Eurex

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Eurex
Logo eurex.gif
Founded 1998
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
Key People Andreas Preuss, CEO; Jürg Spillmann, Deputy CEO
Products Derivatives exchange
Website www.eurexchange.com
Releases Company News

Eurex is one of the world’s largest and most diverse derivatives exchanges. It also provides clearing services for derivatives, equities, bonds and repos.[1]

Contents

Background

Formed in 1998, Eurex is jointly operated by Deutsche Börse and the SIX Swiss Exchange, with the German group holding 50 percent of the voting rights and 85 percent of the share capital. The initial agreement was extended for 10 years in 2003. In December of 2007, Eurex expanded its options business with the acquisition of the International Securities Exchange.[2][3]

Eurex ranked as the world's second-largest derivatives exchange by contract volume in 2009, according to the annual Futures Industry Association's survey of the world's leading derivatives exchanges.[4]

The FIA report, published in early April, 2010, notes that the number of futures and options traded on Eurex fell 16.6 percent in 2009 to 2.647 billion, dropping it behind the Korea Exchange for the top spot. Eurex's Euro-Bund Futures ranked the world's fourth-largest interest rate derivative contract and its EURO STOXX 50 Futures were also the fourth-largest equity-index derivative. Total trading volume at Eurex Group was at 2.64 billion contracts in 2010.[5]

Eurex reported in August of 2011 that an extremely volatile market environment led to enormous increases in contract and quote volume on Eurex Exchange. New records were set in some benchmark products, such as futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50 and DAX. The total average daily trading volume (ADV) in August was at an annual high of almost 12 million contracts as of Aug. 15, compared to the yearly ADV of 8.4 million contracts.[6]

In Germany, Eurex is regulated by BaFin (the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsichtthe, or Federal Financial Supervisory Authority), while its U.S. operations are subject to the regulation of both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Products and Related News

Eurex offers a wide range of proprietary exchange-traded financial futures and options products, as well over-the-counter (OTC) support services for exchange-traded derivatives and OTC services for cash products, such as bonds and repurchase agreements (repos).[7]

  • On June 11, 2008, Eurex announced that single-stock futures continued to enjoy strong growth in 2008 at Eurex. In the first five months, 196 percent more SSFs were traded than in the same period last year. Up to the end of May 2008, a total of 95 million contracts changed hands in the segment (January to May 2007: 32 million). Compared to the overall European market, Eurex’s share in 2008 to this point was 55 percent, making Eurex the leading market for European single-stock futures.[8]
  • In February 2009, Eurex continued to expand its commodities segment with the launch of 100 oz. gold futures (FGFX), and options on futures (OGFX).[11], followed by the launch of a 5,000 oz silver futures (FSFX) based on the silver fixing of the London Bullion Market, and options on futures (OSFX) in June 2009.[12]
  • On July 7, 2009, Eurex announced that Wiener Börse plans to migrate Austrian derivatives market to Eurex system/ Implementation planned for March 2010. The international derivatives exchange Eurex and Wiener Börse AG announced today that they plan to enter into a technical cooperation which entails Wiener Börse operating its derivatives market on the Eurex system with effect from March 2010, thereby replacing the current OMex system. The Austrian market will remain autonomous with its own market surveillance and supervision.[14]
  • On Sept. 7, 2009, Deutsche Börse and Eurex published a White Paper entitled "The Global Derivatives Market – A Blueprint for Market Safety and Integrity". The current political and regulatory debate in both the U.S. and Europe is an intensive discussion on how to better safeguard financial market stability as one of the necessary consequences of the financial crisis. The aim of the paper is to contribute to this debate by laying out a market structure blueprint that effectively reduces systemic risk. [15]
  • On July 14, 2010, Eurex and Bombay Stock Exchange announced that they will launch futures and options on the BSE's blue-chip SENSEX on Eurex beginning Oct. 4, 2010.[16] The SENSEX Index tracks the daily performance of 30 of the largest and most actively traded companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The new contracts will be denominated in U.S. dollars and settled in cash. The futures will have maturity dates of the three nearest months, and the following March, June, September and December. Two market-making schemes will be in effect until the end of December 2011 – one to support liquidity during the overlap of Indian and European trading hours and one for European market hours. The expiration dates of the options will be in the three nearest calendar months, the next three quarters and two next semi-annual expiries.
  • On Feb. 14, 2011, Eurex announced that they will launch new dividend futures based on the dividends of 13 UK equities including; Anglo American, AstraZeneca, Barclays, BHP Billiton, BP, BT Group, Diageo, GlaxoSmithkline, HSBC Holdings, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell, Tesco and Vodafone. The news came after it was announced that the entire dividend derivative segment grew year-on-year by 36 percent in terms of average trading volume.[18]

