First Read

Robert K. Wilmouth

Robert K. Wilmouth Passes Away; Remembered as Respected Industry Leader and Colleague
By John J. Lothian

Robert K. Wilmouth, the founding National Futures Association president and CEO, passed away yesterday, the NFA said.

Wilmouth served as head of the newly formed NFA from 1982 to 2003. He was succeeded by Dan Roth, who recently retired from the role and was replaced by Tom Sexton

Wilmouth also served as the president of the Chicago Board of Trade for about five years. He was brought in by then exchange chairman William D. Hagerty, Jr.

Wilmouth’s futures industry career was preceded by some 27 years in banking, beginning in 1950 at the first National Bank of Chicago. He became manager of First National’s branch in Milan, Italy in 1968 and later general manager of all European Operations. He returned to the U.S. as head of the international banking department and was elected executive vice president of First National in 1972 and named to the bank’s board in 1973.

In 1975, he became president of the Crocker National Bank of San Francisco. He was also chairman of LaSalle National Bank for more than two decades. He joined the futures industry in 1977, but continued to serve the banking industry in various capacities.

When I worked for William Mallers, Sr. at First American Discount in the 1980s, he told me how he helped create the National Futures Association as a way to get Wilmouth out of the CBOT. Mallers, a brash political maverick elected chairman at the CBOT in 1969, often clashed with the buttoned-down banker Wilmouth.

Wilmouth was a lifetime trustee of the University of Notre Dame and the former chairman of its Investment Committee. He also served on the advisory council of Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Management.

He was a native of Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from Holy Cross College and held a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He was married to the late Ellen (Boyle) Wilmouth and had five children and five grandchildren.

I have asked several industry leaders who knew him well to offer brief reflections on his life and contributions to the futures industry. If you would like to share a reflection, please email me at

The reflections can be found HERE


Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

There were three interesting industry events in Chicago yesterday: CTA Expo, the NIBA Annual Members Meeting and Tech Talk from CME. Some of the highlights include:

First stop: NIBA’s panel on disruptive trading included an extended talk about Citigroup Global Markets spoofing case which resulted in a $25 million fine for the firm. The kicker is that Citi had procedures and internal rules written down prohibiting such behavior. The CFTC does not look kindly on firms who do not follow their own written rules and do not have adequate controls, not to mention violating those written by the commission. ~JK

Second stop: CTA Expo featured an interview with Bryan Durkin, CME president, and Bobby Schwartz of RCM Alternatives. Durkin said the CME Group is “sticking to our knitting of the core business.” ~JK

Chatter around CTA Expo was that the 2-and-20 compensation model for hedge funds and CTAs is dead. It’s not a news flash. But firms looking for investment will have to find a lower fee structure to lure in new capital, especially for emerging managers. ~JK

At the Tech Talk, Julie Menacho, CME’s executive director, global head of market technology services interviewed Jed Hoyer, executive vice president and general manager of the Chicago Cubs, about how the team collects and uses data. The team has 12 high speed cameras to record, document and analyze every pitch, hit and fielded ball, including the spin rate and angle of pitches. All teams have similar data groups now, he said. And like trading, “any competitive advantage is going to be fleeting,” Hoyer said. ~JK

Google and CME Group also announced a deal which allows firms that use CME colocation facility to connect to Google Cloud, opening up new ways to research trading strategies. ~JK

Mike Rask, director of trading at Hodges Capital in Dallas, TX was elected the new chairman of the Securities Traders Association at the 84th Regulatory Conference in Washington, DC. ~JJL

The Trading Technologies Blog has an interview with the famed Eurodollar trader Margie Teller titled “Breaking Through: Margie Teller, Part 1.” ~JJL

Yesterday’s roundup of Asia Pacific Financial News from JLN can be found HERE. ~JJL

Register for ARRC-Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) Webinar. Join CME Group for a market-wide webinar on Wednesday, October 4 at 10:00 a.m. ET. ~JJL

