Eurex

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Eurex
Logo eurex.gif
Founded 1998
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
Key People Thomas Book, CEO
Products Derivatives exchange
Twitter @EurexGroup
LinkedIn Profile
Website www.eurexchange.com
Releases Company News

Eurex, based in Eschborn just outside of Frankfurt, is wholly owned by Deutsche Boerse AG and is one of the world’s largest and most diverse derivatives exchanges and the largest European futures and options market. It also provides clearing services for derivatives, equities, bonds and repos.[1]

The Eurex Group of companies encompasses the Eurex exchange, Eurex Clearing, EEX, Eurex Bonds, and Eurex Repo. Eurex has screens in 19 countries, among 389 participants and runs on its T7 trading platform, launched in 2013.

The exchange primarily offers financial futures contracts based on interest rates, equities, equity indexes and volatility. It is best known for its Eurex Euro-Bund futures, which ranked as the world's fifth-largest interest rate derivative contract in 2016 and its EURO STOXX 50 futures and options, the fourth- and seventh-largest equity index derivative contracts by volume, respectively.[2][3]

The exchange's clearing architecture, branded C7 and launched in July 2014, supports both listed and OTC derivatives and complies with the new derivatives regulations under the European market infrastructure regulation (EMIR).[4]

Eurex was ranked fifth among global derivatives exchanges by volume in 2016, with 1.72 billion contracts traded, up 3.3 percent from the previous year.[5]

History

Eurex was created in 1998 through the merger of the DTB (Deutsche Terminbörse, German Derivatives Exchange) and SOFFEX (the Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange), after nearly a decade of close cooperation between the two entities and their parent companies, Deutsche Boerse AG and SIX Swiss Exchange. It was jointly operated by Deutsche Boerse and the SIX Swiss Exchange with the German group holding 50 percent of the voting rights and 85 percent of the share capital. In January 2012 Deutsche Boerse acquired the remaining shares in Eurex Zurich AG from SIX Group AG, making Deutsche Boerse the sole owner of the Eurex derivatives exchange.

In Germany, Eurex is regulated by BaFin (the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, or Federal Financial Supervisory Authority).

Battle of the Bund

The DTB was one of the world's first electronic exchanges, and by 1997 had distributed its screens across Europe and into the United States. As the merger with SOFFEX was announced, DTB was in the midst of a battle for volume in the Bund contract with its chief cross-continental rival, the then open outcry London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE). On Oct. 22, 1997, the DTB captured 52 percent of Bund futures liquidity, and never looked back. The incident represented the first time an existing, established liquidity pool had ever been wrestled away from its home venue.

That led to a stunning announcement in March 1998, that Eurex and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) would form a linkage between Eurex and the CBOT's electronic platform, Project A, by the end of the year, with the aim of creating an electronic trading platform for the leading benchmark derivatives products of Europe and the United States. The project, however, ran into resistance from the CBOT’s old guard, who saw it as a threat to the trading floor. Eventually the various factions came to a compromise, a new joint electronic trading platform a/c/e (alliance/cbot/eurex) launched in August of 2000.

Behind the scenes at Eurex, however, there was friction between Jörg Franke, the founder and CEO of Eurex, and Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Werner Seifert, leading Franke to announce his resignation in August 2000, the same month that a/c/e was launched. Departing with him was co-managing director Andreas Preuss, who had been coordinating the effort to build a/c/e in Chicago. Preuss would later return to Eurex as chief executive and still later, as deputy CEO of Deutsche Boerse.

Ferscha Era

Franke was followed by Rudolf Ferscha, a mergers and acquisitions specialist and former non-directional trader who took the reins in December, 2000. Frustrated with the direction of the a/c/e project in Chicago, he changed the direction of Eurex’s expansion into the United States, culminating with the 2004 formation of Eurex US, a direct competitor to CBOT and CME.

He also continued to expand the international stock option offerings in Frankfurt, and was able to capitalize on hardware glitches in the Amsterdam segment of cross-continental rival Euronext to gain a leading position in Dutch options for a time.