Exchange-Traded Products

Eurex's flagship product has long been and remains the Euro-Bund futures contract, but volume in the EURO STOXX 50 stock index futures contract now often beats that of the Euro-Bund on a monthly basis. The exchange has also beefed up its product mix by diversifying into credit derivatives and single-stock futures (SSFs), as well as by expanding its clearing of OTC instruments.

Eurex dealt exclusively in financial products, although it does have an ownership stake in the European Energy Exchange (EEX), and EEX members have been able to trade EEX-listed carbon emission reduction products via existing Eurex infrastructure connections since December 2007.

Eurex co-parent company Deutsche Boerse (DB) began listing Exchange-Traded Commodities (ETCs) in November, 2006. These are securities based on commodity baskets, not futures contracts. Therefore, they are listed on DB’s Xetra securities platform rather than on the Eurex derivatives platform.

The exchange now lists SSFs on roughly 500 of the 600 equities in the STOXX Europe 600 Index, comprising all shares denominated in euro and Swiss Franc. It also lists options on roughly 280 of the STOXX Europe 600 components.

Eurex exchange-traded financial products fall into eight categories:

1. Eurex Fixed-Income Derivatives, which accounted for 731 million contracts in 2006 and 771 million in 2007. The Euro-Bund future remains the highest-turnover product, with volume of 338 million contracts in 2007, up from 320 million in 2006.

Eurex extended their interest rate derivatives contracts with the announcement, on June 18, of a new futures contract based on the notional long-term debt instruments issued by the Republic of Italy. The contract which is similar in design to the Euro-Bund will be available for trading on Sept. 14.[19]

2. Volume in Eurex Equity Index Derivatives grew 55 percent in 2007, from 487 million contracts in 2006 to 754 million contracts in 2007. Volume in futures on the Euro STOXX 50 grew 53 percent, to 327 million contracts.

3. Volume in Eurex equity derivatives (Single-Stock Futures and Options) grew 22 percent in 2007, from 308 million in 2006 to more than 374 million contracts in 2007. Of that, single stock futures accounted for 52.4 million contracts in 2007, up from 35.6 million contracts in 2006.

4. Eurex Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) Derivatives

5. Eurex Volatility Index Derivatives

6. Eurex Money Market Derivatives

7. Eurex launched the world's first-ever Credit Default Futures on March 27, 2007. These products are designed to act as hedging vehicles against credit events such as corporate defaults, but have so far failed to attract significant volume.

  • iTraxx Europe 5-year Index series
  • iTraxx Europe HiVol 5-year Index series
    • an equally weighted portfolio of the 30 entities with the highest spread from the iTraxx Europe 5-year Index
  • iTraxx Europe Crossover 5-year Index series.
    • an equally-weighted portfolio of 50 European sub-investment grade entities. All iTraxx indexes are provided by International Index Company Ltd. (IIC).

8. Euro Inflation Derivatives based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HIPC) are scheduled for launch on January 21, 2008. The HIPC measures Eurozone inflation.

Eurex OTC Products and volume

Eurex also matches, clears, and settles over-the-counter transactions via its Eurex Bonds and Eurex Repo subsidiaries.

