Outstanding contracts rose by almost 70% to a total amount of over USD 130 billion, mostly as a result of a global rise in equity prices. Growth was highest in contracts based on shares issued, or stock market indexes quoted, in Europeand the US.
At end-2005, total outstanding OTC derivatives contracts held by Dutch banks stood at USD 12,800 billion, up by 11 per cent from end-2004. The OTC derivatives market is used mostly by large professional parties and is characterised by contracts tailored to the specific needs of market parties. Exchange trading focusses on standardised contracts and is thus more easily accessible to non-professional parties.
The OTC derivatives trade is dominated by interest rate and currency contracts (81% and 17% of the market, respectively), with interest rate contracts strongly oriented towards the euro and currency contracts towards the US dollar. By comparison, despite its 70% growth rate, the trade in equity-based contracts is very minor.