SOURCE: The Options Clearing Corporation

December 22, 2006 16:56 ET

The Options Clearing Corporation Announces Historic Milestone, Options Volume Passes 2 Billion Contracts

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 22, 2006 -- The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) reported today that year-to-date total options volume surpassed 2 billion contracts. This tremendous milestone is the first time that volume has ever hit this number in a single trading year.

In just two years, annual options volume has doubled in size. Total options volume hit 1 billion contracts for the first time on Nov. 9, 2004. Volume continued to climb in 2005 with more than 1.5 billion total contracts traded by year-end.

"This remarkable achievement confirms the appeal of options as an important component to the strategies of individual and institutional investors," said Wayne P. Luthringshausen, Chairman and CEO of OCC. "OCC's commitment to making ongoing system upgrades enabled us to meet the needs of the industry and successfully process the soaring volume."

Year-to-date average daily options volume at OCC is 8.1 million contracts, about 2.2 million contracts per day, more than the daily average in 2005, 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, the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE Futures Exchange, International Securities Exchange, OneChicago, NYSE Arca, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Philadelphia Board of Trade. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at

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