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FIA and S&P React to Common Chicagoan Clearing

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WASHINGTON (–The Futures Industry Association asked the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to provide more information on their agreement to form a common clearing link Previous HedgeWorld Story.

“Presently, the details are not available and have not been discussed with the clearing members on both exchanges,” said John M. Damgard, president of the FIA, in a statement Monday. “In the coming months, as the exchanges work out the details of this initiative, we urge them to include the clearing members in the planning process.”

Mr. Damgard observed also that the FIA will hold a meeting with its futures commission merchant members in the next few weeks to discuss the implications of this agreement for the futures industry, and it will ask representatives of the exchanges to attend.

At the end of 2002, clearing firms had US$27.4 billion in margin at the CME Clearing House and US$4.7 billion at the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation. The CBOT/CME deal means the end of the long relationship between the BOTCC and the CBOT.

In related news, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services affirmed its AAA counterparty credit rating on the BOTCC and removed from it the CreditWatch in place since April 14.

“Standard & Poor’s expects the clearinghouse will work with the CBOT and CME to ensure an orderly transition of open positions come January 2004,” said analyst Charles D. Rauch in a statement.

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