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Capital Markets

Derivatives exchanges: Eurex seeks US options partner

Eurex’s US woes are continuing. Last month the derivatives exchange’s chief executive, Rudolf Ferscha, stepped down. Ferscha had been behind the launch of Eurex US in Chicago in 2004 but sources say he was not given the support he needed to develop the US effort properly.

Eurex has found it hard gain market share in the US, and the departure of Ferscha, who is much respected in the industry, will cast further doubt on the future of the exchange in Chicago.

The line taken by the company, however, is that Ferscha will eventually be replaced, and that the future lies in a partnership with a US exchange. “We want to develop the business in the US and are searching for a US partner, which would have a stake in Eurex,” says Walter Allwicher, a Eurex spokesman. He added that it was still unclear what the scope of the partnership would be. Market participants, however, believe that Eurex US will be looking for a partner that would enable it to sell options in the US. Eurex’s options business in Europe is significant but the exchange does not have the requisite SEC licence to sell options in the US.

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