Singapore Exchange pushes iron ore futures launch to April

SINGAPORE Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:14am EST

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SINGAPORE Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Singapore Exchange has pushed to April the launch of its iron ore futures contract, to give clients and member firms more time to prepare for the new product, the exchange said on Friday.

SGX, which clears more than 90 percent of globally traded iron ore swaps, had earlier planned to launch futures contracts, including iron ore and freight, on Feb. 25. It is now considering April 8 as the date.

"This will provide member firms sufficient time to prepare their trading and clearing support, including conducting necessary systems testing," the exchange said in a statement.

The iron ore futures contracts will allow SGX to keep and attract more U.S. clients faced with tougher rules on trading over-the-counter derivatives such as swaps.

The exchange earlier said the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission had allowed it to continue clearing iron ore swaps for U.S clients while in the process of registering with the regulatory body as a derivatives clearing organisation.

Under Washington's Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC requires all clearing houses that clear swaps for U.S. customers to be registered with the regulator.

SGX said it cleared a record 18.2 million tonnes of iron ore swaps in January, trumping an earlier record set in September. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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