Eurex Corporate Bond Index futures will launch on September, 19. ~JJL

Chris Hehmeyer was recently interviewed by Anthony Crudele of FuturesRadio. ~JJL

Reuters will offer a Compliance and Risk Forum 2017 series in Atlanta, Houston, Boston. San Francisco and Chicago. ~JJL


Announcing the Finalists for Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire 2017
By Jim Dallke
Drew Shields, CTO at Trading Technologies: In the past three years, Shields has overseen new product development to spur growth at Trading Technologies, starting with a brand new hybrid-cloud platform that was the first of its kind in the industry, called the “TT platform.”

**If you haven’t seen Drew Shields‘s excellent speech at our 2016 MarketsWiki Education event, you should. ~JK


Irma Displaces World’s Best Quant. Now He’s on a Climate Mission
By Dani Burger – Bloomberg
As the head of one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, you’d think David Vogel wouldn’t have much to be concerned about. But right now he’s really worried about his home.

**Can a markets-based solution help? ~JK


NFA orders Chicago, Ill., introducing broker Kingsview Futures LLC to pay a $50,000 fine
NFA has ordered Chicago, Ill., introducing broker Kingsview Futures LLC to pay a $50,000 fine.
The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on a Complaint authorized by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee (BCC) and a settlement offer submitted by Kingsview Futures.

***** The three principals listed with Kingsview Futures are Mitchell Gary Ehmka, Joshua Matthew Lewis and Sean Patrick McGillivray. ~JJL


Funding The Future Of Asia
By Loh Boon Chye, Singapore Exchange
Asia’s rise to become the engine of global economic growth has been rapid. One key trend that we are seeing from this, and also an important driver of, is the flourishing of human capital and the emergence of a new generation that is eager to start and grow businesses.

*****SGX CEO Boon-Chye Loh shares his views about Funding The Future Of Asia as a driver of rapid global economic growth. ~JJL


World Hunger Worsens as War and Climate Shocks Hit Food Security
By Agnieszka De Sousa – Bloomberg
UN says about 11% of the planet was classed as hungry in 2016; Africa among worst hit areas, but adult obesity is also rising
The number of people suffering from hunger last year rose at the fastest pace since at least the beginning of this century as conflicts and climate-related issues curbed access to food.

***** Important news not to be ignored. ~JJL


MarketsWiki Page of the Day: Robert K. Wilmouth
Robert K. Wilmouth, the founding president and CEO of the National Futures Association and past president of the Chicago Board of Trade, passed away yesterday, according to the NFA.


Thursday’s Top Three
Thursday’s top three stories were led by Bloomberg’s JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic Joins His Boss in Bashing Bitcoin. Second went to the Financial Times’ story Deutsche Borse agrees to pay EUR10.5m over CEO insider trading probe. Third went to The New York Times ‘False Peace’ for Markets? A Trader Is Betting Millions on It


MarketsWiki Stats
107,621,232 pages viewed; 22,780 pages; 209,219 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

CME Group to Exit OTC Credit Clearing Business, Return $650M in Capital to Clearing Members; Company to Focus OTC Clearing Services on IRS, FX
CME Group
CME Group today announced that it will exit the company’s credit default swap (CDS) clearing business by mid-2018, freeing up $650 million in clearing member capital. Going forward, in order to meet customer needs in light of uncleared margin rules, CME will focus its over-the-counter (OTC) clearing services on interest rate swaps (IRS) and foreign exchange (FX), as well as on developing further capital efficiencies for market participants.

SEC Is Set to Monitor Digital Coin Sales as Market Tops $2 Billion
By Matthew Leising and Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
ParagonCoin hopes to raise $60 million in ICO on Sept. 15; Startup going newfangled route because ‘it’s the future’
Jessica VerSteeg answered the phone and apologized for her voice. She was hoarse following a series of interviews to promote her marijuana startup, Paragon, which hopes to raise $60 million starting Friday to fund its plan to become the WeWork of pot.

