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The Options Clearing Corporation Announces Availability of the First Major Deliverable from the Options Symbology Initiative

CHICAGO, March 6, 2007 - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that the first key milestone in the Options Symbol Initiative (OSI) has been reached with the publication of the technical specifications for record layout changes.

The specifications for both inbound and outbound data changes - which can be found at - comprise the tools market participants need to conduct their analysis to determine the impact to their exchange and clearing interfaces.

The OSI is an industry plan to change the way options contracts are represented in trade and post-trade processing. A committee of industry representatives - formed at the direction of the OCC Board of Directors - recommended the plan for replacing the alpha codes and fractional pricing currently used to represent listed options contracts with an explicit series key and decimal strike prices. The current processing method that has been in use for the past 25 years poses a number of limitations in today's marketplace.

When implemented, most options symbols will match the underlying security symbol, which will reduce corporate action symbol conversions, eliminate the need for wrap symbols and the LEAP rollover process, thereby reducing errors in front, middle and back office processes, while providing flexibility in new product development at the exchanges.

This multi-year effort is expected to conclude in November 2009. The website is the best source for market participants - and all interested parties - to keep up-to-date on the initiative, and to provide feedback as the OSI progresses.

The Symbology Committee is comprised of individuals representing more than 25 firms, vendors and industry organizations - representing both the business and technical sides of the industry. The OCC acts as coordinator of the OSI.

About OCC

OCC, founded in 1973, is the world's largest derivatives clearing organization and was the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. 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, CBOE Futures Exchange, International Securities Exchange, OneChicago, NYSE Arca, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Philadelphia Board of Trade. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at