The Chicago Board of Trade (Cbot) has gone live with the first phase of its new electronic trading platform, e-cbot, powered by Liffe Connect and featuring a Common Clearing Link (CCL) to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's clearing system.
The e-Cbot platform replaces the a/c/e network provided by Eurex. The exchange has so far migrated 11 futures and options products to the new platform and says 118 firms in 185 locations are participating in the migration.
The CME, which supplies its own clearing services, has now started handling Cbot trades submitted via the CME/Cbot CCL.
The shared clearing system is a bid by the Chicago exchanges to stave off competition from Frankfurt-based Eurex, which plans to establish a futures exchange in the city next year.
Previously, all trades conducted at the CBOT were cleared by the Chicago-based Clearing Corporation. The Clearing Coproration recently voted on a restructuring that would allow it to act as a clearing house for Eurex's proposed US exchange.
Cbot says the clearing link will provide market users with industry savings of $1.4 billion in performance bond reductions and $200 million in capital reductions, along with another $1 million in savings from transaction and other ancillary fees.
Charles Carey, Cbot chairman, says: "Our customers already are enjoying the benefits of the CBOT's superior electronic platform, with its enhanced functionality, and the capital, margin and operational efficiencies delivered by the CCL."
The second and final phase of the transition, where all remaining products will move to e-Cbot, is set for January 1 2004.