Eurex expanded their OTC offerings with the launch of hurricane futures on June 16. The contracts are part of catastrophe futures which mark an expansion into new asset classes. [20]

Distribution and Connectivity

Eurex has screens in 19 countries, among 389 participants.

The system can be accessed primarily via two access plans:

Corporate Structure

Eurex is a joint venture between German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse (DB) and Swiss exchange operator SIX Swiss Exchange. Ownership is split 50/50, but DB receives 85 percent of Eurex revenues, which amounted to nearly €600 million in 2006. The 85 percent share of revenues delivered to DB in 2006 amounted 32 percent of the group's total – second among DB’s five operating structures to the 100 percent share of revenues delivered by clearing and settlement house Clearstream, which delivered 38 percent of group revenues.

Eurex Corporate Structure 2009.png

Subsidiaries

Eurex, despite its affiliation with DB and Clearstream, clears its exchange-traded derivatives business through its own clearing entity, Eurex Clearing AG[21], which was formed to act as a central counterparty (CCP) for derivatives participants and later expanded to include equities.

Eurex does, however, use Clearstream for settlement of Eurex OTC products, such as government bonds and repurchase agreements (repos), which are matched via Eurex subsidiaries Eurex Bonds and Eurex Repo.

Eurex itself owns 100 percent of the U.S.-based International Securities Exchange (ISE), which was sealed on Dec. 20, 2007, as well as an interest in both the US Futures Exchange (USFE) and the European Energy Exchange (EEX).

History and People

Management

All members of Eurex's management board also sit on the executive boards of of Eurex Zürich AG and Eurex Frankfurt AG. Eurex's CEO is Andreas Preuß, and the other members of the management board are:

Eurex was formed in 1998 through the merger of the DTB (Deutsche Terminbörse, German Derivatives Exchange) and SOFFEX (the Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange), after nearly a decade of close cooperation between the two entities and their parent companies, Deutsche Börse AG and SIX Swiss Exchange. DTB’s trade-matching engine was built on the SOFFEX model, and the parent exchanges had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a joint trading and clearing system dating back to 1996.

The formation of Eurex had been announced by DTB Chief Executive Joerg Franke on Sept. 4, 1997, at the Bürgenstock Conference near Luzerne, Switzerland, in the midst of a truly historic period in exchange development.

Battle of the Bund

The DTB was one of the world's first electronic exchanges, and by 1997 had distributed its screens across Europe and into the United States. As the merger with SOFFEX was being announced, DTB was in the midst of a battle to wrench liquidity in the Bund contract away from its chief cross-continental rival, the open outcry London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE). On Oct. 22, 1997, the DTB captured 52 percent of Bund futures liquidity, and never looked back. The incident represented the first time that an existing, established liquidity pool had ever been wrestled away from its home platform, and signaled the beginning of the end of open outcry trading.

That led to a stunning announcement in March 1998, that Eurex and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) would form a linkage between Eurex and the CBOT's electronic platform, Project A, by the end of the year, with the aim of creating an electronic trading platform for the leading benchmark derivatives products of Europe and the United States.[22]

The project, however, ran into resistance from the CBOT’s old guard, who saw it as a threat to the trading floor. Although never delivering on its potential, it eventually led to the launch of a/c/e (alliance/cbot/eurex) in August of 2000.

By May 1998, the first release of the new Eurex software was up and running, and by September, all trading, clearing and settlement mechanisms of DTB and SOFFEX had been completely merged.

Eurex Release 1.0 included a multi-currency clearing facility to accommodate the impending introduction of the euro. In addition to existing DTB and SOFFEX products, Eurex listed futures on the EURO STOXX 50 Index, which had been developed jointly between Deutsche Boerse, SIX, and Dow Jones as part of a failed cooperative venture between DTB, SOFFEX, and the French futures exchange MATIF, which eventually folded into Euronext. Indeed, MATIF and DTB launched virtually identical Stoxx derivatives products at the same time, but Eurex captured the volume while Euronext was concentrating on assimilating new exchanges and consolidating its trading platforms.

