Cboe set to launch Amsterdam derivatives exchange

Apr 29, 2021

First Read

$40,526/$300,000 (13.5%)

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OIC 2021: Options Industry Conference Kickoff Looks at State of the Industry
John Lothian – John Lothian News

Cboe’s Henry Schwartz Offers Keen Analysis of Industry Trends Driving Unprecedented Volume

The 2021 Options Industry Conference, held virtually this year after last year’s Puerto Rico event was cancelled amid the pandemic, kicked off with a session led by Henry Schwartz, formerly of Trade Alert. Schwartz is now a senior director at Cboe Global Markets and head of market intelligence since his firm was acquired by Cboe last year.

Schwartz ran through more than a dozen slides to start his session and then had a quick panel discussion with what he described as “three legends” of the options industry.

He was joined by Annabelle Baldwin of SpiderRock, Shelly Brown of MIAX and Jim Hyde of ICE/NYSE Options.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.

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OIC 2021: ‘Washington Outlook’ is for a mix of clouds, not sunny skies, for Biden’s proposals
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News

The main question batted around at The Washington Outlook panel at the 2021 Options Industry Conference on Wednesday was whether President Joe Biden can realize his hope for bipartisanship on his agenda, given that a large chunk of his new American Families Plan proposal is anathema to Republicans – in particular the proposed tax increases on the wealthy that would pay for much of it.

The panel, moderated by Jill Sommers, a senior advisor at Patomak Global Partners and a former CFTC commissioner, started out attempting to predict what Biden would say in his address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday evening, and ended up mostly correct in that Biden discussed the progress in fighting Covid in his first 100 days, the climate crisis, tax increases, and jobs. Biden is presenting two proposals, the American Jobs Plan, which he introduced last month, and the newer American Families Plan. The Jobs Plan addresses infrastructure, clean energy, and corporate tax proposals, and the American Families Plan expands access to education and would cut the cost of child care and give more support to working women.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.

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OIC 2021: Industry Experts Explain the Rise of Retail Trading
Matt Raebel – John Lothian News

OIC 2021 was unusual compared to past conferences for a lot of reasons, one of which was noted during the panel, “Retail Rises” on Day One of the show. When JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist of trading services at TD Ameritrade, asked Christopher Larkin, managing director at E*TRADE, what he saw as the biggest changes to the market over the past year, Larkin said the discussion about the role of retail trading and traders in the options markets had become a big enough topic that it warranted a Day-One spot on the conference’s agenda.

“You and I have been doing panels for a long time, and this will be the first time that they’ve talked about retail on the first day of an options conference,” he said. “You and I are usually doing the 4 p.m. Friday afternoon session … it’s nice to be part of the kickoff of the conference!”

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.

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OIC 2021: SEC’s Lee Weighs In On 2020’s Challenges, 2021’s Regulatory Agenda
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

COVID-related issues triggered record volume and volatility in 2020 that presented challenges for exchanges and regulators, from both a market and an operational standpoint, said U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Allison Herren Lee.

In a Tuesday keynote address to the 2021 Options Industry Conference conducted as an interview with John Davidson, OCC’s chief executive officer, Lee said 2020’s jump in volume and volatility “really tested our financial system.” The surge also tested trading and message infrastructures and some funds’ capital reserves, Lee said.

To read the rest of the story, go HERE.

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OIC 2021: The Late Joe Levin Honored With Sullivan Award
John Lothian – John Lothian News

Former CBOE head of research and product development “helped shape the industry” with product innovations.

The last event of Day One of the “Virtual Experience” Options Industry Conference 2021 was the presentation of the Joseph Sullivan Award for 2020 to former CBOE Vice President of Research and Product Development Joe Levin.

The session started with a moving tribute to Joseph Sullivan, the first CBOE president and for whom the Sullivan Award is named. Sullivan passed away in October of 2020, so the tribute and session was titled “In Memoriam: Joseph Sullivan Tribute & Presentation of the 2020 Sullivan Award.”

To read the rest, go HERE.

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Euronext has closed the deal for the acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group and published its Q1 2021 results. — Euronext

Cboe Europe Derivatives is getting ready to launch on Monday, September 2021 (pending regulatory approvals). — Cboe Global Markets

The U.S. is telling its citizens to get out of India because of the raging pandemic. In a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest of its kind issued by the State Department — U.S. citizens were told “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. — Bloomberg

Time Magazine says the situation in India is spiraling out of control and it did not have to be that way. — Time

If you are in India and looking for a place to go, Singapore is the best place to be, assuming you can get in. — Bloomberg

The Financial Times has a Special Report titled “FT The Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies.” — FT

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “Stocks Are Off to Best Start to a Presidential Term Since Great Depression; S&P 500 has risen 10% since Mr. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.” The S&P 500 on average has gained 3.2% over that period in presidential terms since Herbert Hoover’s in 1929. — WSJ

I was interviewed yesterday on the radio by Joan Esposito on WCPT AM 820 about a story in JLN about the City of London looking to expand housing in response to soaring office vacancies among financial services firms.

I interviewed Bradley Rotter yesterday for the Open Outcry Traders History Project. Rotter was a financial futures pioneer at the MidAm, CME Group and CBOT, was Richard Dennis’s first managed futures client and later moved to California and became a venture capital investor in homeland security companies after 9/11. He was also an early adopter of bitcoin and bought his first coins at about $100 in 2013. He is a big believer in the transformative powers of tokenization on all markets.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign and have your support matched by Trading Technologies

Here is your strange fact of the day, courtesy of a story from Joe Weisenthal of Bloomberg. Millennials are buying more and more chickens and half of the 11 million birds sold by Tractor Supply in 2020 went to new customers. — Bloomberg

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL

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The Spread will not air this week due to scheduling conflicts, but stay tuned next Tuesday for our next episode. We promise it’ll be worth the wait.~MR

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The CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast Episode 19: Coinbase Goes Public
JohnLothianNews.com

In this episode of the CryptoMarketsWiki podcast, Matt and Thom discuss Coinbase’s recent debut as a publicly-traded company, as well as some updates about a company that wants to revitalize the U.S.’s struggling bitcoin mining industry.

