It has been a busy few months for Eurex, the world’s largest futures exchange in Franfurt. April saw it post its third highest monthly total in just 19 trading days, after an excellent first quarter performance. The only downside being the ongoing acrimony with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).
First the good news; the exchange surpassed last April’s performance by a staggering 72%, a remarkable performance given that most exchanges were showing a trading slowdown after an encouraging first quarter.
In stock options trading, Eurex set a new record with 12.3m contracts changing hands bettering the previous record of 11.8m set just a month earlier, putting it 96% ahead of the number traded in April last year. In the international stock options, the derivatives market posted a new high turnover, more than seven times the number traded in this product in April 2000. The exchange is continuing to expand its position as the leading platform for European stock options with a history of success in this segment.
Capital markets products also performed well, if less spectacularly than the stock options, and index products proved popular with new highs in turnover on the derivatives on the DAX and Dow Jones Euro-STOXX 50 derivatives.
The Frankfurt-based exchange is the target for alliances and preferred provider of technology advice. The most famous link-up to date is that with the CBOT, the largest US futures exchange. It was just last year that the CBOT announced it was to introduce a new electronic trading system based on Eurex technology, but the alliance looks set to end in tears.
Eurex have announced that they are to seek redress under the dispute procedures in last year’s agreement. The row revolves around the CBOT’s refusal to purchase software updates from Eurex, who also claim that the CBOT has been reluctant to make US equity options available.
With the CBOT set to demutualise, and in the process of presenting documentation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it will be keen to resolve any outstanding disputes as quickly as possible. The joint venture operating agreement has not yet been signed, and sources in the US suggest it is unlikely to be in the near future.