SOURCE: OCC

OCC

OCC

September 20, 2010 11:00 ET

S&P and The Options Clearing Corporation Bring Central Counterparty Clearing to OTC Index Options

Landmark Agreement Allows OCC to Clear OTC Options Based on S&P Indices

NEW YORK, NY and CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - September 20, 2010) -  Standard & Poor's, the world's leading index provider, and The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that S&P has licensed the OCC to clear Over-The-Counter (OTC) options based on the S&P 500.

This landmark agreement represents the first time that central counterparty clearing will be available for OTC options based on the S&P 500, and marks OCC's first step into OTC equity derivatives clearing.

The licensing agreement between S&P and OCC, which also covers the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600, will provide for greater risk management in the OTC equity derivatives marketplace served by these key indices. OCC will leverage its existing systems to provide clearing services. Pending regulatory approval, OCC expects to launch the service in summer 2011.

"OCC is pleased to work with S&P in taking this first step toward bringing the CCP clearing benefits of greater efficiency and risk reduction to the OTC equity derivatives arena," said Wayne P. Luthringshausen, OCC Chairman and CEO. "We will continue to work with our clearing members and market participants to best serve the needs of this evolving marketplace."

"This landmark licensing agreement is a prime example of Standard & Poor's helping to bring greater transparency and precision to the U.S. marketplace," says Alex Matturri, Executive Managing Director at S&P Indices. "It also marks the first time that any index provider has licensed its indices for central counterparty clearing."

Widely considered the single best gauge of the U.S. equity market since its launch in 1957, the S&P 500 is the world's most followed stock market index with $1.1 trillion directly indexed and $4.83 trillion benchmarked to it.

About S&P Indices
S&P Indices, the world's leading index provider, maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1.25 trillion is directly indexed to Standard & Poor's family of indices, which includes the S&P 500, the world's most followed stock market index, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Global BMI, an index with approximately 11,000 constituents, the S&P GSCI, the industry's most closely watched commodities index, and the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, the premier investable index for U.S. municipal bonds. For more information, please visit www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

About Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data. With offices in 23 countries and markets, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for 150 years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit http://www.standardandpoors.com.

Standard & Poor's does not sponsor, endorse, sell or promote any S&P index-based investment product.

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 14 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 is 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 www.optionsclearing.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Jim Binder
    The Options Clearing Corporation
    312-322-9853
    Email Contact

    David R. Guarino
    Standard & Poor's
    New York
    212-438-1471
    Email Contact