Eurex also added options to its futures on the Euro-Schatz, the three-month EURIBOR, and the Euro-Buxl. Volume that year topped 248 million contracts, and membership hit 313.

In 1999, Eurex began an offset program with Helsinki Exchange Group Ltd. (HEX, today part of OMX), that made Scandinavian indexes and equities available to Eurex members and gave HEX members access to Eurex products. Volume grew to roughly 380 million contracts, while membership topped 400.

Behind the scenes, however, there was friction between Franke and Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Werner Seifert, leading Franke to announce his resignation in August, 2000, the same month that a/c/e was launched. Departing with him was co-managing director Andreas Preuss, who had been coordinating the effort to build a/c/e in Chicago. Preuss later returned to Eurex as chief executive.

Ferscha Era

Franke was followed by Rudolf Ferscha, a mergers and acquisitions specialist and former non-directional trader who took the reins in December, 2000. Frustrated with direction of the a/c/e project in Chicago, he changed the direction of Eurex’s expansion into the United States, culminating with the 2004 formation of Eurex US.

He also continued to expand the international stock option offerings in Frankfurt, and was able to capitalize on hardware glitches in the Amsterdam segment of cross-continental rival Euronext to gain a leading position in Dutch options for a time.

Several projects that had been initiated on Franke’s watch bore fruit during Ferscha’s term. One example of this is the launch of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) in March of 2000. That exchange eventually merged with Leipzig Power Exchange, keeping the EEX name, but leaving Eurex with an ownership interest.

But media attention focused on Ferscha's falling out with CBOT leadership and renewed competition from LIFFE, which had introduced a credible electronic trade-matching engine LIFFE.Connect after shuttering its trading floors.

Eurex’s medium-term interest-rate product, the Bobl futures contract, was perceived as vulnerable due to a limited supply of deliverable five-year German bonds, which made it possible for deep-pocketed banks to gobble up available deliverable supplies and squeeze the market at delivery time. Eurex responded with fines, but did not change the contract. In the end, the German Federal Bank, the Bundesbank, agreed to make other deliverable bonds available in the event of a squeeze, and the threat faded. LIFFE’s rival product, Swapnote, found its niche, but never threatened the benchmark status of the Bund or Bobl.

With European unification approaching, the EURO STOXX 50 Index futures contract was gaining on the DAX in volume terms, supported by a growing number of options on non-German shares that were also components of the index. The exchange also added options on U.S. shares that year, but Ferscha bucked the global trend towards single-stock futures – repeatedly dismissing them as a niche product, and saying that there was simply no demand from market participants.

Divorce, Chicago Style

By the end of 2001, Eurex and CBOT had formally entered a dispute resolution process, with Eurex charging that the CBOT had violated their agreement by not paying for a software upgrade and balked at allowing U.S. options onto a/c/e.

In 2002, Eurex introduced futures and options on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Overall volume on all Eurex products topped 800 million contracts, but the big story continued to be Ferscha's ongoing feud with the CBOT old guard, which heated up even as volume migrated to the a/c/e platform.

By year-end, the CBOT was threatening to dissolve the a/c/e project in favor of implementing the Liffe.Connect trading platform.

In January, 2003, CBOT made good on its threat, and Ferscha announced plans to launch a rival exchange as soon as the a/c/e agreement expired. Over the course of the year, Ferscha cut a deal with the former Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Corporation (BOTCC, since renamed simply the Clearing Corporation) to clear trades for the new exchange, but also faced intense lobbying on the part of both the CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against his efforts to gain regulatory approval as a non-American exchange.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Boerse AG and SIX renewed the Eurex joint venture for another decade, and Eurex continued to add new products – most notably futures and options on the reference rate for overnight money, EONIA (European Overnight Index Average). Volume for the year crossed the one billion contract threshold in December, and finished at just above 1.014 billion.

The Chicago exchanges managed to stall the launch of Eurex US until February of 2004, which meant there was a one-month gap between the time the CBOT transferred its products to the Liffe.Connect platform and the time Eurex US launched on the Eurex platform.

