City of London Firms Are ‘Desperate to Hire’ in Tight Job Market

Apr 14, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Later this morning JLN will publish the FIA Boca 2022 interview Alexandria Perry conducted with Cboe’s Catherine Clay. Cboe has made several investments in Clay’s neck of the Cboe’s woods since Boca last met and Clay reflects on that and other subjects. You can find this interview later today on www.johnlothiannews.com.

Elon Musk did a very un-Elon Musk-like thing in his bid to take over Twitter. He did not tweet it. He did not slip the offer under the door of the Twitter CEO, ala Jeff Sprecher’s bid for the CBOT. He simply filed an offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he intended to buy Twitter with a “best and final” offer to buy the social media company that he is the largest shareholder of.

Do you want to know what prices are not stable, but might be a candidate for Stable? Canadian lobsters? CaLobster prices are “gold-plated,” according to a story in The Canadian Press. Canadian lobster exports are up 25 per cent, since beating the previous high set in 2019.

I had two typos in the notice about Chris Giancarlo’s banjo playing gig coming up. First, the name of the band is Crypto Kings, not Crypto Kinds. Secondly, the event is on April 30, not April 20. My apologies for the mistakes. The former CFTC chairman will be playing his banjo at America’s oldest tavern, the 76 House in Tappan, New York (20 minutes north of George Washington Bridge) on April 30. For details, go to https://www.76house.com.

According to LinkedIn, former SGX executive and now Chairman & Co-founder at Shan De Advisors Sutat Chew is now a non-executive director at FTX.

I am not saying swap dealer employees need ethics training more than other professionals in the markets, but our friends at Exchange Analytics (XA) have a swaps bundle aimed right at you and your employees. XA now offers a suite of courses (Swap Dealer Ethics, Intro to Swap Dealer Requirements, Swap Dealer Marketing Supervision Requirements, Intro to Asset Management) focused on Associated Persons working in U.S. swaps markets regulated by the CFTC and the National Futures Association. The bundle even comes at a 15% discount. For more information, click HERE.

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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Cryptocurrencies may all ‘come crashing down’: Michael Lewis
Max Zahn with Andy Serwer – Yahoo Finance
Cryptocurrency has divided the celebrity ranks into two camps: Boosters and skeptics. Gwyneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg, and Justin Bieber — all have joined the growing camp of crypto supporters. But digital assets also have their detractors, including former “The O.C.” star Ben McKenzie, who’s co-authoring a book on the risks posed by cryptocurrency. Best-selling author Michael Lewis, whose 16 books include deeply reported chronicles of the thrills and flaws of Wall Street, appears to fall in between the two camp
/jlne.ws/3OaTZOk

***** I warn you, don’t play liar’s poker with Michael Lewis about this subject.~JJL

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New perpetual futures trading available on CrossTower’s Bermuda digital exchange; Enhances service offering for qualified traders; Facilitates the shaping of risk for enhanced portfolio construction
CrossTower Inc., one of the world’s fastest and leading crypto and digital asset exchanges, is pleased to announce the launch of perpetual futures trading, now available on CrossTower’s Bermuda digital exchange. Perpetual futures are derivatives contracts that, unlike traditional futures contracts, are not limited to a predetermined expiration date. The product provides an opportunity for CrossTower’s growing customer base to take long and/or short positions, consistent with their portfolio and risk objectives.
/jlne.ws/3uEeBXq

***** Perpetual futures would make an excellent underlying for an ETF.~JJL

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Eurex introduces first futures on thematic indices
Qontigo
Eurex, one of the world’s leading derivatives exchanges, is entering a new segment with the introduction of futures on STOXX global thematic indices. The four contracts will track indices from the STOXX Thematics suite, designed to target the beneficiaries of long-term structural trends transforming our modern economies and societies: STOXX® Global Automation & Robotics, STOXX® Global Breakthrough Healthcare, STOXX® Global Digitalisation, STOXX® Global Digital Security
/bit.ly/3JIAZDx

****** I really like the Donald Duck theme index myself. It was the real thing, not a quack.~JJL

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BNP Paribas Hires Carl Riccadonna as Chief U.S. Economist; Key Hire Demonstrates Bank’s Mission to Strengthen Americas Client Franchise
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas, the premier global bank, announced today the appointment of Carl Riccadonna as Chief U.S. Economist for Markets 360™, the bank’s market strategy and economics division. At BNP Paribas, Mr. Riccadonna and his team will be responsible for delivering to clients a macro view of the U.S. economy as well as short- and long-term outlooks given geopolitical events, central bank policy and other market developments. He will report to John Gallo, Global Head of Sales and Head of Global Markets Americas, and to Luigi Speranza, Chief Global Economist.
/jlne.ws/3M4UYOd

****** Why do I feel like I should be blowing into a big long horn to make this announcement?~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was “We f****** blitzed it boys”: The inconvenient chat transcripts of the UK traders alleged to have gamed sub-zero oil, from The Financial Times. Second was JLN’s video interview, Citadel Securities’ Troy Kane Discusses The Growth Of Retail Trading, Citadel’s Wade Into Crypto, And Its Growth In Asian Markets. Third was Trading and Securities Veteran, JJ Kinahan, Joins tastytrade, an IG Group press release via Businesswire.

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MarketsWiki Stats
26,802 pages; 238,068 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

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Lead Stories

City of London Firms Are ‘Desperate to Hire’ in Tight Job Market; Number of financial services job ads is up 73% on a year ago; Job movers are securing an average 22% pay rise, survey finds
Tom Metcalf – Bloomberg
Bankers looking to move jobs after pocketing their bonuses have a wealth of options open to them, as a shortage of qualified candidates pushes firms to offer hefty pay increases to lure the best applicants, one study shows. There was a 73% increase in jobs available in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to recruiter Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor. Financiers clinched a 22% average salary uplift when moving jobs, an improvement on the 19% rises seen at the end of last year.
/jlne.ws/37jDH58

Prepare for Armageddon: Ukraine’s tactic against Russian hackers; One long-running rivalry shows how Kyiv has withstood major cyber attacks
Mehul Srivastava and Anna Gross – FT
For years, a small and disparate Ukrainian team including IT experts, intelligence officers and a criminal prosecutor has kept a wary eye on a group of hackers nicknamed Armageddon. The hackers were based in Crimea, shielded by the Russian government, which had seized the region in 2014, and out of the reach of the Security Service of Ukraine. The Ukrainian team watched Armageddon from afar to learn the ways of its enemy. It quietly studied the hacking group’s cyber weapons, intercepted phone calls and even outed its purported leaders.
/jlne.ws/3rNmWqb

