CME cashes in on interest-rate uncertainty as annual revenues hit $5.6bn

Feb 14, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at JLN. It is a good day to love your neighbor as yourself, and everyone else too.

As promised, we have our first video from the Open Outcry Traders History Project series Robert Lothian shot in Singapore, this one with Marcus Goi, the CEO of Orient Futures International.

The Washington Post reports the CDC is set to update its guidelines, signaling a positive shift in the management of COVID-19. Individuals testing positive for the virus will no longer be required to isolate for five days, aligning with strategies to prevent the spread of flu and RSV. This adjustment marks a significant change since 2021 and reflects a more nuanced approach to pandemic management.

Barchart announced strategic updates to its executive leadership team, appointing Mike Ehrenberg as chief technology officer, Chris Harrison as chief product officer, Colleen Sheeren as chief marketing officer, and Andrew Ward as head of commodity sales.

The latest episode of Office Hours with Gary Gensler is titled “AI, Investors, Issuers, & the Markets.”

After the Watergate crisis brought down President Richard Nixon, it seemed like every new political scandal had the word “gate” at the end of it. Add “washing” to the list of terms being used to describe firms hyping up something, as in “greenwashing” in ESG. Now we have “AI-washing,” according to a CNN story titled “Beware misleading AI hype and ‘AI-washing,’ SEC chair warns.”

In January, LME Steel Scrap CFR Turkey (Platts) experienced record-breaking volumes, with a total of 1,112,040 tonnes traded. This surpassed the previous record of 1,086,710 tonnes set in February 2023, LME reported on LinkedIn.

Robert Grum announced on LinkedIn that his boutique brokerage operation on the Cboe, which launched during the COVID pandemic, has successfully completed its third year in operation. Alongside partners Adrian Velazquez and Joe Landy, SRT emerged as the top open outcry broker in SPY and QQQ for 2023, handling more than 25% of SPY open open outcry volume and over 35% of QQQ open outcry volume on the Cboe. While the SRT SPX group manages SPX, the group also covers all other Cboe pits, including ETFs, equities, and other index products such as RUT and VIX. In total, SRT executed over 25 million contracts in 2023 and anticipates further growth in 2024.

CloudQuant has published a new white paper titled “Outperforming The Market with Measures of Deceptive and Truthful Language in Regulatory Filings” that reveals how deception & truth’s (D&T) core and MD&A datasets can significantly forecast excess returns across various holding periods. The white paper requires submission of contact information to receive it.

Here is some data on anecdotal stories I have heard over my career about women being better traders than men. According to a Bloomberg story citing Euroclear data, “Swedish women saw their domestic stock portfolios outperform those of men by almost 50% last year.” However, Euroclear did say men have tended to outperform since it started tracking data in 2016, but as more women started trading stocks the numbers have shifted. I guess this is just more anecdotal evidence.

CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson will deliver the keynote address at the New York City Bar Emerging Technologies Symposium on Friday, February 23, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. (EST).

The House of Representatives seat that George Santos held before he resigned was won in a special election by Democrat Tom Suozzi, who beat Mazi Pilip, Bloomberg reports. Pilip had beaten STA’s Jim Toes, who was running for the seat.

Farmers in India are amassing 25,000 tractors for a march on Delhi in a protest to demand guaranteed crop prices and loan waivers to east cost pressures, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the number of farms is shrinking as growers are getting older and producing crops gets more expensive. The number of farms in the U.S. has dropped 6.9% from five years ago and is the lowest since 1992, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture released on Tuesday. The total acreage used in farms dropped about 2.2%, Bloomberg reported.

Adrienne Muir shared on LinkedIn that she is starting a new position as chief executive officer at Avenir. Muir is a former chair and board member of Women In Listed Derivatives

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

*****

A study published on Nature.com, titled “Globally Representative Evidence on the Actual and Perceived Support for Climate Action” by Peter Andre, Teodora Boneva, Felix Chopra, and Armin Falk, interviewed nearly 130,000 individuals across 125 countries. The findings reveal widespread backing for climate action. Notably, 69% of the global population is willing to allocate 1% of their personal income, 86% endorse pro-climate social norms, and 89% demand intensified political action. In addition, countries facing heightened vulnerability to climate change exhibit notably high levels of willingness to contribute. View the study here. ~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Retail Traders Are Losing Billions in India’s Booming Options Market from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance.
Trading OTM in 0 DTE from tastylive.
Bitcoin Options Show Traders Setting Sights on New Record High from Bloomberg. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).

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From Open Outcry to Electronic Evolution: Insights From Marcus Goi, CEO of Orient Futures International
JohnLothianNews.com

In an Open Outcry Traders History Project interview conducted in Singapore during the FIA ASIA week, Marcus Goi, managing director and CEO of Orient Futures International, shared his career journey and insights into the evolution of electronic trading. The interview took place at SGX’s offices, with Robert Lothian from John Lothian News conducting the interview.

Watch the video »

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A ‘Clerical Error’ in Lyft Outlook Triggered 67% Stock Jump
Antonia Mufarech – Bloomberg
It was, without a doubt, a strong earnings report. Lyft Inc. projected adjusted earnings as much as 11% higher than analysts’ estimates, and reported bookings ahead of expectations. And then there was the outlook for profitability: Margins, the ride-hailing provider said in an initial press release Tuesday, were set to expand this year by an eye-watering 500 basis points. Shares surged, jumping 67% in after-hours trading.
/jlne.ws/3UGs4LR

***** I hate tpyos.~JJL

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Disneyland’s Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy want to join a union
Chris Isidore – CNN
Disneyland employees who perform as various Disney characters at the theme park are seeking to join the Actor’s Equity Association, which represents everything from actors on Broadway to strippers in Los Angeles. The union is seeking to represent the 1,700 Disneyland employees in the characters and parades departments at the park. It said after three days of collecting cards signed by employees, it already has more than the 30% support needed to file for a representation vote with the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees such elections. But it said it is waiting until it has the support of at least 60% before filing for such a vote or seeking voluntary recognition of the union by Disney.
/jlne.ws/3whz7Ar

****** Who would want to join a Mickey Mouse Union?~JJL

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How Financial Engineering Can Help Europe Go Green; The EU wants to provide renewable-energy producers and electricity consumers with a hedge against volatile prices. It’s a good idea, if properly designed.
The Editorial Board – Bloomberg
The European Union is betting that a bit of financial engineering can help attract trillions in much-needed green investment while shielding consumers from the kind of price surges that slammed the region after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s a great idea, with only one problem: The financial derivative in question, as currently designed, will misdirect those investments and make prices even more volatile than they already are.
/jlne.ws/4bz0E0l

