AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS/PARIS - Euronext has risen to become the number one exchange in the world for index futures and options and number two for equity options, in terms of the number of contracts traded, after recording a record year for business in 2000.

Nearly 327m futures and options changed hands on Euronext derivatives markets last year, 33.2% more than in the previous year.
Equity and index derivatives accounted for 86.5% of the total, a rise of 20.2% from the previous year.

Total trades through Euronext order books totalled e1.7bn for 2000, up 59% on the previous year, and companies listed on Euronext raised e89.3bn during the year, 23.2% more than the e72.4bn raised in 1999.

At the year-end, the 1,653 listed companies, including 437 from outside Euronext home countries, represented a total market capitalisation of 32.4bn, the second highest figure for any European market.

Meanwhile, the exchange is improving its real-time clearing operations.
Euronext markets will adopt Clearing 21 as the common clearing system by the end of the year. The system, developed jointly by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange, has been operational on Euronext Paris derivatives markets Monep and Matif since September last year.

The Paris Bourse acquired the system in 1997 through a technology exchange agreement, which also gave Chicago NSC, the Euronext trading system.