in Richard Grasso's personal account since he became chairman of the world's largest stock exchange in 1995, Healy said. Grasso has met Gates several times in an attempt to woo Microsoft, he said.

The Nasdaq has a "trump card," Healy said. Michael Brown, former chief financial officer of Microsoft, is chairman of the Nasdaq stock market.

SBC Communications Inc. and Home Depot Inc., both of which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, will also become part of the Dow industrials index. The four companies will replace Union Carbide Corp., Chevron Corp., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

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