OIC Announces 15.8 Percent Increase In Year-To-Date Equity Options Volume August Increases 4.6 Percent

ChicagoSeptember 6, 2001

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that year-to-date equity option volume of 499,976,960 contracts is 15.8 percent ahead of the 431,653,994 contracts traded during the same time frame in 2000. August month-end equity options volume reached 53,876,659 contracts (22,112,667 puts and 31,763,992 calls), a 4.6 percent increase over the 51,502,593 contracts (17,336,342 puts and 34,166,251 calls) traded in August 2000.

Month-end equity open interest reached 74,988,630 contracts, representing a 26.8 per cent increase over month-end equity open interest of 59,147,553 contracts in August 2000. At its highest point on Aug. 17, equity open interest stood at 81,563,619 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.

"We're encouraged that despite uncertainty in the market, overall volume is still higher than this time last year. The relatively high open interest indicates that investors continue to use options in the longer term," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC.

Average daily equity options volume in August was 2,342,463 contracts, a 4.6 percent increase over 2,239,243 contracts traded in August 2000.

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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