Listen to this podcast »

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SIFMA, ICI and DTCC Leading Effort to Shorten U.S. Securities Settlement Cycle to T+1, Collaborating with the Industry on Next Steps; A Shorter Settlement Cycle Will Benefit Investors and Market Participant Firms by Reducing Systemic and Operational Risks
DTCC
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) are collaborating on efforts to accelerate the U.S. securities settlement cycle from T+2 to T+1, the organizations announced today.
/bit.ly/3aMwGIm

******If Bradley Rotter is right from my interview yesterday, this effort to move to T+1 will be for nothing. Blockchain and quantum computing will make it T+3 nanoseconds, he said.~JJL

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SEC Enforcement Chief Alex Oh Resigns Days After Taking Job
Benjamin Bain and Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Her abrupt resignation is a major setback for Gary Gensler; Oh cites issues arising from previous work in private practice
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new enforcement chief abruptly resigned Wednesday, citing a complication in a case from her prior legal career, an early and significant setback in Chairman Gary Gensler’s tenure running the Wall Street regulator. Alex Oh’s surprise move, announced just a week after she got the job, means Gensler won’t have his preferred pick leading what’s arguably the agency’s most important division. Melissa Hodgman, who was previously serving as acting director of the enforcement division, will return to that role, the SEC said in a statement.
/bloom.bg/3gOVrYf

*****Oh, that did not take long. The good news is there are plenty of qualified candidates and the person who takes the job is often not your number one pick for the job, but rather the first person to say yes to it. Next person up.~JJL

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Cboe Europe Derivatives Secures Support of Key Participants for September 2021 Launch
Cboe Global Markets
Cboe’s new Netherlands-based derivatives exchange plans to launch on Monday, 6 September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals; Wide range of participants have committed to supporting the exchange; Exchange will introduce a modern, vibrant pan-European derivatives market, which promotes an on-screen market structure; Cboe-owned EuroCCP will provide clearing services for the exchange, subject to regulatory approvals
Cboe Europe, a pan-European exchange operator and a subsidiary of Cboe Global Markets (Cboe: CBOE), announced it plans to launch Cboe Europe Derivatives, a new Amsterdam-based futures and options market, on Monday, 6 September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. Cboe has secured the support of a broad range of participants, including banks, clearing firms, market-makers and proprietary trading firms who are expected to help contribute to the provision of liquidity and client order flow on Cboe Europe Derivatives.
/bit.ly/3vrYbiv

*****Amazing how a Chicago company can be so worldly and globally focused.~JJL

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Large Number of Americans Reported Financial Anxiety and Stress Even Before the Pandemic; New study finds lack of financial literacy linked to high levels of stress and anxiety
FINRA
A substantial number of adults in the United States between the ages of 21 and 62 felt anxiety and stress about their personal finances well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today. Researchers found that financial stress and anxiety are highly linked to low levels of financial literacy, problematic financial behaviors and decreased financial security.
/bit.ly/2QGmMkT

******CFTC and SEC, pay attention. We need LOTS more financial literacy efforts. Put those fine dollars for financial literacy to work and get off your butts!~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
The most-read story on Wednesday was a sad one from the New York Post, Charles de Vaulx’s apparent suicide a tragic Wall Street tale. Coming in second was Bloomberg’s Heading Back to the Office? Ask for Air Filters, Not Bleach. And third was from Business Insider, Florida isn’t replacing New York after all.

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MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics

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CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
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Lead Stories

Cboe set to launch Amsterdam derivatives exchange; Move reinforces exchange operator’s strategy of shifting to EU after UK’s exit from bloc
Philip Stafford – FT
Cboe Global Markets is set to launch a new derivatives exchange in Amsterdam in September, adding options trading to its push into the EU market now that the UK has left the bloc. The exchanges operator has enlisted the support of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and a host of electronic market makers in an effort to compete in an environment it has long seen as stunted in comparison to the US, its home market.
/on.ft.com/3eH8NmJ

Euronext Raising $2 Billion as Borsa Italiana Deal Completes
Tom Metcalf and Geraldine Amiel – Bloomberg
Exchange operators buys Borsa Italiana for $5.3 billion; CEO Boujnah says Euronext moving London data center to Italy
Euronext NV is looking to raise 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in a rights issue after completing the purchase of Borsa Italiana. The stock exchange is offering 30.5 million shares at an issue price of 59.65 euros each, according to a statement Thursday. That will help fund the 4.4 billion euro acquisition of London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s Italian operation.
/bloom.bg/3xyJPPe

A policy agenda for Wall Street’s new sheriff; The specific areas where new SEC head Gary Gensler needs to act over rigged markets
Dennis Kelleher – FT
The writer is president of Better Markets and was a member of the Biden administration’s team guiding its transition into office The Trump administration’s financial deregulation has exposed investors to predators, markets to manipulators and capital formation to wealth extraction. That must change.
/on.ft.com/2QGdIfR

Tesla Tokens From Crypto Exchange Binance Draw BaFin Scrutiny
Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
A push by Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, to offer tokens tied to the performance of popular U.S. stocks is drawing the attention of Germany’s financial regulator. Binance may have violated securities rules when it issued tokenized shares of Tesla Inc., MicroStrategy Inc. and Coinbase Global Inc., BaFin said Wednesday. The exchange doesn’t appear to have filed a prospectus before offering the assets, according to a statement on the watchdog’s website.
/bloom.bg/2QGcscD

Newly appointed SEC enforcement chief resigns unexpectedly; Alex Oh quits after judge criticises her conduct as an attorney representing ExxonMobil
Kiran Stacey – FT
The head of enforcement at the US markets regulator has quit just days after being appointed following criticism from a judge about her conduct during her previous work as a corporate lawyer for ExxonMobil. Alex Oh announced on Wednesday that she would resign as enforcement director of the Securities and Exchange Commission only six days after being appointed, citing “personal reasons”.
/on.ft.com/3gMGF4o

Proprietary Trading Firms Set For Significant Expansion Of Crypto Derivatives Trading – Study By Acuiti Finds Strong Demand For Expansion Of Venues And Product Coverage
MondoVisione
Proprietary trading of crypto derivatives is set for significant growth as firms seek to expand the numbers of markets traded and their coverage of underlying digital assets, a study by Acuiti has found. The Acuiti Proprietary Trading in Crypto Derivatives report, which was published today, found that 97% of firms surveyed that were actively trading crypto derivatives planned to increase the number of venues on which they traded.
/bit.ly/3gOG2Hq

BaFin cracks down on crypto exchange Binance’s ‘stock tokens’; German regulator points to lack of correct documentation for foray into tracking share movements
Adam Samson and Philip Stafford and Olaf Storbeck – FT
Germany’s financial watchdog has warned investors that Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, has probably violated securities rules over its launch of trading in stock tokens, in a crackdown on the crypto industry’s foray into highly regulated markets.
/on.ft.com/3eE2Xmf