****** The word of the day is “Disequilibrium.” ~JJL

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The Small University Endowment That Is Beating the Ivy League; Baylor jumps on big market moves to boost returns
Juliet Chung – The Wall Street Journal
Baylor University has traded its way to the top of the university endowment performance rankings. Many universities allocate their money among different assets and adjust periodically. Baylor, led by a former trader, seizes on market moves frequently to boost or cut exposure to its managers. “The only thing I’m doing is what the market tells me to do: If the market goes up, we take some money back. If the market goes down, we give it money,” said investment chief David Morehead. “It is finance 101.”
/jlne.ws/3SVmHqK

***** The Baylor Bears sticking it to the Wall Street Bulls.~JJL

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Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Watch Out, There’s a New Short Volatility ‘Gone Too Far’ Trade In Town, from Bloomberg. Second, also from Bloomberg, was Retail Traders Are Losing Billions in India’s Booming Options Market. Third was the 2024 edition of Modern Luxury’s Datebook Atlanta, which features former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler

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Lead Stories

CME cashes in on interest-rate uncertainty as annual revenues hit $5.6bn
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
CME, the world’s biggest derivatives exchange, reported record results on Wednesday, boosted by heightened uncertainty around the direction of global interest rates. Traders use CME’s interest rate products to hedge market risks as they navigate the direction of monetary policy. Revenues at the Chicago-based exchange group hit $5.6bn in 2023, up 11 per cent compared with the year before. Its net income hit $3.2bn, a 20 per cent rise versus 2022.
/jlne.ws/3SBLHSF

EU scales back ambitions for post-Brexit clearing land grab; Opposition from banks and asset managers and Franco-German tensions seen as undermining early plans
Nikou Asgari in London and Paola Tamma – Financial Times
EU plans to funnel derivatives trades through its own markets are unlikely to wrest a significant slice of the lucrative clearing business away from the City of London after a climbdown by the bloc’s lawmakers, according to analysts and people involved in the negotiations.
/jlne.ws/3OIfS9J

Lessons from last autumn’s CCP ‘fire drill’; Standarise this!
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Last November, global regulators and clearing houses war-gamed the collapse of a major financial institution to see how they and their members would manage the default. This is a classic “dull but v v v v important” issue that rarely gets the attention it should, because a lot of people understandably lose the will to live as soon as you start talking about financial plumbing.
/jlne.ws/3OKS594

SEC’s Gensler Warns Public Companies Against Overblown AI Claims
Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
Publicly traded companies need to avoid “AI washing” when talking to investors about their use of the technology, according to the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC Chair Gary Gensler said Tuesday that companies must clarify for investors what they mean when referring to artificial intelligence. Corporations need to be specific about how they’re using it, risks to operations, and decide if executives’ comments regarding the technology must be disclosed to investors.
/jlne.ws/4bzmVv8

SEC’s Gensler Bracing for Lawsuits Over Climate Rule; Gensler said legal challenges are part of the democratic process but added that the agency is focused on ‘sustainable rulemaking’
Richard Vanderford – The Wall Street Journal
Securities and Exchange Commission head Gary Gensler said possible lawsuits challenging the agency’s proposed climate disclosure rule would be “part of our democracy,” but added that the SEC is working to craft a rule that holds up to judicial scrutiny. The SEC has yet to release a final version of climate regulations first proposed nearly two years ago. But the wide-ranging proposal-which would require companies to report on climate-related risks and carbon emissions-has been criticized even from within the agency and is expected to face legal challenges. Gensler, who spoke at Yale Law School on Tuesday, suggested that the agency’s being forced to defend the rule in court is part of the process.
/jlne.ws/49y9mdE

Exponential Markets Raises Strategic Investment From Citi
Amit Chowdhry – Pulse2.com
Today fintech company Exponential Markets (formerly branded Exponential Exchange) announced a strategic investment from Citi to develop and launch innovative risk mitigation tools. Citi invested in Exponential’s most recent seed round, led by MaC Venture Capital, and included support from Autotech Ventures and Avanta Ventures. This funding round raised the total amount to over $10 million.
/jlne.ws/3I0b8bO

FIA Gives Remarks on Bank Capital Proposals at CFTC Meeting; Wide range of end-users and financial market utilities voice concerns
FIA
On 13 February, FIA will provide remarks to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee highlighting the impact that pending US bank capital proposals will have on the cleared derivatives markets. Jackie Mesa, FIA’s Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President of Global Policy, will emphasize that the pending US bank capital proposals will significantly increase the capital requirements for banks that offer client clearing services to customers, including energy, agriculture, and other end-user firms that seek to manage commercial risk.
/jlne.ws/3wjZxSk

Number of Farms in America Is Shrinking as Producers Get Older
Ilena Peng and Gerson Freitas Jr. – Bloomberg
The number of farms in America is shrinking as growers get older and producing crops gets a lot more expensive. The US had 1.9 million farms in 2022, a 6.9% drop from five years ago and the lowest since at least 1992, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture released on Tuesday. The total acreage used in farms dropped about 2.2%.
/jlne.ws/3SCx1mo

Beware misleading AI hype and ‘AI-washing,’ SEC chair warns
Brian Fung – Bloomberg
A public feeding frenzy over artificial intelligence may encourage some companies to make hyped-up claims about their use of AI or what the technology can deliver – but they do so at their own peril, according to the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Publicly traded companies that misleadingly or untruthfully promote their use of artificial intelligence risk engaging in “AI-washing” that can harm investors and run afoul of US securities law, said SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a speech on Tuesday.
/jlne.ws/4bBXPeW

StoneX Expands Crypto-Trading Team With Former Cowen Staff
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
StoneX Group Inc. is expanding its digital-assets team and building out services in crypto trading, lending and research in a sign of renewed Wall Street interest in crypto markets. The broker-dealer hired five staffers from Cowen Digital after Toronto-Dominion Bank shut down Cowen Inc.’s digital-asset unit following its acquisition of the boutique investment bank last year. Eric Rose, former managing director at Cowen Digital, joined StoneX in October as head of digital-asset execution. Four other employees from Cowen Digital – Keith Coyne, David Kroger, Kyrill Firshein and Nolan Aibel – are now also working at the New York-based firm.
/jlne.ws/3SWnTtU

Chicago bond trader convicted for wrong-way bets that collapsed firm
Steve Stroth – Bloomberg via Crain’s Chicago Business
A Chicago bond trader was convicted of fraud over unauthorized wrong-way Treasury bets that led to $30 million in losses and bankrupted broker dealer IFS Securities Inc. A jury convicted Keith Wakefield, 50, of securities and wire fraud, US prosecutors said in a statement Thursday. Wakefield, who was head of fixed-income trading at IFS Securities, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. No sentencing date has been set.
/jlne.ws/49bR2qY

