CME Group Inc. (CME) introduced a new genre of futures contracts that will be linked with deliverable interest rate swaps (IRS). These new IRS futures are scheduled to launch on November 13, 2012. Moreover, the new product will be listed on Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and be regulated by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The new IRS futures will be traded in a style similar to the futures trading of grains and livestock, whereby at the end of the expiry of the term, the commodity contract will be converted to an IRS. This will be beneficial since buyers of these futures will become receivers of a fixed-rate interest and payers of a floating-rate of interest in a cleared IRS.
CME Group aims to spike up its IRS trading with the new IRS futures suite. Until now, the company's IRS are traded as simple financial futures and settled in cash. However, it failed to add any impetus to the revenue growth or cost efficiency. The new redefined suite of IRS futures provides flexibility in accessing the IRS contracts, while also adding transparency, liquidity and margin efficiency to it.
The unique new product will also augment CME Group's over-the-counter (OTC) clearing solution. Offering both trading and clearing services for OTC IRS futures, the company will be able to capitalize on the entire swap trading irrespective of the traders' choice of products.
These unique features should drive growth in the company's IRS portfolio primarily considering the ongoing interest rate volatility in the global economy. Additionally, such products enhance transparency and risk-management features to the trading, which should help in gaining the confidence and attracting the untapped customer-base. We believe that the latest offering will further enhance CME Group's market retention capacity, also reflecting sound utilization of its capital.
Hence, CME Group has allied with financial market participants including banks, hedge funds, asset managers and insurers to install the new product.Credit Suisse AG (CS), Citigroup Inc. C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are among the firms on the initial market makers' list.
CME Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 that implies a short-term Hold rating, while the long-term recommendation stands at Neutral.