| LONDON, March 28
LONDON, March 28 Two U.S. operators are set to
go head-to-head in the European Union to record derivatives
trades, hoping to cash in on new rules to make markets safer and
Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange said on
Thursday it has applied to EU markets regulator ESMA for
approval to operate a trade repository in the 27-country bloc.
Opacity in the $640 trillion global derivatives market
alarmed regulators in the 2007-09 financial crisis, prompting
them to pass rules requiring trades to be recorded - and open up
a new business opportunity.
Repositories will tell regulators who is behind each
transaction and show if big risky positions are being built up.
The U.S. Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, which clears
trades in the United States and Europe, confirmed on Thursday it
too has applied to ESMA to operate a pan-EU repository. It
already operates repositories in Britain and the United States.
ESMA had no comment on the ICE and DTCC applications.
Some industry officials caution that having several rival
repositories could blur the picture for regulators.
DTCC and ICE face a home-grown rival in Europe, REGIS-TR, a
joint venture between Spanish settlement house Iberclear
, and Clearstream, part of Deutsche Boerse.
The move by ICE would turn it into an integrated group in
Europe - the exchange is buying NYSE Euronext, which
owns LIFFE, one of Europe's two main derivatives exchanges. ICE
already operates a clearing house in Europe.
ICE said its Trade Vault Europe would offer trade recording
in commodities, credit, interest rate and foreign exchange
derivatives. DTCC will offer all four and equity derivatives.
ICE Trade Vault became the first U.S. data repository to
receive provisional regulatory approval in June last year as it
seeks to match moves by DTCC and become a global repository.
"ICE is committed to providing its customers with a global
repository solution," said Bruce Tupper, president of ICE Trade