Media Contact: Mary Chung
AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE ANNOUNCES 2007 MID-YEAR RESULTS
Amex Lists 121 Exchange Traded Funds, 73 Structured Products and 54 New Companies; AEMI SM, Amex’s State-of-the-Art Trading Platform, Compliant with Regulation NMS
New York, July 9, 2007 – The American Stock Exchange® (Amex®) today released its 2007 mid-year business results. The Amex showed improvement in all four of its core business groups, with exchange traded funds (ETFs) and structured products on pace to set record years in new listings. The Amex also pushed forward with its technology efforts as the Exchange completed the migration of all its equities, structured products and ETFs onto AEMISM, its new state-of-the-art trading platform, which is also compliant with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation NMS.
2007 Mid-Year Highlights
“The Amex showed strength in all of its business areas and continued to be the destination for innovation and new product development,” said Neal Wolkoff, Chairman and CEO. “We have accomplished a great deal during the first half of 2007, migrating all our equities, structured products and ETFs onto our AEMI trading platform, which is able to access all market centers with automated quotations as required under Reg. NMS. I am confident that the Amex will grow and prosper as we unveil new product offerings and move forward in implementing a thoughtful business strategy to expand our businesses.”
Exchange Traded Funds
The Amex welcomed new products from 10 different issuers including WisdomTree Investments, Inc., a new Amex-listed issuer. Returning issuers included Barclays Global Investors, Claymore Securities, Inc., Deutsche Bank, First Trust Advisors LP, PowerShares Capital Management LLC, ProShares Advisors LLC, State Street Global Advisors, The Vanguard Group and Victoria Bay Asset Management, LLC.
During the first six months of the year, the Amex saw particularly strong growth in the listings of fixed-income and international products. As the global leader in ETF listings, the Amex places the highest importance on bringing new and innovative opportunities to investors.
“This has been an exceptionally strong year for new ETF listings at the Amex,” said Scott Ebner, Senior Vice President of the Amex ETF Marketplace. “We are committed to working with our partners to provide investors with new ETF product choices and continuing to grow the ETF Marketplace.”
The Amex continues to gain international interest from equity issuers, attracting a range of global leaders and niche players in a variety of growing sectors. In 2007, the Exchange welcomed companies from around the world including Israel, China and Canada. Two new company listings: Toronto-based Denison Mines and Protalix BioTherapeutics, an Israeli corporation, exceeded $2 billion and $1 billion in market capitalization, respectively.
The Amex Composite Index (XAX) finished the first half of 2007 at 2356.38, up 15% from the start of the year. XAX maintained the strongest performance of all domestic broad-based indexes in the first six months of the year, ending June 29, 2007. XAX surged 89% over three years, 164% over five years and 279% over 10 years, consistently outperforming the NASDAQ Composite Index, the NYSE Composite Index, the Russell 2000® Index, the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Index.
“Amex equity listings were up 45% during the first half of the year,” said John McGonegal, Senior Vice President of the Amex Equities Group. “Our strong performance is a testament to the priority the Amex places on providing our customers with the best resources and services to grow their businesses.”
The jump in options volume was attributed to an increase in orders from all of Amex’s major market participants: firms, customers, and market makers and specialists. The Amex also established a new one-day volume record in options contracts on June 14, when 2,004,375 contracts traded at the Exchange. This new Amex volume record surpassed the previous one-day high of 1,709,089 contracts set on April 18, 2001.
Amex’s Supplemental Registered Options Traders (SROT) program, which was launched last year, with three of Wall Street’s largest options players: Citadel Derivatives Group, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s SLK-Hull Derivatives LLC, and Timber Hill/Interactive Broker, continues to build momentum and help attract new order flow to the Amex.
“The Amex has made great strides this year to regain our footing and capture more market share. The SROT program that launched last year has proven to be successful in bringing new order flow to the Exchange,” said Michael T. Bickford, Senior Vice President of Options. “The options business continues to thrive at the Amex and we remain committed to further enhancing our technology and implementing new initiatives to become more competitive in the marketplace.”
In May, the Amex was awarded “Exchange of the Year, Americas” by Structured Products Magazine for excellence in innovation and maintaining its position as a premier listing destination for structured products issuers. The Amex recently adopted generic listing standards to enable the listing and trading of commodity and currency-linked securities. There were a total of 405 structured products listed on the Amex at the end of the first half of 2007.
“The Amex Capital Markets Group completed the first half of 2007 as a leader in the industry,” said Cliff Weber, Executive Vice President of Development and Strategy. “We look forward to continuing this momentum and working with both our existing issuers and new entrants to list more structured products in the second half of 2007.”
Closed End Funds
The Amex welcomed the launch of Pioneer Diversified High Income Trust (HNW), the first closed-end fund from Pioneer Investments to list on the Amex. HNW is the first closed-end fund to use an innovative strategy that gives investors exposure to catastrophic bonds, or “cat” bonds, a new asset class within a diversified portfolio. The Amex also listed the RMR Asia Real Estate Fund (RAF), the sixth closed-end fund by RMR Advisors to list on the Exchange.
Another noteworthy development in 2007 was the second conversion of an Amex-listed closed-end fund into an Amex-listed ETF. On June 15, the First Trust Value® 100 Fund was converted into an ETF and three days later, on June 18, listed as the First Trust Value® 100 Exchange Traded Fund under the new symbol “FVL”. This is the second time First Trust converted a closed-end fund into an ETF, both listed on the Amex.
About American Stock Exchange
The American Stock Exchange® (Amex®) offers trading across a full range of equities, options and exchange traded funds (ETFs), including structured products and HOLDRSSM. In addition to its role as a national equities market, the Amex is the pioneer of the ETF, responsible for bringing the first domestic product to market in 1993. Leading the industry in ETF listings, the Amex lists 333 ETFs to date. The Amex is also one of the largest options exchanges in the U.S., trading options on broad-based and sector indexes as well as domestic and foreign stocks.