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ICE in deal to buy NYSE Euronext as derivatives era takes hold

Dec 21 2012 John McCrank, Reuters

Intercontinental Exchange announced an $8.2 billion takeover of New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext in a deal that allows it to tap into a dramatic expansion of demand for clearing financial derivatives expected next year. The deal announced on Thursday gives commodities and energy bourse ICE control of NYSE Liffe, Europe's second-largest derivatives exchange, helping it to compete against larger U.S. rival CME Group, owner of the Chicago Board of Trade. In the opaque $650 trillion global swaps market, a wide variety of financial contracts change hands in bilateral deals largely out of the sight of regulators. Critics say the sector exacerbated the global financial crisis in 2008. The U.S. Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul will bring large parts of the swaps markets to exchange-like platforms in new rules that take effect next year, and many such instruments will also need to run through clearinghouses which take on the risk of counterparty default. Clearinghouses

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