StanChart Seeks Oxygen for Staff Amid Indian Covid Crisis
Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Lender “actively” trying to source supplies as cases soar; About 4% of more than 20,000 staff in India are infected: CFO
Standard Chartered Plc has been attempting to buy oxygen for workers stricken by Covid-19 in India, as the country’s healthcare system struggles to cope in the face of the world’s worst coronavirus crisis. Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford said the London-headquartered bank was “actively” attempting to find oxygen concentrators with hundreds of the company’s 20,000-plus staff based in the country infected.
/bloom.bg/3xx47sk

Covid has shown the subjective nature of risk perception; Humans are unable to make robot-like decisions based on numerical chances of outcomes
Jemima Kelly – FT
When reports began to emerge that Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccine could be linked to rare but dangerous blood clots in the brain, I recall feeling a sense of doom. Not so much because I was concerned about such a fate befalling me — the risk seemed low enough — but because I feared it could derail Britain’s vaccine programme by making some people too scared to get the jab.
/on.ft.com/3gNiKBL

Private Equity and Hedge Funds, Facing a New Tax Burden, Prepare Their Defense; Wall Street firms that benefit from carried-interest treatment say Biden’s proposal could discourage small-business investment
Miriam Gottfried and Juliet Chung – WSJ
Some private-equity firms and hedge funds are pushing back against a proposal from President Biden to end the carried-interest tax advantage these types of firms enjoy. Mr. Biden is unveiling a $1.8 trillion proposal that includes new spending on child care, education and paid leave, as well as extensions of some tax breaks. To pay for it, he would largely raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including many on Wall Street.
/on.wsj.com/3vl5Gb0

Millennials Are Buying More and More Chickens; Half of the 11 million birds sold by Tractor Supply in 2020 went to new customers
Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
Here’s the latest market that Millennials are disrupting: Chickens. On the company’s latest earnings call, Tractor Supply Co. Chief Executive Officer Hal Lawton talked about new buyers for poultry in response to a question from Baird’s Peter Benedict.
/bloom.bg/3eHiCB7

Bank of America is asking employees to voluntarily disclose vaccine status, as Wall Street looks to get staffers back in the office
Rebecca Ungarino – Insider
Bank of America is asking staff to voluntarily disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine, two people familiar with the matter said, a step that underscores Wall Street’s moves to gradually shift people back into the offices after more than a year of remote work.
/bit.ly/3xyYWIs

Citadel poached Citi’s head of equity derivatives trading in the US, the latest in a string of exits in the bank’s trading unit
Alex Morrell – Insider
Citadel has poached the head of equity derivatives trading in North America from Citigroup, the latest in a string of buy-side defections from Citi’s derivatives unit.
/bit.ly/3gPngzY

Jack Ma Taunted China. Then Came His Fall.
Eswar Prasad – NY Times
Ant Group, China’s biggest fintech conglomerate, was preparing last November for its initial public offering. Analysts projected it would raise $34 billion, the largest sale of shares in history. The company, founded by Jack Ma, had become synonymous with financial innovations, which are often risky.
/nyti.ms/3gMjg39

SEC Punts Long-Awaited Bitcoin ETF Decision to at Least June
Katherine Greifeld and Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
Regulator was set to weigh in on VanEck’s fund application; At least 11 issuers are considering a U.S. Bitcoin ETF: BI
Crypto advocates will have to wait a while longer for the U.S. regulator’s verdict on Bitcoin exchange-traded fund approval as applications pile up.
/bloom.bg/3t2smLu

Shoddy Bias Training Is a Corporate Risk, Not a Remedy; A British ruling is a reminder that anti-discrimination programs need to do more than check a box — they must make a difference, and last.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
When it comes to programs aimed at reducing discrimination and fostering diversity in the workplace, one thing is clear: Much like gym memberships, having them is only a (small) first step.
/bloom.bg/2RdnOof

Coronavirus

U.S. Tells Citizens to Leave India as Covid Crisis Deepens
Angus Whitley – Bloomberg
Level 4 advisory is highest issued by U.S. State Department; Global companies also stepping in to rush supplies, funds%
The U.S. told its citizens to get out of India as soon as possible as the country’s Covid-19 crisis worsens at an astonishing pace. In a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest of its kind issued by the State Department — U.S. citizens were told “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.” There are 14 direct daily flights between India and the U.S. and other services that connect through Europe, the department said.
/bloom.bg/3xyEYxC

The Dark Horse of the Vaccine Race May Be This French Biotech; Valneva shot is Europe’s only inactivated vaccine in trials
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
As the battle with Covid-19 rages around the world, a small French biotech has a possible solution for the long-term war against the virus and the rapidly spreading mutations.
/bloom.bg/2S2wVsn

How Good Are Vaccines? Try 99.9999% Effective; That 95% efficacy number isn’t the whole story.
Cathy O’Neil – Bloomberg
I have a friend who works in the New York City Department of Education’s Covid-19 “situation room” — tracing cases, informing contacts and so on. She’s really good at her job, which is why I was surprised to hear her make a strange statistical assertion: Since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective, one in 20 vaccinated people are going to get Covid. That’s wrong, dangerously so. And given that an expert who works in the area every day can make such a mistake, I figure it’s worth some explaining.
/bloom.bg/2QwQvNf

Thailand Increases Visitor Quarantine Period as Covid Rages
Randy Thanthong-Knight and Prim Chuwiruch – Bloomberg
All arrivals subject to two-week isolation on variant concerns; Dine-in, large gatherings banned in virus hotspot Bangkok
Thailand will increase a mandatory quarantine period for all arrivals to two weeks in a setback to the country’s previous plans of gradually reopening its borders to foreign visitors. The Southeast Asian nation earlier this month reduced the timeframe to seven days for vaccinated tourists and ten days for most others in a bid to boost its tourism sector. But the latest Covid-19 wave, the country’s worst since the pandemic began, has forced the government to reintroduce the restrictions.
/bloom.bg/3vsV3CV

Moderna increases vaccine supply target to 3bn for next year; Chief executive says company will boost manufacturing capacity to tackle variants of Covid-19
Nikou Asgari – FT
Moderna says it will increase its global supply of Covid-19 vaccines to up to 3bn next year as the company expands its manufacturing capacity to tackle new and existing strains of the virus.
/on.ft.com/2SetVcE

