Exchanges Report Options Trading Volumes Rose at Year End

CHICAGO (HedgeWorld.com)--The Chicago Board Options Exchange and the International Securities Exchange both had significant volume increases last month making 2003 a bigger year than 2002 for options trading.

At the CBOE, volume for the year was up 6% with a big lift coming in December as the number of contracts traded was up 53% from the figures reported in December 2002. The 283 million contracts switching hands at the CBOE last year represented the third-highest volume figure in the exchange's history.

December's gain was the highest single-month gain since March 2000. Officials at the Chicago exchange point to active trading of S&P 500 index options and options on shares of Microsoft, Cisco Systems, General Electric, Intel Corp. and Citigroup.

At the ISE, growth in the past year has been staggering. Last month, ISE traded 24.9 million equity options contracts, which is up 131% from the number traded in December 2002. Officials there announced that the exchange was the lead market in December for options on 24 of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

ISE officials said the exchanges share of the options market was 30% in December, which was a boost from the 22% of market share for the same time period.

The ISE now calls itself the world's largest equity options exchange, while the CBOE maintains the title of the world's larges options exchange. ISE was launched in May 2000 as the first fully electronic US options exchange.

The CBOE was founded in 1973 and recently has upgraded its trading system to CBOEdirectHyTS Previous HedgeWorld Story. The CBOE now lists a total of 368 classes on the hybrid trading system.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com

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