Frankfurt, Germany - April 22, 2003 - Eurex, the international derivatives market, has further expanded its portfolio of equity-based products for trading. As of today, the world's largest equity options market is offering equity options on the French equity STMicroelectronics including LEPOÂ´s
(Low Exercise Price Options). The new option on STMicroelectronics brings the number of options available for trading on the Eurex platform on equities from the CAC40 French index from 37 to 40. The contract specifications for the option on STMicroelectronics are analogous to those that already exist for French equity options at Eurex.
The trading activity of market participants in the segment for French equity options at Eurex has increased considerably in recent months: Over 205,000 equity option contracts on French blue chips have been traded and cleared at Eurex in 2003 so far, roughly five times the number traded during the same period of last year (over 40,000 contracts). Eurex made significant gains in market share, which makes up 5.5 percent of the total market in worldwide trading with French equity options in terms of the nominal value of the equity options traded (the nominal value of the transactions) since the start of the market initiative at Eurex. The open interest in the French equity options also rose during this period, from roughly 70,000 contracts at the beginning of March to 120,000 contracts.
The market interest in options on European equities is rising steadily: Eurex is the world's leading equity options exchange with turnover of 584 billion Euros (US$ 642.4 billion) in terms of the nominal value of the contracts traded.
Walter Allwicher, Uwe Velten
Tel: + 49-69-21 01-1500