Eurex U.S. never managed to achieve significant volume, but its arrival in the United States was credited with forcing the Chicago exchanges to abandon their outdated business models and shift to electronic trading. Meanwhile, Eurex itself continued to thrive with 2004 volume topping 1.066 billion contracts.

Eurex U.S. was later sold to Man Financial, with Eurex maintaining a minority interest.[23]

Seifert Ousted

The year 2005 was another pivotal time for the exchange, as shareholders ousted Deutsche Boerse AG chief executive Werner Seifert. For Eurex, it eventually also meant the elimination of Ferscha and the introduction of single-stock futures, as well as the downsizing of Eurex US.

After Seifert’s ouster in May, 2005, Ferscha’s business plan came under increasing pressure. In September, he announced the introduction of single-stock futures, and in October he said he was “open to offers” of partnership or takeover on the Eurex US platform.

Also in 2005, the joint venture agreement governing Eurex was adjusted to give Deutsche Boerse 85 percent of the income from Eurex, and the exchange began expanding its distribution in Asia. Numerous memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Asian exchanges were signed, and the groundwork was laid for direct access for Singapore-based traders which finally bore fruit in 2006.

On the product front, Eurex introduced its volatility index products. Despite the turmoil, Eurex remained a critical profit center for Deutsche Boerse AG, and trading volume increased again, to more than 1.25 billion contracts.

On Apr. 19, 2006 Ferscha resigned, and by month-end the Eurex board had approved a plan to let another exchange take a stake Eurex US, but named no takers.

Preuss Era

Ferscha's departure heralded the return of Andreas Preuss, who had been co-managing director under Joerg Franke. Preuss vowed to focus more on new product development, technology, and global distribution geared towards high-speed algorithmic trading.

Early product introductions, however, involved projects begun under Ferscha: Launched before he left weekly options, futures and options on the MDAX and SMIM, and futures and options on Spanish and Swedish underlying products. In July, 2006, Preuss announced the return of another DTB veteran, Brendan Bradley, who became global head of product strategy in August.

On Oct. 1, 2006 - less than six months after Ferscha's departure - Eurex sold 70 percent of Eurex US to Man Group, which changed the name to the US Futures Exchange (US FE). Eurex volume that year topped 1.5 billion contracts.

In January of 2007, Heike Eckert took responsibility for management of Eurex activities in the United States, where the exchange maintains offices in Chicago and New York.

At its meeting on June 16, 2008, the supervisory board of Deutsche Börse AG appointed Preuss deputy CEO of the executive board and also extended his board membership contract by five years starting Apr. 1, 2009.[24]



Resources

References

  1. Press release. Eurex.
  2. Eurex buys ISE. Waters.
  3. ISE: A Pricey Plum for Eurex. Business Week.
  4. 2009 Annual Volume Survey. FIA magazine.
  5. Press Release. Eurex.
  6. Eurex Statement On Current Market Activity. Eurex.
  7. Products. Eurex.
  8. Press Release. Eurex.
  9. Press Release. Deutsche Borse Group.
  10. Press Release. Deutsche Boerse.
  11. Eurex Gold Derivatives. Eurex.
  12. Silver Derivatives: Introduction. Eurex.
  13. Eurex Says It Will Start Trading Italian Bond Futures. Bloomberg.
  14. Press Release. Eurex.
  15. White Paper "The Global Derivatives Market – A Blueprint for Market Safety and Integrity" Press Release. Eurex.
  16. Press Release. Eurex.
  17. Press Release. Eurex.
  18. Eurex Introduces Dividend Futures on UK Underlying Trading Starts Feb 24. Mondo Visione.
  19. Eurex to Launch a New Italian Government Bond Future. Eurex.
  20. Eurex To Expand Offering With Launch Of Catastrophe Derivatives. Eurex.
  21. "Clearing Services”. Eurex.
  22. Chicago Board of Trade and EUREX Announce Strategic Global Alliance. Eurex.
  23. US Futures Exchange. Eurex.
  24. Press Release. SFOA.
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