Irish Launch Test of New Futures Exchange

From Reuters

The Irish Futures and Options Exchange, Dublin’s first new financial market in almost 200 years, will begin a dummy run Wednesday to prepare for going live in mid-April, officials said Monday.

The exchange, or IFOX, has decided to reject the “open outcry” systems favored in London and Chicago and will instead use an automated trading system for its 23 members.

All the exchange’s seats, priced at $90,000 (60,000 punts) each, have been sold, mainly to leading Irish institutions such as Allied Irish Banks and the Bank of Ireland.

Trading will begin in three futures contracts--20-year Irish government bonds, an interest rate future based on the three-month Dublin interbank-rate and a future based on the Irish punt/dollar rate. IFOX will be Ireland’s first new exchange since the Dublin Stock Market was founded in 1799.