Trio Arrested as UK Probes Gang Links to Insider Trading; FCA says it conducted a ‘major operation’ alongside police; Digital devices were also seized from London residences
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
UK finance investigators arrested three London-based individuals on suspicion of insider dealing and money laundering, ramping up investigations into possible links to organized crime. The Financial Conduct Authority said Wednesday it conducted a “major operation” alongside police over two days in February and interviewed four suspects, one of whom wasn’t arrested. The regulator said digital devices were seized from London residences.
/jlne.ws/3I02ZnG

Crypto startup Cube Group expands in Fulton Market ahead of a hiring spree
Rachel Herzog – Crain’s Chicago Business
Chicago crypto startup Cube Group is expanding its real estate footprint in Fulton Market as the company reaches a valuation of $100 million and plans to more than triple its staff.
/jlne.ws/48fycha

How to do climate policy in the age of the green backlash; Too many activists fret about a lack of ‘political will’, as if such a force can be magically bottled
Pilita Clark – Financial Times (opinion)
How many people do you think would be willing to give away 1 per cent of their household income every month to fight global warming? Here’s a clue: it’s not 20 per cent or 40 per cent of the global population. It’s 69 per cent according to a striking study by four European economists that came out last week. I say “striking” because this analysis of 130,000 people in 125 countries also shows most have no clue the figure is as high as 69 per cent. On average, they think it’s 43 per cent. What’s more, they believe this even though 89 per cent of them wish governments would do more to tackle global warming.
/jlne.ws/3whwxuf

*****Here is this story from the Daily Mail.

BlackRock’s ESG Fund Business Is Soaring Despite Attacks by the GOP; Index funds, European flows help BlackRock build ESG footprint; Industrywide, ESG funds just suffered their worst flows ever
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Despite a barrage of Republican attacks, lackluster returns and diminishing client interest in the US, BlackRock Inc. has been quietly expanding its dominance in ESG investing. The world’s largest asset manager has posted net ESG inflows every quarter for the past two years, a period that marks one of the toughest ever in the two-decade history of environmental, social and governance investing.
/jlne.ws/3UFyDhx

Explainer: How climate change affects Europe’s farmers
Kate Abnett – Reuters
Farmers protesting across Europe have taken aim at EU environmental rules, which they say are adding to a pile of burdens on the sector, from low consumer prices to cheap food imports. At the same time, agriculture is one of the sectors worst-affected by climate change. Europe’s farmers are already suffering under increasing heat, drought and flooding – the same impacts some green policies are attempting to prevent.
/jlne.ws/3SXhKxL

India’s Angry Farmers Mass 25,000 Tractors in March on Delhi; Protesters demand guaranteed crop prices and debt forgiveness; Police have set up barbed wire and barriers to halt advance
Pratik Parija and Swati Gupta – Bloomberg
India’s farmers have amassed a protest fleet of 25,000 tractors and more are expected to join as growers march on the nation’s capital, demanding guaranteed crop prices and loan waivers to ease cost pressures. Farmers mainly from Punjab and Haryana are seeking to congregate at an 18th-century observatory called Jantar Mantar in Delhi – a traditional protest point – but police have set up metal barriers and barbed wire to halt their advance. Footage has also showed the use of teargas to disperse people.
/jlne.ws/49A855D

BNP Paribas Exane Grows Global Team with Five Senior US Analyst Appointments
Business Wire
BNP Paribas Exane, a leading provider of equity research and a unit of Europe’s leading bank BNP Paribas, today announces the appointment of five senior research analysts to its award-winning US analyst team, further aligning the bank’s global strategy and growth plans:
/jlne.ws/3HVKQHA

Ukraine Invasion

Russia will invade Baltics if it receives Ukrainian land, says ex-Georgia president
Timothy Sigsworth – The Telegraph
Vladimir Putin will strike Moldova and the Baltic States if he is given Ukrainian land in exchange for peace, Georgia’s imprisoned former president has warned. Mikheil Saakashvili, who led Georgia when it was invaded by Russia in 2008, told The Telegraph that the Russian president will not cease his expansionist ambitions if peace in Ukraine is bought with territorial concessions.
/jlne.ws/3SGbkBD

Ukraine Says Its Drones Hit Russian Warship in Black Sea; Ukrainian intelligence unit destroys vessel in drone attack; Kyiv has intensified attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
Kateryna Chursina and Aliaksandr Kudrytski – Bloomberg
Ukraine’s military said it destroyed a Russian warship off the south coast of Crimea, the latest in a string of operations targeting Kremlin navy vessels in the Black Sea. Ukrainian military intelligence said a special unit sank the Caesar Kunikov, a Russian large landing ship off Alupka in occupied Crimea, according to a video published by Ukraine’s military intelligence on the X social media platform. Naval drones were used in the attack, it said.
/jlne.ws/3whHD2u

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israel Is Hit by Missile Barrage as Lebanon Attacks Escalate
Gwen Ackerman – Bloomberg
Northern Israel came under rocket fire from Lebanon in what appears to be an escalation of attacks from Hezbollah territory, prompting Israeli fighter jets to begin extensive strikes in Lebanon in response. One woman was killed in the Wednesday assault, Israeli media reported, while emergency services said seven were wounded. While no group has claimed responsibility for the bombardment, the missiles came from an area largely controlled by Iran-backed Islamist militant group Hezbollah.
/jlne.ws/42BVixn

Israeli military starts evacuation of Gaza’s last big hospital; Thousands of people have taken refuge at Nasser medical facility, alongside hundreds of patients and staff
Mehul Srivastava – Financial Times
The Israeli military has ordered thousands of people taking refuge in Gaza’s last big medical facility to leave after weeks of fighting around Nasser hospital brought Israeli troops to its gates. Hundreds of displaced Palestinians on Wednesday began leaving the hospital at the southern edge of Khan Younis, carrying their few belongings. The Israel Defense Forces said the evacuation order did not apply to patients or staff.
/jlne.ws/48jnwOL

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group Inc. Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2023 Financial Results
CME Group
Strongest Year in Company History with Interest Rate Products Driving Record Annual Average Daily Volume and Revenue. CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023. The company reported revenue of $1.4 billion and operating income of $863 million for the fourth quarter of 2023. Net income was $815 million and diluted earnings per common share were $2.24. On an adjusted basis, net income was $865 million and diluted earnings per common share were $2.37. Financial results presented on an adjusted basis for the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2022 exclude certain items, which are detailed in the reconciliation of non-GAAP results.
/jlne.ws/49dfmsx

