Bats Global Markets, an innovative global financial markets technology company, announces today's much anticipated launch of the Bats Options exchange for trading US equity options.
BATS Options kicks off with live trading in options on 18 underlying securities, including cash equities and ETFs. The rollout of more than 6,400 underlying symbols will be completed by the 17th of May.
"Today marks a tremendous milestone for BATS with the launch of BATS Options," said Joe Ratterman, CEO of BATS Global Markets and BATS Exchange. "We look forward to injecting competition into the US options markets just as we have in US and European equities -- with superior technology, pricing leadership and outstanding service.
"Also, of course, we are thankful to our members, investors and supporters in the industry who continue to play such significant roles in helping us to Make Markets Better. Special recognition goes to all of our BATS employees for their tremendous efforts toward a successful launch. I am very pleased to say that, thanks to our outstanding team, BATS was able to deliver on its aggressive go-live schedule, well ahead of what most outside observers expected was even possible," he said.
Jeromee Johnson, vice president, market development, who has spearheaded the options program, said, "The response from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled to have more than 30 member firms already approved for options trading with more eager to complete the membership process. We are excited about the opportunity in front of us and look forward to bringing greater efficiency to options market participants."
Separately, The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and BATS Exchange, Inc (BATS) announced today that the BATS Exchange has become an OCC participant exchange. This follows Jan. 26 approval of BATS' options trading rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The BATS Options exchange begins operations of its options trading facility today.
OCC, which operates under the jurisdiction of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, clears and guarantees the trades executed on all U.S. options exchanges. As a result of BATS Exchange's affiliation with OCC, the standardized options contracts traded on BATS can be offset against the same options contracts traded on the other U.S. options markets, resulting in significant efficiencies for participating member firms.
"We thank the OCC team for working with us to meet our aggressive timeline and appreciate their significant contributions to support us in that effort," said Jeromee Johnson, BATS vice president, market development, who has spearheaded the BATS Options project. "We are very excited to launch BATS Options today as we strive to Make Markets Better with a pure price-time priority options market that features superior technology and simple, transparent maker-taker pricing."
Wayne P. Luthringshausen, OCC Chairman and CEO, said, "In the midst of the record growth experienced in the U.S. options industry, OCC is pleased to welcome BATS. As a participant exchange, BATS will be afforded the full range of premier clearing and risk management services available to all of our other exchanges."