Liffe joins forces with Chicago exchange

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The Independent Online
LIFFE, THE London futures and options market, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) yesterday announced a strategic partnership bringing together the world's two most liquid short-term interest rate futures markets.

Brian Williamson, Liffe chairman said that CME deal - which follows the alliance between the exchanges' main rivals: Frankfurt's Eurex and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) several weeks ago - could save some customers up to 70 per cent of their exchange costs as well as providing access to a wider range of products include a spread trading facility linking euro and dollar interest rates for the first time.

"This is intended to meet the demands of customers who are pushing very hard not only for the derivatives exchanges to understand what they want but the cash markets as well," he said.

He insisted that unlike the CBOT-Eurex alliance, the CME-Liffe partnership would be open from the start to other like-minded parties including not only other exchanges, but technology providers and users as well. Yesterday's deal is expected to come into effect early next year.