BioNTech chief confident Covid jab will work on variant found in India; Biotech has tested vaccine it pioneered with Pfizer against more than 30 strains of the virus
Erika Solomon and Guy Chazan – FT
BioNTech’s chief executive has said he is confident the Covid-19 vaccine his company pioneered with Pfizer will work against a new variant circulating in India, where health officials are recording hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases a day.
/on.ft.com/3vsyhen

Moderna to Boost Covid-19 Vaccine Production to Meet Rising Global Demand; Company aims to triple production next year to as much as three billion doses
Peter Loftus – WSJ
Moderna Inc. MRNA -2.58% plans to spend billions of dollars to boost production of Covid-19 vaccines and potentially triple its yearly output of doses in 2022, as the company seeks to meet rising global demand.
/on.wsj.com/3vwDfXs

Vaccine Hesitancy Is as Old as Vaccines. I Take Comfort in That.
David Motadel – NY Times
Almost 14 months into the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines are, for most of us, the key to getting out of lockdown and returning to lives that we recognize. And with more than a billion doses administered worldwide, there are reasons for hope — even if that hope is not spread evenly.
/nyti.ms/3xxQl8J

India Blames a Virus Variant as Its Covid-19 Crisis Deepens; Workers in New Delhi on Tuesday building new platforms for cremating bodies, as the coronavirus takes an increasing toll on the country
Jeffrey Gettleman, Shalini Venugopal and Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
At Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a huge facility in the middle of India’s capital, 37 fully vaccinated doctors came down with Covid-19 earlier this month. The infections left most with mild symptoms, but it added to their growing fears that the virus behind India’s catastrophic second wave is different. They wonder if a more contagious variant that dodges the immune system could be fueling the epidemic inside the world’s hardest-hit nation.
/nyti.ms/3nvr1f0

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LSE rebuked by investors over chief’s pay package; Shareholders voice discontent weeks after group revealed hefty expenses tied to Refinitiv deal
Philip Stafford – FT
London Stock Exchange Group shareholders have delivered a sharp rebuke over the bumper pay rise awarded to chief executive David Schwimmer, just weeks after the company angered investors by revealing a much higher-than-expected bill for integrating Refinitiv.
/on.ft.com/3gIeLql

Goldman Sachs optimises five newly launched Quantile cleared currency pairs on LCH; Goldman Sachs was one of the first three market participants to optimise five of the eight newly launched cleared currency pairs offered by Quantile on LCH’s ForexClear.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Goldman Sachs has optimised five of eight newly launched currency pairs cleared with LCH through multilateral optimisation services provider, Quantile. Quantile recently expanded its offering enabling firms to rebalance their initial margin (IM) for eight new G10 currency pairings cleared with LCH’s ForexClear.
/bit.ly/3aOy5hA

Kepler Cheuvreux launches electronic trading platform; New electronic trading platform by Kepler Cheuvreux offers liquidity seeking order routing capabilities using quantitative algorithmic trading technology.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
European agency broker Kepler Cheuvreux has launched an electronic trading platform as part of a multi-year strategic investment into its electronic trading offering. The new platform offers liquidity seeking order routing using next-generation quantitative algorithmic trading technology and delivers post-trade analysis and transaction cost analysis.
/bit.ly/3xyfctd

LSEG and Euronext complete Borsa Italiana transaction; Under the terms of the transaction, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has sold Borsa Italiana to Euronext for a cash total of EUR4.4 billion.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Pan-European exchange operator Euronext and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) have completed their Borsa Italiana transaction. The completed deal on 29 April saw the pan-European exchange operator acquire the Italian bourse from the LSEG for EUR4.4 billion, after initially agreeing to acquire Borsa Italiana in October last year.
/bit.ly/3eA5jTa

Euronext today completes the acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group and publishes Q1 2021 results
Euronext
Euronext today completes the acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group[1] for a final consideration of EUR4,444 million[2], following the satisfaction of all condition precedents
/bit.ly/3xyJfB3

Pegasus Acquisition Company Europe B.V lists on Euronext Amsterdam; THIRD SPAC LISTING OF 2021 ON EURONEXT – MARKET CAPITALISATION OF EUR500 MILLION
Euronext
Euronext today congratulates Pegasus Acquisition Company Europe B.V., the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) focused on the European financial services industry, on its listing on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker code: PACE).
/bit.ly/3vuLgfO

Intercontinental Exchange Approves Second Quarter Dividend of $0.33 per Share
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, announced today a $0.33 per share dividend for the second quarter of 2021, which is up 10% from the $0.30 per share dividend paid in the second quarter of 2020. The cash dividend is payable on June 30, 2021 to stockholders of record as of June 16, 2021. The ex-dividend date is June 15, 2021.
/bit.ly/2S8v853

Intercontinental Exchange Reports Strong First Quarter 2021
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2021. For the quarter ended March 31, 2021, consolidated net income attributable to ICE was $646 million on $1.8 billion of consolidated revenues, less transaction-based expenses. First quarter GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $1.14. Adjusted net income attributable to ICE was $758 million in the first quarter and adjusted diluted EPS were $1.34. Please refer to the reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures included in this press release for more information on our adjusted operating expenses, adjusted operating income, adjusted operating margin, adjusted net income, adjusted diluted EPS and free cash flow.
/bit.ly/3vqLLra

LSEG to complete divestment of Borsa Italiana Group to Euronext
London Stock Exchange Group plc
London Stock Exchange Group plc (“LSEG” or the “Company”) notes the announcement from Euronext N.V. (“Euronext”) and confirms that it expects to close the divestment of London Stock Exchange Group Holdings Italia S.p.A. and its business (the “Borsa Italiana Group”) to Euronext for a total cash consideration of EUR4,443,860,471 today.
/lseg.group/3eHyTWO

CME Globex Notices: April 26, 2021
CME Group
Critical System Updates
GLink Network Infrastructure Upgrade at Aurora Co-Location Facility – This Week
Amendments to References of CME Globex Terminal Operators – This Week
CME FX Link Enhancements – This Week
CME FX Link Enhancements: Drop Copy Impact – This Week
iLink 3 SBE Schema Update – May 16
New – CME Globex Performance Enhancements – Starting June 6 NEW
/bit.ly/3aQxZpR

CME STP Notices: April 29, 2021
CME Group
CME STP
CME STP FIXML API Connectivity Documentation
BrokerTec Production Service Availability
Cancelled – Enhancement to CME STP Transaction Type
Postponed Enhancements for Exercise and Assignment Trades on CME STP – April 26
Changes to Italian Repo Collateral Clean Price – May 2
New – Enhancements to Settlement Trade ID for CME STP – May 23 NEW
Enhancement to Security Sub Type for Exercise and Assignments on Options – June 6
/bit.ly/3aMxAEM

