CME Group Inc. (CME), owner of the worldâs biggest futures exchange, plans a derivatives market in London by the middle of 2013, setting up in competition with Eurex and Liffe, the largest venues. The exchange will start with currency futures, the exchange said in a statement today. CMEâs European exchange will be led by Robert Ray, as chief executive officer. CME Globex will be the electronic trading system for the new London exchange and CME Clearing Europe will process the transactions. Chicago-based CME plans to file with the U.K. securities regulator in the coming weeks as the first step in the process. Enlarge image People walk past CME Group Inc.'s headquarters in Chicago. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg Ten years after going public, CME Group has become the most valuable exchange operator in the world, capitalizing on the higher profitability of derivatives while the value of equity trading has declined. The company controls 98 percent of the U.S. futures market and gets about 20 percent of its business outside U.S. trading hours. It opened a London-based clearinghouse, CME Clearing Europe, last year. The new exchange represents competition for Liffe and Eurex, whose owners, NYSE Euronext (NYX) and Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1), had their plan to merge blocked by European antitrust authorities in February. Merger Delay CME has been working on the project for about two years. It was delayed while NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse held merger talks, according to people familiar with the situation who also revealed plans for the new exchange. Regulators scrutinizing the NYSE-Deutsche Boerse deal were focused on whether sufficient competition in derivatives existed in Europe and whether CME might become âa significant playerâ there. CME was also sidetracked by the bidding war for the London Metal Exchange because acquiring the venue would have given it a European exchange to build on, the people said. As CME was unsuccessful in its LME bid, it decided to forge ahead with the project, the people said. Allan Schoenberg, a spokesman for CME in London, declined to comment. Eurex is Europeâs largest derivatives exchange and London- based Liffe is second. Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the second-largest U.S. futures market, owns ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Trading at ICE Futures Europe exchange set a second-quarter record. European Future In January, a senior CME executive said the exchangeâs future is in Europe. âLondon is a major office, the future is in Europe,â Felix Carabello, CME Groupâs managing director of International Strategic Sales, said in a January interview on the exchangeâs plans for the region. âWe want to be part of the community, itâs not an outpost.â He wasnât more specific. During the year it spent fighting for its deal, NYSE argued that its greatest competitor in derivatives is CME, not Deutsche Boerse. It cited an 89 percent membership overlap between CME and Liffe and rivalry in trading Euribor and Eurodollar futures. CME last year offered Euribor futures and options on its electronic trading platform, pitting itself directly against Liffe, which dominates the market for co-called short-term interest rate products. âWould we invest in a new exchange based in Europe?â Andrew Lamb, chief executive officer of CME Clearing Europe, said in a January interview. âYes, but based on tangible client demand.â http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-...ope-exchange-to-compete-with-eurex-liffe.html With volumes dropping so fast yr/yr why not open another exchange to spread out what's left. Guess they'll be in place to pick up the scraps after the transaction tax demolition of Europe's exchanges.