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Germany Unveils Futures Exchange

February 27, 1998

HANOVER, Germany (AP) _ Germany unveiled its first futures exchange Friday with a computer system that is to handle trading for commodities ranging from pigs to scrap paper.

With European Union nations moving to limit agricultural subsidies and protectionism, organizers hope to lure farmers to the futures market for hedges against the price fluctuations of a more open market.

Trading is to open officially April 17, with transactions in potato and pigs futures. Wheat and scrap paper are to be added later.

Organizers of the new exchange, which will strictly be via computer and involve no floor trading, say they’re not interested in competing with futures exchanges in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Valencia, Spain.

But if the Hanover Commodities Futures Exchange is successful, it could take business away from Amsterdam, which also trades pig and potato futures contracts. The London market also trades potatoes.

Friedrich Rode, chairman of the new exchange, said the operation expects to process 60,000 transactions this year, and reach 300,000 per year within three years.

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