CHICAGO - Hoping to continue the buildup in Chicago Mercantile Exchange's emerging-markets trading business, the board of directors has voted unanimously to create a Growth and Emerging Market division.
The new division, which is subject to approval by exchange members, would be just the third created by the exchange in the past 25 years.
It will house the exchange's growing list of futures and options contracts tied to currencies, interest rates, and stock indexes of growing Latin American and Asian nations, exchange chairman Jack Sandner said last week.
At the same time, Mr. Sandner announced that the exchange has applied to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to trade futures and options on Mexican Brady bonds. Applications to trade contracts on the Mexican stock index and the Brazilian currency, the real, are already pending with the commission.
The decision to create a new division is just latest move by the exchange in the emerging-markets arena.
Trading in futures contracts based on the Mexican peso began in April. In just over three months, open interest in this market surpassed 10,000 contracts, worth $816 million.
"We view this as an unprecedented growth opportunity for this exchange," Mr. Sandner said.
The exchange added new divisions in 1972, when the International Monetary Market was established to handle currency contracts, and in 1982, when the Index and Options Market was created to handle trading in futures and options on stock indexes.
The exchange has plans to sell 50 full seats on the new market to the public at $30,000 each.
Under the proposal, which requires a two-thirds vote of the exchange's 2,725 members, seat holders with the Merc and the International Monetary Market would each receive a 20% interest in a seat on the new market, while Index and Options Market members would get a 10% interest.
Ultimately, the new market will have an estimated 417 total seats. - James C. Allen