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Foreign Exchange

CME and CBOT announce creation of super exchange

Exchange consolidation has long been on the agenda. But while others have dallied and dithered in the full glare of the media’s spotlight on the way to the altar, Chicago’s two venerable futures exchanges have stunned the market by announcing the creation of a true super exchange.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) today announced they have signed a definitive agreement to merge. In doing so, the two have created a true, multi-asset trading entity, with a market capitalisation of around $25 billion. This is far in excess of any other regulated exchange, either cash, derivative or a combination of both. Their claim that the combined entity, to be named CME Group, will be the most extensive and diverse global derivatives exchange does not, in this case, seem hyperbole.

In a press release, the exchanges said the new company is expected to transform global derivatives markets, creating operational and cost efficiencies for customers and exchange members, while delivering significant benefits to shareholders. Not surprisingly, the headquarters of the combined organization will remain in Chicago.

“We are very pleased to announce this strategic merger today,” said CME chairman Terry Duffy. “We have enjoyed a strong, productive relationship with CBOT for a number of years, including our historic clearing agreement in 2003 in which CME began clearing all CBOT trades. This merger takes us to the next level in the evolution of our high-growth business. We now will be able to combine the capabilities and best practices of both organizations – establishing an even stronger, more competitive position than either could achieve individually,” he added.

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