CME Group Inc., owner of the world's biggest futures exchange, plans a derivatives market in London by the middle of 2013, setting up in competition with Eurex and Liffe, the largest venues.

The exchange will start with currency futures, CME said in a statement today. CME's European exchange will be led by Robert Ray as chief executive officer. CME Globex will be the electronic trading system for the new London exchange and CME Clearing Europe will process the transactions. Chicago-based CME plans to file with the U.K. securities regulator in the coming weeks as the first step in the process.

Ten years after going public, CME Group has become the most valuable exchange operator in the world, capitalizing on the higher profitability of derivatives while the value of equity trading has declined. The company controls 98 percent of the U.S. futures market and gets more than 20 percent of its business outside U.S. trading hours. It opened a London-based clearinghouse, CME Clearing Europe, last year.

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