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Online power trading overtakes voice brokers post-Enron, survey shows

NEW YORK, March 4, 2002 — Electronic power trading has overtaken voice broker deals in the last six months, according to a new survey.

Internet wholesale electricity trading now accounts for 53 pct of electricity deals, compared to 38 pct last August, Energy Argus reported in the survey.

The market share gains come despite the loss of the previously EnronOnline platform. The biggest beneficiary appears to be the industry-led IntercontinentalExchange platform, which has captured much of the liquidity from bankrupt Enron’s trading site.

The Nymex regulated futures exchange also reported record-breaking volume since the collapse of Enron. The poll was taken before the relaunch of the EnronOnline site by new owners UBS Warburg.

But voice brokers remain many traders’ favorite method of doing business because of greater control over counterparties, a big issue because of strict credit restrictions between firms. And brokers say their business is still growing, albeit at a slower pace to online platforms.

This is the fourth Energy Argus power traders survey. Over the course of the surveys, online trading has become an increasingly large part of the wholesale power market. Two years ago, voice brokers held 75 pct of the market.

Energy Argus (www.energyargus.com ), the youngest company in the Argus group, is dedicated to creating a knowledge and analysis resource for the power industry in the US and Europe. Energy Argus covers news and prices as well as focusing on reporting on all developments that might have a medium- or long-term impact on power markets.