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Equity Open Interest Continues To Rise Month-end equity open interest increases 19.76 percent

ChicagoMarch 5, 2002

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that February month-end equity open interest of 73,025,894 contracts rose 19.76 percent from 60,975,912 contracts in February 2001. At its highest point on Feb. 15, equity open interest stood at 76,894,447 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.

"So far this year, we're observing a trend towards significantly higher equity open interest than the same time last year. The use of options as a long-term investment tool prevails during diverse market conditions," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC.

Month-end equity options volume for February was 55,369,890 contracts (24,299,894 puts and 31,069,996 calls) vs. 57,024,495 contracts (22,550,170 puts and 34,474,325 calls) in January 2001. Average daily equity volume for February was 2,914,205 contracts as compared to 3,001,289 contracts in 2001.

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. In 2002, OIC is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of providing investors and brokers options education. OIC's resources include: The Options Industry Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

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