Ice to form London-based clearing house

“Ice Clear Europe” is putting together an application for the UK Financial Services Authority, aimed at gaining recognised clearing-house status. It will be sent in June, and Ice expects to be clearing its own over-the-counter and energy derivatives contracts by July 2008. Clearing for Ice is currently provided by London-based LCH.Clearnet. The exchange estimates its customers currently generate around $50 million a year in clearing fees for the firm.

The move is part of a strategy to integrate and develop the clearing business Ice acquired as part of its merger with the New York Board of Trade in January. From June, the New York Clearing Corporation will be renamed “Ice Clear US”. The two Ice clearing houses will share a common technology and development team.

Chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher said gaining greater control over clearing would allow Ice to offer more services to the OTC market, to increase the speed with which new products could be released, and to expand further into physical commodities.

As a result of the plan, Ice expects to reap $25-30 million through clearing activities from July 2008, and more than $60 million annually by 2009. The exchange puts the cost of setting up the new clearing house at about $8 million during 2007-2008.

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