Seven US trade associations have issued a joint appeal to futures regulators to speed up Eurex's application for a trading license, or risk putting the putative new exchange at a significant disadvantage to incumbent markets in Chicago.
The industry groups, which include the Bond Markets Associations, the Futures Industry Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, have written to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, urging the regulator to fast-track Eurex's application.
Prompt action is necessary, they argue, if Eurex is to meet its deadline of 1 February for the opening of the new exchange - ahead of the imminent roll over of existing positions into new six-monthly contracts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade.
"Our members and other end users are ready to trade," the letter states, in a clear indication that users are planning to migrate some of their treasury positions to the screen-based Eurex US when establishing their June positions.
The letter cranks up the pressure on the Chicago futures and options marts, which were struck by another thunderbolt yesterday with the announcement by Euronext.Liffe that it intends to launch electronic trading in eurodollar futures and options contracts. These have traditionally been the preserve of floor-based traders at the Merc.
The move was welcomed by FIA president John Damgard: "We are now seeing exactly what Congress intended with the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 - the emergence of head-to-head competition among the world’s leading exchanges."