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Boston Options Exchange Joins the Options Clearing Corporation

CHICAGO, February 6, 2004 - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and The Boston Stock Exchange (BSE) announced today that the BSE's Boston Options Exchange trading facility (BOX) has become an OCC participant exchange. This follows the recent approval of BOX's trading rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BOX will begin operation today.

OCC, which operates under the jurisdiction of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, clears and guarantees the trades executed on all U.S. options exchanges. As a result of BOX's affiliation with OCC, the standardized options contracts traded on BOX will be able to be offset against the same options contracts traded on other U.S. options markets, resulting in significant efficiencies for participating member firms.

"BOX will benefit from OCC's highly refined process for the efficient clearing of trades and OCC will be able to help support BOX's clearing needs as the BOX market continues to grow," said Ken Leibler, BSE Chairman and CEO and one of the founding partners of BOX.

Wayne P. Luthringshausen, OCC Chairman and CEO, said, "During this era of exceptional and unlimited growth potential in the U.S. options marketplace, OCC is pleased to welcome BOX. As a participant exchange, BOX will be afforded the full suite of clearing services we make available to our other exchanges."

About BOX

The Boston Options Exchange Group LLC (BOX) was established in February 2002 by the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. (BSE), Montréal Exchange, and Interactive Brokers Group LLC. BOX is an all-electronic equity derivatives market and was created as an alternative to the existing market models. To learn more about BOX, visit the website at www.bostonoptions.com.

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 2003, OCC's average daily options volume was 3.6 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's participant exchanges include: the American Stock Exchange, the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, One Chicago, NQLX, Pacific Exchange and Philadelphia Stock Exchange. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.