Texts reveal UK traders exulting over negative oil price in 2020; ‘Please don’t tell anyone what happened today lads,’ message from court papers said, as WTI hit minus $37
Bryce Elder – FT
A US judge has allowed a case to proceed against UK traders accused of causing an unprecedented crash in oil futures markets after ruling that text messages between the group were sufficient to point towards a potential conspiracy. The proposed class-action lawsuit centres around trading on April 20 2020, when the price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged below zero for the first time on record. Self-employed traders linked to Vega Capital London, a little-known commodities brokerage based in the Essex town of Benfleet, stand accused of making more than $700mn by flooding futures markets to drive the price lower.
/jlne.ws/3xtzcjc

Digital platforms fuel European ETF growth spurt; Commission-free investment hubs steer retail investors towards low-cost funds
Emma Boyde – FT
European fund investors have been the poorer cousins of their US counterparts for years, paying higher fees and finding it harder to access low-cost, passively managed products. Digital platforms offering exchange traded funds look set to help close this gap, however. Broad-based, traditional ETFs are widely considered to be good building blocks for retail investors’ portfolios, removing much of the opacity and high charges frequently associated with other fund investments.
/jlne.ws/3OcsJPj

Cboe to Add Tuesday and Thursday Expirations for SPX Weeklys Options
Cboe
SPX Tuesday-expiring Weeklys options available for trading beginning April 18; Thursday-expiring options available beginning May 11; Additional offerings build on success of Cboe’s existing SPX Weeklys options; will now provide expirations every trading day of the week; With more weekly-expiring options, investors can now trade, hedge and express their views with even greater flexibility and precision
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today announced it will list S&P 500 Index (SPX) Weeklys optionsSM with Tuesday expirations beginning Monday, April 18, and Thursday expirations beginning Wednesday, May 11. These new listings build on the success of Cboe’s popular SPX Weeklys options, which currently include Monday, Wednesday and Friday-expiries, and will expand the product suite to provide expirations every trading day of the week. The SPX options market is one of the most actively traded and liquid options markets across the globe. SPX Weeklys options are similar to standard monthly SPX options but shorter in term, with weekly expirations.
/jlne.ws/3M7Xun0

Europe’s Carbon Market Passes the Test; Investors can take comfort in how the bloc’s cap-and-trade scheme has weathered the recent extremes of the energy market
Rochelle Toplensky – WSJ
The world’s oldest, and largest, carbon market has finally come of age. After a rocky start in life, the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has proven its mettle. EU carbon dioxide emission credits now trade around EUR80 for a metric ton, equivalent to $87. Since the start of 2020, prices have touched a low of EUR15 a metric ton and a high of EUR96. That is a wide range, but it has been a testing time for energy markets generally with the pandemic, the European energy crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The carbon market, and its regulators, have weathered it all with aplomb.
/jlne.ws/3vhwwT0

EEX bourse set for more growth in 2022 after power, gas volumes rise
Vera Eckert – Reuters
Bourse reports record 2021 volumes, revenue, EBIT; Says will surpass the numbers in 2022; Benefits from move to exchanges in uncertain times
Volumes of EEX’s flagship power and gas futures products rose sharply in the first quarter of 2022, the European Energy Exchange said on Wednesday, as operators hedged their positions amid a surge in market volatility due to the Ukraine crisis. EEX chief Peter Reitz noted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had raised concerns about European energy security and drove operators to the exchange, as they sought to move away from uncleared over-the-counter markets to reduce counterparty risks and save money.
/jlne.ws/3M3Hz97

EU payment in roubles for Russian gas would violate sanctions regime -document
Jan Strupczewski – Reuters
Payment for Russian gas in roubles by European Union buyers would break the EU’s sanctions regime against Moscow, an internal European Commission note said. The note, making clear it is technical, preliminary, and based on an unofficial translation of the Russian Presidential Decree of March 31, said the law added several new layers of obligations on EU gas buyers, taking the effective completion of the purchase out of their hands.
/jlne.ws/3uDaniS

The Funded: The SEC’s proposed SPAC rules has Credit Suisse, Citigroup and other investment banks concerned
Cromwell Schubarth – The Business Journals
Investment banks seem to be getting cold feet about special purpose acquisition companies in the wake of the Securities and Exchange Commission proposing new rules that would increase their legal exposure when representing such entities. Credit Suisse Group AG has created a committee to scrutinize pending SPAC mergers that it’s involved with, according to Bloomberg. Both that committee and Credit Suisse’s investment banking committee will now have to sign off on any such transactions, Bloomberg reported.
/jlne.ws/3xmUrmG

World’s biggest oil traders are set to cut out Russian oil purchases from the middle of May, report says.
Adam Morgan McCarthy – Business Insider
The world’s largest oil trading houses are set to reduce the amount of oil purchased from Russia from May 15th according to a report from Reuters on Thursday, which quotes anonymous sources. Shell has already stopped buying Russian crude oil and Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader, said on Wednesday that it would completely phase out crude oil from the country by the end of 2022, with the likes of Trafigura following suit.
/jlne.ws/37LNIrB

Putin prepares to stop propping up Russian markets – live updates
James Warrington – The Telegraph
Vladimir Putin is said to be considering a gradual approach to rolling back the harsh capital controls that have propped up Russian markets since the invasion of Ukraine. Officials are considering reducing the proportion of overseas earnings exporters must convert into roubles and giving them more time to do so, Bloomberg reports. At the moment, they are obliged to sell 80pc of their forex revenues within three days of receiving them.
/jlne.ws/3JJiKgW

Russia Weighs Looser Wartime Capital Controls After Ruble Surge
Bloomberg News
Russian authorities are considering a step-by-step approach to rolling back harsh capital controls that have stabilized local markets since the invasion of Ukraine, but triggered a ruble rally that risks exacerbating the nation’s economic slump.
/jlne.ws/3rsONM5

Citi profits tumble as search for Russia exit drags on; Bank says Russian exposure has fallen to $7.8bn this quarter
Imani Moise – FT
Citigroup’s profits were hit in the first quarter by the fallout from the war in Ukraine as the US bank set aside $1.9bn for potential loan losses and continued to search for an exit from its retail business in Russia. Higher credit costs due to rising defaults, in addition to a slowdown in revenues, pulled profits down 46 per cent to $4.3bn, or $2.02 per share, Citi said on Thursday.
/jlne.ws/3JC3QsR

