CME Group to Launch Micro Bitcoin Futures on May 3; Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading

Mar 30, 2021

First Read

$32,426/$300,000 (10.8%)

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Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

CME Group is launching Micro Bitcoin futures, which will be 1/10 of the size of one bitcoin, which would be worth about $5,800 as of this morning. That compares with the $17,000 price of bitcoin when the CME launched bitcoin futures on the 17th of December in 2017. Some in the crypto community blamed the CME for the cratering of bitcoin prices after the launch of their futures contract made shorting easier. This will significantly reduce the cost of participation in terms of margins, while also giving the options traders a more precise tool to hedge their positions.

Congratulations to Andy Nybo, who was hired by MIAX as the company’s first chief communications officer.

ICE’s new exchange in Abu Dhabi traded 8,854 lots, with 6,344 ICE Murban Crude Oil futures and an additional 2,510 Murban related cash-settled derivative contracts traded. There were 27 firms trading on the IFAD. IFAD is ICE Futures Abu Dhabi.

Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) is establishing a center for advanced research and development, DigiMa Lab. to design a future vision of JPX on April 1, 2021.

The Washington Post is reporting that “Japan’s Kyoto cherry blossoms peak on earliest date in 1,200 years, a sign of climate change.” What I want to know is where I can get my hands on newspaper records in Japan from 1,200 years ago.

Bloomberg is reporting that Goldman Sachs summer interns will work from the firm’s Wall Street offices. The in-person internships will follow a week of virtual training.

The incomparable Seth Merrin has joined Neuravest as their executive chairman.

Here is the joint statement on the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum via the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

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

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For the first time, FTSE Russell is adding Chinese government bonds to its World Government Bond Index (WGBI), beginning October 29, 2021. FTSE Russell announced the addition after completing a semi-annual review of global fixed-income and equity markets. Read more details here. ~SC

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As Covid-19 Vaccinations Ramp Up, Hesitancy Wanes; Survey shows decline in reluctance, driven by increasing willingness in Southern states and more broadly among Black Americans
Randy Yeip – WSJ
A shrinking percentage of Americans are expressing reluctance to get a Covid-19 vaccine, a positive sign for the efforts to get shots in the arms of enough people to reach herd immunity. The findings come from the latest release of a large-scale survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and developed in concert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. The most recent survey gauged responses from nearly 80,000 adults between March 3 and March 15.
/on.wsj.com/3djqGHJ

*****We need more data on this.~JJL

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How the U.S. Is Vaccinating Its Way Out of the Pandemic; After a year of anxiety and isolation, millions of Americans a day are getting immunized against Covid-19, and starting to get their lives back.
Angelica LaVito, John Tozzi and Jill R. Shah – Bloomberg
The nation’s first Covid-19 vaccine started to arrive at hospitals across the country, nine months after the coronavirus shuttered the U.S. economy, killed hundreds of thousands and wreaked havoc on every aspect of American life. That day reflected both a landmark scientific achievement and a logistical triumph.
/bloom.bg/2PHFwzu

*****Someone has a good PR team.~JJL

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Vaccines Become a Race Against Time as CDC Warns of Covid Surge
Emma Court – Bloomberg
Walensky, Biden call attention to risks of complacency; Not enough Americans are vaccinated to stave off a new wave
The U.S. could soon go the way of Europe, with a burgeoning resurgence of the coronavirus, as states loosen restrictions and more contagious variants become increasingly prominent, the nation’s top public health official warned. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom” amid a new wave of infections even as the number of Americans vaccinated continues to rise. Scientists nationwide are calling out the dangers of loosening state measures like mask mandates and capacity restrictions.
/bloom.bg/31woZRL

*****Here we get some unvarnished thoughts. “Impending doom” is not good.~JJL

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CME Group Announces Micro E-mini Equity Options Reach More Than 1 Million Contracts Traded
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that more than 1 million options on its Micro E-mini S&P 500 and Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures contracts have traded since launch on August 31, 2020. In addition, options on Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures achieved a single-day trading record of 1,948 contracts on March 25, surpassing the prior record of 1,934 contracts reached on March 10.
/bit.ly/2QFWLlh

*****For an institutional market, the CME keeps having success with retail-friendly contracts, and should expect a big winner on their Micro Bitcoin futures.~JJL

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Monday’s Top Three
On Monday, the most-read story was from Forbes, Robinhood Trader May Face $800,000 Tax Bill. Bloomberg had the second-best read, which looked at some interesting trades that occurred on Friday, ‘Unprecedented’: Wall Street Ponders Goldman’s Block-Trade Spree. The third most clicked was Mashable’s capture of a hilarious skit that was broadcast on Saturday, Pete Davidson explains NFTs in another amazing Eminem parody on ‘SNL’.

