The past year has unquestionably been a momentous one for the exchange business, with merger rumours dominating the headlines and contract competition exploding across the globe. FO Week was as usual on hand to report all the key developments. In the first part of our annual review Laurence Davison, takes a look at the first half of an eventful 2006
The year began with market participants still getting
used to the departure of Eurex CEO Rudi Ferscha over the
holiday period, after five years at the helm of one the world's
largest futures exchanges. Ferscha's replacement would have to
establish a plan to take the Swiss/German exchange forward in
the wake of the failure of its Eurex US project; in the same
week as the departure was announced, FO Week also
revealed that Eurex had been in talks with other US exchanges,
understood to include Philadelphia Stock Exchange and
Archipelago, about a partnership deal to revive Eurex's
moribund American subsidiary.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) became the aggressor in
transatlantic commodities competition by announcing that it
planned to list its own version of New York Mercantile Exchange
(Nymex)'s WTI crude oil contract for fully-electronic trading
on its London-based ICE Futures platform. Traders backed the
concept of a screen-traded WTI contract at ICE, but many were
dubious about its chances of success in the wake of the
repeated failure of competing contracts in recent years.
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