Agora-X 'Goes Live' With New Electronic Platform to Enhance Efficiency and Liquidity in OTC Commodities

Parkville, Missouri, UNITED STATES


KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 12, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agora-X, LLC today launched an electronic communications network (ECN) that enables institutional market participants to efficiently negotiate over-the-counter (OTC) transactions in commodity and derivative contracts. The Agora-X ECN is designed to enable institutional participants to obtain best prices in a more liquid and transparent OTC marketplace. In January, Agora-X plans to launch its exempt commercial market (ECM) to handle financially-settled option "look-alikes" in energy, metals and other non-agricultural commodities, as well as commodity swaps and swaptions in those fields. As a separate component using Agora-X technologies, the ECM will allow negotiation, execution and clearing of OTC trades in exempt commodities.

"As Agora-X goes live, our efficiency and convenience will make a dramatic difference for OTC commodity trading. Until now, traders had to negotiate each transaction in a time-consuming series of phone calls, instant messages or e-mails. Our electronic platform brings offers and bids together to provide efficient negotiation, improved price visibility, and greater liquidity for market participants," said Brent M. Weisenborn, Chief Executive Officer.

As previously announced, Agora-X has filed a petition with the CFTC seeking an exemption under Section 4(c) for the Agora-X ECN to provide clearing of trades in agricultural swaps and swaptions. Current CFTC rules allow clearing of OTC trades for other types of commodity contracts, but not agricultural swaps and swaptions, unless a marketplace obtains a specific exemption. In addition, Agora-X has submitted a petition to the Commission to amend CFTC Rule 35 to enable clearing industry-wide of OTC agricultural swaps and swaptions. If Part 35 is amended, the 4(c) exemption would not be necessary.

About Agora-X

Agora-X, LLC has developed an electronic communications network for OTC commodities contracts in collaboration with major institutional participants in the commodities market. Based in Kansas City, Agora-X was founded with seed money from FCStone Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCSX), a commodity risk management firm. Agora-X has worked with NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) to create a best-in-class marketplace. Earlier this year, NASDAQ OMX became a developmental investor in Agora-X with a commitment to purchase a 20 percent equity interest. For more information please visit www.agora-x.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about current and future products and offerings of FCStone, NASDAQ OMX and Agora-X. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance or product developments. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond the control of FCStone, NASDAQ OMX or Agora-X. These factors include, but are not limited to, factors detailed in the annual reports on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by FCStone and NASDAQ OMX. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements.



        

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