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ICE to Launch NYC Electronic Trading and Training Center

Electronic energy marketplace IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) continued its busy week Wednesday in announcing that it has licensed office space at 2 World Financial Center in the downtown financial district of New York City. The company said the offices will serve as a "state-of-the-art" electronic trading center that will provide access to ICE's electronic markets as well as host training and marketing activities.

On Tuesday, the company said it successfully launched its ICE eConfirm Broker Matching Service to help reduce the potential for trade data errors in the over the counter (OTC) markets. On Monday the Atlanta, GA-based company said it more than doubled November 2005 trading volume and commission during November 2006 (see Daily GPI, Dec. 5). Average daily volume (ADV) for ICE Futures -- ICE's London-based regulated futures subsidiary -- was 451,676 contracts, an increase of 144.9% over ADV in November 2005. Average daily commissions in ICE's OTC business segment in November reached $723,323, a 101.3% increase over November 2005's $359,311. ICE said the growth in average daily commissions was driven by cleared OTC contracts and new market participants.

The electronic trading center is located at the lobby level in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. The ICE facility, expected to open in the first quarter of 2007, will be accessible by authorized market participants and qualified trainees. In September, ICE announced its planned acquisition of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), the leading soft commodity exchange in the world, which is located at 1 North End Ave. (see Daily GPI, Sept. 18).

With its competitive exchange, the pending NYBOT acquisition, the new trading center and ICE offices already at 7 Times Square Tower in midtown Manhattan, ICE continues to move into territory long held by the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"We are excited to expand our presence in New York to include what we believe will be a unique opportunity to address the demand expressed by commodity market participants to access our global electronic marketplace. As we look toward the acquisition of the NYBOT, we will continue to seek ways to welcome the membership and support their continued growth by offering training and a high-quality environment to conduct business," said ICE CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher.

In launching its broker matching service for ICE eConfirm, which is designed to facilitate fast and accurate post-trade confirmation, the exchange said the platform has now extended its reach to the interdealer broker community, bringing on broker IVG Energy as the first firm to utilize the service, which launched in November. The addition of the broker matching service automates the broker checkout process and is designed to increase back-office efficiency.

ICE said the service allows participants to resolve discrepancies with brokers via the website, reducing reliance on phone calls, faxes and e-mails. ICE eConfirm also offers brokers the ability to complete auto-matching of all trade information for each transaction. At the end of the month, the auto-matching of the brokerage invoice allows participants to speed processing of accounts receivable.

"In response to numerous requests from our ICE eConfirm user community, we are pleased to introduce the Broker Matching Service," said Chuck Vice, ICE's president. "IVG Energy recognized this service as a way to make its customers' lives easier. We believe this unique service offers value-added tools and operational efficiencies that will benefit brokers and their customers alike."

ICE eConfirm is Internet-based and allows counterparties in the OTC markets the ability to complete accurate and legally binding trade confirmations, regardless of whether the trade was executed bilaterally on the ICE platform or away from the ICE platform. The company said ICE eConfirm has 129 participant firms enrolled.

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