Several projects initiated on Franke’s watch bore fruit during Ferscha’s term. One example was the launch of the European Energy Exchange (EEX), a carbon emissions and energy exchange, in March of 2000. That exchange eventually merged with the Leipzig Power Exchange, keeping the EEX name. Eurex kept an ownership interest and later increased its majority stake in the exchange.

But media attention focused on Ferscha's falling out with CBOT leadership and renewed competition from LIFFE, which had introduced a credible electronic trade-matching engine, LIFFE CONNECT, after shuttering its trading floors.

Eurex’s medium-term interest-rate product, the Bobl futures contract, was perceived as vulnerable due to a limited supply of deliverable five-year German bonds, which made it possible for deep-pocketed banks to gobble up available deliverable supplies and squeeze the market at delivery time. Eurex responded with fines, but did not change the contract. In the end, the German Central Bank, the Bundesbank, agreed to make other deliverable bonds available in the event of a squeeze, and the threat faded. LIFFE’s rival product, Swapnote, found its niche, but never threatened the benchmark status of the Euro-Bund or Euro-Bobl.

Eurex moved into the over-the-counter bond sector in October 2000 with the launch of Eurex Bonds, a wholesale trading platform in fixed income securities and Treasury discount paper. The platform is connected to Eurex Clearing's settlement system and was integrated with Eurex's futures contracts. The platform offers a wide range of interest rate products including: inflation-linked bonds, T-bills, basis instruments, Agencies and German Jumbo Pfandbriefe, German federal state bonds, European covered bonds France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, selected European corporate bonds as well as European government bonds from Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.[6]

With the European Union's creation of a single currency in January 1999, the euro, Eurex's EURO STOXX 50 Index futures contract gained on Eurex's DAX contract in volume, supported by a growing number of options on non-German shares that were also components of the index. The exchange also added options on U.S. shares that year, but Ferscha bucked the global trend towards single-stock futures, repeatedly dismissing them as a niche product and saying that there was simply no demand from market participants. Eurex would later add single stock futures.

Divorce, Chicago Style

By the end of 2001, Eurex and CBOT had formally entered a dispute resolution process, with Eurex charging that the CBOT had violated their agreement by not paying for a software upgrade and not allowing U.S. options onto a/c/e.

In 2002, Eurex introduced futures and options on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Overall volume on all Eurex products topped 800 million contracts, but the big story continued to be Ferscha's ongoing feud with the CBOT old guard, which heated up even as volume migrated to the a/c/e platform. By year-end, the CBOT was threatening to dissolve the a/c/e project in favor of implementing the LIFFE CONNECT trading platform.

In January 2003, CBOT made good on its threat and left the a/c/e platform, and Ferscha announced plans to launch a rival exchange as soon as the a/c/e agreement expired. Over the course of the year, Ferscha cut a deal with the former Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Corporation (BOTCC, since renamed the Clearing Corporation) to clear trades for the new exchange, but also faced intense lobbying on the part of both the CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against his efforts to gain regulatory approval as a non-American exchange.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Boerse AG and SWX Swiss Exchange renewed the Eurex joint venture for another decade in 2003. Total Eurex volume for the year crossed the one billion contract threshold in December, and finished at just above 1.014 billion.[7][8]

The Chicago exchanges managed to stall the launch of Eurex US until February of 2004, which meant there was a one-month gap between the time the CBOT transferred its products to the LIFFE CONNECT platform and the time Eurex US launched on the Eurex platform.

Eurex U.S. never managed to achieve significant volume, but its arrival in the United States was credited with forcing the Chicago exchanges to shift to electronic trading. Eurex U.S. was later sold to Man Financial, with Eurex maintaining a minority interest.

Executive Changes & Eurex US

The year 2005 was another pivotal time for the exchange, as shareholders ousted Deutsche Boerse AG chief executive Werner Seifert. For Eurex, it eventually also meant the elimination of Ferscha and the end of Eurex US.