DGCX Signs MoU With Global Islamic Financial Services Firm To Promote Shari’ah Contracts
MondoVisione
Global Islamic Financial Services Firm (GIFS) to collaborate with DGCX to develop Islamic future contracts and products
MoU will promote DGCX’s Shariah gold contract and expand the provision of innovative, market-leading services and products in adherence to Islamic finance principles The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the region’s leading derivatives exchange, has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Global Islamic Financial Services (GIFS) to partner on the future development of Islamic derivatives and commodities, as well as promote the DGCX’s Shari’ah gold contract, which adheres to Shari’ah principles for the ownership of gold.
/bit.ly/3gOFPnC

Fintech

Alchemy Funding Round Values Blockchain Startup at $500 Million
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Its services support about $30 billion of transactions a year; It’s ‘a bet on the blockchain industry as a whole,’ Lau says
Blockchain technology provider Alchemy has raised $80 million from investors led by Coatue Management and Addition LP, giving the startup a $500 million valuation. The fresh capital will help Alchemy expand the developer tools it provides to blockchains other than just Ethereum, strengthen its presence in New York and Southern California, and allow it to open offices in Europe and Asia, co-founder Joe Lau said in an interview. Other investors in the Series B funding round include DFJ Venture Capital; the Glazer family, which owns the Manchester United soccer club; and rock band the Chainsmokers.
/bloom.bg/3xyLJze

NICE Actimize Partners with Refinitiv to Expand Distribution of its SURVEIL-X Holistic Surveillance Suite Across Asia-Pacific; Partnership will extend the market for NICE Actimize’s cloud-native, holistic surveillance solution, enabling more accurate risk detection and driving down total cost of ownership
NICE Actimize
NICE Actimize, a NICE (Nasdaq: NICE) business, and Refinitiv, part of LSEG and a leading global financial markets infrastructure and data provider, today announced a strategic partnership which will enable it to resell NICE Actimize’s industry-leading SURVEIL-X Holistic Surveillance Suite through both a cloud or on-premises environment to its growing customer base throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
/bit.ly/2QGF3yz

Blockchain Firm Paxos Valued at $2.4 Billion on New Fundraising
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Startup receives $300 million from investors led by Oak HC/FT; Funds in part to be used to support firm’s national trust bank
Paxos Trust Co., a blockchain startup that caters to financial institutions including PayPal Holdings Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG, is valued at $2.4 billion after raising $300 million from investors. The New York-based firm will use the new cash to hire more employees and add to its working capital, Chief Executive Officer Chad Cascarilla said in an interview. The capital may also be used for acquisitions, though none are planned, he said.
/bloom.bg/3vsU0CZ

China Readies Big Tencent Fine in Crackdown, Reuters Says
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Tencent may face fine of at least $1.6 billion, report says; Pony Ma’s firm joins Alibaba, Meituan in regulatory crosshairs
China is preparing to slap a fine on Tencent Holdings Ltd. as part of its antitrust crackdown on the country’s internet giants, Reuters said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
/bloom.bg/3eKfpB7

Fintech lender Upgrade tops FT ranking of fast-growth companies; The online lender, founded by former Lending Club chief Renaud Laplanche, doubled revenues last year
Robert Armstrong – FT
Lending Club, the first company Renaud Laplanche founded, way back in 2006, has recently undergone a transformation. Laplanche set it up as a “marketplace” lender — meaning all the loans it originated were sold off to third-party investors, rather than held on its own balance sheet.
/on.ft.com/3eEqP9d

Cryptocurrencies

US Officials Arrest Alleged Operator of $336M Bitcoin Mixing Service; Roman Sterlingov faces three charges: unlicensed money transmission, money laundering and money laundering without a license.
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
U.S. officials have arrested the alleged operator of a bitcoin (BTC, -0.36%) mixing service on allegations of laundering nearly $336 million in bitcoin over 10 years. According to public court documents, federal agents arrested Roman Sterlingov, a Russian and Swedish citizen, on three charges stemming from his alleged involvement with bitcoin mixing service Bitcoin Fog: unlicensed money transmission, money laundering and money transmission without a license.
/bit.ly/3e4DMKJ

Core Scientific More Than Doubles Its Fleet Of Digital Asset Mining Machines, Solidifying Market-Leading Position As Largest Digital Asset Miner & Hosting Provider In North America; The purchase agreement – bringing 112,800 additional S19, S19 Pro, S19J and S19J Pro Antminers to Core Scientific – marks material shift to self-mining and hosting capabilities.
PR Newswire
Core Scientific, the largest blockchain hosting provider in North America, today announced that it has executed agreements with long-term partner Bitmain Technologies Limited (“Bitmain”), the industry-leading blockchain mining equipment manufacturer, to acquire 112,800 additional S19, S19 Pro, S19J and S19J Pro Antminers. The purchase agreements will increase the total unit count of Bitmain miners operated by Core Scientific to 188,824 S19s, more than doubling Core Scientific’s already market-leading 19 Series fleet of hosted and Core Scientific owned Antminers, further solidifying its position as the largest digital asset miner and hosting provider in North America.
/prn.to/3eChQW3

White House Urged to Address Surge in Ransomware Attacks
Kartikay Mehrotra – Bloomberg
Pressure urged to discourage hacker ‘safe havens’ abroad; Tougher cryptocurrency oversight advocated to curb ransomware
Cybersecurity experts, law enforcement agencies and governments urged the White House to root out safe havens for criminals engaging in ransomware and step up regulation of cryptocurrencies, the lifeblood of hackers, in the hopes of controlling a growing wave of attacks.
/bloom.bg/2QwPG77

WisdomTree adds ethereum ETP to crypto range
Tom Eckett – ETF Stream
WisdomTree has expanded its cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) range with the launch of an ethereum strategy, ETF Stream can reveal.
The WisdomTree Ethereum ETP (ETHW) is listed on Deutsche Boerse and SIX Swiss Exchange with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.95%, the cheapest available on the European market.
/bit.ly/3eJqMsX