Goldman’s first-quarter profits drop as dealmaking fades; An increase in trading revenues at the US investment bank is overshadowed by a slower quarter for underwriting deals
Joshua Franklin – FT
Goldman Sachs reported a 42 per cent drop in profits in the first quarter as a surge in trading activity failed to compensate for a cooling in the dealmaking boom. The bank on Thursday reported net income of $3.9bn, or $10.76 per share, down from $6.8bn, or $18.6 per share, in the same period last year. The drop was smaller than analysts had forecast, with estimates for quarterly net income of $3.3bn, or $9.02 per share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
/jlne.ws/3vm3KjU

London-listed Petropavlovsk warns investors may be wiped out; Previously high-flying Russian gold miner has been caught up in sanctions fallout
Neil Hume – FT
Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk has warned investors that they could be wiped out as the wave of sanctions against Moscow leaves the group struggling to refinance its debt. The company said on Thursday that it was considering putting itself up for sale because “in the present circumstance” it would be “very challenging” to pay off a $304mn convertible bond due in November.
/jlne.ws/37RlX0E

Companies Size Up Their Losses on Russian Operations; Global businesses get ready to report the impact of the war in Ukraine on profits
Jean Eaglesham and Thomas Gryta – WSJ
Global businesses are tallying up tens of billions in losses from their Russian operations as they grapple with the impact of asset sales, shutdowns and sanctions, according to public statements and securities filings. The cost to shareholders of Western companies’ exodus from Russia will become clearer in coming weeks, as companies make their first earnings announcements since the invasion of Ukraine. More than 6oo Western companies have said they would exit or cut back operations in Russia, according to researchers at Yale University.
/jlne.ws/3uEMDeg

JPMorgan’s New Manhattan Headquarters to Be All Electric Powered; Bank says 1,388-foot skyscraper on Park Avenue to rely on hydroelectric power source
Will Parker – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s new Manhattan headquarters will rely on a hydroelectric power source, making the 1,388-foot skyscraper the tallest and largest New York building to go all electric. The office tower will operate with net-zero emissions, the company said Thursday. JPMorgan, which is the largest U.S. bank, plans to consolidate a number of its New York offices after the Norman Foster -designed building on Park Avenue is completed around 2025.
/jlne.ws/3xt2tdx

The TRADE launches MiFID II roadshow to unravel complexities of the regulation across Europe; A series of MiFID II review roadshows around Europe will deliver targeted and comprehensive discussions and debates on the upcoming changes most relevant to the industry.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
The TRADE is delighted to be partnering with leading exchanges across Europe to host a series of roadshows designed to cast light on the complexities of the upcoming MiFID II review. It’s been a turbulent few years since MiFID II was first introduced back in 2018, and the industry has seen seismic changes as practitioners, operators and providers struggle to adjust to the new regulatory regime and the significantly increased reporting requirements that accompanied it.
/jlne.ws/3vmCodP

Ukraine Invasion

U.S. and Ukrainian Groups Pierce Putin’s Propaganda Bubble
Julian E. Barnes and Edward Wong – New York Times
Using a mix of high-tech and Cold War tactics, Ukrainian activists and Western institutions have begun to pierce the propaganda bubble in Russia, circulating information about the Ukraine war among Russian citizens to sow doubt about the Kremlin’s accounts.
/jlne.ws/3rkTfwj

Former Russian lawmaker fighting for Ukraine says he thinks Putin’s days are numbered because ‘no dictator can survive after losing the war’
Sophia Ankel – Business Insider
A former Russian lawmaker fighting for Ukraine told CNN on Wednesday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s days are numbered because “no dictator can survive after losing the war.” Ilya Ponomarev has been living in Kyiv, Ukraine, since 2016 after he was ousted by the Russian parliament. After the Russian invasion on February 24, the former politician took up arms and joined the Ukrainian forces.
/jlne.ws/36g2hn0

Russian companies, global banks could reap windfall from depositary receipt delisting
Sinead Cruise and Carolina Mandl – Reuters
Russian companies and global banks including BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and JPMorgan could profit if Moscow moves to de-list Russian companies’ depositary receipts from foreign exchanges, according to two people familiar with the matter. The potential windfall is due to the fees that bank issuers of depositary receipts can contractually charge investors when they cancel the product.
/jlne.ws/3KJg6JA

Putin nemesis Bill Browder reveals the ‘real money’ funding Kremlin’s war
Alexander Nazaryan – Yahoo News
A trillion dollars: That’s how much money famed investor Bill Browder believes Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs have stolen from the Russian people since the fall of the Soviet Union. “And that was money that was supposed to be spent on health care and education, roads and services,” Browder said at a Manhattan event to celebrate the publication of his second book, “Freezing Order,” which chronicles how he became a Putin nemesis as a result of his attempts to expose Kremlin corruption. Those efforts led to the death of Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who was tortured in a Russian prison and whose name is affixed to sanctions bills passed by Congress.
/jlne.ws/3KGSc1l

Russia warns of nuclear deployment if Sweden and Finland join NATO
Guy Faulconbridge – Reuters
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies warned NATO on Thursday that if Sweden and Finland joined the U.S.-led military alliance then Russia would have to bolster its defences in the region, including by deploying nuclear weapons. Finland, which shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia, and Sweden are considering joining the NATO alliance. Finland will make a decision in the next few weeks, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Wednesday.
/jlne.ws/3JATPwc

**** Here is the FT version of this story.~JJL

Finland’s former prime minister says Russia could launch an attack on his country for joining NATO, but it’s well prepared
Sinéad Baker – Business Insider
Finland’s former prime minister said Russia could target his country for joining NATO, but that it was well prepared for such a scenario. Alexander Stubb, Finland’s prime minister between 2014 and 2015, has long pushed for Finland to join the military alliance. In a phone interview with Insider on Thursday, he spoke about how Finland is now closer than ever to joining thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and how Russia may respond to its membership.
/jlne.ws/37jxg1Y

EU closes loophole allowing multimillion-euro arms sales to Russia
Francesco Guarascio – Reuters
The European Union has closed a loophole that allowed EU governments to export weapons worth tens of millions of euros to Russia last year alone despite an embargo which took effect in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region.
/jlne.ws/3KNPyH5

US sends Ukraine more weapons and intelligence to repel Russian offensive; Kremlin says one of its warships, the Moskva, has been seriously damaged
Felicia Schwartz, Henry Foy and John Reed – FT
The US is funnelling extra weapons to Ukraine and sharing more intelligence with Kyiv while stepping up its rhetoric against President Vladimir Putin as Russian forces regroup for a renewed offensive in the south-eastern Donbas region. US president Joe Biden announced that the Pentagon would send $800mn in additional military aid to Ukraine, including artillery, armoured vehicles and helicopters, as the country braces itself for an assault that threatens to be the bloodiest yet of the two-month conflict.
/jlne.ws/3JFN7Fi