Robots Are No Match for the Human Bond Trader
By Marcus Ashworth Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
If there’s one crowded trade in the finance industry, it’s predicting the automation of bank jobs. The former head of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit, reckons three out of 10 bank staff will be replaced by a machine. Deutsche Bank AG’s CEO John Cryan, meanwhile, has called for a “revolutionary spirit” among his troops as computers replace a “big number” of people. In an industry still hampered by weak profit a decade after the financial crisis, you can see why executives are seduced by the idea of using automation to become more efficient and productive.

CFTC Chief Asks Europe’s Policy Makers to Drop U.S. Clearinghouses Plan; Christopher Giancarlo also said countries should defer to others’ rules when regulating international companies
By Gabriel T. Rubin – WSJ
The top U.S. derivatives regulator urged European policy makers to back off from a proposal to regulate U.S. clearinghouses that do business in Europe, while also making a broader plea for countries to defer to the rules of others when regulating international companies.

Crypto tethers as the new eurodollars
Izabella Kaminska – FT
Once upon a time, eurodollars were dollar-like liabilities issued by non-US entities outside of the reach of regulations that usually govern dollar-issuing entities. No minimum reserve requirements, no access to lender of last resort and no registration applied. Most of the time the assets which underpinned them (so-called eurobonds and eurosecurities) were also entirely bearer in form. They were dollars, but not.

A Chicago exchange says bitcoin is here to stay, but it will provide a way to bet against it
John Detrixhe – QZ
Chris Concannon’s career in electronic markets has spanned just about every role, from Securities and Exchange Commission attorney to executive positions at the world’s biggest stock exchanges and at trading firm Virtu Financial. Now, the chief operating officer of CBOE Holdings, which owns Chicago Board Options Exchange, is diving into cryptoassets.

Microsoft shows how corporate cash piles blur lines with Wall St; Tech giant invests large chunk of its $133bn of cash in US government and agency debt
Alex Scaggs – FT
At first glance, Microsoft seems exceptionally cautious with its balance sheet. About 84 per cent of its $133bn in cash is invested in US government and agency securities, the greatest share of its peer group.

Who Needs Venture Capitalists When You Have Initial Coin Offerings?; Early-stage venture firms are unsure whether ICOs are a fad, an opportunity or a threat
By Yuliya Chernova – WSJ
Seemingly out of nowhere, the surge of initial coin offerings that have helped fledgling software startups haul in hundreds of millions of dollars in recent months has forced the venture-capital industry to confront a potential dilemma.

Ex-AIG chief Greenberg can pursue Spitzer defamation lawsuit
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former chief executive of American International Group Inc (AIG.N), may pursue large parts of his defamation lawsuit against former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a New York state appeals court ruled.

How the Yellen Fed Got Religion Over the Stock Market and Policy
By Matthew Boesler – Bloomberg
Dudley’s financial focus traces through Goldman to Ottawa; Stock-market rally increasing Fed debate over tightening pace
For two decades, William Dudley has led a charge to change the way central bankers think about how they steer their economies through the booms and busts of financial markets. As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he’s showing them during the current tightening cycle what he’s been talking about all along.

Upstart exchange eyes boost from Mifid II; Aquis Exchange’s founder boasts of its superior liquidity and model, yet its market share remains miniscule
Alasdair Haynes – Financial News
When Aquis Exchange got off the ground in November 2013, chief executive and founder Alasdair Haynes had no idea how tough it would be to grab a meaningful share of a market dominated by a few established players, including Bats Europe and the London Stock Exchange.

New hedging rules will make FX traders put up or shut up – every day
By Reuters
New European Union regulations on foreign exchange trading will make it harder and more expensive to manage currency risk, traders said, especially for large financial counterparties such as hedge funds and insurance companies.

