Hong Kong plans to open a commodities exchange, to be called Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HK-MEx), to trade petroleum and other raw materials. HK-MEx is expected to open sometime during the first quarter of 2009 and will sell U.S.-dollar denominated contracts for delivery of fuel oil to mainland China. Other commodities may include soybeans and iron ore. Backers of the new exchange say they have pledges of participation from Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Citic Group (China), Noble Group Ltd. and Titan Petrochemicals Group Ltd.