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CME Discussing Relocation to Indianapolis

CME Discussing Relocation to Indianapolis
Exchange is courting suitors because of tax situation in Chicago.

Executives of CME Group Inc. and Indianapolis, Ind., Mayor Greg Ballard met Friday in Chicago to discuss possibilities that CME might relocate to the Hoosier city, according to an announcement late Friday afternoon.

"They’re looking at other places, too," Ballard said. "They know how we're going to be flexible to try to accommodate all their needs, but the decision's up to them, and I don't want anybody to get the impression that anything's immediate."

CME has been headquartered in Chicago, Ill. since it was founded in 1848. CME chief financial officer Jamie Parisi said CME also has met with officials in Florida and Texas to discuss a possible relocation of the exchange.

He said CME is also in continued talks with Illinois officials to discuss a resolution to CME's dissatisfaction with a heavy load of taxes that leave the exchange paying 6% of all corporate taxes collected in Illinois. The fight over tax relief for Chicago-based CME stems from a January vote in which Democrats pushed through record increases in tax rates to close part of a $13 billion budget deficit. Last week, the Illinois House rejected a corporate tax break for the Mercantile, 99-8.

According to speculation by the Indianapolis Star the Merc "is just using Indianapolis in a high-stakes bluff with Illinois over that state’s raising of corporate taxes."

CME has some 2,000 employees in Chicago and the nearby region, and it's understood a move would involve its electronic trading systems, clearinghouse and headquarters, although it trading pits would stay in the city.

CME operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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