Fed Officials Admit They’ve Lost Some Credibility on Inflation
By Rich Miller – Bloomberg
Price expectations slip after years of below-target inflation; Policy makers likely to discuss issue at meeting next week
Anchors aweigh? After years of maintaining that inflation expectations were stable and solidly grounded, Fed policy makers are starting to recognize a small but worrying softening in the outlook that consumers, businesses and investors have for prices.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Deutsche Börse CEO to pay EUR500,000 in insider trading probe; Exchange group has also agreed to pay EUR10.5m to end criminal inquiry
Philip Stafford – FT
Deutsche Börse chief executive Carsten Kengeter is set to personally pay a penalty of around EUR500,000 as part of the German exchange’s plan to swiftly end the long-running investigation into his alleged insider trading.

Deutsche Börse to Pay $12.5 Million in Fines in Insider Trading Inquiry
The German stock exchange operator Deutsche Börse has agreed to pay 10.5 million euros, or about $12.5 million, in fines to resolve an investigation by German authorities into possible insider trading before its talks to merge with the London Stock Exchange Group became public.

Bitcoin Losses Worsen as Chinese Exchange Closes; Beijing earlier this year compelled exchanges to comply with ‘know your customer,’ anti-money-laundering rules
By Paul Vigna and Chao Deng – WSJ
Bitcoin prices fell sharply on Thursday after China’s second-largest digital-currency exchange announced it was shutting down its domestic trading operations, the latest development in China’s attempts to impose control within its borders over the stateless currency.

Bitcoin Crashes After Chinese Exchange Says It Will Halt Trading
By Constantine Courcoulas and Lulu Yilun Chen – Bloomberg
Price decline extends for a fifth day amid Chinese actions; BTC China says decision follows outlawing of coin offerings
Bitcoin fell for a fifth day, the longest losing streak in more than a year, after one of China’s largest online exchanges said it would stop handling trades by the end of the month amid a government crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

MTS launches direct electronic dealer-to-client trading in Repo Contracts
London Stock Exchange Group
MTS, one of Europe’s premier fixed income trading venues, has unveiled new functionality that enables the trading of bilateral and centrally cleared Repo contracts between sell-side and buy-side participants for the first time, in collaboration with the launch of LCH’s Sponsored Clearing model from RepoClear.

Options on Euro-BTP-Futures: Introduction of options contracts on futures contracts on notional long-term Italian government bonds
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland and the Executive Board of Eurex Zürich AG decided to introduce options contracts on “Euro-BTP-Futures” (futures contracts on notional long-term debt securities of the Italian Republic) with effect from 2 October 2017.

SFC and Exchange conclude joint consultation on listing regulation
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today published the conclusions to their joint consultation on proposed enhancements to the Exchange’s decision-making and governance structure for listing regulation (Note 1). After carefully considering market feedback, the SFC and the Exchange have decided to adopt the way forward as set out in the conclusions.

Change in Senior Executive
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”) announces that Mr John Killian is appointed
the Group Chief Financial Officer to succeed Mr Paul Kennedy effective 13 December 2017.
Mr Kennedy will reach his retirement age in December 2017, and we are pleased that he will
continue to serve as a Senior Advisor.

Publication of JPX Working Paper, Vol.20 “The Trend of Exploring the Use of Distributed Ledger Technology in the Capital Market”
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) today published JPX Working Paper, Vol.20 “The Trend of Exploring the Use of Distributed Ledger Technology in the Capital Market”.


Fintech’s greatest promise may be in the developing world
With 2 billion people unbanked, mobile apps can fill the void, writes Ken Fireman
Ken Fireman – London School of Economics and Political Science
For Mary Tonkei and Stephen Wainaina Waweru, and a lot of other people in the developing world, the fintech revolution is much more than a matter of convenience. It’s changing their way of life. Tonkei, a Maasai dairy farmer in Kenya, is able to run her entire business through her phone. Using a popular payment app, she pays her employees, sells her milk, and even borrows money to buy more cows. Waweru, who raises pigs on a farm outside Nairobi, needed to buy a solar-powered light to replace a kerosene lamp that gave off toxic fumes and was a fire hazard. He used a payment app to make the purchase.