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LNG freight markets signal rebound on U.S. LNG exports
Paul Wightman – CME Group
U.S. LNG exporters are set to make further inroads into supplying European gas markets to offset potential shortfalls that are likely following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In March 2022, the U.S. agreed to supply an additional 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) of LNG to the European Union in 2022.
/bit.ly/3ElD5Io

ICE Launches Data Solution for EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced the launch of a data solution for the European Union Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (EU SFDR).
By requiring more transparency and standardization in the products offered by asset managers, the EU SFDR is designed to help investors compare among the growing number of investments with sustainable objectives. To achieve this goal, the EU SFDR requires financial market participants and financial advisors, at the firm-level and product-level, to identify and disclose sustainable impacts and whether and how each financial product considers enumerated Principal Adverse Impacts (PAIs), as defined in the Technical Standards recently adopted by the European Commission.
/bit.ly/3xoRX7i

Enable All-or-None for all Options on SOFR Futures and to Weekly Eurodollar Mid Curve Options
CME Group
Effective Sunday, May 1, 2022 for trade date Monday, May 2, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, please be advised that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (CME or EXCHANGE) will enable All-or-None trading for the products listed below on Open Outcry
/bit.ly/3KHTHMT

OTC IRS New Release Advisory
CME Group
USD-LIBOR FRA Clearing Support Please be advised that CME will amend clearing support for USD-LIBOR Forward Rate Agreements (USD FRAs) in the New Release environment effective April 13, 2022 and in the Production environment on May 2, 2022. The amendment will limit the maximum maturity currently supported for this product from 3 years (from Cleared Date) to June 30, 2023. This change is being made well in advance of the “Index Cessation Effective Date” for all major USD LIBOR tenors immediately following June 30, 2023.
/bit.ly/3rpw8R8

Derived Block Trade Eligibility for all CME E-mini S&P Select Sector Futures and CBOT Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Futures Contracts
CME Group
Effective Sunday, May 22, 2022 for trade date Monday, May 23, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and The Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. (collectively, the “Exchanges”) shall permit derived block trading for all of the CME E-mini S&P Select Sector Futures and the CBOT Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Futures contracts listed in Table 1. below (the “Contracts”).
/bit.ly/3EfhcdN

Euronext Corporate Services expands its webcast studio network to London
Euronext
Euronext Corporate Services, part of the Euronext Group, today announced the opening of a webcast studio in London, United Kingdom. This is the sixth European studio for Company Webcast, the webinar company of Euronext Corporate Services and one of the European leaders in professional webcast and webinar solutions. This opening marks a major step in fulfilling its ambition to build the largest studio network in Europe.
/bit.ly/3vf3e7z

ESMA confirms OTC Clear’s third-country CCP recognition decision
HKEX
The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) has confirmed the Third-Country CCP (“TC-CCP”) recognition of OTC Clearing Hong Kong Limited (“OTC Clear”) during its recent review. The initial recognition was adopted on 27 April 2015.
/bit.ly/3jBdGRh

ESMA confirms HKSCC’s third-country CCP recognition decision; ESMA confirms SEOCH’s third-country CCP recognition decision
HKEX
The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) has confirmed the Third-Country CCP (“TC-CCP”) recognition of The SEHK Options Clearing House Limited (“SEOCH”) during its recent review. The initial recognition was adopted on 27 April 2015.
/bit.ly/3O5j8Kl

Daily Price Limits to be Broadened : 1 issue
JPX
The following issue has fallen under the following (1) or (2) for two consecutive business days. As such, TSE wishes to bring to your attention that it will broaden only the upper (or lower) daily price limit on the next business day (April 15) as follows.
/bit.ly/3JKXs2y

Tinkoff clients can buy gold and silver on the Moscow Exchange
MOEX
Tinkoff clients now have the opportunity to buy and sell precious metals on the Moscow Exchange.
/bit.ly/3KYpRE1

NTB starts calculation of sunflower oil and sunflower meal indices
MOEX
On April 15, 2022, the National Commodity Exchange (NTB, part of the Moscow Exchange Group) starts daily calculation of two new price indicators: over-the-counter export indices of sunflower oil and sunflower meal.
/bit.ly/38VjbZb

Memorandum of Understanding Between the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and Bourse De Montréal Inc.
TMX
The attached document, available in Annex 1, summarizes key features of the new Memorandum of Understanding (the “MoU”) between the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) and Bourse de Montréal Inc. (the “Bourse”), announced on January 24, 2022 by the Canadian Securities Administrators.
/bit.ly/36dLiSh

Interest rate derivative trading will cease at 1:30 p.m. today, April 14, 2022. Furthermore, the Exchange’s markets will be closed on April 15, 2022.
TMX
/bit.ly/36dLiSh

SGX Securities is pleased to welcome iWOW Technology Limited to Catalist under the stock code “NXR”. 
SGX
With more than 20 years of experience, iWOW Technology is a technology provider specialising in integrated wireless Internet of Things (IoT) solutions offered as a service. As a one-stop end-to-end service provider, it designs and develops the hardware and software underlying the IoT solution, and oversees the manufacturing of the product, installation, maintenance and the operationalisation of the IoT solution. Its products and solutions include Smart Metering, Alarm Alert System, Electronic Monitoring System as well as Trace Tokens.
/bit.ly/3KJpih4

As at 14 Apr 2022 05:04 PM | Please be informed that due to website maintenance, there will be intermittent access to our site from 08:00 am 16 April 2022 to 08:00 pm 17 April 2022 (Singapore time). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
SGX
/bit.ly/3rrdeJM

Fintech

Elon Musk Makes $43 Billion Unsolicited Bid to Take Twitter Private
Maxwell Adler and Giles Turner – Bloomberg
Elon Musk has made a “best and final” offer to buy Twitter Inc., saying the company has extraordinary potential and he is the person to unlock it. The world’s richest person will offer $54.20 per share in cash, representing a 54% premium over the Jan. 28 closing price and a valuation of about $43 billion. The social media company’s shares soared 18% in pre-market trading.
/jlne.ws/3KJdYBD

***Here is the Wall Street Journal’s take on the story.

German spies shunned offer to meet Wirecard fugitive Jan Marsalek in Moscow; Intelligence service feared approach last year by middleman with suspected links to Russia’s FSB agency was a trap
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Germany’s foreign intelligence service last year shunned an offer to meet former Wirecard executive Jan Marsalek in Moscow, fearing that the invitation to talk to the fugitive was a trap set up by Russia’s FSB spy agency, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
/jlne.ws/3rpS5jg

