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Liffe chief talks down rumours

DANIEL HODSON, chief executive of Liffe, London's futures and options exchange, moved play down rumours that rival exchanges could begin to trade UK gilt futures. Liffe is currently the only exchange to trade gilt futures but recent press reports have suggested Matif, the French futures exchange, and the DTB, the German futures exchange, could compete head-on with the London exchange for gilt future trades.

"It's a very old story," Mr Hodson said on the fringes of a derivatives conference in London. Liffe has recently faced heavy criticism after losing the bulk of trade in the German government bond future (the Bund) to the DTB. Many dealers prefer to use the DTB's low cost electronic trading system than to trade Bunds on Liffe's traditional open-outcry trading floor.

The DTB said yesterday that it was considering moving into gilt futures, but that no concrete plans had been made.