IntercontinentalExchange Announces May Launch Of Credit Index Futures Contracts


IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global markets and clearing houses, announced today it will introduce four credit index futures contracts starting in May 2013. The contracts will be based on the Markit CDX and Markit iTraxx indices, and are subject to review by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

"These new products were developed with customers to meet their credit risk management needs. Our new credit index futures contracts provide customers with the benefits of the fully-regulated futures markets while also serving a complementary role to the existing credit index swaps market," said Thomas Farley, SVP, Financial Markets. "We are pleased to work with Markit and to use their transparent, rules-based indices to develop these contracts."

The four contracts are cash-settled based on the following Markit indices:

  • Markit CDX NA IG
  • Markit CDX NA HY
  • Markit iTraxx Europe (Main)
  • Markit iTraxx Crossover

The Markit CDX and iTraxx credit index futures contracts will reflect corporate credit spreads and will allow investors and credit market participants to access and hedge the corporate credit market in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The "when issued" contracts will be based on the series following the on-the-run series. This eliminates the risk of an index constituent default in the "when issued" contract as only non-defaulting entities will be included in the index when constituted as the next on-the-run contract.

Credit index futures contracts will be listed twice a year for expiration on the dates the new series begins trading in the swaps market. At expiration, any open contracts will be cash-settled based on the Markit-ICE End of Day Settlement price of the 5-year swap.

The contracts will be listed by ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear U.S. ICE will introduce additional credit index futures contracts based on market feedback and demand.