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LSE plans push into derivatives

The London Stock Exchange said it will take on Europe's two dominant derivatives exchanges within a year, to broaden its footprint beyond its traditional share trading base.

Eurex, controlled by Deutsche Boerse and Liffe, part of the transatlantic exchange NYSE Euronext, have long dominated exchange traded derivatives in Europe.

"We are on track, within the next nine months to offer a credible alternative to our two established European competitors," LSE's chief executive Xavier Rolet said yesterday.

Mr Rolet is looking to exploit plans by policymakers to push more trading in the vast $615 trillion over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives sector on to exchanges to increase transparency and cut risk after the sector played a key role in the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. Such changes raise the prospect of huge new revenue streams for bourses at a time when margins in equities trading are being squeezed by fierce competition.