BGC Partners’ First Quarter 2022 Financial Results Announcement To Be Issued After Market Close On Monday, May 2, 2022; Conference call scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. ET
BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGCP) (“BGC”), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, today announced the details regarding its first quarter 2022 financial results conference call. This call will take place on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. ET.
/yhoo.it/36cx8kc

Cybersecurity

US federal alert warns of the discovery of malicious cyber tools
The Guardian
Multiple US government agencies issued a joint alert Wednesday warning of the discovery of malicious cyber tools created by unnamed advanced threat actors that they said were capable of gaining “full system access” to multiple industrial control systems.
The public alert from the Energy and Homeland Security departments, the FBI and National Security Agency did not name the actors or offer details on the find. But their private sector cybersecurity partners said the evidence suggests Russia is behind the tools – and that they were configured to initially target North American energy concerns.
/jlne.ws/3JIKLp9

Prelude raises $24M to help organizations harden their cybersecurity defenses
Carly Page – TechCrunch
Prelude, a Washington, D.C-based startup that helps organizations harden their cyber defenses through the use of autonomous red-teaming, has secured $24 million in Series A funding.
Prelude — which describes itself as the first autonomous platform built to attack, defend and train critical assets through continuous red-teaming — isn’t your average cybersecurity startup. Its founder, Spencer Thompson, doesn’t have a background in the industry, and started out in career discovery with an app called Sokanu, which racked up 10-million-plus monthly users before it was sold in 2021.
/jlne.ws/3JMAHv3

This Cybersecurity Startup Aimed At Taking Down VPNs Is Now Worth $400 Million
Kenrick Cai – Forbes
In the eyes of TwinGate CEO Tony Huie, only one company in the world has successfully implemented the cybersecurity approach of the future: Google. After a series of cyberattacks by Chinese hackers in 2009, the tech giant built from scratch a “zero trust” security system. Instead of giving users access to Google’s internal services based on the network—in some cases, a virtual private network, or VPN—to which they connected, the approach authenticates users’ identities and devices.
/jlne.ws/3JH4RQs

Neurodiverse Candidates Find Niche in Remote Cybersecurity Jobs
Nicolle Liu – WSJ
Cat Contillo remembers how uncomfortable she felt during an office internship a few years ago because of reactions to her masculine outfits and her inability to understand sarcasm.
Diagnosed as autistic at 18 years old, she was no fan of the office setting. Now 33, she is thriving in a cybersecurity job, working from home in upstate New York for Huntress Labs Inc., a threat-detection software business that is based in Ellicott City, Md., and has a fully remote workforce.
/jlne.ws/3jVMdtX

Cryptocurrencies

A crypto entrepreneur bought an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet for nearly $3 million and tried to sell it for $48 million. The top bid is less than $7,000.
Shalini Nagarajan – Business Insider
Crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi is struggling to sell an NFT of Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet after having shelled out millions to buy the token in the first place. He auctioned the NFT of the tweet for a whopping $48 million, according to CoinDesk. As of Thursday morning, the highest bid he received was 2.2 ether, or about $6,856.
/jlne.ws/3rrfQqR

Amazon Not Close to Accepting Crypto as Payment in Retail Business, CEO Says
Nelson Wang – CoinDesk
Amazon (AMZN) CEO Andy Jassy said on CNBC Thursday morning that the e-commerce and cloud-computing giant is likely not close to adding cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism for its retail business, but it’s possible it will sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the future.
/jlne.ws/3vbDrNi

Will Biden’s Recent Executive Order Smash Barriers to Crypto?
Christopher Robbins – CoinDesk
Financial advisors may soon not only get the regulatory clarity they have asked for about cryptocurrencies and digital asset investing – they may also have a timeline for when it will happen.
Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order, calling for a coordinated effort by federal agencies to research and report on digital assets in 180 days.
/jlne.ws/3LVQLwe

Germany Takes The Top Spot In The Latest Q1 International Crypto Ranking Guide For 2022 says Coincub.com
Yahoo Finance
Germany knocks Singapore off the top spot in the new Coincub crypto-friendly ranking guide for Q1 2022. Germany’s acceptance of cryptocurrency and groundbreaking decision to allow crypto investments to form part of its huge domestic savings industry gets it to the top spot along with other key data. Singapore, formerly at number one in the Q4 ranking for 2021 drops to second place. The USA takes third place, Australia fourth, and Switzerland rounds out the top five.
/jlne.ws/37cGvB7

Crypto Investor Unbelievably Predicts Coinbase List, Bets $400k
Lucas Ropek – Gizmodo
An unknown crypto investor bet nearly half a million dollars on a slew of alt-coins this week that almost immediately jumped in value. The person in question was either really lucky or, as some on the web see it, a dirty, rotten cheater with insider knowledge.
/jlne.ws/3LZsN34

Politics

Mick Mulvaney Joins Web3 Compliance Platform Astra Protocol as Adviser; Former acting White House chief of staff for President Trump will focus on U.S. strategy for Zurich-based Astra Protocol
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has joined Astra Protocol as a strategic adviser, the crypto compliance provider said Wednesday. Mr. Mulvaney, who also was the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland until he resigned from his post in the Trump administration in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol last year, will focus on U.S. strategy for Zurich-based Astra, which is developing a decentralized compliance product for the crypto industry.
/jlne.ws/38SACcH

Biden’s Ethanol Move Boosts Producers, Worries Meat Companies; Corn farmers and ethanol makers look for a bump in demand from summertime E15 gasoline sales; chicken producers fear higher grain costs
Patrick Thoma – WSJ
The Biden administration’s plan to temporarily allow higher ethanol blends in gasoline is set to boost U.S. ethanol producers like Archer Daniels Midland Co. ADM 0.68% , Green Plains Inc. GPRE 1.21% and Poet LLC, while lifting demand for farmers’ corn, agriculture-industry executives and analysts said. The Biden administration said that increasing use of gasoline with 15% ethanol, known as E15, over the summer months would help lower consumers’ fuel costs, which have climbed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The decision is seen as a win for corn growers and ethanol-producing companies, though some groups said they fear it could further inflate food prices by making grain more expensive.
/jlne.ws/3Oamr2S

Regulation

CFTC Charges Wisconsin Woman and Her Companies with Fraud and Misappropriation
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against Kay Yang of Mequon, Wisconsin, and her companies, AK Equity Group LLC and Xapphire LLC. The complaint charges Yang, AK Equity, and Xapphire with fraud and misappropriation related to an off-exchange foreign currency (forex) trading scheme in which they solicited funds totaling at least $15.7 million from at least 67 investors. Yang’s husband, Chao Yang, is named as a relief defendant for receiving investor funds to which he was not entitled.
/jlne.ws/3KIcIyH

