UPDATE 1-NYSE Euronext clarifies plan to tackle OTC swaps

* Interest rates the focus for transatlantic operator-CEO

* U.S., then Europe, on company’s to-do clearing list

* Rivals have a head start after global swaps revamp
(Adds quotes, background, byline)

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, Dec 7 (BestGrowthStock) – The United States is first and
Europe is second in NYSE Euronext’s (NYX.N: ) priority list as it
aims to clear interest-rate swaps, its chief executive said on
Tuesday, clarifying the exchange operator’s delayed plan to
take advantage of financial reforms.

CEO Duncan Niederauer also said NYSE Euronext expects
regulatory approval in February for its co-owned U.S. futures
clearinghouse, New York Portfolio Clearing (NYPC). Trading and
clearing of interest-rate futures should start by late in the
first quarter, he said.

NYSE Euronext is off to a slow start in taking advantage of
a global regulatory push for far more private over-the-counter
swaps to move to clearers and through exchanges.
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Rivals IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N: ), CME Group Inc
(CME.O: ) and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O: ) have all launched new
swaps clearinghouses in the last two years, aimed squarely at
the $580 trillion global derivatives market.

Niederauer’s comments confirm that interest rate swaps, the
largest of the OTC products, are NYSE Euronext’s focus. Beyond
NYPC, the transatlantic company also has longer-term clearing
projects in the UK and Europe.

“I’m the first to admit that without those clearing assets,
we shouldn’t kid ourselves — we cannot play in that space. So
our first opportunity will be in the U.S.,” he told a
conference hosted by Goldman Sachs.

“If the NYPC and NYSE Liffe US proposition works, you’ve
got two legs of a stool. The third leg of that stool would be
some of the interest rate OTC products,” he said, referring to
the NYSE Liffe US futures market.

“We might be too late, time will tell. Europe is
progressing a little more slowly, and I think we still have an
opportunity in the Euro zone to take advantage…”

Niederauer said he was disappointed with delays this year
in approving NYPC, which would offer benefits to NYSE Liffe US
traders. But he added it is attracting more attention from
potential clients and partners now that it approaches a
launch.

“I’ve got a couple meetings in the next couple weeks and
hopefully we’ll increase the likelihood of success with pretty
big partners that heretofore have not been engaged with us,” he
said.

The U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, passed in July,
will force much of the OTC swaps market through clearinghouses
and trading venues so that regulators can scrutinize
transactions that were blamed for exacerbating the 2007-2009
financial crisis. A similar revamp is expected in Europe.
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Derek Caney and John
Wallace)

UPDATE 1-NYSE Euronext clarifies plan to tackle OTC swaps