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Lead Stories

CME Group to Launch Micro Bitcoin Futures on May 3
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will expand its suite of crypto derivatives with the introduction of a new Micro Bitcoin futures contract on May 3, pending regulatory review. Micro Bitcoin futures will be one-tenth the size of one bitcoin. The smaller-sized contract will provide market participants – from institutions to sophisticated, active, individual traders – with one more tool to hedge their spot bitcoin price risk or execute bitcoin trading strategies in an efficient, cost-effective way, all while retaining the features and benefits of CME Group’s standard Bitcoin futures.
/bit.ly/2QFWIG7

Big Oil’s Secret World of Trading; With the future of fossil fuels in doubt, some energy companies are counting on a hidden army of commodities traders to ride to the rescue
Javiar Blas, Jack Fracht – Bloomberg
It was a bleak moment for the oil industry. U.S. shale companies were failing by the dozen. Petrostates were on the brink of bankruptcy. Texas roughnecks and Kuwaiti princes alike had watched helplessly for months as the commodity that was their lifeblood tumbled to prices that had until recently seemed unthinkable. Below $50 a barrel, then below $40, then below $30. But inside the central London headquarters of one of the world’s largest oil companies, there was an air of calm. It was January 2016. Bob Dudley had been at the helm of BP Plc for six years. He ought to have had as much reason to panic as anyone in the rest of his industry. The unflashy American had been predicting lower prices for months. He was being proved right, though that was hardly a reason to celebrate.
/bloom.bg/39rKB6l

Wall Street Banks Summoned by Regulators Over Hwang’s Blowup
Jesse Westbrook, Sridhar Natarajan, and Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
SEC and Finra said to hold meetings with prime brokers; Washington races to assess any fallout from firm’s implosion
Wall Street banks grappling with the implosion of Bill Hwang’s investment firm spent Monday briefing U.S. regulators as Washington starts to dig into one of the biggest fund blowups in years. The Securities and Exchange Commission summoned the banks for hasty meetings on what triggered the forced sale of more than $20 billion of stocks linked to Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, said people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named in discussing private conversations. The calls also involved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, with officials quizzing brokerages about any impacts on their operations, potential credit risks and other threats, said one of the people.
/bloom.bg/3sCk25U

ICE marks first day of trading on ICE’s new exchange in Abu Dhabi with 8,854 cleared lots traded; 6,344 ICE Murban Crude Oil futures contracts trade on day of launch; Additional 2,510 Murban related cash settled derivative contracts traded; 27 firms traded on IFAD
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced the first day of trading of ICE’s newest exchange, ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (“IFAD”), and ICE Murban Crude Oil futures, the world’s first Murban futures contract.
/bit.ly/31xrp2I

New Mideast Crude Contract May Test OPEC’s Grip on Oil; Abu Dhabi’s Murban futures begin trading as the emirate prepares to relinquish control over prices and resales of its crude
Joe Wallace – WSJ
Abu Dhabi allowed trading of a futures contract linked to its flagship grade of crude for the first time on Monday in a debut that could test OPEC’s grip on oil prices. Prices for Murban futures rose 0.6% to $63.90 a barrel on Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s new ICE Futures Abu Dhabi marketplace. Trading was brisk: More than 6,300 lots, equating to over 6.3 million barrels of crude, changed hands by 5 p.m. local time, or 9 a.m. ET.
/on.wsj.com/3rJpjrb

Abu Dhabi launches new oil futures as it targets Asian refiners; Move aims to create benchmark to rival other regional players including Dubai and Oman
Anjli Raval – FT
Abu Dhabi began trading futures contracts for its most important oil grade Murban on Monday as the emirate seeks to create a rival regional benchmark as part of a big shake-up in the way its crude is traded.
/on.ft.com/3szMsNJ

The Future of U.K. Banking Rests on a Process Run by European Politicians
Silla Brush and Alexander Weber – Bloomberg
Even with Brexit done and a trade agreement sealed, the U.K. and European Union are still jockeying over the future of financial services. The City of London’s unhindered access to European markets — and with that, its standing as a global financial hub — hinges on a process controlled by politicians and technocrats in Brussels known as “equivalence.” The EU has been in no rush to move things along, while the U.K. is signaling that it intends to veer from the bloc’s rules and will not accept equivalence at any price.
/bloom.bg/34RSn6f

SEC urged to scrutinise securities lending after GameStop frenzy; Demand for some stocks resulted in a short interest that exceeded the number of outstanding shares
Rheaa Rao – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission should scrutinise the securities lending market and revisit who gets to invest in private markets, industry watchers have said during a hearing with the US House Committee on Financial Services.
/on.ft.com/3weqp1e