Stop pretending you really know what AI is and read this instead
John Pavlus – QZ
You’ve probably heard the news: AI is going to take your job. Wait, no: It’s going to create a new job for you. AI is going to kill us all! Wait, no it’s not. AI is already totally smarter than us at, like, all the smart things. But that probably doesn’t matter? Neural networks. Machine learning. Deep learning. OMG. WTF. HELP.

RegTech and FinTech: A Blockchain Case Study; Blockchain has seen it’s most zealous adopters come from the financial industry, which, not surprisingly, puts a big emphasis on data security.
by Puneet Mishra –
The customer is the King! This is what every bank employee knows, and tries their best to uphold, while at the same time knowing the customer is also an important factor in securing the network. To secure their networks, banks spend billions of dollars. According to the survey conducted by Thomson Reuters[1], some banks shell out £300 million annually to meet KYC compliances and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements.

ZhongAn Plants a Fintech Acorn for China
By Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg
Like electric cars, whose era of global dominance has yet to arrive, the app-driven insurance industry is more of a concept than reality. That doesn’t mean investors should dismiss the Hong Kong initial public offering of ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., despite its hefty price tag.

Equifax boss wrestles with fallout from cyber breach; Richard Smith will need his ‘competitive fire’ to restore credit agency’s reputation
Ben McLannahan in New York – FT
It is too early to survey the field for the most admired chief executives of 2018 in the Atlanta, Georgia area. But it seems safe to assume that one of the recently-announced 2017 winners will not be among them.


Wall Street’s Lunch Club Is Planning a Reboot in Trump’s D.C.
By Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
Financial Services Forum has hired HSBC lobbyist Fromer; Exclusive group limits membership to biggest financial firms
Wall Street’s most elite trade association has hired a former Treasury Department official as it seeks to reestablish its lobbying heft in Washington.

Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know?; ‘The investigation into the president’s dealings with Russia is provoking lively gossip’
Gillian Tett
A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a prominent lawyer in Washington when she lamented that one of her brightest colleagues had just left her firm — and a multimillion-dollar salary — to join the government for a pittance.


Depository nationalism hits EU settlement harmonisation; As T2S approaches final migration, restrictions on primary dealers undermine efficiencies
Luke Clancy –
Some sovereign issuers are still instructing primary dealers to maintain accounts at domestic central securities depositories (CSDs) in order to receive government bonds, according to market participants. This is undermining Target2-Securities (T2S), the pan-European platform for securities settlement, even as its final migration phase is due to take place on September 18.

EU to make banks pay to centralize markets supervision
Huw Jones – Reuters
The European Union wants to centralize market supervision and make banks pay for it, the bloc’s financial services chief said, signaling how it will seek to regroup after Britain leaves.

The US should not roll back financial regulation; The Dodd-Frank Act is not perfect, but it’s a framework that can mitigate systemic risks, writes Markus Demary
Markus Demary – London School of Economics and Political Science
In the United States, the House of Representatives has passed the Financial CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act). This bill is intended to replace the financial market regulation of the Obama era, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was a response to the global financial market crisis of 2008.

Japan regulator scrutinizes regional banks’ fund buying as risks soar
The nation’s regional banks, desperate to boost returns with interest rates around zero, are coming under scrutiny from regulators as they increase purchases of risky investment trusts.

Investment consultants move into regulatory spotlight; Competition watchdog probes powerful industry that advises pension funds and insurers
by Attracta Mooney – FT
The industry that advises pension funds and insurers on how to invest trillions of dollars of assets around the world has flown under the public radar for decades.

Monetary Authority Of Singapore Announces Finalists For The Global FinTech Hackcelerator And FinTech Awards
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced the finalists for the 2017 Global FinTech Hackcelerator and FinTech Awards. The Global FinTech Hackcelerator and FinTech Awards are among the highlights of this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival, which will take place in Singapore from 13 to 17 November 2017.

