Eurex smashes through billion contracts barrier as US assault draws closer

Eurex smashes through billion contracts barrier as US assault draws closer

Swiss-German derivatives exchange Eurex has smashed through the billion contracts a year barrier, as trading volume in 2003 runs 20% ahead of 2002.

Eurex says the one billionth contract of 2003 was traded on Wednesday. Trading volumes to date exceed the 2002 total of 801 million contracts by more than 20%, says the exchange, and have more than doubled since 2000 when 454 million contracts were traded.

Eurex turnover generated by US and UK-based Eurex customers has reached 565 million contracts or 57% of worldwide turnover, up from approximately 22% in 1998, the year DTB and Soffex merged to form Eurex.

The exchange yesterday outlined plans to start a global clearing link with Chicago-based Clearing Corp. in March as part of its assault on the US futures and options market.

Rudolf Ferscha, CEO of Eurex, says: "Through the global clearing link with The Clearing Corporation in Chicago, we will jointly create even more value for our customers and further stimulate growth throughout the derivatives industry."

He says customers accessing both USdollar- and euro-denominated products through the global clearing partnership stand to benefit from collateral pooling and margin offsets that will lead to potential margin savings in excess of $2.5 billion.

Says Ferscha: "The time is right for a truly global liquidity network."

Shares in Deutsche Boerse rose five per cent on Wednesday, amid market talk that US regulators are preparing to approve Eurex's application for a licence in the United States and continued speculation about possible equity link-ups between Eurex and shareholders in the defunct BrokerTec Futures Exchange.

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