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Minneapolis Grain Exchange Announces Addition of Infinium Capital Management as Market Maker in National Corn Index and Hard Winter Wheat Index Options - August 26, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS & CHICAGO — The Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) announced today it has in place an agreement with Infinium Capital Management (ICM), a proprietary capital management firm based in Chicago, to provide market liquidity in National Corn Index (NCI) and Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI) options traded on MGEXpress®, the exchange’s electronic trading platform. The agreement is effective immediately.

Market Maker programs are commonly used by futures exchanges to provide a baseline of liquidity in newly listed products, thus offering interested commercial and speculative audiences the assurance of market entry and exit at a reasonable bid/ask spread.  Logistics of trading NCI and HWI options are not altered because of the existence of a Market Maker.  MGEX backs the financial integrity of the market through the margining process, as is always the case.

"We are very excited about our new relationship with MGEX. Our team has 25 years of experience in the Chicago agriculture markets, and we have spent the last 3 years building out our software infrastructure in anticipation of the future shift to electronic trading,” said Chuck Whitman, president of Infinium Capital Management in Chicago. Whitman added, “This relationship is a perfect fit between MGEX's need for skilled market makers and our capabilities. This arrangement helps us to achieve our growth projections, especially on the electronic side of our business.”

MGEX President and CEO Kent Horsager said, “We’re very pleased to have Infinium add their trading expertise to the NCI and HWI options markets.  NCI and HWI futures and options are proving to be extremely effective hedging instruments; additionally, the ease and efficiency of settlement and execution provided by the combination of financial settlement and electronic trading make them very attractive to speculative audiences.”

NCI and HWI futures are financially settled meaning the ultimate offset of outstanding positions is through financial settlement as opposed to physical delivery.  Open positions held at the end of each trading month are offset against the three-day average of the National Corn Index or Hard Winter Wheat Index, calculated daily by Data Transmission Network.  The NCI and HWI are averages of country elevator bids and therefore are reflective of country-origin corn and hard winter wheat.

MGEXpress Trading Hours for NCI and HWI Futures and Options:
Morning session:  8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Afternoon session:  2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Central Time)

MGEX, established in 1881, is the only market for hard red spring wheat, National Corn Index (NCI), National Soybean Index (NSI) and Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI) futures and options.  For more information about MGEX, visit www.mgex.com.

Infinium Capital Management is a proprietary capital management firm based in Chicago, Illinois.  ICM is affiliated with Hanley Group, LP.  ICM and Hanley Group, LP trades derivatives and equities in both electronic and open outcry markets. Strategies are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE), Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGX), Eurex and LIFFE.

Minneapolis Grain Exchange Contact:  Teri Huffaker: 612-321-7140
Infinium Capital Management Contact: Bruce Werner: 312-601-7800

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