OIC Takes Education On The Road Completes Successful Tour of Australian Investors

Chicago—April 24, 2003

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that it successfully reached hundreds of Australian investors during its recent educational roadshow in Australia. Through its alliance with The Australia Stock Exchange (ASX), OIC conducted retail investor and broker seminars and institutional workshops in the Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

"In our continuing efforts to increase investor options education worldwide, OIC sponsors roadshows in Asia and Australia," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "Investor and broker interest in these regions continues to grow and our live seminars contribute to future growth of the options market."

During March's roadshow, Alex Jacobson, OIC Instructor and Vice President, Education, The International Securities Exchange, conducted retail broker and investor seminars with the ASX. For the three cities, seminar attendance was estimated at over 750 attendees. In 2002, OIC hosted a similarly successful roadshow with Jim Bittman, Senior Instructor, The Options Institute, Chicago Board Options Exchange as its instructor.

"There is strong interest in options in Australia, with volume and participation rising over 20 percent annually for the last four consecutive years. More than 37percent of Australians are direct shareholders, so in this market environment they are keen to adopt the protection and income generating strategies that options offer," said Melissa Ardern, Manager of Derivatives Market Development, ASX. "Australian retail investors and brokers benefited greatly from the education provided by OIC and OIC's support in making the tour possible."

ASX has traded options since 1976, and currently trades an average of 75,000 options contracts per day (at 1000 shares per contract) with 24 active market making firms.

In 2001, OIC and the ASX entered into an alliance to share educational resources and options industry research. The educational alliance plan may include exchanging options instructors on a limited bases, as well as sharing educational materials and market research from the respective U.S. and Australian options markets. Additionally, OIC and ASX have reciprocal distribution agreements for sharing materials.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's resources include: The Options Industry Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

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