1 Jan 2015

Options Clearing Corporation - Figures for 2014

Following up from my latest post on the amount of trading going on at LCHClearnet, here's the latest info concerning that other key player - the Options Clearing Corporation. I just went and got the latest up to date figures from their website.

I've note been able to get direct numbers for the value of the transactions that they handle, but here are the figures for the numbers of trades, and the amount of premiums that they generated in 2014. I include the figures for 2013 and 2012 for comparison (see my previous posting for more detail).

The number of cleared contracts has increased by about 3.7% since 2013, and led to total premiums of $1.21 trillion. It would appear that contracts typically generate premiums of $140 for ETF options, $220 for equity options, and around $800 for Index options, although the precise amount appears to vary from exchange to exchange.

However, I don't know if there is any way to determine what the total value of the contracts is.  If anyone knows how to estimate that number, please leave a comment.

I have also taken the opportunity to look at the history of OCC, because they provide historical tables about the numbers of different types of trades that they have handled every year since they were created in 1973.
You can see that acivity exploded in the period from 2002 to 2008. There was a slight falter after that, but total transactions peaked at over 4.6 billion in 2011. Since then, activity dropped a bit but is on its way back up again. The vast majority of the trading in in equity (89%), with non-equity trades accounting for just 10%, and futures around 1.5%.

Message to any politician who wants to be elected. Just tax these transactions at some trivial level - say 0.1%. You would make yourself very popular....

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