London, UK â June 19, 2002 â "Eurex has for the first time become the world's leading exchange for equity options," stated Rudolf Ferscha at the International Derivatives Week in London. The Eurex CEO also announced the launch of 14 new options on Dutch shares. Measured by the underlying value of traded contracts, Eurex has by far taken over the leading position from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). According to Ferscha, for equity-
based products, it is not only the number of traded contracts, but also the usefulness for market participants that is measured by the underlying value. Eurex traded 64 million contracts with an underlying value of 366 billion Euros (US$ 351.36 billion) between January and April 2002.
To further enhance it's position as the leading provider of option contracts on international, liquid stocks, Eurex will introduce options on 14 leading Dutch equity options contracts as of July 1st. Once the new options have been introduced, a total of 23 Dutch options will be tradable on Eurex, making it the only international derivatives market to include all Dutch blue chips in its electronic listings. The basis trades for the new Dutch options will be included in the Xetra European Stars segment soon. Deutsche BÃ¶rse has been offering participants liquid trading in the seven Dutch Euro-STOXX since November 2001.
In line with the increasing demand among participants for options with longer terms, the maximum terms for both existing options and the new Dutch options are to be extended to 60 months. In addition, all the Dutch options are to be supported by permanent market making, meaning that market makers will undertake the listing of prices in their order books on a permanent basis and not just on request. Eurex will reward the most active participants with an attractive fees model. To facilitate hedging for those who trade in these options, all the Dutch options tradable on Eurex will be subject to the smallest pricing unit of one Eurocent. Eurex is also the only exchange to have a minimum order size of just 250 contracts for block trades.
All in all, the equity option segment of Eurex is very successful: some 70 million contracts have so far been traded in 2002. The nine Dutch options already available on Eurex are ABN Amro, Aegon, Ahold, ASML, ING, KPN, Philips St., Royal Dutch and Unilever. For some of the Dutch options Eurex already has a market share of up to 30 percent of the total trading volume worldwide.