SPAIN/US – The Madrid based futures and options bourse Mercado Oficial de Futuros y Opciones Financieros (MEFF) will tomorrow (June 21) launch stock index futures and options contracts on the S&P Europe 350 index, as well as on its financial, information technology and telecommunications services sector indexes.

The trading will be done in co-operation with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), whose members and their customers will be granted cross-exchange access to trade the index contracts on MEFF.
The Spanish exchange has joined the CME clearing-house as a special clearing member for these products, while the trades executed in Spain will be cleared on CME.

“ We are convinced that the benchmark for Europe will be a broad-based index, and the composition and structure of the S&P Europe makes it the likely winner,” says José Massa, chief executive officer of MEFF.
“ The novel alliance of CME, S&P and MEFF answers the new demands that globalisation poses to international investors; by virtue of this alliance, these new products can be American in America and European in Europe,” he adds.

The Standard & Poor’s index covers some 70% of the total market value of European equities and the three biggest sectors comprise 46% of the total index. Contracts on the remaining seven sectors, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, health care, industrials, materials and utilities, will be launched later this year, according to the exchanges.

MEFF, with more than 25m contracts traded last year, launched trading on single-stock futures based on stocks of Spanish companies. CME is currently setting up a joint venture with the Chicago Board Options Exchange, which will start single stock future trading in the US. The move follows a legislative change last December, which allows public trading in single stock futures in the country from December 21 onwards.