SEC Charges Wisconsin Resident in Fraud Scheme Targeting Hmong-Americans
SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kay X. Yang, Civil Action No. 22-cv-00450 (E.D. Wis. filed April 13, 2022)
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges today against Kay X. Yang and her company, Xapphire LLC, for allegedly raising $16.5 million by making false and misleading statements to approximately 70 investors and for misappropriating more than $4 million of the investors’ funds.
/jlne.ws/3xu5mLk

SEC Charges Shareholders, Attorney in Penny Stock Fraud Scheme
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Justin W. Herman, Anthony M. Baker, Ian Horn, and Island Capital Inc for their roles in the fraudulent and manipulative sale of hundreds of thousands of shares of a penny stock company. According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least April 2017 through August 2017, the defendants each played a role in a scheme that enabled Herman and Island Capital to sell shares of penny stock issuer NxGen Brands, Inc. f/k/a Pyramidion Technology Group, Inc. (“PYTG”) to unsuspecting investors. To create the appearance that PYTG had assets and business operations and was not merely a public shell company, Baker allegedly facilitated a sham acquisition by PYTG. For his part in the scheme, Horn allegedly provided PYTG’s transfer agent with fraudulent Rule 144 opinion letters that enabled Herman and Island Capital to obtain unrestricted shares of PYTG. According to the complaint, Herman and Island Capital then engaged in manipulative trading to raise PYTG’s share price and, with the assistance of paid boiler rooms, dumped their shares of PYTG at the inflated price, reaping profits of over $1 million, collectively.
/jlne.ws/3vmozfr

MAS Monetary Policy Statement – April 2022
Monetary Authority of Singapore
In the January 2022 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS), MAS increased slightly the slope of the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER) policy band. There was no change to the width of the policy band or the level at which it was centred. This off-cycle move was assessed to be necessary in view of the upward revision to the MAS Core Inflation forecast amid rapidly accumulating external and domestic cost pressures.
/jlne.ws/38RZGAA

Investing and Trading

Skittish Stock Traders Are Bracing for $2 Trillion Option Expiration
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Inflation is surging, central banks are on the move and now it’s earnings season. To top it all off, stock traders face the market-roiling potential of a monthly options expiration estimated at more than $2 trillion. Roughly $495 billion in single-stock derivatives are set to expire Thursday, with another $980 billion of S&P 500-linked contracts and $170 billion in options tied to the State Street fund tracking the S&P 500 all running out as the holiday-shortened week ends, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Rocky Fishman. Such volumes have been a source of volatility in the past year.
/jlne.ws/37cvsb7

A Meme Stock Jumped After Announcing It’s Building Offices in the Metaverse
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
Here is sometime meme stock DatChat Inc., which describes itself as “a blockchain, cybersecurity, and social media company,” announcing that it plans to open offices in multiple metaverses.
From the statement: DatChat, Inc. (“DatChat” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: DATS), a metaverse advertising platform, and a communications and social media company that gives users the ability to communicate, share, and post with privacy and screen capture protection, today announced that it will be opening corporate headquarters and VenVuu demo centers in eight metaverses. DatChat also confirmed its 5,000 VenVuu Dynamic Content NFTs will go on sale Monday, May 9, 2022, after previously opening pre-sale registration on March 28…
/jlne.ws/3JJjFhz

Magic Mushrooms Are Giving Investors a Bad Trip; Companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund research into psychedelics, but they still need to demonstrate they have a viable business model.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
Convincing friends who were contemplating an expensive divorce to try psychedelic drug therapy may have been the most valuable financial advice that billionaire German investor Christian Angermayer ever gave, he told an audience of finance and tech peers recently. It won’t be long before politicians trip together to resolve their differences, he says.
/jlne.ws/3jBrATB

Four Financial Questions for Passover, and Easter; On recession, corporate credit spreads, China and emerging markets, and the oddity of sheltering in stocks during a time of war.
John Authers – Bloomberg
A Holy Juncture
Two of the great religious traditions are about to come together for a day. Friday is both Good Friday, when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, and the first night of Passover, when Jews commemorate their exodus from Egypt. It’s unusual for the two to fall on the same day, but they did originate on the same day. The Last Supper, after which Jesus was betrayed, was a Passover seder — the highly stylized meal that Jews eat to memorialize Moses and the escape from Pharaoh. It involves drinking wine and eating unleavened bread, which became the basis for Christians’ Holy Communion.
/jlne.ws/3M38Qbz

ECB Confirms Plan to End Bond Buys as Ukraine War Boosts Inflation; ECB officials are looking to contain inflation without derailing the economic recovery
Tom Fairless – WSJ
The European Central Bank confirmed plans to rapidly roll back the easy-money policies adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic as the war in Ukraine fuels an unprecedented surge in inflation. Major central banks including the Federal Reserve are laying plans for the most aggressive cycle of interest-rate increases in decades, with sweeping implications for global asset prices. Policy makers are eager to remove pandemic-era stimulus measures to regain control over inflation, which has surged to multidecade highs around the world.
/jlne.ws/3xok7iN

Elon Musk Is Sued for Delayed Disclosure of Twitter Stake; Lawsuit alleges billionaire saved $143 million by delaying the filing, while hurting shareholders who sold stock before his position was publicized
Allison Prang – WSJ
A Twitter Inc. shareholder sued Elon Musk, alleging the billionaire committed securities fraud by delaying the disclosure of his stake in the social-media company. In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, Marc Bain Rasella alleges that Mr. Musk didn’t properly disclose his Twitter stake within the required time frame. The suit alleges that the move personally benefited Mr. Musk and could have hurt other shareholders who sold the stock.
/jlne.ws/3EltSQb

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Wells Fargo Rolls Out New Racial Equity Initiative Amid Scrutiny
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg News
Wells Fargo & Co. announced a $210 million effort to expand racial equity in residential lending after a Bloomberg News investigation found the bank approved Black homeowners seeking to refinance mortgages in the pandemic at a far lower rate than White ones. The firm, the biggest mortgage lender among U.S. banks, is committing $150 million beyond its usual lending programs to help Black borrowers refinance mortgages, according to a statement Wednesday. It will also provide $60 million in grants to support homeowners of color in eight markets that have significant ownership gaps between White and minority families.
/jlne.ws/3EduzLi

