SOURCE: The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

January 05, 2010 17:45 ET

The Options Clearing Corporation Announces Its Busiest Year Ever

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 5, 2010) - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that 2009 was the busiest year in the 36-year history of the clearinghouse with record levels of options trading and major expansions of its futures and stock loan services.

Options: Exchange-listed options trading in the U.S., OCC's core business, achieved its seventh consecutive record year in 2009. Investors returning to the marketplace looked to options to manage their risk after the financial crisis, lifting trading 0.8 percent higher than 2008, despite earlier predictions of declines.

Futures: The addition of two new futures exchanges brought OCC's futures clearing to its highest volume level, about 140 percent higher than 2008, and 34 percent higher than the previous peak recorded in 2007.

Securities Lending: OCC expanded its stock loan program in 2009 and began operating as the central counterparty for the AQS platform. The year ended with a stock loan contract notional value of $16,046,138,414.

                                 Daily                              Total
             Avg.      Avg.    Contract                            Contract
            Daily     Daily      Avg %      Total        Total      Change
           Contract  Contract   Change     Contract     Contract      vs.
             2009      2008    vs. 2008  Volume 2009   Volume 2008   2008
          ---------- ---------- ------  ------------- ------------- ------
 Options  13,360,981 12,983,246   2.91% 3,366,967,321 3,284,761,345   2.50%

 Options     974,880  1,177,120 -17.18%   245,669,797   297,811,236 -17.51%

 Options  14,335,861 14,160,365   1.24% 3,612,637,118 3,582,572,581   0.84%

 Futures      11,835     15,859 -25.37%     2,982,340     4,012,281 -25.67%

 Futures      37,284      4,591 712.11%     9,395,595     1,161,456 708.95%

Options on
 Futures          24        N/A    N/A          6,000           N/A    N/A

 Futures      49,143     20,450 140.31%    12,383,935     5,173,737 139.36%
          ---------- ---------- ------  ------------- ------------- ------
 Volume   14,385,004 14,180,815   1.44% 3,625,021,053 3,587,746,318   1.04%
          ---------- ---------- ------  ------------- ------------- ------

About OCC

OCC is the world's largest derivatives clearing organization by contract volume and open interest. Founded in 1973, OCC operates under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Clearing Agency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a Derivatives Clearing Organization. OCC now provides central counterparty (CCP) clearing and settlement services to 13 exchanges and platforms for options, financial and commodity futures, security futures and securities lending transactions.

As the CCP clearinghouse for the markets it serves, OCC assumes the counterparty risk of members involved in a trade -- becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer. OCC manages its risk of member default by collecting margin (collateral). Clearing member margin requirements are calculated using OCC's proprietary System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations (STANS) that uses large-scale Monte Carlo simulations to forecast price moves and correlations to make those margin determinations. In 1993, OCC became the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation, and has continued to receive that high rating every year as a result of its risk management standards.

OCC operates as a utility clearinghouse, owned by several of its participant exchanges but with a Board of Directors majority drawn from its clearing members, allowing it to provide highly efficient but low-cost solutions to the markets it serves. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at

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