Trading in OTC interest-rate swaps set to start

By Reuters
Posted July 13, 2010 at 4:32 p.m.

Five Chicago trading firms will soon start an exchange to handle trading of over-the-counter interest rate swaps, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Getco LLC, DRW Holding, Infinium Capital Management, Chicago Trading Co. and Nico Holdings LLC received approval for a so-called exempt board of trade from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission several months ago, the source said.The new market, to be called the Eris Exchange, will clear the derivatives contracts through CME Group Inc.  and will be run by former CME executive Neal Brady.

The market’s launch comes as U.S. lawmakers near final passage of  Wall Street reform that will mandate clearing and trading for much of the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives industry.

Eris will be able to handle trading in any derivatives but will first focus on interest-rate swaps, the biggest part of the over-the-counter market.

Brady was co-founder of Liquidity Direct Technology LLC, an options-trading platform backed by DRW Holding and sold to CME in 2004. After CME’s purchase, Brady spent some time at the exchange operator as a managing director.

A final Senate vote on the financial regulatory reform bill is expected by the end of the week, and Democrats appear to have enough votes to pass it.

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