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CME Group to exit OTC credit clearing business

First Published 15th September 2017

Company will return $650 million in capital to clearing members. To focus OTC clearing services on IRS, FX

Chicago - CME Group has announced that it will exit the company's credit default swap (CDS) clearing business by mid-2018, freeing up $650 million in clearing member capital.

In order to meet customer needs in light of uncleared margin rules, CME will focus its over-the-counter (OTC) clearing services on interest rate swaps (IRS) and foreign exchange (FX), as well as on developing further capital efficiencies for market participants.

CME Group will work with CDS open interest holders and regulators to ensure an efficient transition for the credit market. During this transition, CME will continue to provide full clearing services so that participants can continue to manage their risk, including the roll to CDX 29.

Pending regulatory approval, the company will provide fee waivers on CDS clearing, as well as facilitate the bulk transfer of open positions. Following the transition, CME will dissolve CME Clearing's CDS guarantee fund, which will return $650 million to CDS clearing members.

The company will also provide additional OTC clearing features to market participants, including:

  • Launching OTC FX options clearing by the end of 2017.
  • Delivering cleared OTC IRS in Chinese yuan, Chilean peso and Columbian peso by early 2018, which will bring the company's industry-leading cleared IRS product scope to 24 currencies.
  • Expanding capital efficiencies for OTC IRS and FX - an area where CME Group has the unique ability to deliver value on an ongoing basis due to offsets available between its listed and OTC FX and IRS products. Portfolio margining has generated an additional $2 billion in initial margin reductions for market participants in Q3.
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