NSE wins ‘2024 Best of the Best Awards’ by Asia Asset Management for Best Infrastructure Platform in Asia
National Stock Exchange of India
NSE, India’s leading stock exchange, was recognized as the Best Infrastructure Platform in Asia in ‘2024 Best of the Best Awards’ by Asia Asset Management – an Asia-Pacific trade publication catering to asset managers, pension funds and institutional investors. ‘Best of the Best Awards’ is an annual awards programme by Asia Asset Management that gives recognition to financial institutions and pension funds for outstanding achievements over the past calendar year. NSE won in their regional award category.
/jlne.ws/3uIZ7Ei

SGX Group reports market statistics for January 2024
SGX Group
Derivatives volume grows across multiple asset classes; Singapore’s first active ETF listed. Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) today released its market statistics for January 2024. Global investors continued to lean on SGX Group’s trusted platform to manage risk amid waning expectations that central banks would soon cut interest rates, alongside mixed views over the pace of growth in key Asian economies. Derivatives traded volume rose 27% year-on-year (y-o-y) in January to 24.6 million contracts, the highest since March 2022, with strong increases across equities, foreign exchange (FX) and commodities. Derivatives daily average volume (DDAV) climbed 9% month-to-month (m-o-m) to 1.1 million contracts, extending gains made in 2023.
/jlne.ws/3SES5sf

Abaxx Announces Signing of Agreements for Strategic Financing in Abaxx Singapore
Abaxx
Abaxx Technologies Inc. (NEO:ABXX) (OTCQX:ABXXF) (“Abaxx Tech” or the “Company”), a financial software and market infrastructure company and majority shareholder of Abaxx Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“Abaxx Singapore”), the owner of Abaxx Commodity Exchange and Clearinghouse (individually, “Abaxx Exchange” and “Abaxx Clearing”), and producer of the SmarterMarkets Podcast, is pleased to announce that Abaxx Singapore has, as part of a best efforts equity private placement of preferred shares (the “Preferred Shares”) and Ordinary Shares (the “Ordinary Shares”) of Abaxx Singapore (the “Offering”), signed definitive investment agreements with a group of strategic corporate investors to participate in an Offering of 953,787 Preferred Shares and 4,837,392 Ordinary Shares for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately US$27,323,013.
/jlne.ws/3TLCaug

JSE launches the 51st Investment Challenge and fourth Virtual Trading Game in March 2024
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Registrations for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)’s investor education programmes are open with the competitions officially kicking off on 11 March 2024. The 2024 Investment Challenge heads into its 51st year with the continued goal of fostering financial literacy among South Africa’s high school learners and university students. Returning for the fourth time this year, the Virtual Trading Game will be giving South African citizens and aspiring investors real-life investing and trading skills.
/jlne.ws/48gvp7x

KGI Securities will offer its clients access to Abaxx Exchange’s physically deliverable commodities contracts to facilitate their energy transition needs
Abaxx
KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (“KGI Securities”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of KGI Securities Co. Ltd. and China Development Financial Holding Corporation (TPE: 2883) and Abaxx Technologies Inc. (NEO:ABXX)(OTCQX:ABXXF) (“Abaxx”), today announced that KGI Securities has become an approved clearing and trading member of Abaxx’s majority-owned Singapore-based exchange (“Abaxx Exchange”) and clearinghouse (“Abaxx Clearing”), facilitating centrally cleared, physically-deliverable futures contracts, and licensed as a Recognised Market Operator (“RMO”) and Approved Clearing House (“ACH”) with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”).
/jlne.ws/3SwMjsI

Opportunities in local and global volatility markets
Eurex
Since 2020, market participants have had to deal with a complex volatility landscape. To make sense of how market conditions might evolve in 2024, and how investors can position effectively for this, Eurex spoke to Davide Silvestrini, Managing Director, Head of EMEA Equity Derivatives Strategy at JP Morgan. Looking ahead to 2024, how do market conditions compare to last year and what is your outlook for volatility in the year to come?
/jlne.ws/3SIjfi3

Intercontinental Exchange Chief Financial Officer Warren Gardiner to Present at the Bank of America Financial Services Conference on February 21
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, announced today that Warren Gardiner, ICE’s Chief Financial Officer, will present at the Bank of America Financial Services Conference. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 21 at 12:50 p.m. ET. The presentation will be available live and in replay via webcast and can be accessed in the investor relations and media section of ICE’s website. https://jlne.ws/3IjNVBz

Client And Order Identifiers – Short Code Scenarios And File Specifications For Reporting
Bourse de Montreal
On December 7, 2023 the Regulatory Division (the “Division”) of Bourse de Montreal Inc. (the “Bourse”) published Circular 144-23 to self-certify amendments to the rules of the Bourse regarding client and order identifiers (the “Client and Order Identifiers requirements”). These requirements will become effective on June 28, 2024, after market close, and the Division expects compliance with these requirements by no later than October 1st, 2024.
/jlne.ws/3OIfqIz

On the temporary suspension of trading on the Moscow Exchange stock market
MOEX
On February 14, 2024, there was a temporary suspension of trading on the Moscow Exchange stock market from 10:36 Moscow time. The suspension of trading was caused by a configuration error in the main server of the stock market trading and clearing system, which was switched to as part of eliminating an emergency situation on February 13, 2024. Trading on the stock market resumed at 11:35.
/jlne.ws/3SBM7bH

Goldman Sachs boosts settlement efficiency with DTCC’s CTM workflow; Goldman Sachs has achieved more than 99% same day affirmation rates and improved settlement rates for transactions utilising DTCC’s Match to Instruct workflow.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Goldman Sachs has achieved improvements in enhancing trade settlement efficiency through the use of Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC)’s Central Trade Matching (CTM)’s Match to Instruct (M2i) workflow. DTCC said that Goldman Sachs has streamlined its post-trade processes, resulting in a reduction in same-day affirmation (SDA) exceptions and settlement fails in Q4 2023 alone.
/jlne.ws/3I1gx22

JSE SA Trade Connect 2024: ‘Fragmentation is only great when it’s suitable and there is activity’; Panellists explore the benefits associated with fragmentation, the need to be venue agnostic and the challenges associated with operating within an emerging market landscape.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
In a panel at the JSE SA Trade Connect 2024 conference in Cape Town, South Africa, panellists explored the ways in which fragmentation is impacting the trading of dual listed equities in the South African market. The dominant exchange within South Africa is the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which historically focused on equities but has now grown to cover equities, equity derivatives, foreign exchange, bonds and ETFs.
/jlne.ws/49geCCH

