Computershare and PCX to create electronic options exchange

Computershare and PCX to create electronic options exchange

Following its failed recent bid to buy the Sydney Futures Exchange, Australian trading systems and registry software company Computershare is teaming up with the Pacific Exchange (PCX) to develop an electronic, screen-based trading system for equity options and other derivatives in the US markets.

The new system is expected to be launched in the first half of 2001.

"Advanced technology is critical to any exchange operating in an increasingly competitive environment," says Philip DeFeo, PCX chairman and CEO. "The systems in use on our trading floor today serve us well, but a screen-based system will be a valuable addition to our product offerings. We intend to lead the markets in that direction."

While PCX offers options over stocks in all sectors, it has a pre-eminent position in options over technology stocks. Its San Francisco options trading floor presently averages nearly 500,000 contracts per day.

The new exchange will use Computershare's ASTS trading platform, currently used for exchange-based trading in Oslo, Helsinki and New Zealand.

"We can bring a new trading system to market with Computershare, faster and more effectively than we could on our own," says DeFeo.

The exact structure of the partnership with Computershare has yet to be agreed.

Earlier this month PCX announced that it had closed a transaction with Archipelago, one of the largest US electronic communications networks, to create a new national exchange for stocks listed on the New York and American stock exchanges and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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