The SEC has approved an Amex Options exchange plan to test trading in options contracts without any limits on the amount of contracts held in the SPDR S&P 500 Exchanged-Traded Fund.
That gives the NYSE Euronext unit the ability to match the no-limits policy offered by the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
NYSE Euronext, which operates NYSE Amex Options, said it will eliminate position limits on options on the popular ETF for 14 months.
NYSE Amex Options hopes to take away business from the CBOE, which already offers options on the SPDR ETF. At midmorning, the SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY) had 765,000 contracts traded. CBOE’s S&P 500 Index (SPX) options had 168,000, according to Optionmonster.
The NYSE Amex Options is does not charge firms a fee to trade SPY options. The charge for SPX can be as much as 44 cents a contract, the NYSE said.
“NYSE Amex Options is appreciative of the SEC’s decision to approve this important initiative, making us the first exchange to launch a pilot program that will provide greater transparency, competition, and liquidity in SPY options trading,” said Steve Crutchfield, CEO, NYSE Amex Options.
NYSE Arca Options is expected to submit a similar filing soon.
The options are used by mutual funds and institutions to hedge positions they’ve taken on the SPY ETF.
SPY is the most widely traded ETF.