BlackRock’s Fink predicts renewable ‘investment boom’ as Ukraine war accelerates energy transition; World’s largest money manager attracted $114bn from investors during first quarter
Harriet Agnew – FT
An “investment boom” is under way “at the intersection of infrastructure and sustainability” as the war in Ukraine forces countries to re-evaluate their energy dependencies and accelerate the shift to greener sources of energy, BlackRock’s chief executive Larry Fink has said.
/jlne.ws/3vkCNNO

Institutions

ARCM Hedge Fund Gains 19% After Move to Distressed Equities; Fund; shifted into distressed stocks in energy, base metals; Firm transformed close-ended fund into open-ended vehicle
Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Alp Ercil’s $3.5 billion Asia Research & Capital Management scored double-digit gains at its latest hedge fund last quarter, a year after pivoting toward distressed equities in base metals and energy amid the transition to cleaner fuels. ARCM’s fourth distressed asset fund returned an estimated 19% after fees in the three months ended March 31, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. An update sent to investors didn’t provide details on what drove the gain, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
/jlne.ws/3rqiU6O

Citigroup profit sinks 46% on loan loss provisions, dealmaking slump
David Henry and Manya Saini – Reuters
Citigroup Inc posted a 46% plunge in first-quarter profit on Thursday as it took hits from provisions for Russia-related losses, a slump in underwriting fees and higher expenses. Citi – the most global of the U.S. banks – added $1.9 billion to its reserves in the quarter to prepare for losses from direct exposures in Russia and the economic impact of the Ukraine war.
/jlne.ws/3O5d2tr

Citigroup’s Hong Kong Investment Bank Head Joining Jefferies, Sources Say
Vinicy Chan and Joyce Koh – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc.’s head of Hong Kong investment banking, Aaron Chandrasakaran, is leaving to join Jefferies Financial Group Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter. Chandrasakaran, a managing director with the U.S. firm for more than 12 years, will exit together with Philip Li, a director, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
/jlne.ws/3rn5uIv

Morgan Stanley profit falls on trading slowdown
Reuters
Morgan Stanley reported an 11% drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday as equity underwriting revenue slumped from last year’s highs, taking some shine off a near doubling in M&A advisory fees. The bank’s profit fell to $3.54 billion, or $2.02 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $3.98 billion, or $2.19 per share, a year earlier.
/jlne.ws/38Etwbx

JPMorgan boosts reserves for bad debt on rising recession odds
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg News
JPMorgan Chase & Co. added US$902 million to its reserves for bad debt, saying the odds of a recession were slightly higher because of rising inflation and the war in Ukraine. The increase, the bank’s first since the depths of the pandemic in 2020, included about US$300 million linked to Russia, Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Barnum said Wednesday on a conference call with analysts. The rest reflects recession concerns.
/jlne.ws/3rsQZTQ

Goldman Traders Trample Revenue Estimates on Fixed-Income Boom
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. traders soared past analysts’ estimates as war-induced volatility helped the firm score an earnings beat as well. Trading posted a surprise 4% revenue increase, crushing the 23% drop that was expected. The biggest lift came from the fixed-income business, which jumped 21%, Goldman said in a statement Thursday. A miss for the investment-banking operation tempered the positive trading results.
/jlne.ws/3JUGtex

Standard Chartered Slashes Its Singapore Office Space by Half; Biggest downsize by a bank in the city-state in recent years; Employees could have to reserve desks before coming to office
Joyce Koh and Faris Mokhtar – Bloomberg
Standard Chartered Plc plans to cut half of its existing office space in Singapore’s financial district, according to people familiar with the matter, in what is set to be the biggest floor reduction by a bank in the city-state in recent years. The London-based bank is giving up nine of the floors it leases at Marina Bay Financial Tower 1 in the business district, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Bloomberg previously reported the bank was considering slashing its office space by at least four floors.
/jlne.ws/38G2Vec

Barclays in BoE crosshairs over ‘gaming the rules’ with pension deals; Analysts say bank could take £1.25bn capital hit years earlier than planned, potentially affecting share buybacks
Stephen Morris – FT
Bank of England regulators have warned lenders about “gaming the rules” with capital arbitrage transactions via their pension schemes, a move largely directed at Barclays, which has used such deals to boost its capital level. On Wednesday, the Prudential Regulation Authority released a strongly-worded statement criticising the use of “deficit reduction transactions with their defined-benefit pension schemes that are structured to limit the regulatory capital impact”.
/jlne.ws/3ObFB8E

Market turmoil splits hedge funds into macro winners and tech losers; War and rising inflation widen the gap between best and worst performers
Brooke Masters, Eric Platt and Joe Rennison and Laurence Fletcher – FT
Market turmoil driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation has sharply divided the hedge fund industry, with macro hedge funds celebrating one of their best-ever starts to a year while technology and growth funds rack up double-digit losses.
/jlne.ws/3xugXKm

Wellness Exchange

China was the world’s biggest Covid-19 vaccine exporter. Not any more
South China Morning Post
Six months ago, China was the biggest exporter of Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries. That was partly down to its huge production capacity, but also because other major vaccine manufacturing countries were less focused on exports. Most of the Chinese vaccines were supplied through bilateral commercial deals and priority was given to Asia, where Beijing wants to expand its soft power. But China also ramped up donations from late last year – either through bilateral arrangements or the World Health Organization-backed Covax Facility – as the United States too began to donate more doses after its domestic needs were met.
/jlne.ws/3M7QpCz

IMF Deputy Says World Needs to Prepare for Covid Downsides
Ana Monteiro – Bloomberg
The world needs to be preparing for downside scenarios relating to Covid-19, the deputy chief of the International Monetary Fund said, calling for billions of dollars in grants to bolster pandemic preparedness. “What I’m worried about is that everybody’s hoping for the best-case scenario, which is that this is a mild, endemic virus — but what the experts tell us is that we could have much worse downside scenarios, and we need to prepare for that and that’s the part where I think more needs to be done,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said in an interview with Lisa Abramowicz and Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television Thursday.
/jlne.ws/3EdrdIc

Xi Says China Must Stick to Covid Zero Even as Costs Mount; Nation can’t afford to ease up on ‘control work,’ leader says; Measures have caused public outrage, hurt China’s economy
Bloomberg News
Chinese President Xi Jinping says his government will stick to its zero-tolerance approach to Covid even as public anger simmers in Shanghai and economic costs mount. “Prevention and control work cannot be relaxed,” Xi said during a trip to the island province of Hainan, the official Xinhua News Agency reported late Wednesday, the same day the financial hub saw a record 27,719 new cases. Officials implementing Covid Zero need to adhere to the principle of “people first and life first,” Xi said. “Persistence is victory,” he added.
/jlne.ws/37bMFS5

