including LEPOs (Low Exercise Price Options). As in the case of all options at Eurex, the options in Baloise and SGS are supported by professional market-making in order to ensure the necessary underlying liquidity in the new products. With the introduction of the new options on Baloise and SGS, all of the equities in the SMI Swiss blue chip index are now tradable at Eurex.
The market interest in options on European equities continues to grow: With an value of 584 billion Euros (US$ 624.88 billion) Eurex is the worlds leading equity options market, measured in terms of the nominal value of the equity options (the nominal value of the transactions). That corresponded to over 143 million contracts traded in options on individual equities in 2002. In the equity options segment, Eurex saw a rise in trading volume of more than 8 percent last year. In January 2003, Eurex already turned over more than 15 million contracts, an increase of more than 11 percent over the volume traded in January the year before.
In order to make private investors more aware of the benefits of trading in futures and options, Eurex will be holding a series of seminars for private investors again this year in various German cities and in Zurich.
Walter Allwicher, Uwe Velten
Tel: + 49-69-21 01-1500