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Fortis signs with GL TRADE for direct market access to CME, CBOT, LIFFE and EUREX

Paris, 23 January 2006

GL TRADE, global provider of front-to-back office software solutions for international financial institutions, announces that Fortis have signed up for direct access to the CME, CBOT, LIFFE and EUREX markets through GL NET, the groups dedicated order routing and data feed network.

GL NET is the vehicle of choice for financial market connectivity around the globe and this agreement will allow Fortis to expand exponentially in the futures and options firmament.

GL TRADE provides access to more than 105 electronic equities and derivatives exchanges worldwide. Over the past 3 years, the GL NET community constantly and significantly grew by 240 financial institutions to reach 630 in November 2005. The GL NET dedicated network sends orders to their destination in less than 0.25 seconds and handles an average of 750,000 messages daily.

Chris Lee, Global Head of Screen Based Trading for Fortis Merchant Banking’s Global Clearing entity comments: "Over the past few years we have become one of the major forces in servicing and clearing trading bureaux and arcades. Joining the GL net is part of our plan to grow our electronic brokerage and routing business around the globe. With memberships to over 40 exchanges worldwide, our credit rating of AA- (S&P) and our extensive service offerings this forms part of our strategy to be a top 5 clearer globally."

"This new venture is a natural step in our relationship. Having delivered exchange gateways on the main listed derivatives markets, it is evident that adding the GL NET network will enable Fortis to receive order flow from their clients anywhere in the world" said Sylvain Ngassa, Sales Director GL TRADE London No rthern Europe.