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OIC Announces Year To Date Equity Options Volume Up 6.8 Percent July equity options open interest sets new records

Chicago—August 5, 2003

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that year-to-date equity options volume with 457,285,622 contracts is 6.8 percent higher than the 427,828,408 contracts for the same time period last year. July equity options volume, which was the second highest on record, reached 75,084,400 (30,042,872 puts and 45,041,528 calls). The highest month on record was July 2002 with 75,488,393 contracts (32,636,306 puts and 42,852,087 calls).

Month-end equity options open interest hit a new record high with 106,462,423 contracts, exceeding the previous record set in June 2003 with 103,603,095 contracts and representing a 23.8 percent increase over month-end equity options open interest of 85,966,152 contracts in July 2002. Equity options open interest hit a new single day high on July 18 with 117,037,795 contracts, surpassing the previous record set on June 20 with 115,082,180 contracts.

Equity open interest, the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire, is seen as an indication of longer-term investing in these instruments.

"For the second year in a row, July has delivered tremendous volume and equity options open interest, and as a result we are on pace for a record-trading year," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "The year to date increased volume demonstrates that investors are increasingly using options because of their versatility and effectiveness in volatile market conditions."

The average daily equity volume for July was 3,412,927 contracts vs. 3,431,291 contracts from July 2002. The highest trading day for July occurred on July 18, when 4,757,052 contracts exchanged hands.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free resources include: The Investor Services Call Center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

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