CME appoints CF Wong managing director, Asia

Source: Chicago Mercantile Exchange

CME, the world's largest and most diverse financial exchange, today announced that it has appointed C.F. Wong to head its Asia office as Managing Director, Asia.

Wong has over 25 years of experience in international futures markets, including roles as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ABN-AMRO Asia Futures, NatWest Futures Asia and HSBC Futures Asia. Wong will report to Rick Redding, Managing Director, CME Products & Services.

CME currently operates offices in Tokyo and Sydney, as well as a telecommunications hub in Singapore that serves the Pan-Asian marketplace, and these operations will become part of a larger, more comprehensive effort to grow the company's outreach to customers in this region.

"Asia represents enormous long-term growth opportunities for CME as we successfully execute our global strategy, and C.F. and his team will build even more momentum for international business development," said CME CEO Craig Donohue. "According to the Bank for International Settlements, financial markets in China, India and the Asia-Pacific Region are growing at an extremely rapid rate. For example, between 1998 and 2004, exchange-traded derivatives grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 69 percent in Asia, compared to a 29 percent rate in North America. With our global benchmark products, around the clock trading on our CME Globex electronic trading platform and our talented Asian business team, we will continue to expand the reach of our products and services and provide additional value to our customers and shareholders."

"We continue to broaden distribution of our products and services to Asia, particularly through CME Globex, which is the most widely distributed derivatives electronic trading platform in the industry," said Redding. "We are excited to have C.F. become part of this team, as his experience, leadership and track record of innovation will help us to leverage even more opportunities to grow our business in the Asian marketplace."

Wong, 50, previously served as a Managing Director for Octagon Advisors, serving as an advisor to banks in Singapore and China. He worked as Executive Vice President for United Overseas Bank (UOB) Group's High Net Worth Banking arm, as Managing Director of UOB Bullion and Futures, and as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ABN-AMRO Asia Futures, NatWest Futures Asia and HSBC Futures Asia. He began his career at The Monetary Authority of Singapore. Wong earned a bachelor's degree in commerce from Nanyang University, Singapore, and has served as a Director for the Singapore International Monetary Exchange.

Wong will manage a team that includes:

Johannes Zhou, Director, Asian Business Development, joined CME earlier this year. He has over 27 years of financial services experience, and was formerly an advisor on futures and risk management to the China Securities Regulatory Commission. He also held several leadership positions (including Chief Financial Officer) at the Hong Kong Futures Exchange, led China operations for Union Bank of Switzerland and held a variety of roles at State Street Bank and Trust Company.

Yoshio Kuno, Director, CME Asia, joined CME in 1998 and has worked to develop CME's customer base in Asia. He has over 27 years of financial services experience. Before joining the company, Kuno served as Senior Vice President & General Manager - Asia for BA Futures, Incorporated, a futures commission merchant, and held a variety of roles for Bank of America's Tokyo branch.

Nicholas T. M. Bolton, Director, CME Asia-Pacific, joined CME in 2005 after serving as a consultant since 2002. He has over 30 years of financial services experience. He formerly directed the Chicago Board of Trade's Asia-Pacific operations and served in futures and options marketing roles for a variety of European financial services companies in the United Kingdom, including ING Baring Futures & Options, Chase Manhattan Futures, and ED&F Man.

CME has announced a number of key initiatives in Asia in the past 12 months:

In late November, CME renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Exchange. CME also signed new Memorandums of Understanding with Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Dalian Commodity Exchange and Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, all in China.

In October, CME announced plans to launch a new futures contract based on the S&P Asia 50 Index, the only Pan-Asian equity index that tracks the 50 largest stocks traded in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. This contract is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2006 exclusively on the CME Globex electronic trading platform.

In partnership with the Shanghai Futures Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange, CME hosted the China Financial Derivatives Forum in Shanghai in September 2005.

Also in September, CME marked the 15th anniversary of its CME Nikkei 225 futures contract, the first contract based on a non-U.S. based stock index to trade on a U.S. derivatives exchange. Since its launch on Sept. 25, 1990, over 9.1 million CME Nikkei 225 futures contracts, representing a notional value of $580 billion, have traded at CME.

CME launched its first telecommunications hub in Asia in June 2005, becoming the first overseas derivatives exchange to open an Asian telecommunications hub in Singapore. This hub has improved access and reduced connectivity costs for CME market users in the region. In 2004, CME launched six hubs in key European financial centers following the opening of the inaugural hub in London in January 2002.

CME launched a Chinese Web site in April 2005. The site features CME product information, CME Globex electronic trading information, company history, and Reuters Financial News.

The exchange signed Memorandums of Understanding with the China Foreign Exchange Trading System & National Interbank Funding Center in June 2004 and Shanghai Stock Exchange in March 2005 to create forums for information sharing between the organizations regarding the potential development of derivatives products in China.

CME introduced a number of incentive programs targeting traders in Europe and Asia, including the European and Asian Incentive Programs, Electronic Corporate Membership and a new tiered fee structure that provides incentives to high-volume customers trading CME Eurodollar futures.

In January 2004, CME became the first non-Australian exchange to be licensed under the new Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act, allowing it to begin providing direct access to CME Globex and products traded on CME Globex to Australian market participants.

CME continues to offer around the clock trading of its and Singapore Exchange Ltd's (SGX) interest rate products through its mutual offset system agreement.

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