Locked-Down Shanghai Residents Barter for What Money Can’t Buy; Locals barter for food and supplies amid widespread shortages; Shanghai’s sweeping limits on movement entering a third week
Bloomberg News
For many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents, the city’s strict Covid lockdown has made procuring food and daily necessities a struggle money can’t resolve. They’re resorting instead to bartering, trading neighbors ice cream for vegetables or wine for cake. The availability of many goods in Shanghai has been strained by clogged logistics into the city and the lack of couriers to deliver supplies to locals barred from leaving their homes. The city’s sweeping restrictions on movement, aimed at stymieing the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, are now entering their third week.
/jlne.ws/3vkyeDa

China escalates zero-Covid propaganda effort as experts warn of economic damage; Healthcare official says Beijing’s coronavirus prevention policy is ‘not viable’
Eleanor Olcott and Sun Yu – FT
China has intensified propaganda efforts to drum up support for its “dynamic zero-Covid” policy just as experts and companies warn of the heavy economic blow from extended lockdowns. On Thursday, China’s official Xinhua news agency published an article warning that the country’s medical system risked “breaking down” in the event of a mass Covid outbreak. It echoed President Xi Jinping’s comments a day earlier, calling for citizens to “overcome complacency” in “response to the virus’s mutation”.
/jlne.ws/3EduI1c

Regions

Expats Looking for a Move to Singapore Face Rising Costs; The Marina Bays Sands promenade in Singapore.
Kevin Varley and Ailing Tan – Bloomberg
As some expats in Asia increasingly look to Singapore as a financial center destination – due in part to Hong Kong’s ongoing Covid restrictions – costs are rising in the tropical city-state. Though moving down one notch to second place in a global ranking of the world’s most expensive cities last year, Singapore remained the most expensive hub in Asia, with Hong Kong placed fifth globally and Dubai seventy-fourth.
/jlne.ws/3EdoSNn

Russia relies on ‘payment theatre’ as bondholders prepare for default; Moscow says it will sue if western powers force non-payment but legal experts dismiss the effectiveness of such a move
Tommy Stubbington and Polina Ivanova – FT
Russia has vowed to sue if sanctions force it to default on its bonds but academics and lawyers have dismissed the threat as “payment theatre” designed to project the state’s financial strength. Over the weekend, finance minister Anton Siluanov said western sanctions were an attempt to “artificially create a man-made default” — Moscow’s first since 1998. Siluanov, who has already sought to flip some dollar repayments in to roubles, did not say who the government might sue or in which country.
/jlne.ws/3rszinb

Russia Oil Sanctions Don’t Have to Be a Blunt Instrument; The approach used on Iran a decade ago could punish Moscow without risking the global economy.
Meghan L. O’Sullivan – Bloomberg
Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, recently called payments for Russian energy “blood money,” underscoring the increasingly untenable moral position of the West. Leading global democracies express outrage over the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine but provide Moscow with hundreds of billions of dollars it can put toward its military efforts.
/jlne.ws/3vb3Db2

As demand for plant protein increases, ADM expands capacity; The Chicago-based food processor is spending $300 million to expand its alternative meat production capabilities.
Ally Marotti – Crain’s Chicago Business
ADM is spending $300 million to expand its alternative protein production capabilities in Decatur, responding to increasing demand as consumers around the world increasingly look for options beyond meat. The project is expected to be completed by 2025, according to a news release from ADM. Once complete, it will almost double the Decatur facility’s soy protein extrusion capacity by adding new technologies and processes.
/jlne.ws/3JHSh3k

Bank of Canada delivers jumbo rate hike with more to come
Erik Hertzberg – Bloomberg News
The Bank of Canada raised its policy interest rate by half a percentage point in its biggest hike in 22 years, and said rates are poised to move significantly higher as it aggressively wrestles inflation down from a three-decade high. Policymakers led by Governor Tiff Macklem increased the central bank’s overnight benchmark to 1 per cent on Wednesday. Macklem said he expects rates will return to what they consider the “neutral range” of 2 per cent and 3 per cent, with policy makers prepared to move “forcefully” if needed.
/jlne.ws/3JHtlZO

‘Our lobsters are gold plated now’: Atlantic Canada lobster exports, prices soar
Brett Bundale – The Canadian Press
For many, summer in the Maritimes would not be complete without fresh lobster. But locals and tourists alike could have to shell out more for the crustaceans as prices reach historic highs. “Our lobsters are gold-plated now. Prices have been the highest in commercial history,” says Stewart Lamont, managing director of Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd, a live lobster exporter on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore. When the pandemic hit, export and restaurant industry demand plummeted. The shore price of lobster — the amount fishers get at the wharf from buyers — sunk as low as $4 dollars a pound. “There was an initial glut of lobsters on the market at the start of the lockdown but then it spun back the other way,” says Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. Sales of live and processed lobster rebounded following the first wave of COVID-19. Prices started to go up with demand and have continued climbing since. Canadian lobster exports reached a staggering $3.26 billion last year, beating the previous record of $2.59 billion, set in 2019, by more than 25 per cent.
/jlne.ws/3uE4Us7

Manhattan Apartment Rents Hit Another Record in Frenzied Market; Median of $3,644 is highest in three decades of data-keeping; Almost a fifth of March’s new leases signed above asking price
Jennifer Epstein – Bloomberg
Manhattan apartment rents hit a record high for a second straight month as the city roars back from the depths of the pandemic. Tenants paid a median of $3,644 on new leases signed in March, the most in three decades of data-keeping by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Rents jumped 23% from a year earlier and are up $14 from the previous record, set in February.
/jlne.ws/3vfmyla

Miscellaneous

Quartz drops paywall in search for profitable model; Co-founder Zach Seward says site will focus on ‘right kind of subscription’ as it tries to build traffic and influence
Anna Nicolaou – FT
Quartz is dropping the paywall it introduced just three years ago in the latest example of digital media companies searching for a profitable business model. Quartz had allowed people to view a limited number of articles before requiring payment to keep reading. However, “it was very clear to us that the [paywall] . . . was limiting Quartz’s influence, and that definitely is related to traffic”, said Zach Seward, chief executive and co-founder.
/jlne.ws/3jFKJDY

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The Spread

Bears Picked Right Stocks to Short With Declines Twice the S&P’s

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First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Today we have two videos from my coverage of FIA's IDX in London, which I conducted in the Eurex branded lounge area outside The Brewery's doors. The first is with FIA Europe Head Bruce Savage, whom I literally...

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