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The Options Clearing Corporation, The Clearing Corporation Ready For CBOE Futures Exchange

CHICAGO, March 17, 2004 - The Options Clearing Corporation ("OCC") and The Clearing Corporation™ ("CCorp") today announced that they have completed implementation and testing of all necessary systems for the scheduled March 26 launch of the CBOE Futures Exchange ("CFE").

Under a recently signed agreement, OCC will serve as the main clearinghouse for CFE, providing the following services: acting as guarantor, overseeing clearing fund and margin deposits, facilitating margin and settlement obligations, managing post-trade transactions, processing and disseminating trade data, and offering 24-hour member support services. CCorp will provide a full spectrum of futures post-trade execution services to CFE. Participant firms that trade at CFE will employ CCorp’s New Trade Management (NTM) and Allocation Claim Transaction (ACT™) systems, as well as its GAINS® applications and MQM messaging through its customer network to process these transactions.

"Our arrangement with CCorp exemplifies our commitment to provide flexible, tailored clearing solutions to our exchanges and clearing members," said OCC President and Chief Operating Officer Michael E. Cahill. "We are eager to begin this new venture in clearing and look forward to working with CCorp to support the new CBOE Futures Exchange."

"Our systems and applications have been fully tested with market participants and are ready to activate as soon as trading at the CFE begins," said CCorp President and CEO Dennis Dutterer. "We are pleased to be able to offer these value-added services to OCC and the new CBOE Futures Exchange," he continued. "This initiative is consistent with The Clearing Corporation's strategic decision to provide turnkey clearing and processing services to a variety of marketplaces."

About The Options Clearing Corporation

OCC, founded in 1973, is the largest clearing organization in the world for options and was the first clearinghouse 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 provides clearing and settlement services for 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

About The Clearing Corporation

The Clearing Corporation, a stockholder-owned, Delaware corporation now in its 79th year of business, is the only active independent futures clearinghouse in the world. Additional information on The Clearing Corporation is available at