On September 20, Eurex, the world's largest derivatives exchange, will be expanding its Swiss equity option segment and introducing options contracts on Synthes Inc. registered shares. This will allow investors to trade options on Synthes prior to the introduction of the shares in the Swiss SMI share index on October 1. One contract consists of 10 shares and has a maximum maturity of 24 months. Eurex intends to increase the liquidity of trading in the new product from the very beginning by means of market making.
A total of 160 equity options are currently tradable on Eurex, 27 of which are Swiss equity options. On average, Eurex trading participants traded approximately 195,000 options contracts daily on Swiss equities in the first seven months of 2004. This corresponds to a increase of 5 percent year on year.