Credit Suisse reaches $79.5 mln settlement with MassMutual in RMBS case
Reuters Staff
Credit Suisse is taking a roughly $79.5 million hit to settle charges by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance about its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) business, the Swiss bank said late on Thursday.

Response to feedback on REP 523 ASIC’s Innovation Hub and our approach to regulatory technology
ASIC today released its response to industry feedback on ASIC’s Innovation Hub and its approach to regulatory technology.

SunTrust Charged With Improperly Recommending Higher-Fee Mutual Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the investment services subsidiary of SunTrust Banks with collecting more than $1.1 million in avoidable fees from clients by improperly recommending more expensive share classes of various mutual funds when cheaper shares of the same funds were available.

Investing and Trading

Russell Investments Group Ltd. Grows Stake in Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (HASI)
Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (NYSE:HASI) by 163.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Bunge shares slide after $946m palm oil deal; Doubts on Wall Street that acquisition will quickly boost profits
Gregory Meyer in New York – FT
Investors punished Bunge, one of the world’s top food commodities traders, after it announced its biggest acquisition in seven years by taking an almost $1bn stake in a palm-oil group.

One bitcoin-linked fund has lost half its value in just 2 weeks; Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust still trades at premium to its net asset value
By Anora Mahmudova – MarketWatch
Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, a closed-end bitcoin fund, has lost nearly half of its value over the past two weeks, after falling a further 8% on Thursday amid a precipitous plunge in the value of its underlying asset.

Hugh Hendry Closes Hedge Fund After 15 Years as Losses Mount
By Katia Porzecanski , Saijel Kishan , and Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Eclectica Fund lost 9.4 percent this year through August; Hendry gained fame by betting against banks during crisis
Hugh Hendry, the hedge fund manager known for his provocative statements and contrarian views, is closing his Eclectica Asset Management following a 15 year run that ended with losses.

XTX names CEO for Americas push; Electronic market-making firm has emerged as a key non-bank liquidity provider in Europe
By Fareed Sahloul – Financial News
XTX Markets, the electronic market-making firm that has emerged as key provider of non-bank liquidity in Europe over the last two years, has appointed a chief executive of its business in the US.

SETL And Four Asset Management Firms Are Launching IZNES, The Pan-European Fund Record-Keeping Platform Based On Blockchain Technology
SETL and four asset management firms announced today the launch of IZNES, the pan-European fund record-keeping platform based on blockchain technology.

ETF fee war expands, bringing more pain to active managers; Pressure on ‘smart beta’ fees is credit negative: Moody’s
The ETF fee war is great for investors, saving them millions of dollars, but it’s created a headwind for traditional active managers that’s expected to intensify.

The New Texas Gold Rush: Buying Sand for Fracking; Suppliers, Wall Street firms and investors are buying up large areas of the West Texas desert to sell sand to drillers in the Permian Basin
By Ryan Dezember – WSJ
There is a new land grab going on in the oil-rich fields of West Texas. This time it is over sand.


Deutsche Bank Presses On With Wealth Business Consolidation
By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen – Bloomberg
Bank plans to shutter ‘a few’ more wealth booking centers; Head of wealth Fabrizio Campelli comments in interview
Deutsche Bank AG plans to push ahead with the consolidation of its global wealth-management operations, despite the negative effect on client assets in locations such as Japan and Australia where it has shut booking centers to cut costs and streamline the business.

U.K. Regulator Refuses Lawmaker Request to Publish RBS Report
By Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
FCA’s Bailey said public interest not served by publishing; RBS came under fire over its business lending practices
The head of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority denied a lawmaker’s request to publish a report into the business lending practices of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, saying releasing the documents isn’t in the best interests of the public.


