The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, one of the largest markets for foreign exchange trading, for the first time, will offer Israeli shekel futures and options contracts beginning next month to meet expected increased demand for shekel trading. "As part of CME's ongoing program of attracting new customers to our products, we continue to look at emerging economies to expand our FX offering," said Rick Sears, managing director of CME foreign exchange. "As Israel's real GDP grew by 5% in 2005, driven in part by international trade, we see corresponding prospects for shekel trading in the long-term, and CME is poised to help meet that need with this latest FX product offering." The futures and options on futures contracts on the shekel will be measured against the US dollar. The CME Israeli Shekel contract, which is expected to be launched on May 7 and start trading on May 8, will be listed exclusively on the CME Globex electronic trading platform. The new contract will be sized at one million shekels and will have a minimum price movement, or tick size, of $0.00001 per shekel, or $10. Trading hours will be from 5:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. US central time the following day.