Exchanges prepare to launch credit default swap futures contracts

Eurex, the Frankfurt-based futures and options exchange jointly operated by Deutsche Borse and the Swiss Exchange, has announced that it will launch an exchange-traded futures contract based on the iTraxx Europe five-year credit default swaps (CDS) index. The contract is scheduled for launch on March 27, 2007, making it the first exchange to launch a credit derivatives futures contract.

The iTraxx Europe index represents the 125 most liquid European investment-grade CDS entities. The product will

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