Senior CME Executive Discusses DSRO Audits with CMC Members

On yesterday’s policy call, Anne Bagan, a CME Group Managing Director, discussed the Designated Self-Regulatory Organization (DSRO) audit process of Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs). Among the topics discussed were audit frequency, surprise spot checks, ongoing financial surveillance activities, etc. The differences in the roles of a DSRO as compared with that of an SRO in regards to surveillance and auditing was also covered.

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MGEX and CME Group Announce the Launch of MGEX-CBOT Wheat Spread Options

MINNEAPOLIS and CHICAGO – MGEX, a Designated Contract Market and Derivatives Clearing Organization, and CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the launch of MGEX-CBOT Wheat Spread Options to begin trading March 26.

MGEX-CBOT Wheat Spread Options are unique hedging tools based on the price differentials between hard red spring wheat futures listed on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Inc. (MGEX) and soft red winter wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

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CME Group Raises Margins For Crude, Fuels Due To Volatility

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Exchange operator CME Group Inc. (CME) is raising margin requirements for the second time in a week for its crude and fuels contracts, citing market volatility.

The higher margins take effect at the close of trading Friday, spokesman Chris Grams said. The CME revises its margin requirements and often raises them during times of increased volatility, which brings additional risk for traders, he said.

For West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange, CME is raising initial margin requirements, or the deposit required to purchase a contract, for speculators to $6,775 per contract, up from $6,075. Maintenance margin requirements, or the additional deposit required for keeping a contract overnight, increase to $5,000 from $4,500.

For hedgers and exchange members, both the initial and maintenance margin requirements will increase to $5,000 per contract from $4,500. CME is also raising initial and maintenance margins on heating oil and gasoline futures.

The last time CME raised margin requirements was Feb. 24. Energy prices and volatility have risen sharply the last two weeks due to disruptions to oil supplies caused by violence in Libya. April crude on the Nymex was trading up $2.38, or 2.4%, at $104.39 a barrel.

-By Dan Strumpf, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2818; dan.strumpf@dowjones.com.