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Lesli Fairchild
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In this exclusive to Traders Magazine, Lesli Fairchild discusses how the DEC 15 shutdown of AOL Messenger will affect traders and what alternatives are out there.

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December 1, 2003

Options Seat Prices Rise, Big Board Prices Decline

By Staff Reports

Seats on floor-based equity options exchanges have started to rise again. That's even though the prices were basically unchanged in the third quarter.

For example, on the Philadelphia, Pacific and American stock exchanges, membership prices rose modestly in recent weeks. But this is despite flat or declining prices in the last quarter.

At the Chicago Board Options Exchange, seat value was on the rise because the market was anticipating the exchange's announcement of a new trading approach. Seats at the Chicago are going for $295,000. The introduction of a hybrid trading system is raising the value of seat prices there, observers say.

The CBOE's decision to allow traders to make options markets and operate from remote locations may also raise demand for seats. The pending sale of the Amex to its members might also increase the value of those seats, observers say. However, one equity mark is bucking the trend: the Big Board, which is in the midst of scandals and controversy. An NYSE seat recently sold for $1.3 million. That is the lowest amount in some five years.