After Seifert’s ouster in May 2005, Ferscha’s business plan came under increasing pressure. In September, he announced the introduction of single-stock futures, and in October he said he was “open to offers” of partnership or takeover on the Eurex US platform.

Also in 2005, the joint venture agreement governing Eurex was adjusted to give Deutsche Boerse 85 percent of the income from Eurex, and the exchange began expanding its distribution in Asia. Numerous memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Asian exchanges were signed, and the groundwork was laid for direct access for Singapore-based traders.

On the product front, Eurex introduced its volatility index products. Despite the turmoil, Eurex remained a critical profit center for Deutsche Boerse AG, and trading volume continued its dramatic rise to more than 1.1 billion contracts in 2004.

On Apr. 19, 2006 Ferscha resigned, and by month-end the Eurex board had approved a plan to let another exchange take a stake in Eurex US, but named no takers.

Ferscha's departure heralded the return of Andreas Preuss, who had been co-managing director under Joerg Franke. Preuss, who became Eurex CEO and was later appointed deputy CEO of the executive board in 2008, vowed to focus Eurex more on new product development, technology and global distribution geared towards high-speed algorithmic trading.

On Oct. 1, 2006, less than six months after Ferscha's departure, Eurex sold 70 percent of Eurex US to Man Group, which changed the name to the US Futures Exchange (USFE). In December of 2008, MF Global, one of the three principal shareholders of USFE along with Man Group, announced it was actively seeking a buyer for USFE. Since no buyer was found, USFE ceased all exchange operations in December 31, 2008.[9]

In 2007, Eurex Exchange expanded its distribution network to selected countries in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and Asia and Africa. Shortly thereafter, the first participants from Dubai and Canada began trading at Eurex.[10]

ISE, Asia, EEX and New Platform, Clearing & Contracts

In 2007, Deutsche Boerse expanded into the US equity options space with the $2.8 billion cash acquisition of the International Securities Exchange (ISE), which created one of the biggest transatlantic derivatives markets. ISE, which fell under the Eurex Group umbrella, was sold by Deutsche Boerse to Nasdaq for $1.1 billion in June of 2016.[11][12]

Eurex Clearing worked to position itself favorably in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, as regulators in both the US and EU pushed OTC derivatives onto exchanges and clearing houses. Its clearing division, Eurex Clearing, became the first European CCP in 2009 to introduce a clearing solution for OTC trading in credit default swaps, called Eurex Credit Clear.

Eurex also pushed further into Asia under Preuss' direction. In 2009, Eurex opened an office in Singapore to further develop its Asian business. It also set up Eurex Clearing Asia in Singapore and filed an application to open an exchange there. But to date, Eurex has not done so. [13]

It partnered with the Korea Exchange starting in August 2010, providing exchange members the opportunity to trade the KOSPI 200 index options, the most-traded equity contract in the world at the time. The deal allowed trading access on Eurex during core European trading hours, was a success for Eurex and Korea Exchange. Eurex trading volumes on the Kospi grew from around 5 percent of total contract volume to more than 8 percent in 2015. [14][15]

Meanwhile, Eurex acquired a majority stake in EEX in 2011, exercising an option that would give Eurex a 58.19 percent stake in the exchange, up from 35.2 percent. In 2017, Eurex held a 63 percent stake. The energy and emissions exchange, led by former Eurex executive Peter Reitz, grew dramatically through a number of acquisitions in Europe and in the US, including its 2017 purchase of Nodal Exchange. EEX marks the most successful effort in the commodities space for Eurex Group to date.[16]

In 2015 Shanghai Stock Exchange, China Financial Futures Exchange and Deutsche Boerse agreed to launch a joint venture to develop and market financial instruments based on Chinese underlyings to international investors outside mainland China, including offering renminbi-denominated interest rate and exchange rate products. But the deal was sidetracked when Deutsche Boerse's attempt to acquire the London Stock Exchange - an attempt that eventually failed - took precedence.[17][18] The exchange also launched a Eurex/TAIFEX Link in 2014.

