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OIC Announces New Record For Annual Equity Options Volume Open Interest Achieves New Heights

ChicagoDecember 5, 2001

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that total equity options volume reached a new high when its year-to-date volume hit 673,574,100 contracts on Dec. 3. This volume surpasses the 2000 annual total equity options volume of 672,871,757 contracts and sets a record for the tenth consecutive year.

Month-end equity open interest for November reached 84,411,277 contracts, breaking the previous record set in October with 79,392,157 contracts and 27.1 percent higher than November 2000 with 66,385,413 contracts. On Nov. 16, equity open interest set a new single day record with 91,746,663 contracts, surpassing the previous record set on Oct. 19 with 89,741,275 contracts. This marks the fifth time this year that equity open interest has set a single day record.

Equity open interest, the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire, is seen as an indication of longer-term investing in these instruments.

"Ten years of record equity options volume suggests that options investors look to options for a versatile investment product," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "The steady increase in equity open interest also indicates that investors are utilizing options for longer-term investing."

Average daily equity volume in November was 2,758,686 contracts as compared to 2,794,798 contracts for November 2000. November equity volume was 57,932,407 contracts (21,614,706 puts and 36,317,701 calls) while 58,690,754 contracts (23,618,359 puts and 35,072,395 calls) changed hands in November 2000.

To review daily volume statistics for the year to date, please visit OIC's volume statistics page.

OIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: a call center, which provides U.S. investors with comprehensive options information, education and trading data at no cost from options experts; an educational Web site at www.888options.com; evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada; instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on these resources is available by visiting the Web site or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com. U.S. inquiries can also be directed to the call center at 888-OPTIONS (888-678-4667).

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