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NFA's international activities increase with expansion of global markets

The Futures Industry Association's recently published 2003 Trading Volume Survey provides a wealth of interesting statistics that highlight the rapid growth of global derivatives trading. Of the 20 contracts listed as the most actively traded, only seven are traded on U.S. futures exchanges. The remaining 13 contracts are traded in Korea, Germany, Mexico, China, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

As the global marketplace continues to expand and the international financial community searches for regulatory structures that will provide the necessary market integrity and investor protection, it has shown an increased interest in the role of self-regulation. Fortunately, NFA's success as a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry has positioned the Association as a valuable resource and self-regulatory model for markets around the world.

Participating in international conferences, hosting industry professionals from around the globe and conducting training classes for foreign exchange and regulatory staff are just some of the ways that NFA has expanded its international initiatives. A summary of activities in the first quarter of 2004 is representative of the Association's growing global presence.

In January 2004, Director of Business Development Derek West attended the mid-year meeting of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) SRO Consultative Committee in London, England. The Committee has asked NFA to revise a study the Association prepared in 2000, in collaboration with the Conseil des Marches Financiers that set forth the general principles for self-regulation and why self-regulation should be incorporated into regulatory frameworks. NFA hopes to present the revised study at the IOSCO annual meeting in May in Amman, Jordan.

In February, seven representatives from the Taiwan Futures Exchange attended a two-week training program at NFA's headquarters in Chicago. The program, titled "Self-Regulation in the Futures Industry: Concepts and Applications," covered a wide range of topics, including the U.S. futures industry's regulatory structure, trade practice and market surveillance and anti-money laundering.

In March, Sr. Vice-President of Communications and Strategic Planning Karen Wuertz attended the Association of Futures Markets 7th Annual Conference in Budapest, Hungary. Wuertz participated in a panel discussion on "What is ahead for the Futures and Options Industry in the Emerging Markets-as Viewed from the 'Outside'." She also moderated a panel discussion of "Regulation: Meeting the Needs of Market Participants?"

During the same month, NFA co-sponsored with the Managed Funds Association the CFTC's International Regulators Dinner in Boca Raton. More than 60 guests attended the dinner, including representatives from China, Germany, Israel and Japan. The dinner was held in conjunction with a day-long meeting for international regulators that coincides with the Futures Industry Association's annual conference. At the meeting Wuertz participated in a panel discussion regarding self-regulatory issues.

"NFA's success as a self-regulatory organization provides us with many opportunities to collaborate with exchanges and regulators all over the world," says Wuertz. "By participating in these conferences, we can learn from others and they can learn from us."

NFA is the premier independent provider of efficient and innovative regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets.
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