LSEG FX To Integrate Tradefeedr’s Fx Trading Analytics Into FXAll And LSEG Workspace
Rick Steves – Finance Feeds
“As our Open APIs gain market traction, they are becoming the new standard for trading analysis, decision support and buy-side to sell-side collaboration. This partnership will enable us to bring new clients and Liquidity Providers to the Tradefeedr network, which will drive the interoperability of data and standards, enhance market transparency, and further improve FX analytics for the benefit of all participants.”
/jlne.ws/4bGdUjN

Fintech

Barchart Announces Strategic Updates to Its Executive Leadership Team
Barchart
Barchart, a leading provider of market data and technology solutions to the global financial, media, and commodity industries, is pleased to introduce key updates and promotions to its executive leadership team. This includes naming Mike Ehrenberg as Chief Technology Officer, Chris Harrison as Chief Product Officer, Colleen Sheeren as Chief Marketing Officer and Andrew Ward as Head of Commodity Sales.
/jlne.ws/3OE3qrt

Ventriks Expands Data Marketplace Offering by Adding Global Data Leader EDI
Ventriks
Ventriks, a provider of cloud data technology, is pleased to announce a partnership with Exchange Data International (EDI), a leading provider of high-quality securities reference data, corporate actions, end-of-day pricing, and economic data. This partnership will empower Ventriks’ data marketplace by integrating EDI’s high-quality financial data, fostering enhanced analytics and expanding the financial information available to Ventriks’ clients.
/jlne.ws/3I0lOam

SoftBank’s Vision Fund Goes From Shock-And-Awe to ‘Sensitive’ Investing; Once known for bestowing ten-figure valuations, the firm is now embracing a more modest approach
Mark Bergen and Aggi Cantrill – Bloomberg
In January, the Spanish startup TravelPerk closed a funding round suited to today’s austere times. It raised less than it did two years prior, landing on only a slightly higher valuation of $1.4 billion. The surprising part was that TravelPerk’s lead backer was SoftBank, a Japanese investor whose Vision Fund was famous for giving startups outrageous price tags until it racked up immense losses in an investing spree under founder Masayoshi Son. Then, SoftBank went quiet. A year later, the Vision Fund is back writing checks, but it’s steering clear of the high-flying startups it was once known for championing, like WeWork and failed pizza delivery enterprise Zume.
/jlne.ws/3wfv9IL

OpenAI Gives ChatGPT the Ability to Remember Facts From Your Chats; A limited rollout will allow the chatbot to recall some details about users indefinitely.
Rachel Metz – Bloomberg
The next time you tell ChatGPT that you’re allergic to avocados or prefer all meeting notes to be formatted in bullet points, the chatbot might be able to remember those details indefinitely. OpenAI is testing an option for users to ask the popular chatbot to retain specific information from one exchange to the next, the artificial intelligence startup said in a blog post Tuesday. ChatGPT will also be able to automatically determine which tidbits from a user’s conversations should be remembered.
/jlne.ws/48gu6p9

Satellite will launch with AI tech to scan globe for methane leaks; Google signs on to Environmental Defense Fund project to track oil and gas infrastructure
Jamie Smyth and Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
A new satellite mission to track planet-warming emissions of methane gas is finally set to launch, now aided with artificial intelligence technology to help build a global map of oil and gas infrastructure and surveil it for leaks. The MethaneSAT satellite was announced by the Environmental Defense Fund six years ago as a way to monitor releases of methane, an invisible gas that researchers estimate is responsible for almost a third of the emissions-induced increase in global temperatures since the start of the industrial era.
/jlne.ws/42HacCn

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Spending Expected to be Slashed in 41% of SMEs
James Coker – Infosecurity Magazine
Cybersecurity spending is predicted to be cut by 41% of SMEs over the coming year amid the challenging economic environment, according to new research by JumpCloud. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of IT admins surveyed in the US, UK and India agreed that any cuts to their security budgets will increase organizational risk.
/jlne.ws/3SY23GF

TechBehemoths research: over 33% of IT companies face cybersecurity attacks, and 40% face various consequences
Technology Today
TechBehemoths, the leading platform for matching projects with IT companies, conducted a global survey from January 15-22, 2024, which aimed to investigate the cybersecurity awareness and practices of IT companies worldwide. The survey covered various industries and company sizes and received insights from 1,585 IT companies in 62 countries. The survey showed that almost 50% of companies had a dedicated cybersecurity team, with larger companies more likely to have established cybersecurity staff.
/jlne.ws/4bAkW9U

Cybersecurity starts in the Security Operations Center
Michele Sandiford – Federal News Network
To understand the functionality of cybersecurity at a federal agency, you might start by looking at the organization’s Security Operations Center (SoC). The SoC is made up of a group of cybersecurity experts that continuously monitor systems and technologies in an effort to prevent or respond to security threats with immediate action. While cybersecurity is the big picture, the SoC is a window into those efforts. SoCs are responsible for keeping the data that government services use to stay in business safe. Over the last several years, there has been an increase in new procedures aimed at protecting the SoCs.
/jlne.ws/3up0gkB

Resecurity partners with CyberPeace Foundation to address emerging cyber threats
Help Net Security
Resecurity and CyberPeace Foundation have joined forces through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cybersecurity measures worldwide. The collaboration between Resecurity and CyberPeace Foundation marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat cyber threats and promote a safer digital environment for individuals, organizations, and communities globally. By leveraging their respective expertise, resources, and networks, both organizations seek to address the evolving challenges posed by cybercrime and safeguard the digital infrastructure.
/jlne.ws/49A6XyV

Cyber Startup Armis Buys Firm That Sets ‘Honeypots’ for Hackers; CTCI uses AI to build network of lures to trap hackers; Deal part of broader strategy by Armis to expand offerings
Lynn Doan – Bloomberg
Cybersecurity startup Armis is buying a threat intelligence firm that uses artificial intelligence to set traps for hackers. Armis said Wednesday it has agreed to buy CTCI, a closely held company that uses AI to run a self-learning and self-adapting network of “honeypots” that can simulate the systems of businesses and institutions. The goal is to lure hackers and learn enough about their tactics to build defenses and avert real threats, said Nadir Izrael, Armis’ chief technology officer. The company didn’t disclose the exact value of the deal, but said it was worth less than $20 million.
/jlne.ws/3ONxTTV

Cryptocurrencies

Ledger, Coinbase Pay Integrate to Give Users Direct Access to Buy, Sell Crypto
Margaux Nijkerk – CoinDesk
Hardware wallet maker Ledger announced that it is integrating with Coinbase, allowing Ledger users to buy digital assets using the crypto exchange’s Coinbase Pay as an on-ramp. Bringing Coinbase Pay into the Ledger Live app is supposed to benefit Ledger users, according to a press release seen by CoinDesk, making it easier for users to receive their crypto purchases from Coinbase directly on their Ledger hardware wallet, without any additional fees.
/jlne.ws/4bz02YJ

