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OCC Commits to FIXML Standard

CHICAGO, May 14, 2003 - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that it has committed to the FIX Protocol Ltd. Association's FIXML Messaging Standard. FIXML is a version of the FIX industry standard messaging protocol implemented using XML (eXtensible Markup Language). With this adoption, OCC will adhere to industry defined standards for messaging and data elements used in the distribution of clearing information to its clearing members on a real time basis.

FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) recently formed the Global Derivatives Committee to define the FIXML standard as it relates to derivative markets. OCC is a member of this committee and is actively engaged in the definition of the standard through FPL. FPL is comprised of business and technical representatives from firms, exchanges and industry utilities providing a venue that fosters coordination across asset classes and all aspects in the trading life cycle.

"OCC will be in position to provide its membership with new data formats utilizing the standard data definitions to support real time data distribution," said Mark Baumgardner, OCC Vice President, Product and Business Development and a member of the Global Derivatives Steering Committee. "These standard data definitions combined with the flexibility afforded in XML will reduce the impact of new product development to OCC member firms and service bureaus, and will advance opportunities for integration within the financial markets."

OCC staff is actively working with clearing member representatives in determining processing requirements and an implementation time frame. Additional information relating to FIXML may be obtained via the FPL Web site at http://www.fixprotocol.org/.

OCC Background

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 3.14 million contracts and average daily premium settlements were $1.1 billion. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity FuturesTrading Commission, OCC is jointly owned by the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, PacificExchange and Philadelphia Stock Exchange. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.

FIX Protocol Ltd. Background

FIX Protocol Ltd. is a non-profit organisation that owns the intellectual property rights of the Financial Information eXchange protocol (FIX), which is provided free in the public domain. FIX is a globally recognized messaging standard enabling the electronic communication of pre-trade and trade messages between financial institutions, primarily investment managers, broker/dealers, ECNs and stock exchanges. For more information, see http://www.fixprotocol.org/.