Belfast Telegraph

Chicago exchange to open futures market in London

By David Elliott

A US financial giant which is currently setting up a new office in Belfast has announced an audacious plan to launch a new stock exchange in London early next year.

The Chicago-based CME Group, made famous in the 80s film Trading Places, is already the world's largest futures exchange operator.

It will go head-to-head with Liffe and Eurex, the two firms which currently dominate futures trading across Europe.

The news follows the company's announcement in June that it is following in the footsteps of NYSE by setting up an IT office on Great Victoria Street in Belfast and would create up to 100 jobs, many of which are currently being advertised on the company's website.

This latest announcement cements the commitment of the CME Group to Europe and bodes well for the new Belfast office.

"We continue to see an increase in business coming from our diverse set of customers in Europe, with more than 20% of our volume now originating from the region," said CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy.

"Having an exchange in London that can leverage the central counterparty model of CME Clearing Europe will allow us to align ourselves even more closely with our regional customers in both listed futures and over-the-counter markets

"It will provide additional opportunities to our expanding non-US customer base."

The CME Group was formed by the 2007 merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). It currently handles $120bn (£76bn) worth of currency contracts a day and offers 56 foreign exchange products, an offering it plans to replicate with the London office.

CME started as an exchange for trading agricultural commodities before branching out into futures and derivatives.

It still trades in futures on farm-related products from frozen pork bellies to live cattle.

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