New York, NY, August 6, 2002 — Virtual Markets Assurance Corporation (VMAC) and TradeSpark, LP, an electronic energy commodity marketplace, announce an agreement to begin technical development allowing the VMAC credit transfer and netting system to be available via the TradeSpark marketplace.
TradeSpark plans to make the platform available to market participants as part of the initial testing phase. VMAC and TradeSpark intend to move to full implementation soon after successful completion of the testing. The VMAC system (patent pending) is designed to address many of the problems that have recently hampered the electricity and natural gas trading markets.
VMAC’s system provides the benefits of conventional commodity clearinghouses, including the multilateral netting of counterparty risk positions and the provision of highly rated credit guarantees designed to mitigate the risk of counterparty non-performance.
The VMAC system, however, is capable of covering a far broader range of products and trading arrangements than conventional clearinghouses. The system allows for the efficient allocation of capital, provides credit support for participants and creates the potential for enhanced trading profits.
The VMAC system has been designed specifically to address many of the issues recently raised by Standard & Poors and Moody’s Investors Service. VMAC believes TradeSpark is uniquely positioned to be the first to bring the VMAC product to market participants, due to the speed and efficiency of TradeSpark technology.
VMAC intends to make its product available via multiple order matching platforms, confirmation systems and similar trade aggregation facilities, in addition to TradeSpark.
VMAC’s Chairman and CEO, Wallace C. Turbeville, remarked “Our system is unique in that it is designed to cover a broad range of energy products, does not require contract uniformity and provides credit guarantees throughout the lengthy delivery and payment periods that are common in the energy markets, among other factors. We believe that it will address a real need in the marketplace for capital efficiency and credit risk transfer.”
According to J. Scott Perry, VMAC’s President and COO, “VMAC’s product will significantly improve the environment for the energy trading firms at this time of stress. Our proprietary system addresses the credit concerns currently limiting trading activity, and will enable participants to enter into trades with a much wider range of counterparties. VMAC’s system will increase transparency and efficiency, factors sought by the investing public and the credit rating agencies.”
VMAC is a Delaware corporation owned in major part by Bechtel Enterprises, Financial Security Assurance, Ltd. and management. VMAC offers a unique (patent pending) system of clearing credit risks arising from the trading of illiquid commodities such as electricity and physical natural gas.
About TradeSpark, L.P.
TradeSpark, L.P. is one of the fastest growing, fully electronic, neutral marketplaces trading a full spectrum of physical and financial energy products. TradeSpark is a unique partnership formed by: eSpeed Inc. (Nasdaq:ESPD), a leading interactive electronic marketplace engine for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce; Cantor Fitzgerald, one of the world’s leading voice brokerages; and six of the largest U.S. energy producers/distributors, including: Coral Energy, Dominion (NYSE:D); Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN); Entergy-Koch Trading, L.P.; TXU Energy Trading, a subsidiary of TXU (NYSE:TXU); and Williams Energy Marketing and Trading Company, a subsidiary of Williams (NYSE:WMB).