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August 31, 2001

New Futures Contracts Rules

By Gregory Bresiger

Futures contracts based on single securities and narrow-based indices - so called securities futures products or SFPs - will be considered both securities and futures contracts under a proposed new law.

This proposal comes from the Commodities Futures Commission (CFTC), which is writing new rules based on the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000.

The CFTC has adopted the first step of final rules on futures contracts. The group that wants to trade SFPs will have to register with both the SEC and the CFTC.

Trading Anew

In order to facilitate the trading of these new financial products, which had been prohibited for almost two decades, the CFMA directs both agencies to change their rules to permit an entity that is already registered with one agency to "notice register" with the other agency, without unreasonable restraints or requirements, for the limited purpose of trading SFPs.