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AMEX CHAIRMAN SEES EXCHANGE BECOMING PREMIER MARKETPLACE FOR GROWTH COMPANIES AND DERIVATIVE SECURITIES

 AMEX CHAIRMAN SEES EXCHANGE BECOMING PREMIER MARKETPLACE
 FOR GROWTH COMPANIES AND DERIVATIVE SECURITIES
 NEW YORK, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Stock Exchange established a strong foundation in 1991 for its goal of becoming the premier equity exchange for growth companies as well as the leading global marketplace for the trading of derivative securities.
 The year 1991 was one in which the exchange took significant steps to become a customer-driven, value-added marketplace, to offer an unprecedented auction-market environment for emerging growth companies, and to expand the Amex's global product base on foreign indices.
 It was also a year in which the exchange reorganized its management and reporting lines to intensify the focus on its goals and in the process took a non-recurring, restructuring charge of $1.5 million. "As a result, we anticipate a net loss of approximately $1 million for the year. Without the restructuring charge, however, we would have broken about even for 1991," said American Stock Exchange Chairman James R. Jones.
 The Premier Niche Marketplace
 "We have made great progress in 1991 toward establishing our reputation as the premier exchange for growth companies and as an innovative marketplace for developing and trading domestic and international derivative investment products. This took commitment, teamwork, initiative, enthusiasm and imagination by the exchange staff, and I'm proud of their work," said the Amex chairman.
 Perhaps the strongest examples that the Amex is nearing its objectives are the resources that have been channeled to launch the exchange's proposed Emerging Company Marketplace (ECM), and the innovative work it has done to achieve and maintain dominance in the domestic and global derivative securities area. The Amex has a target startup date of early February for the ECM, pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 Exchange advances in the derivative products area have been substantial in 1991. In October, the Amex was granted an exclusive license by Standard & Poor's Corp. to trade options on the S&P MidCap 400 Index, a proprietary index that S&P created earlier this year and one which has attracted strong investor interest. On the international scene, the exchange in 1991 responded to investor needs by providing wider dissemination of European index information on the exchange's Consolidated Tape.
 Leadership Role
 "Access to international market data on six major European indices -- the EURO TOP-100, the FT-SE Eurotrack 100 and 200, the FT-Actuaries Europe, the FT-SE 100 and the CAC 40 -- will enable U.S. investors to make more informed investment decisions," said Jones. He added that the Amex, in its drive to maintain a leadership role in derivative products, has filed with the SEC for approval to trade options and/or warrants on these foreign indices.
 Other developments in 1991 that contributed to the exchange's optimistic outlook for 1992:
 -- New company listings totaled 73 through the first 11 months, up 23.7 percent from last year's comparable period.
 -- The Amex captured the majority of public customer business in 62 percent of the options traded in competition with the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Pacific, Philadelphia and New York stock exchanges.
 -- Although equity volume for the year will show a slight dip (1.5 percent), the equity turnover in October and November averaged 14.0 million shares a day, a higher level than the 13.8 million average registered in the Exchange's record year of 1987.
 -- Number of equity issues listed on the exchange reached the year's high at the end of November.
 -- Number of shares outstanding reached 10.8 billion, an exchange all-time high, indicating Amex companies are more heavily capitalized than ever before.
 -- Number of equity transactions in October and November were high for the year.
 -- Dollar value of shares traded topped $37.1 billion at the end of November, virtually even with the 1990 full year figure of $37.7 billion.
 Outperformed Major Indices
 Jones also noted the Amex Market Value Index increased by approximately 20 percent in 1991, outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the New York Stock Exchange Composite index, and the S&P 500 index. He said this was concrete evidence of investor confidence in Amex-listed companies.
 "These are very positive signs as we head into the new year. We have set ambitious goals for 1992, and if we achieve them -- and I'm confident we will -- we'll have a good year. We're not looking to be the biggest exchange, but to be the best marketplace and a trendsetter for new standards in the industry," Jones asserted.
 Some of these goals include an increase in listings over this year, a higher share of the market in Amex issues that are also traded on regional exchanges (increased from 74 percent to 78 percent in 1991), a higher market share of the options business, 6 new investment products in 1992, an electronic book in floorwide use next year, and a paperless trading floor in five years.
 "Our mission is simple and straight-forward," Jones said. "We intend to serve the unique capital and financial service needs of mid- size growth companies and their shareholders, and to provide the investing public and our membership with superior trading products and services at competitive prices."
 -0- 12/23/91
 /CONTACT: Bob Shabazian of Amex, 212-306-1630, or home, 201-385-0746/ CO: The American Stock Exchange ST: New York IN: FIN SU:


KD -- NY078 -- 4936 12/23/91 16:09 EST
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Date:Dec 23, 1991
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