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Single-stock futures: Eurex hopes for SSF boom

Ucits III opens the door to sustainable growth of single-stock futures. Over the past five years the exchange’s USF market has grown by an average of 57% a year, and there may be more to come.

By John Ferry

The market for single-stock futures could finally be about to take off, according to Eurex, the latest big exchange to list the products. Volumes have jumped month on month since the Frankfurt-based exchange premiered its SSF products in October. Ralf Dreyer, director and head of Eurex’s equity derivatives product design section, says the market might be about to bid farewell to several years of slow growth.

“We always said that as soon as we could see market demand for single-stock futures from our clients or their end clients, then we would be willing to set up that product segment,” says Dreyer. “That happened over the course of the last year, and that’s why we came up with the product in October.”

Trading volumes in January rose to about 287,000 contracts, compared with 61,932 in December and 13,642 in November. At the end of January open interest in SSF was 328,000 contracts. SSFs available include contracts on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50, the German Dax and the Swiss Market Index. Trading fees are €0.30 per contract, with caps set at €300 and €600 for block trades.

Dreyer says the phasing in of the European Union’s Ucits III legislation, which is designed to widen the range of investments EU asset managers can make while encouraging cross-border marketing of funds, is laying the foundations for sustainable growth in the SSF market.

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