SOURCE: The Options Clearing Corporation

October 21, 2008 11:51 ET

The Options Clearing Corporation Announces 2008 Options Volume Passes 3 Billion Contracts

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 21, 2008) - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) reported today that year-to-date total options volume surpassed 3 billion contracts yesterday. This is the first time that U.S. exchange-listed options volume has ever achieved this milestone in a single year.

Options volume has continued on the high-growth trend of recent years throughout 2008. Total options volume hit 2 billion contracts for the third time ever on July 22, taking only 140 trading days to reach that mark. Roughly 3 months later and just 203 trading days into the year on October 20, 3 billion options contracts changed hands.

"Historically, options trading has increased with market volatility as investors look to hedge their risk -- and the recent levels of volatility have been unprecedented," said Michael E. Cahill, OCC President and COO. "The last five years have seen options volume grow at an average of 30 percent per year as investors found options a useful tool for any market condition. This growth trend would likely have continued this year, but the market turmoil undoubtedly brought about this 3 billion contract milestone earlier."

Year-to-date average daily options volume is 14.7 million contracts, about 3.3 million contracts per day more than the daily average in 2007, which was a record trading year for the industry.

OCC Background

OCC, founded in 1973, is the world's largest derivatives clearing organization and was the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, OCC provides clearing and settlement services for the American Stock Exchange, Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE Futures Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NASDAQ Options Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NYSE Arca, NYSE Liffe, OneChicago and Philadelphia Board of Trade. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.

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