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OIC Announces Year-to-Date Equity Options Volume Ahead by 6.51% Month-end equity open interest continues to reach new heights

Chicago—September 4, 2003

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that year-to-date equity options volume remains ahead of 2002 volume with 515,789,526 contracts vs. 484,230,749 contracts, representing a 6.51 percent increase.

Month-end equity options open interest for August reached 110,809,222 contracts, a 23.40 percent increase over the month-end equity options open interest of 89,797,749 contracts in August 2002. This is a new month-end high, surpassing the previous record set in July with 106,462,432 contracts. At its highest point on Aug. 18, equity options open interest stood at 115,093,332 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.

Average daily equity options volume in August was 2,785,900 contracts, an 8.6 percent increase over the 2,563,743 contracts traded in August 2002. The highest trading day for equity options occurred on Aug. 18 with 3,493,951 contracts.

August month-end equity options volume reached 58,503,904 contracts (24,035,797 puts and 34,468,107 calls), a 3.7 percent increase over the 56,402,341 contracts (22,790,903 puts and 33,611,438 calls) traded in August 2002.

"As we head into the fall, the options marketplace is poised for a record-breaking year," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "We're encouraged that the increased volume and equity open interest records continue as more investors learn about the strength of the equity options product."

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 free resources include: The Investor 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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