In the clear

The trend away from uncleared over-the-counter trading to cleared OTC trading has prompted exchanges to list a greater range of OTC cleared products. But to what extent can the OTC markets ever become completely cleared? Katie Holliday investigates

Volumes of over-the-counter (OTC) trades given up for clearing have grown significantly in recent years, with the credit crisis accelerating the trend as traders seek the mitigation of counterparty risk provided by exchange-backed clearing and independent clearing houses.

Over the past few years, clearing in the mature oil market has grown from roughly 5-10% to 60%, according to global brokerage firm Icap. The relatively new emissions market began life as a cleared market, with 98% of trades

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