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AMEX EQUITY VOLUME SETS ALL-TIME HIGH IN 1992; RETURN TO PROFITABILITY, SUCCESSFUL DERIVATIVE PRODUCTS AND NEW MARKETPLACE FOR SMALL COMPANIES

 NEW YORK, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Equity trading on the American Stock Exchange reached an all-time high in 1992, surpassing the previous mark of 3.505 billion shares reached five years ago. Trading for the year averaged 14.1 million shares a day.
 "It was a year that signaled great progress for the AMEX," said American Stock Exchange Chairman James R. Jones. "We launched the industry's first new marketplace in 20 years, we returned to profitability, we posted a new equity volume record, and we began racheting up our performance to provide quality markets and service to investors and listed companies."
 The year also was marked by the introduction of several successful derivative products:
 -- The S&P MidCap options, based on the S&P 500. Launched in February, this new product quickly became one of the most actively traded options in the industry.
 -- Options on the EUROTOP 100 Index, comprised of the most actively traded stocks listed on nine European stock exchanges.
 -- Options on a new Biotechnology Index and on a new Pharmaceutical Index.
 During the year, the Exchange also received Securities and Exchange Commission approval to trade SPIDERS (SPDRs), a non-leveraged index product that tracks the S&P 500. Launch of SPIDERS is scheduled for January.
 Cost containment, continued expansion of the communications network disseminating AMEX market data and the year's higher volume, proved to be key factors in the Exchange's return to profitability in 1992 after a loss of $1.4 million in 1991, due largely to restructuring costs. The 1992 net profit is expected to be approximately $1.3 million -- the Exchange's 17th year of profitability in the last 18 years.
 Options volume, although not a record, rose 11.4 percent over 1991, attributed largely to introduction of several successful new derivative products and the launch of an educational and advertising program by the major options exchanges and the Options Clearing Corporation on the various uses of options in a portfolio strategy. The AMEX was the only major exchange in the United States to post a substantial increase in options volume for the year with trading topping 41 million contracts.
 "The concept of providing smaller companies with tighter markets and more visibility to help them grow is working," Jones said, referring to the Emerging Company Marketplace and noting that two original ECM companies have "graduated" to the AMEX's primary list. Three others should follow early in 1993, he added.
 The ECM now has 28 companies listed and traded in excess of 50 million shares in 1992. The ECM is a separate market, and its volume is recorded separately.
 The AMEX Market Value Index, which reached an all-time high of 418.99 on Feb. 12, was relatively unchanged over the year, due primarily to the fact that certain underperforming industries were weighted with heavily capitalized issues. In an analysis that broke down the AMEX index into 18 industrial categories and compared them with similar NASDAQ companies in those groupings, it was found that the AMEX outperformed NASDAQ in 11 out of the 18 categories. In a similar comparison with New York Stock Exchange issues, AMEX stocks outperformed the NYSE in 15 of the 18 categories.
 Looking ahead, Jones said major efforts in 1993 will focus on implementation of the Exchange's strategic initiatives, including expansion of the AMEX's leadership in derivative products, education of government policy makers of the value on the auction market to companies and their shareholders, launching new, innovative services at low cost to listed companies, and development of strategic alliances with international and domestic financial institutions.
 -0- 12/28/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Shabazian of AMEX, 212-306-1630 or 201-385-0746 (Home)/


CO: American Stock Exchange ST: New York IN: FIN SU:

WB -- NY009 -- 0004 12/28/92 10:36 EST
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