PayPal Crypto Partner Paxos Raises $300 Million At $2.4 Billion Valuation
Nina Bambysheva – Forbes
Today, blockchain infrastructure company Paxos closed a $300 million Series D round of funding, one of the largest ever among cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. Led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from previous investors PayPal Ventures, Declaration Partners, and Liberty City Ventures, among others, the round values the company at $2.4 billion and brings its total raised capital to more than $500 million. The announcement quickly follows Paxos’ Series C round in December 2020, when the New York-based startup firm raised $142 million at an undisclosed valuation.
/bit.ly/3vsFHhJ

Visa’s CEO on Crypto: “This Is a Space We Are Leaning Into in a Very, Very Big Way”
Nathaniel Whittemore – Yahoo Finance
Cryptocurrency traders were agog last August when prices for the digital token serum (SRM) jumped 10-fold on its first day of trading after being listed on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
But another 10-fold increase since then is sparking a new wave of speculation among digital-market analysts over the token’s future – apparently tied to the growing popularity of the affiliated decentralized exchange Serum, which is built on top of the Solana blockchain, and championed by Sam Bankman-Fried of the FTX crypto exchange and Alameda Research trading firm.
/yhoo.it/3eCIwWY

BaFin cracks down on crypto exchange Binance’s ‘stock tokens’
Adam Samson, Philip Stafford and Olaf Storbeck – Financial Times
Germany’s financial watchdog has warned investors that Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, has probably violated securities rules over its launch of trading in stock tokens, in a crackdown on the crypto industry’s foray into highly regulated markets.
Bonn-based BaFin published a note on its website on Wednesday afternoon stating that tokens tracking the movement of shares in Tesla, Coinbase and MicroStrategy represent securities requiring a prospectus that has not yet been issued.
/on.ft.com/3gVo4mC

Politics

Why Wall Street’s Favorite Tax Break Is Biden Target
Sabrina Willmer and Melissa Karsh
One of the most reviled loopholes in a tax code full of them is under threat again. While the average American worker must pay the standard tax rate on their income, wealthy private equity managers and venture capitalists are able to pay a lower capital gains rate on one of their main forms of compensation. That’s made the so-called carried interest loophole a favorite target of politicians who call it part of a system rigged to benefit the rich, while exacerbating income inequality. Despite that, through the years, the private equity industry has successfully lobbied to keep the provision. Now President Joe Biden is hoping to succeed where others before him have failed by proposing to abolish the tax break.
/bloom.bg/3eDO3fK

US tech pushes for ransomware to be designated a national security threat; Groups including Microsoft and Amazon call for measures to tackle lucrative criminal enterprise
Hannah Murphy – FT
Big US tech companies and officials are urging governments to designate ransomware as a national security threat in a push to combat a hacking epidemic that has cost businesses tens of millions of dollars.
/on.ft.com/3aPSZwV

The left is winning the economic battle of ideas; The pandemic has highlighted discontent with the way the economy works
Chris Giles – FT
There was a time when radical economic ideas came from the political right. Fed up with failed government intervention in business, high inflation, unions preventing modernisation and a welfare state seen as too comfortable for those out of work, the Reagan and Thatcher governments of the 1980s tore down the boundaries of the state. They were copied to varying degrees by other advanced economies, enjoyed popular support and consigned the left to be small “c” conservatives, defending the old ways.
/on.ft.com/3ezY4us

Biden Ad-Libs Praise for Wall Street But Urges Tax Hikes on Rich
Jenny Leonard – Bloomberg
Unscripted, Biden says ‘good guys and women’ on Wall Street; Biden seeks to fund massive expansion in social spending
President Joe Biden spontaneously tempered his criticism of Wall Street during his address to Congress on Wednesday, even as he called for massive tax increases on corporations and the richest Americans.
/bloom.bg/3aJLU11

Joe Biden tells country that ‘Wall Street didn’t build’ the US in pro-union joint session speech; President uses address to tout his administration’s achievements in first 100 days
Graeme Massie – Independent
Joe Biden told the country that “Wall Street didn’t build” the United States in a pro-union joint session speech to Congress. The president delivered his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night and touted the achievements of his administration’s first 100 days.
/bit.ly/3eHjXYF

Regulation

CFTC acting Chairman Russ Behnam addresses FIA’s Law and Compliance Conference
FIA
On 28 April, CFTC acting Chairman Russ Behnam sits down for a wide-ranging conversation with FIA president and CEO Walt Lukken to discuss the commission’s agenda, financial regulators role is addressing climate change, the CFTC’s role in FSOC, the role of retail in the futures and cleared derivatives markets and challenges posed by family offices.
/bit.ly/3gL03ij

CFTC Staff Renews Temporary No-Action Relief for Entities Submitting Swaps for Clearing with DCOs Acting Under Exemptive Orders or No-Action Relief
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Data today announced the renewal of temporary no-action relief to entities submitting swaps for clearing by derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) operating under CFTC exemptive orders or CFTC staff no-action relief (Relief DCOs). [See CFTC Press Release No. 7699-18)]
/bit.ly/3gQmnqG

Registration now open for NFA’s virtual Member Regulatory Workshop
NFA
NFA will hold a virtual Member Regulatory Workshop for commodity pool operator (CPO), commodity trading advisor (CTA), futures commission merchant (FCM), forex dealer member (FDM), introducing broker (IB) and swap dealer (SD) Members on May 11-13, 2021.
/bit.ly/3gNex15

NFA orders former associated person Jeremy Ruth never to reapply for NFA membership
NFA
NFA has ordered Jeremy Ruth, a former associated person of Postrock Brokerage LLC (Postrock), never to reapply for NFA membership status in any capacity or act as a principal of an NFA Member. Postrock is a former NFA Member introducing broker located in Chicago, Illinois.
/bit.ly/3eBQX4E

UK regulator proposes ‘quick fixes’ for Mifid rules; FCA tables reforms to ensure UK asset managers are not disadvantaged compared to EU peers
Chris Flood – FT
The UK’s financial regulator has proposed several “quick fixes” to rules covering investment research and reporting requirements for share trading to ensure that asset managers are not at a disadvantage to their European competitors now the country has left the EU.
/on.ft.com/3eDTbAt

UK regulator looks to axe MiFID II research and best ex reporting rules; A consultation has been opened that could see MiFID II requirements around research and best execution scrapped in the UK’s latest regulatory divergence from Europe.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Certain research rules and best execution reporting requirements could be axed in the UK as part of the latest series of proposed changes to Europe’s MiFID II regulation post-Brexit. A consultation has been launched by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in partnership with the Treasury to consider the regulatory adjustments.
/bit.ly/3vtO2BX