Crypto Fear & Greed Index Hits Highest Level Since Bitcoin’s 2021 Record High
Ben Schiller – CoinDesk
With the price of bitcoin now well over $49,000 and other crypto assets rising, traders have entered a period of “extreme greed,” according to a well-known index measuring market sentiment. The Fear & Greed Index, published by data source alternative.me, measures market enthusiasm for bitcoin and other prominent digital assets. The last time the index reached a score of 79 out of 100 was when bitcoin hit its all-time high around $69,000 in November 2021.
/jlne.ws/3SwHQGs

Bitcoin Market Cap Back Above $1 Trillion in Broad Crypto Rally
Suvashree Ghosh and Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
Bitcoin climbed past $51,000 in a broad cryptocurrency rally that saw Ether, the second-biggest token, advance back to where it was before the TerraUSD stablecoin collapsed almost two years ago.
/jlne.ws/3wgGJ6l

Robinhood’s Higher Crypto Revenue Could be Positive for Coinbase Earnings
Aoyon Ashraf – CoinDEsk
Robinhood (HOOD), the popular trading platform, said in a statement that its crypto revenue rose 10% versus a year earlier in the fourth quarter, reaching $43 million, as more users traded crypto. This could bode well for crypto trading platform peer Coinbase (COIN), where trading volume is one of the key contributors of revenue.
/jlne.ws/49roABe

Politics

Ghana President Removes Finance Minister as Bond Talks Loom
Ekow Dontoh and Colleen Goko – Bloomberg
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo replaced his finance minister as the West African nation looks to secure an agreement with commercial creditors on restructuring its debt. Mohammed Amin Adam, currently the minister of state for finance, will replace Ken Ofori-Atta with immediate effect, the president said in a statement in the capital, Accra, on Wednesday. Twelve other ministers and 10 deputy ministers were relieved of their duties in the reshuffle, he said.
/jlne.ws/3SYWibO

Regulation

IRS sues FDIC over Silicon Valley Bank’s $1.4 billion tax debt
Dietrich Knauth – Reuters
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, asking a judge to determine how much the FDIC must pay to cover an estimated $1.45 billion tax debt owed by the failed Silicon Valley Bank. The FDIC, which seized SVB and its assets in March 2023, has denied the entire tax claim, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Washington. The IRS said the court should overrule the FDIC’s decision to deny the tax claim, and make a new determination on the validity and amount of taxes owed.
/jlne.ws/3OMDolN

The SEC Takes on Dealer Definitions
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
A dealer by any other name
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has put the crypto industry on notice in what may become a whole new front in the sector’s legal war with the agency. When the commission approved its new approach to defining securities dealers last week, it did so with full knowledge that it could shake the foundations of decentralized finance (DeFi).
/jlne.ws/3OL1Hk1

Opening Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson at the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Meeting
CFTC
Good morning. Thank you, Commissioner Mersinger, Committee Secretary Lauren Fulks, Backup Secretaries JonMarc Buffa and Lillian Cardona, and the members of the EEMAC. It’s a pleasure to join for your first meeting of 2024.
/jlne.ws/3SZV28l

Statement of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero on U.S. Supply Chain Resilience for Critical Minerals; Before the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee; Golden, Colorado (Appearing Virtual)
CFTC
I want to thank the members of Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (“EEMAC”) for your service. I am glad to see this committee out in the field gathering invaluable real-world experiences. I want to thank Commissioner Mersinger for sponsoring this committee, and to the staff, especially Lauren Fulks. The continued exploration of metals and minerals markets is important given increased demand related to the low-carbon transition. Increased electrification raises important issues of supply chain resilience. This includes the sourcing, manufacturing, and processing of metals and minerals in the U.S., rather than the U.S. being dependent on foreign sources.
/jlne.ws/4bPqsFV

“AI, Finance, Movies, and the Law”
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Scarlett Johansson played a virtual assistant, Samantha, in the 2013 movie Her. The movie follows the love affair between Samantha and Theodore, a human played by Joaquin Phoenix.[1] Late in the movie, Theodore is shaken when he gets an error message- “Operating System Not Found.” Upon Samantha’s return, he asks if she’s interacting with others. Yes, she responds, with 8,316 others. Plaintively, Theodore asks: You only love me, right? Samantha says she’s in love with 641 others. Shortly thereafter, she goes offline for good. I’ll leave it to you if you’ll be watching Her tomorrow with your Valentine.
/jlne.ws/3HYngK3

Court Enters Final Judgment Against Microcap Consultant Involved in Fraudulent Scheme
SEC
On February 12, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a final judgment against Anthony Jay Pignatello of Winchester, Virginia. Pignatello was a consultant and Secretary for Cannabiz Mobile, Inc., a publicly traded company purportedly servicing medical marijuana businesses.
/jlne.ws/3uxTt82

Financial watchdog stops thousands of misleading ads and promotions
FCA
Over 10,000 financial adverts and other promotions were withdrawn or changed in 2023 following intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an increase of 17%, year-on-year. The FCA also published 2,285 alerts to help prevent consumers from losing their money to scams, up from 1,800 in 2022. After being given new powers by the Government, the regulator has focused on illegal cryptoasset promotions to UK consumers, issuing 450 consumer alerts between 8 October 2023 and 31 December 2023.
/jlne.ws/4bBtz40

SEBI cautions public against dealing with unregistered entities
SEBI
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has observed a rising trend of unscrupulous entities and online platforms that falsely claim to be registered with SEBI as intermediaries. These entities often entice the general public by showcasing fake certificates purportedly issued by SEBI and promising or implying assured, high returns on investments.
/jlne.ws/3HXRgG4

Investing and Trading

Bezos Sells $4 Billion of Amazon Stock in Four Trading Days
Kristine Owram and Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg
Jeff Bezos didn’t wait long to start cashing in on Amazon.com Inc.’s rally to start the year. Less than two weeks after disclosing a plan to dispose of as many as 50 million shares of the company he founded, Bezos has offloaded 24 million shares, worth more than $4 billion. The sales, revealed in regulatory filings, took place over just four trading days. The world’s second-richest person previously hadn’t sold stock since 2021.
/jlne.ws/3SUf3gl

Money-Drenched Credit Markets Withstand Even Hotter US Inflation
Tasos Vossos and Ronan Martin – Bloomberg
The wave of money making its way into the credit market is acting as a shield for investors against every negative scenario – even the prospect of ever-fewer central bank cuts this year. Risk premiums on high-grade and junk bonds fell Tuesday despite hotter-than-expected US consumer-price rises and pushed prospects for the Federal Reserve’s first rate cut firmly into the summer. A gauge of default insurance only rose to levels recorded on Monday.
/jlne.ws/3wj1u1h

