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Eurex launches three new Dutch equity options

Eurex is set to launch options on the Dutch equities Royal P&O Nedlloyd N.V., Vedior N.V. and Versatel Telecom International N.V. on 2 May.

The three companies have recently been included in the Dutch equity index AEX. This move enables Eurex to offer options on 26 Dutch equities including comprehensive coverage of the AEX index.

Eurex is currently posting strong growth in trading with European equity options.
"In launching our European market-making model in January of this year, we offered our clients a decisive advance in the market for European equity options," said Rudolf Ferscha, CEO of Eurex. "Our clients profit from narrow trading spreads and greater liquidity. This makes trading with European equity options on Eurex more attractive."

Eurex introduced a three-tier European market-making model on January 1, 2005. In addition to the existing Regular Market-Making, whereby market makers quote bid and ask prices on demand, the derivatives exchange also offers Permanent Market Making and Advanced Market Making.

Permanent Market Making means that market makers quote bid and ask prices for individual equity and index options on an ongoing basis. Advanced Market making refers to a process whereby market makers quote prices for complete equity and index option groups on an ongoing basis.

On average, Eurex holds a market share of around 17 percent in trading with Dutch equity options, a proportion which has doubled since the beginning of 2003. The market share in options on Dutch Euro STOXX 50 components is now around 19 percent.

Eurex has increased its share of open positions (Open Interest) to around 15 percent, compared to 6.3 percent two years ago. The number of open positions is seen as an important indicator for the future growth of a derivatives market. The number of trading participants trading Dutch options on Eurex has once again increased substantially - in March an average of 50 banks and financial services providers actively traded in Dutch equity options.

Eurex has also expanded its market position in trading with French equity options. Since launching French equity options in March 2003, Eurex has almost quadrupled its market share. Eurex currently accounts for an average monthly market share of trading in French equity options of 23 percent, compared with 6 percent two years ago.

Eurex has also substantially increased its share in Open Interest, from 3 percent in March 2003 to its current figure of 10 percent.

With regard to Italian equity options, monthly turnover share and Open Interest have both grown from around 1 percent in March 2004 to around 9 percent and 7 percent respectively in March 2005.

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