OneChicago sets October launch date; NQLX hits back

OneChicago sets October launch date; NQLX hits back

OneChicago, a joint venture company created by Chicago's leading derivatives exchanges for the trading of single stock futures, has announced plans to begin trading on Friday 25 October, subject to regulatory approval. The announcement has been dismissed as premature by rival joint venture Nasdaq Liffe Markets, which has yet to set a launch date.

OneChicago says it will offer futures contracts on 85 single stocks and 15 narrow-based indices, beginning with 20 of these products on the first day of trading. The Exchange will list the remaining contracts over the ensuing two weeks. All of OneChicago's products will be electronically traded through both CBOE direct and Globex platforms and can be carried in either securities accounts or futures accounts.

Before trading can begin, however, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must approve OneChicago's customer margin rules. The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission must also approve the language of the risk disclosure statement that all firms will be required to send to their customers to permit trading in security futures.

Responding to the OneChicago announcement, Tom Ascher, NQLX’s CEO, says Nasdaq Liffe Markets will not set a launch date until it receives greater certainty about the timing of the SEC approval of customer margin rules, and after consultation with members.

"Our members are continuing to provide NQLX guidance as to a reasonable date to commence trading following our launch briefings and mandatory dress rehearsals," says Ascher. "Without additional certainty as to the timing of an SEC approval, NQLX believes that it is inappropriate to announce a launch date.”

OneChicago has also taken the opportunity to publish its proposed transaction fees. A standard rate for single stock futures will be 30 cents per side, and for narrow-based indicaes 45 cents per contract per side. The exchange says it will waive all transaction fees for the first 30 days of trading.

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