Risk-Parity Quants Reel as CPI-Fueled Rout Spreads Across Assets
Lu Wang and Isabelle Lee – Bloomberg
Tuesday’s hot inflation data sparked a fresh rout for a diversified quant strategy made famous by Ray Dalio, evoking memories of the pain on Wall Street during the hawkish monetary era. After the core consumer price index climbed the most in eight months, the RPAR Risk Parity ETF (ticker RPAR) dropped 1.7% as stocks and bonds fell in tandem. The strategy – designed to generate steady gains across market conditions – has now lost 4.5% so far in 2024.
/jlne.ws/3SHARus

Bank of Canada to Halt Its QT Program Within Months, RBC Says
Derek Decloet – Bloomberg
The Bank of Canada is likely to wrap up its quantitative tightening program as early as April, sooner than policymakers had previously indicated, according to RBC Capital Markets strategists. The central bank under Governor Tiff Macklem has been shrinking its balance sheet for about two years, withdrawing the extraordinary stimulus it provided during the worse phase of the Covid-19 shock. Its assets have tumbled to around C$313 billion ($231 billion) from a peak of more than C$570 billion as it allows government bonds it holds to mature, draining liquidity from the financial system.
/jlne.ws/3wdFUel

VIX Call Selling Jumps as ‘Fear Gauge’ Soars Ahead of Expiration
David Marino and Elena Popina – Bloomberg
Traders sold short-term VIX call options Tuesday as the biggest S&P 500 slide in 14 months sent the fear gauge to the highest since early November. About 1.76 million contracts changed hands a day ahead of February futures expiration, the most since May 2019. More than 479,000 contracts traded in just the 16, 17, 20 and 22 calls expiring Wednesday, just about what trades on an average day for all calls. The S&P 500 slid the most in 14 months after a hotter than expected CPI print quashed hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates any time soon.
/jlne.ws/49xdzhr

Your Mutual Fund Stinks. Can This Wall Street Invention Change That? The migration to ETFs has been a nightmare for asset managers, so they’re working on a way to entice investors to stick around. It would make good funds better, but it’s no salvation for bad ones.
Jason Zweig – The Wall Street Journal
With ETFs, you can go along for the ride-or, perhaps, get taken for a ride. The typical exchange-traded fund is cheaper, performs better and produces lower tax bills than its ancestor, the mutual fund. As a result, investors have replaced mutual funds with ETFs en masse. Fund companies are feverishly working on plans to slow that outflow.
/jlne.ws/3w95RM7

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Great Lakes average ice cover drops to 6%, one of lowest levels ever recorded; Scientists say global heating is driving ice loss and warmer water, as ice cover falls short of 50-year average of 18%
Nina Lakhani – The Guardian
The average ice cover over the five Great Lakes was just 6% last month, placing it among the least icy Januarys since records began 50 years ago, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). The Great Lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario – are located at or near the US-Canada border, and are connected by a network of smaller lakes and rivers that span a combined surface area of 95,000 sq miles, making it the largest freshwater system in the world.
/jlne.ws/48fKuWT

In Tokyo, world’s first sovereign transition bonds make their debut
Junko Fujita – Reuters
In a world first, Japan auctioned sovereign climate transition bonds on Wednesday although the bonds met with slightly weaker-than-expected demand. Climate transition bonds are a relatively new class of bonds which aim to fund shifts by companies, or in this case a government, to having a lesser impact on the environment. They are distinct from green bonds where the proceeds are earmarked for a specific project or are focused on the profile of the issuer.
/jlne.ws/499QzW6

Investors Wrestle With the ‘Scope 3 Conundrum’; Regulation and scrutiny have finally forced the world to face what’s been called one of the most difficult problems in climate finance.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
When asset managers first made commitments to align their portfolios with net-zero emissions, they mostly skirted the thorny issue of Scope 3. Three years on and that’s no longer possible. A wave of regulation and public scrutiny is pushing investors to face what a unit of London Stock Exchange Group calls “one of the most vexing problems in climate finance.” Scope 3 emissions are those produced by a company’s customers and supply chain. They typically account for more than 80% of a company’s carbon footprint. In some of the most polluting industries such as oil and gas, the number can be even higher.
/jlne.ws/3SGxL9N

Risk of Stranded LNG Assets Is Real, Canada’s Wilkinson Says
Nayla Razzouk, Manus Cranny and Dani Burger- Bloomberg
The US decision to pause approvals of new licenses to export liquefied natural gas is welcome, and there are “real” risks that some infrastructure will end up stranded, Canada’s energy minister said. The Administration of US President Joe Biden is “doing the right thing” and is following on the footsteps of Canada’s measures to fight climate change, Jonathan Wilkinson said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Paris. “Increasingly, there is a lot of skepticism about how many more LNG facilities are going to be required and the risk of stranded assets is a real one.”
/jlne.ws/48gB4KI

Google Wants to Help Track Methane Polluters Spotted From Space; The tech company will work with the Environmental Defense Fund to track some of the world’s most devastating and avoidable emissions observed by the nonprofit’s satellite.
Aaron Clark and Jessica Nix – Bloomberg
Alphabet Inc.’s Google will work with a unit of the Environmental Defense Fund to help track and attribute methane emissions observed by the nonprofit’s MethaneSAT satellite that’s scheduled to blast into orbit on a SpaceX rocket next month. The effort harnesses artificial intelligence and mapping expertise from one of the world’s most influential technology companies and applies it to data from a high-powered satellite dedicated to observing some of the world’s most devastating and avoidable greenhouse gas emissions.
/jlne.ws/4bAkwQS

Department of Energy Partners With States and Research Institutes to Boost Offshore Wind Development; Government departments, private companies and universities will join a new academic center aimed at training the next generation of offshore wind professionals.
Aman Azhar – Inside Climate News
/jlne.ws/3I62vw1

TotalEnergies CEO says IMF debt rules hobbling African green energy projects
America Hernandez – Reuters
/jlne.ws/48bZeWQ

US issues $135 million in advance EV tax rebates since Jan 1, Treasury says
David Shepardson – Reuters
/jlne.ws/3SXThbu

Institutions

US banks have loaned $1 trillion to less regulated ‘shadow banks’
Yuheng Zhan – Business Insider
The amount of loans made by US banks to less regulated shadow lenders surpassed $1 trillion in January. Outstanding loans to non-depository financial entities like private equity firms and hedge funds reached $1.0024 trillion last month, representing a roughly 12.16% year-over-year surge from January 2023, according to data released by the US Federal Reserve on Friday. It has become one of banking’s fastest-growing businesses at a time when lending volumes overall are growing at a slower rate.
/jlne.ws/3P5yuAL