Chinese spending on innovation, technology growing twice as fast as in the US, fuelled by cloud services; Of the companies interviewed by Morgan Stanley in a latest survey, 34 per cent of Chinese corporate workload is handled using the cloud
Josh Ye – South China Morning Post
Corporate spending on innovation and technology has been growing twice as fast in China than in the US over the past two years, fuelled by accelerating migration to cloud services, according to industry watchers.

China’s bitcoin gloom may be Hong Kong’s boon as crypto issuers switch to city’s exchanges
Sarah Dai, Amanda Lee – South China Morning Post
China’s clampdown on cryptocurrencies and the subsequent trading halts on a number of crypto exchanges have caught hundreds of mainland investors unaware and unprepared, driving some entrepreneurs to seek alternative listing of their tokens in Hong Kong to raise funds.

Amazon, Bank of Baroda join hands to offer micro loans at 10.45-11.5% interest
By Press Trust of India
E-commerce player Amazon on Friday said it has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers.

China body calls digital tokens risky, two bitcoin platforms to shut
A senior executive at China’s state-backed internet finance body said on Friday “stateless” digital tokens such as bitcoin posed risks as they could be used for illegal actions, and rules are needed to support the development of “legal” digital currencies.

Hong Kong launches HK$2 billion fund to support tech start-ups
Laura He – South China Morning Post
Hong Kong has launched a HK$2 billion (US$256 million) fund to encourage investment in local innovation and technology start-ups, in an effort to boost new economic activity.

Markets rule out war at this stage, say analysts; In case there is a geopolitical event, India will be seen as a relative safe haven within the Asian region, analysts suggest
Puneet Wadhwa – Business Standard
Most Asian markets have given a muted response to North Korea firing another ballistic missile over Japan on Friday. While the Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng indices posted modest gains – up 0.3% – 0.5%, Straits Times, Kospi and the Shanghai Composite slipped up to 0.3%. Back home, the S&P BSE Sensex and the Nifty50 were also trading lower by around 0.2% each.

China’s trillions in assets will defuse debt time bomb, says state think tank
Bloomberg via South China Morning Post
Scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank in Beijing, analysed several years worth of government balance sheets and concluded that the state’s massive assets can offset the debt threat

African nations turn to bond markets for finance needs; Strong investor appetite despite some countries carrying heavy debt loads
Kate Allen in London – FT
When Ghana became the first west African nation to enter the international bond markets a decade ago this month, it was part of a flurry of debt-raising in the world’s least developed region.


Burberry’s Christopher Bailey says there is ‘enormous’ potential for post-Brexit Britain
Sam Dean – Telegraph
The chief creative officer of Burberry has said the potential for post-Brexit Britain is “enormous” as he insisted the British fashion house is “absolutely committed” to keeping its manufacturing in the UK.

Brexit transition offer ‘key’ to settling EU divorce bill; May to ease Brussels budget fears by setting out plans for ‘status quo’ deal
George Parker and Gemma Tetlow in London, and Alex Barker in Brussels – FT
Theresa May will attempt to break the Brexit impasse when she delivers a speech next week in Florence setting out her plans for a transition deal that is seen in London as the “key” to addressing concerns in Brussels about a EUR30bn budget hole.


FT reporter Paul McClean dies in Sri Lanka; ‘Talented, energetic and dedicated’ journalist with an eye for hidden stories
by FT reporters
Paul McClean, an accomplished young reporter who joined the Financial Times two years ago as a graduate trainee, has died during a beach holiday in Sri Lanka. McClean’s body has been identified by friends with whom he was travelling and officials who have spoken to them said he is believed to have been attacked by a crocodile. The final cause of death has yet to be established.

Why I Love Writing About the Markets
Ben Carlson – A Wealth of Common Sense
A few people have asked me in the past week how I find the time to write so much.
There are a number of explanations for this — its part of my routine, I prioritize it and I don’t have a ton of other hobbies (no fantasy football, no Facebook, no drinks with friends every night, etc.).

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