LCH Clearnet was granted Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) approval last Wednesday to clear futures and
options in the US, following an application lodged in March
(see FO Week Vol 9 No 9).
LCH currently clears over-the-counter interest rate swaps in
the US as well as commercial energy contracts for
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). The approval allows LCH to now
clear futures in the US, which could include clearing Euronext
Liffe contracts. Liffe officials in the US declined to comment
on the CFTC approval, but there has been speculation that Liffe
may use its NQLX exchange to extend its presence in the US by
offering futures contracts - which theoretically could now be
cleared by LCH. NQLX, which failed to attract the majority of
volume in the single stock futures market, currently clears
through Options Clearing Corporation. However, Liffe is mulling
whether to use NQLX for a US listing of its recently launched
There has been further speculation that ICE, which owns
London's International Petroleum Exchange, may be looking to
expand into US-traded futures contracts, providing another
potential source of business for LCH (see FO Week Vol
9 No 10).
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