Eurex also pushed to complete a brand new trading and clearing platform during that time, aimed at increasing volume capacity and reducing latency. The new platform called T7, built largely in-house at Eurex, was first rolled out in December 2012 and was 14 times faster than the previous platform for futures trades and 40 times faster for options trades. The platform rollout was completed in 2013 and has been upgraded several times since. [19]

On the product front, Eurex introduced new volatility index products. The VSTOXX futures and options, based on the Euro STOXX 50 Index, was particularly successful.[20]

In 2013, Deutsche Boerse extended its push into the interest rates swaps space with an investment in a UK-based start-up trading platform called Global Markets Exchange Group, better known as GMEX. On August 7, 2015 Eurex and GMEX launched a EUR-denominated IRS Constant Maturity Future (CMF) – a futures contract mimicking an interest-rate swap.[21] [22] [23]

It also continued to extend its product mix, particularly in the index space. It partnered with index provider MSCI in 2013, to offer futures and options on its benchmark indexes and by the summer of 2017, it had listed 88 futures and 19 options contracts on MSCI indexes with solid volume growth.[24] [25]

Preuss stepped down as CEO of Eurex in 2015 and was replaced in 2016 by Thomas Book, who had been serving as CEO of Eurex Clearing.[26]

The exchange has continued to increase offerings on its Eurex Clearing side, launching a new clearing structure called ISA Direct (which stands for individual segregated account) for certain small and medium sized institutional member firms on OTC trades in 2016. The move is part of an effort to help minimize central counterparty risk in the OTC space.

Contract Volume

Year Total Annual Volume* Percent Change
2016 1,727,766,695 3.3%
2015 1,672,648,483 8.3%
2014 1,490,541,824 12.2%
2013 1,551,889,344 (-)4.0%
2012 1,659,637,772 (-)18.8%
2011 2,043,400,000 8%
2010 1,896,900,000 12%
2009 1,687,200,000 (-)22%
2008 2,165,000,000 -%
  • Eurex volumes do not include options volumes from its subsidiary International Securities Exchange, which was sold by Eurex in 2016. 2008-2011 volumes come from Eurex Clearing's Annual Report which do not provide exact volume figures.

Products

Eurex offers a wide range of proprietary exchange-traded financial futures and options products, commodity derivatives, as well over-the-counter (OTC) support services for exchange-traded derivatives and OTC services for cash products, such as bonds and repurchase agreements (repos). Its exchange traded product range comprises nine asset classes: Interest rate derivatives; equity index derivatives, equity derivatives, volatility derivatives, dividend derivatives, FX derivatives, ETF derivatives, commodity derivatives, and property derivatives.

Eurex also matches, clears, and settles over-the-counter transactions via its Eurex Bonds and Eurex Repo subsidiaries.

Exchange-Traded Products

Eurex's flagship product has long been and remains the Euro-Bund futures contract, but volume in the EURO STOXX 50 stock index futures and stock index options contracts now often beats that of the Euro-Bund on a monthly basis. The exchange has expanded its product mix by diversifying into credit derivatives and single-stock futures (SSFs), as well as by expanding its clearing of OTC instruments.

Deutsche Boerse began listing Exchange-Traded Commodities (ETCs) in November 2006. These are securities based on "baskets" of commodities, not futures contracts. Therefore, they are listed on Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra securities platform rather than on the Eurex derivatives platform.

Eurex offers futures and options on six of the most liquid currency pairs, with FX spot as the underlying for both futures and options in EUR/USD, USD/CHF, EUR/GBP, GBP/CHF, EUR/CHF, and GBP/USD. The contracts are physically delivered.[27]

Eurex launched euro-denominated interest rate swap futures, alternative products to OTC derivatives, on September 3, 2014. They were the first interest rate swap futures based on European rates. [28]

The exchange offers dividend futures on more than 80 of the largest Eurozone and pan-European companies.[29]

On December 3, 2014 Deutsche Boerse introduced Eurex IOC Liquidity Indicator for options, an analytics product disseminated via the CEF Core and CEF ultra+ Eurex data feeds. It provides insight into the liquidity of the most widely traded options available on Eurex. It was Eurex's first analytics product for options contracts.