CEO of a $19 billion U.K. bank with business in Hong Kong since the Victorian age sees a ‘lack of confidence’ unraveling China’s economy
Paolo Confino – Fortune
China’s struggling economy is down to a crisis of confidence. Take it from the head of Standard Chartered, the $19 billion London bank that’s plugged into the Chinese market (by way of Hong Kong). The British lender, formed from the merger of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China and Standard Bank of British South Africa, can trace its history in Hong Kong back to the Victorian era, in 1859. Even today, it’s one of only three note-issuing banks in the Hong Kong special administrative region, according to its website. And CEO Bill Winters believes the recent slide in the world’s second largest economy is the result of a lack of faith.
/jlne.ws/49wT58E

How Julius Baer’s golden opportunity unravelled; The Swiss wealth manager was primed to capitalise on Credit Suisse’s collapse. Instead, loans to Rene Benko’s Signa claimed its CEO’s job
Owen Walker and Stephen Morris – Financial Times
Six months ago, Julius Baer’s chief executive, Philipp Rickenbacher, was riding high on the bank’s new status as the second-biggest wealth manager in Switzerland. The recent collapse of Credit Suisse, following a decade of scandals, and its takeover by UBS presented Julius Baer with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pick off advisers and clients from its much bigger domestic competitor.
/jlne.ws/3HXgKn9

BlackRock splits custody business for Irish-domiciled ETFs; BNY Mellon joins rival State Street as a depositary and administration service provider for the Irish ETFs
Sandra Heistruvers – Financial Times
BlackRock has appointed BNY Mellon as an additional custodian for EUR673bn Dublin-domiciled iShares exchange traded funds, splitting custody for the business between two post-trade service providers. The US bank and custody giant joins domestic rival State Street as a depositary and administration service provider for the Irish ETFs.
/jlne.ws/3UHYWE8

A Tiny Hedge Fund Is Becoming a Thorn in the Side of Energy Giant BP; London-based Bluebell Capital Partners has a history of aiming at big targets, and sometimes hitting them
Jenny Strasburg – The Wall Street Journal
Giuseppe Bivona and his partners run a tiny activist hedge fund from a small office here not far from Buckingham Palace. The single room has big windows, seven desks and little space for much else. From this unlikely perch, the fund, called Bluebell Capital Partners, aims to punch far above its weight by launching campaigns against some of the world’s biggest companies, most of them in Europe. Sometimes the punches land.
/jlne.ws/3I04PEU

Work & Management

Companies That Dropped Degree Requirements Are Mostly Hiring College Grads; Many employers still give jobs to college-educated workers even when a degree isn’t required.
Matthew Boyle – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are falling short on promises to hire more workers without college degrees, according to a new report. They’re among the 45% of large US firms that declared a college degree unnecessary for many roles and then didn’t change their hiring practices, according to an analysis from Harvard Business School and Burning Glass Institute, a labor-focused nonprofit. Another 18% of companies – including Delta Air Lines Inc. – made progress early on, only to revert to old patterns later.
/jlne.ws/3SYZHr6

Tesla, News Corp. Caught in NYC Crackdown on Job Ads’ Pay Ranges
Chris Marr – Bloomberg
Tesla Inc. and News Corp. face some of the earliest regulatory enforcement actions under New York City’s closely watched pay transparency law. The city alleges the businesses ignored the requirement to include salary ranges in job ads or posted such wide salary bands that they didn’t qualify as “good faith” estimates. New York City’s Commission on Human Rights initiated complaints against nearly three dozen employers and third-party job posting sites including ZipRecruiter, Morgan & Morgan P.A., and Mazars USA LLP from October through December 2023, according to a commission webpage.
/jlne.ws/3uyIifg

Wellness Exchange

CDC plans to drop five-day covid isolation guidelines
Lena H. Sun – The Washington Post
Americans who test positive for the coronavirus no longer need to routinely stay home from work and school for five days under new guidance planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency is loosening its covid isolation recommendations for the first time since 2021 to align it with guidance on how to avoid transmitting flu and RSV, according to four agency officials and an expert familiar with the discussions.
/jlne.ws/48iS3fk

Millions of people have long Covid, including children and pregnant people, studies show
Jen Christensen – CNN
Millions of people deal with Covid-19 symptoms long after their initial infections. Two new studies – one looking at pregnant people and the other on children – give a better look at the burden from this health problem that doctors say often goes under the radar. The first study says that 1 in 10 people who had Covid when they were pregnant will develop long-term symptoms. The results were shared Monday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland.
/jlne.ws/3uIS7Hz

Regions

China Taking On US Fuels $147 Billion Rally in Japanese Chip Stocks
Takashi Mochizuki and Yuki Furukawa – Bloomberg
Japanese producers of chipmaking equipment are capitalizing on surging demand from China, catapulting their shares to new heights while helping build out a tech supply chain the US has warned may be a threat to global security. In the 16 months since the US and its allies began curbing exports of advanced chip technology, China has amped up the purchase of legacy equipment to make older-generation semiconductors. Its effort toward some self-sufficiency has been a boon for the likes of Tokyo Electron Ltd., which added $12 billion to its market value Tuesday after hiking its outlook citing a record proportion of sales going to China.
/jlne.ws/3UG50gd

India Steel Mills Most at Risk From EU Carbon Plan, Goldman Says; New levy to target products shipped into bloc including steel; Bank warns there’s scope for lower margins and reduced sales
Swansy Afonso – Bloomberg
Steel producers in India are most at risk from Europe’s new carbon tax on imports due to their high sales to the region and mills’ elevated emissions intensity, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. There is a potential for an additional $102 to $190 a ton of tax charges on flows of Indian steel to the bloc over the next decade, analysts led by Emma Jones said in a report. That range – which assumes a carbon price of $70 – is 15% to 28% of current hot-rolled coil prices, they said.
/jlne.ws/4bGhURB

Swedish Women Beat Men in Picking Winning Stocks, Euroclear Says
Jonas Ekblom – Bloomberg
Swedish women saw their domestic stock portfolios outperform those of men by almost 50% last year, according to a data compiled by Euroclear Sweden on retail investors’ holdings. Women generated an average return of 15.1% on their holdings, compared with 10.3% for men, Euroclear said in a statement on Tuesday. Men have tended to outperform since Euroclear started tracking the data in 2016, with the shift now explained in part by women’s faster growing numbers.
/jlne.ws/3SXUOhK

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