Alex Oh Resigns from SEC; Melissa Hodgman Named Acting Director of Enforcement
US SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Alex Oh has resigned her position as Director of the Division of Enforcement for personal reasons. Melissa Hodgman will return to the role of Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement.
/bit.ly/3aMrhBc

2021 Election Process Overview
FINRA
FINRA conducts annual elections to fill positions on its Regional Committees, the Small Firm Advisory Committee (SFAC), the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC)1 and the FINRA Board of Governors (FINRA Board). This Notice provides:
/bit.ly/3gIFOBQ

FCA sets out proposals to strengthen its financial promotion rules for high-risk investments
UK FCA
Following feedback to its Call for Input (CFI) on Consumer Investments, the FCA has published proposals to strengthen its financial promotion rules for high-risk investments to help retail investors make more effective decisions.
/bit.ly/3aQZkIF

Investing and Trading

New Effort Bets on Pittsburgh as a Hub for Black Venture Capital; Kelauni Jasmyn is aiming to create a “digital Wakanda” for Black tech entrepreneurs — far from Silicon Valley.
Brentin Mock – Bloomberg
A few years ago, Kelauni Jasmyn was deflecting questions from friends about deciding to stay in Pittsburgh rather than take a six-figure salary job in Washington, D.C. It was Pittsburgh where she launched Black Tech Nation, which started as a local organization, but is now an online nationwide network for cultivating a “digital Wakanda” for Black tech entrepreneurs. She could have taken the BTN imprint to D.C., where there’s a growing pool of Black talent gathering in places like her alma mater, Howard University, but instead she decided to remain in Pittsburgh, where she believed overlooked and untapped talent was within reach. To supplement her income as a coding instructor for high school students, she tended bar.
/bloom.bg/2S4NeoA

Euro-Area Confidence Surges as Covid Vaccinations Pick Up Speed
Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
Sentiment index jumped to 110.3 in April, above all estimates; Optimism increased across all sectors, major economies
Confidence in the euro-area economy improved sharply in April as the region’s vaccination campaign picked up speed, paving the way for a lifting of coronavirus restrictions in the coming months. A European Commission sentiment index increased to 110.3, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The highest reading since 2018 reflects improvements across all parts of the economy and the European Union’s six largest members.
/bloom.bg/3xyyNJP

Glencore’s trading arm boosted by soaring commodity prices; Copper, nickel, zinc and coal rise on back of strong Chinese demand
Neil Hume – FT
Glencore’s trading arm had a strong start to the year, boosted by rising prices for its crucial commodities as the global economic outlook improved. The Switzerland-based company, which is also a big miner, said full-year earnings from its marketing unit would be at the upper end of its $2.2bn-$3.2bn guidance range.
/on.ft.com/3aPX8Rz

Ares raises EUR11bn private debt fund amid alternative lending rush; Banks are increasingly being supplanted as funders for midsized companies
Kaye Wiggins – FT
US investment group Ares has raised EUR11bn for one of the world’s largest private debt funds, as lightly regulated alternative lenders step up their attempt to supplant traditional banks and bond markets in the wake of the pandemic.
/on.ft.com/3eEr58b

Stocks Are Off to Best Start to a Presidential Term Since Great Depression; S&P 500 has risen 10% since Mr. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration
Karen Langley – WSJ
The stock market is set to close out President Biden’s first 100 days in office on Thursday with its best start to a presidential term since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The S&P 500 has risen 10% since Mr. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The index is on course for its strongest performance since the start of Mr. Roosevelt’s first term in 1933, when it surged 80% after a spectacular crash in the Great Depression, according to a Dow Jones Market Data analysis. By comparison, the S&P 500 rose 5.3% in the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term in early 2017 and on average has gained 3.2% over that period in presidential terms since Herbert Hoover’s in 1929.
/on.wsj.com/3xB6IkS

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy
Dave Merrill – Bloomberg
At his international climate summit last week, President Joe Biden vowed to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The goal will require sweeping changes in the power generation, transportation and manufacturing sectors. It will also require a tremendous amount of land.
/bloom.bg/2QFCGMq

EU industry calls for urgent carbon border tax as prices soar; Record costs in bloc’s Emissions Trading Scheme are a gift to rivals, say companies
David Sheppard, Harry Dempsey and Peggy Hollinger – FT
European industrial groups have stepped up calls for the EU to hasten the introduction of a carbon border tax as record prices for CO2 allowances raise the cost of polluting in the bloc far above any other region.
/on.ft.com/3aOOt1M

Institutions

Deutsche Bank Hasn’t Changed Its Spots; Profit from the risky and volatile investment bank still dwarfs the bank’s three other main activities.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
Christian Sewing deserves a round of applause. Deutsche Bank AG’s chief executive officer has succeeded where a number of his predecessors failed, by restoring the lender’s profitability. The secret sauce? Well, there isn’t one really. The new Deutsche Bank looks very much like the old one.
/bloom.bg/2SapGyO

Credit Suisse Sues Billionaire Over Leaked Rogue Banker Report
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Judge issued temporary injunction against posting of report; Report critical of Credit Suisse’s handling of star ex-banker
Credit Suisse Group AG is suing a Georgian billionaire and his communications adviser over their decision to publish a copy of a report from Switzerland’s banking regulator on its handling of a former banker convicted of fraud.
/bloom.bg/3gRpKO6

Glencore Set for More Bumper Trading Profits as Metals Surge
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Glencore Plc signaled another strong year of earnings from its giant trading business as prices soar for commodities from copper to aluminum. The unit is on track to deliver core profit in the top half of its guidance range of $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion this year, Glencore said in a statement Thursday, without giving more details. Production goals from its mines remain unchanged.
/bloom.bg/3gMYuAh

Growth-value rotation to prompt major rebalancing of $15bn ETF; Top-10 holdings of iShares MSCI USA momentum fund thought to be at risk of exclusion include Amazon
Emma Boyde – FT
Investors in a $15bn exchange traded fund are being warned to brace for a major rebalancing at the end of May that could see Amazon, currently one of the top 10 holdings, removed from the index altogether.
/on.ft.com/3gOf0jK

StanChart to close half of its branches and cut office space by a third
Moves target cost savings as EM-focused lender permanently adopts working practice changes speeded up by pandemic
Stephen Morris and Tabby Kinder – FT
Standard Chartered plans to close half its branches and reduce global office space by a third, as it seeks to save costs by permanently adopting changes to working practices and retail banking that accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
/on.ft.com/3eJkqtk