Eurex introduced 10 German and Swiss equity options with weekly expirations in April of 2015. That month Eurex also launched weekly options contracts on the Euro Bund futures. The contracts are physically settled and denominated in euros.[30]

Subsidiaries and Clearing

Eurex's five subsidiary companies are: the Eurex Exchange, EEX, Eurex Clearing, Eurex Bonds, and Eurex Repo.

  • Eurex Exchange is a global derivatives exchange trading, among others things, the most liquid EUR-denominated equity index and fixed income derivatives.
  • EEX is an energy exchange in Europe for spot and futures trading in power, natural gas, emission allowances and coal.
  • Eurex Clearing is the exchange's CCP for derivatives transactions executed on the Eurex platform, as well as for equities, bonds, and repo transactions executed on other platforms.
  • Eurex Bonds is the group's electronic trading system for off-exchange, wholesale trading in fixed income securities and treasury discount papers (Bubills). The core products traded on the platform are government bonds issued by national governments.[32]
  • Eurex Repo is an electronic OTC marketplace based on an internet platform for international repurchase agreements (repos).

Key People

Eurex's management board sit on the executive board of Eurex Zürich AG, Eurex Frankfurt AG, Eurex Deutschland AG and/or Eurex Clearing AG

References

  1. About Us. Eurex.
  2. FI-2016 Annual Volume Survey. FIA.
  3. Eurex Group companies. Eurex.
  4. Eurex unveils new clearing architecture. The Trade News.
  5. FIA volume survey 2017. FIA.
  6. Eurex Companies. Eurex.
  7. Annual Press Briefing 2004. Eurex.
  8. Contract Renewed for Another 10 Years. Eurex.
  9. End of Line For Futures Exchange. WSJ.com.
  10. Milestones. Eurex.
  11. Deutsche Boerse Agrees to Acquire ISE Market for $2.8 Billion. AP.
  12. Nasdaq Completes Acquisition of International Securities Exchange. Nasdaq.
  13. Happy Birthday: 50 years Singapore. Eurex.
  14. Five years Eurex-KOSPI product – five years of ongoing success. Eurex.
  15. Eurex To Trade KOSPI 200 Options. Institutional Investor.
  16. Deutsche Boerse unit buys majority in EEX. Reuters.
  17. Shanghai Stock Exchange, China Financial Futures Exchange and Deutsche Boerse agree on joint venture. Eurex.
  18. Deutsche Boerse Asia plans sidelined by LSE merger effort. Reuters.
  19. We Have Liftoff: Wolfgang Eholzer on the New Eurex Trading Platform. John Lothian News.
  20. Colin Bennett on volatility trading. Part 2: Volatility Futures as an alternative to equity and puts. Eurex.
  21. Deutsche Börse buys stake in UK start-up venue GMex. FT.
  22. LDX IRS Constant Maturity Futures. Eurex.
  23. Eurex Adds to Swap-Future Lineup as Rules Reshape Market. Bloomberg.
  24. MiFID II gives us opportunities. Borsen-Zeitung.
  25. MSCI Derivatives– Global opportunities, one market. Eurex.
  26. Implementation of new leadership structure for Eurex trading and clearing business. Eurex.
  27. Eurex Enters FX Market. MarketsMedia.
  28. Eurex launches euro-swap futures suite. The Trade.
  29. Eurex launches new single stock dividend futures contracts. Hedgeweek.
  30. Eurex expands interest rate derivatives offering. Eurex.
  31. Single Stock Futures at Eurex Exchange. Eurex.
  32. Eurex Bonds. Eurex.