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The Options Clearing Corporation Begins Real Time Processing With Pacific Exchange

CHICAGO, April 15, 2003 - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) today announced that its new clearing system ENCORE, is now processing trades from the Pacific Exchange (PCX) within moments after they occur. PCX is the first exchange to send its trades "real" time.

"We are pleased with the work that our exchanges have completed to make straight-through processing a reality for our industry," said Wayne P. Luthringshausen, OCC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Exchanges, firms and investors will all benefit because of the increased efficiencies and enhanced risk management capabilities that straight-through processing will provide our marketplace." The PCX has been testing with OCC for some time to ensure that the receipt of transactions on a trade by trade basis would be accomplished seamlessly.

"Straight-through processing is a significant advance in clearance and settlement, for the Pacific Exchange and the entire options industry," said Philip D. DeFeo, PCX Chairman and CEO. "It's faster, more efficient, and reduces risks for all market participants. We are very pleased to launch this new service, and congratulate OCC on reaching this milestone."

It is OCC's goal to have all exchanges submitting real-time by the end of the year. This past week, the Chicago Board Options Exchange began sending trades periodically during the trading day to be immediately cleared through ENCORE.

ENCORE, OCC's largest system development project ever, is a highly flexible clearing system designed to readily adapt to changes in contract volume, product offerings and the increased use of the Internet in the derivatives industry. OCC is in the midst of implementing ENCORE, which has been gradually phased in since 2000. The project is expected to be completed in 2005.

About OCC

OCC, founded in 1973, is the largest clearing organization in the world for options and was the first clearing house to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. In 2002, OCC's average daily options volume was 3.1 million contracts and average daily premium settlements were $1.1 billion. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, OCC is jointly owned by the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange and Philadelphia Stock Exchange. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at