Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings
With investors rushing to hedge their bets and with derivatives growing like mad, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange finds itself one of the most important bourses in the world. Revenues climbed 22% last year, as net income jumped 33%. The exchange, whose stock has surged more than 50%, to over 560 a share, since the beginning of 2006, has become the market of choice for investors who use futures contracts to speculate on—or protect themselves from—changes in interest rates, currencies, agricultural prices, and equity indexes. CEO Craig Donohue’s challenge: closing an $8 billion deal for the Chicago Board of Trade, which will vault the Merc ahead of Europe’s Euronext to be the global No. 1 in futures and derivatives. But first it must convince the regulators that uniting the nation’s two leading futures markets is not monopolistic in a world where competitors are not across town, but around the globe.
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