CBOE plans nearly non-stop VIX futures trading this year -CEO

BOCA RATON, Florida March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:20pm EDT

BOCA RATON, Florida March 12 (Reuters) - CBOE Holdings Inc , operator of the largest options exchange by trading volume, will implement nearly non-stop trading for futures on the its Volatility Index by the end of the year to capture more Asian trading, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The index, also known as the VIX, is a widely followed gauge that measures investor sentiment.

CBOE, operator of the CBOE Futures Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, will expand trading in VIX futures to 23 hours and 45 minutes a day, five days a week, from 14 hours a day, CEO Ed Tilly said at a futures conference in Florida.

"We need to pick up the Asian trading day," he told reporters. "We're committed to this year."

A start date was not announced.

Chicago-based CBOE also will evaluate whether to open a trading hub in Asia to facilitate trading, Tilly said.

In November, CBOE began allowing trading in VIX futures to begin at 2 a.m. CST (0800 GMT), five hours earlier than usual, as the company sought to pull in traders from Europe. The company in February 2013 opened a communications hub outside of London to facilitate VIX futures trading.

In February, 7.6 percent of the average daily trading volume in VIX futures comes during non-U.S. trading hours, according to CBOE. Average daily volume in VIX futures during the month reached a record of 216,797 contracts. Volume during non-U.S. trading hours spiked to 14 percent on March 3 due to uncertainty about political turmoil in Ukraine, Tilly said.

CBOE also plans to expand trading hours for VIX options and options on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index this year, he said.

CBOE's proprietary products, led by futures and options on the VIX and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, are a centerpiece of the exchange operator's offerings.

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