ICE Futures U.S. today announced an incentive program for the Russell 2000 Index mini futures contract for members of Chicago exchanges in conjunction with growing participation in the Russell Index futures markets on ICE.
All exchange members of CME (including 106H members), CBOT and CBOE, as well as NYMEX, including individual, clearing and corporate members, may trade the "mini size" Russell Index futures contracts at the ICE Futures U.S. member rate of $0.30 per side, inclusive of clearing and execution fees. The program, which is now in effect, includes the Russell 2000(R) mini and the Russell 1000(R) mini futures and options on futures contracts.
All contract months and calendar spreads are offered in electronic markets on ICE. In addition, all major quote vendors offer real-time market data for ICE’s Russell Index futures and options on futures.
Last week, ICE announced record volume in the Russell 2000 Index mini contract for the month of April 2008 of 27,800 contracts, more than tripling the prior record set in March 2008. Eighteen market makers are active in ICE’s Russell futures and options markets in preparation for the June contract roll.
In March, ICE announced a cross-margining program between ICE Clear U.S. and the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). Cross-margining allows qualified market participants to benefit from lower margins for risk-reducing positions in related markets.
ICE Futures U.S. offers block trading for all Russell Index contracts, as well as "trade-at-settlement" (TAS) transactions. TAS allows participants to enter into a transaction where they will receive the settlement price, or a price that is one to two ticks above or below the settlement price. ICE Futures U.S. is the only U.S. exchange to offer TAS trading in equity index futures contracts.
ICE Futures U.S. offers futures and options on futures based on the Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 Indexes, in both mini and full-size contracts, which are transitioning exclusively to ICE. In June 2007, ICE and Russell Investments entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for the U.S. Russell Index futures complex.
Nearly 99% of all small cap institutional assets are benchmarked to Russell Indexes. Russell’s innovative index methodology has helped their indexes become the benchmarks most used by institutional investors. Today, institutional investment professionals responsible for approximately $4.4 trillion in assets rely upon Russell indexes to guide their portfolios, which account for 58.5% of institutional benchmarked products.
In June, ICE will hold its first event in its Equity Index Forum speaker series, which will feature Barton Biggs, author of Wealth, War & Wisdom. ICE Futures U.S. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of global derivatives exchanges and over-the-counter markets for commodities, currencies and equity indexes.