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The Options Clearing Corporation Announces Total Contract Volume in March Grew 2%

CHICAGO (April 1, 2010) The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that total OCC cleared volume in March reached 353,294,816 contracts. This represents a 2 percent increase over the March 2009 volume of 346,360,655 contracts. OCC year to date total contract volume is up 8 percent from 2009 with 931,269,641 contracts.

Options: Exchange-listed options trading in the U.S for the month of March was up 1.44 percent from the previous year. Index options volume rose 15 percent higher than last year with 27,363,133 contracts in March. The year to date average daily contract for equity options is up 6.48 percent from 2009.

Futures: Futures cleared by OCC in March rose to 2,289,938 with an average daily contract of 102,770. Equity futures volume reached 385,125 contracts, a 64.87 percent increase over the same month last year where 233,598 were traded. Index and other futures volume came in at 1,904,039 this month and show a year to date average of 85,579 daily contracts.

Securities Lending: OCC's stock loan program, including OTC and AQS, saw an average daily notional value of $14,345,246,010, a 6 percent increase from February's average open interest. The past year has seen a trend to increasing average daily stock loan transactions. As OCC expanded its stock loan program last year, it also changed the program measurement process. Therefore, precise year-on-year data will not be available u`ntil mid-year.

 
March 2010 Total Contract Volume
March 2009 Total Contract Volume
March Total Contract % Change vs. 2009
YTD. Avg. Daily Contract 2010
YTD. Avg. Daily Contract 2009
Avg. Daily Contract % Change vs. 2009
Equity Options
323,641,745
322,256,666
0.43%
13,975,468
13,124,806
6.48%
Index Options
27,363,133
23,780,911
15.06%
1,188,477
978,726
21.43%
Total Options
351,004,878
346,037,577
1.44%
15,163,945
14,103,532
7.52%
Equity Futures
385,125
233,598
64.87%
17,160
8,382
104.72%
Index / Other Futures
1,904,039
89,450
2028.61%
85,579
2,822
2932.57%
Options on Futures
774
30
2480.00%
32
0
N/A
Total Futures
2,289,938
323,078
608.79%
102,770
11,204
817.26%
Total Volume
353,294,816
346,360,655
2.00%
15,266,715
14,114,736
8.16%

About OCC

OCC is the world's largest derivatives clearing organization by contract volume and open interest. Founded in 1973, OCC operates under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Clearing Agency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a Derivatives Clearing Organization. OCC now provides central counterparty (CCP) clearing and settlement services to 14 exchanges and platforms for options, financial and commodity futures, security futures and securities lending transactions.

As the CCP clearinghouse for the markets it serves, OCC assumes the counterparty risk of members involved in a trade-becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer. OCC manages its risk of member default by collecting margin (collateral). Clearing member margin requirements are calculated using OCC's proprietary System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations (STANS) that uses large-scale Monte Carlo simulations to forecast price moves and correlations to make those margin determinations. In 1993, OCC became the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation, and has continued to receive that high rating every year as a result of its risk management standards.

OCC operates as a utility clearinghouse, owned by several of its participant exchanges but with a Board of Directors majority drawn from its clearing members, allowing it to provide highly efficient but low-cost solutions to the markets it serves. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.