Regions

Hedge Funds Take a Shine to Greece; The recent run in Greek bank shares has been spectacular, but the country’s lenders are still depending on a solid economic rebound.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
By a number of measures, Greece is back in the game. Untouchable for investors for the best part of a decade, the southern European nation returned to the 30-year bond market last month, successfully tapping buyers flush with cash and hungry for yield. Optimism that Greece’s post-pandemic rebound will be more impressive than the rest of Europe’s has also drawn investors to one of the biggest plays on the country’s growth potential: its top banks.
/bloom.bg/3xyF3kU

Shock and Tears: Behind Vanguard’s Retreat From China Market
Bloomberg News
U.S. giant’s decision to reverse course surprises staff; Decision came after years of assessing low-cost model
Vanguard Group Inc. staff who dialed into a video call from their desks on the 40th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center last month were expecting a morale-boosting speech from regional head Scott Conking on how the U.S. fund giant would tackle the Chinese market after years of preparation.
/bloom.bg/3aNAOIu

Ukraine Fires Head of Naftogaz, Risks Unnerving Investors
Daryna Krasnolutska and Volodymyr Verbyany – Bloomberg
Naftogaz says dismissal violates corporate-governance reform; G7 ‘noted’ Kobolyev’s ouster, urges effective management
Ukraine’s government dismissed the long-serving head of state-run oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, threatening to complicate talks to access a $5 billion international bailout. The cabinet on Wednesday dismissed Andriy Kobolyev, Naftogaz’s chief executive officer since 2014, citing a 19 billion-hryvnia ($684 million) loss last year, according to a statement published on its website. Acting Energy Minister Yuriy Vitrenko was appointed as CEO, while parliament approved Herman Halushchenko as new energy minister on Thursday.
/bloom.bg/2QERxGV

China’s Biggest Banks Post Profit Gains Below 3% Amid Curbs
Bloomberg News
China’s biggest banks posted profit gains of below 3% in the first quarter with policy makers leaning on the lenders to contain debt growth as the economy powers out of the pandemic.
/bloom.bg/2QytDwU

EU Court Puts Onus on Polish Courts to Solve Forex Mortgage Fights
Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
Top EU court gives new ruling on abusive clauses in FX loans; EU court in 2019 ruling opened door for mortgage conversions
European Union judges put the onus on their Polish counterparts to sort out tens of thousands of national disputes over unfair terms in foreign-currency mortgages that left many stranded with spiraling repayments.
/bloom.bg/3gTIYmt

How the Big Three Rating Companies Got China Huarong So Wrong; After the Lehman collapse, it’s another embarrassing black eye for the credit watchdogs.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
After the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the Big Three rating companies were blamed for their enabling roles in the subprime mortgage crisis. Troubled securitized products would not have been marketed and sold without their seal of investment-grade approval. In fact, investors relied on their ratings, often blindly.
/bloom.bg/3vwzyB4

China’s Surprise Bond Reprieve Raises Fears of Crunch in May
Bloomberg News
Benchmark 10-year government yields have held steady; Local governments used leftover funds, issued less debt
Fears of a selloff in China’s sovereign bond market have proved wrong, with traders now bracing for the pressure to build through May. Instead of surging higher this month, benchmark 10-year yields are comfortably below their half-year average and little changed from late March, thanks to a slowdown in debt issuance by municipal authorities.
/bloom.bg/3aKeLlK

China Hedge Fund Minghong Recovers After Record Redemptions
Bloomberg News
Minghong’s returns improved after model adjusted, founder says; Investors pulled out almost 20% of money after losses earlier
Shanghai Minghong Investment Management Co., China’s largest quant hedge fund until recently, said it stemmed losses after earlier losses led to the biggest redemptions in its seven-year history. After dropping 27% in the first quarter, the offshore fund’s net asset value stayed largely unchanged this month through April 28, founder Qiu Huiming said in a phone interview from Shanghai. The improvement came after adjustments to its trading model last month, he added.
/bloom.bg/3aO6Fss

Big Four auditors squeezed between US and China; A fight over access to accounts of Chinese companies spells danger for PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG
Tabby Kinder and Michael O’Dwyer – FT
When he started to pull apart the carcass of China Medical Technologies, which collapsed after a suspected $400m fraud, liquidator Cosimo Borrelli hit an obstacle. KPMG, which had audited the company from Beijing since it listed in New York in 2005, refused to hand over its financial records. It even defied a court order to do so, citing Chinese security laws that prevent the removal of sensitive documents from the country.
/on.ft.com/3vzsJz3

Brexit

Northern Ireland Leader Quits as Brexit Deal Raises Tensions
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster laid out her plan to quit, sparking further upheaval at a time when London and Dublin are seeking to calm tensions in the region.
/bloom.bg/3vpl5ag

5 Brexit fights still brewing – POLITICO
Cristina Gallardo – Politico
The Brexit trade deal is finally ratified but there’s still work to be done on both sides of the Channel.
The European Parliament has approved the EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), setting out a framework for the U.K. and EU’s future relationship, with an overwhelming majority.
MEPs’ consent means that the agreement, which has been provisionally applied since January, can fully enter into force on May 1. Here are five big issues that still need to be solved:
/politi.co/2Qzp8SK

As Foster Quits, What Next for Northern Ireland and Brexit? Q&A
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Arlene Foster’s resignation as Northern Ireland’s First Minister risks triggering more instability to a region already riven by sectarian strife and mounting concerns around the impact of Brexit. This part of the U.K. played a central role in the rupture with the European Union and the drawn-out acrimony around it.
/bloom.bg/3vuKY8I

Brexit hit to British banks still not fully felt, UK finance ministry says
Huw Jones – Reuters
The hit to the City of London from Brexit has been less severe than initially predicted but may have further to play out, Britain’s top financial services official said on Wednesday.
Britain was under “no illusions” that a post-Brexit “steady state” has been reached, in terms of banks settling on locations for their European operations, Katharine Braddick, head of financial services at Britain’s finance ministry told an event held by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“There is still a lot in play,” she said.
/reut.rs/3gRAY5c

Miscellaneous

Empire of Pain — the story of the Sacklers and OxyContin; Patrick Radden Keefe’s saga of how a pharmaceutical dynasty unleashed a wave of dependency and grew rich from it
John Gapper – FT
In 1980, a small UK drugs company launched a painkiller for patients suffering from cancer. The slow-release morphine pill called MS Contin was developed at the prompting of Cicely Saunders, a leader of the hospice movement, to help them die with dignity at home, rather than on a morphine drip.
/on.ft.com/3vkZeRk

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