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Equity Open Interest Hits New Heights In April

ChicagoMay 03, 2001

The Options Industry Council (OIC) today announced that April equity options volume reached 70,510,617 contracts (26,888,890 puts and 43,621,727 calls), a 26.9 percent increase over the 55,549,490 contracts (18,823,475 puts and 36,726,015 calls) traded in April 2000.

Equity open interest reached a record high on April 20, with 83,979,530 contracts. This record surpasses the one set on Jan.19 with 80,380,234 contracts.

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.

"April was an extremely busy month for the options market with record-breaking equity open interest and record daily volume on April 20," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "Options investors are utilizing equity options for both long-term investing and protection during volatile markets."

April month-end equity open interest was 69,532,549 contracts vs. 49,344,814 contracts in 2000, a 40.9 percent increase.

Average daily equity options volume in April was 3,525,531 contracts, a 20.6 percent increase over 2,923,657 contracts traded in April 2000.Year-to-date equity options volume is 270,074,419, an 18.6 percent increase over the same time frame in 2000 when 227,715,525 contracts traded.

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: 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, calling 1-888-OPTIONS, or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

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