Archegos Drama Hardly Ruffles a Market That’s ‘Drunk on Risk’
Vildana Hajric and Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
Most shrug off potential contagion from forced block sales; Fed saving the day again may not be good thing: Thompson
A secretive money pool craters, causing billions of dollars of potential losses for global banks. Two storied names of American media post their worst days ever in the stock market. Securities regulators say they’re monitoring the situation.
/bloom.bg/3m64hld

Block Trade Mess Revives Fierce Debate on ‘Leverage Gone Wrong’
Katherine Greifeld and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Margin debt, levered funds spark alarm after Archegos unwind; Market participants debate over how much worry is warranted
What might be the largest margin call in history is ringing fresh alarm bells on Wall Street among those worried about hidden leverage and its potential to fry the financial system. The forced selling of more than $20 billion of apparently swap-linked shares at Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management has set off a hunt for other areas of excess — from margin debt to options and bloated balance sheets — after stocks at the center of the fiasco plunged and investment banks warned of losses.
/bloom.bg/3m2YXPz

Archegos banks discussed co-operation to head off selling frenzy; Counterparties met last week to consider orderly unwinding of Bill Hwang’s leveraged equity bets
Ortenca Aliaj and Eric Platt, Tabby Kinder and Leo Lewis – FT
The biggest counterparties of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management last week discussed ways to limit the market fallout from his collapsing bets on stocks including ViacomCBS, according to four people briefed on the talks, but the effort foundered and paved the way for days of chaotic trading.
/on.ft.com/39qDueh

Tiger King Julian Robertson on Hwang’s Blowup: ‘I’m a Great Fan’
Max Abelson – Bloomberg
Billionaire says selloff ‘could probably happen to anyone’; Robertson says he’d still be willing to invest with Hwang
There isn’t one single thing that makes the blowup inside Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management so astounding. There’s the scale, the impact on global markets, the role of big banks, those secret derivatives, all that leverage, and the investor’s own spotty regulatory history.
/bloom.bg/3sDvttX

Archegos Breaks Silence, Saying ‘All Plans Are Being Discussed’
Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management is breaking its silence after soured bets prompted investment banks to hastily unwind its positions. “This is a challenging time for the family office of Archegos Capital Management, our partners and employees,” Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for the firm, said late Monday in an emailed statement. “All plans are being discussed as Mr. Hwang and the team determine the best path forward.”
/bloom.bg/3sBOi0J

Archegos Meltdown Is Another Groundhog Day on Wall Street; Once again, greed and a ravenous appetite for debt are at the root of a hedge fund’s distress.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
Everything old is new again on Wall Street — including a volcanic market crack-up involving a heavily indebted, high-flying hedge fund that’s able to operate with enough anonymity and impunity that nobody seems to be aware of how bad it might get until the eruption occurs.
/bloom.bg/3rBtLry

Goldman Sachs and Archegos Reveal a Blind Spot for Fed; The financial system has held up throughout the pandemic and ultra-low interest rates, but investors and regulators must remain vigilant.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Throughout the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, investors have at least taken comfort in knowing the global financial system was more or less on solid ground. Sure, risk assets plunged briefly in March 2020, and even U.S. Treasuries experienced the highest volatility in more than a decade, but central banks calmed that turbulence quickly.
/bloom.bg/3rycdwv

How Bill Hwang got back into banks’ good books — then blew them up; Prime brokers shook off concerns about Archegos as they eyed lucrative lending
Tabby Kinder and Leo Lewis – FT
Print this page
In 2012, New York-based hedge fund Tiger Asia Management pleaded guilty to using inside information to trade Chinese bank stocks, resulting in a massive settlement with US regulators. It marked a fall from grace for its founder Bill Hwang, one of the so-called “Tiger Cub” veterans of Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management fund.
/on.ft.com/3frjdZR

Archegos Greed Got the Better of Wall Street; Letting someone build huge stakes using derivatives hidden from public view puts the onus on prime brokers to police their own risk. Maybe that’s not ideal.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
The implosion of Archegos Capital Management, a fund that’s been forced to liquidate more than $20 billion worth of stocks, should prompt regulators to ask whether this was another financial calamity that could have been avoided. Allowing investors to build massive stakes in individual companies using derivatives hidden from public view — and using borrowed funds to do so — puts the onus on a handful of Wall Street prime brokers to police their own risk. Maybe that’s not ideal. Bill Hwang’s investment firm, which ended up having to meet one of the largest margin calls on record, was a disaster waiting to happen.
/bloom.bg/3w8yswG

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Limit Losses With Fast Sale of Archegos Assets; The decision to sell early helped insulate financial giants from losses that have hit others
Maureen Farrell, Margot Patrick and Juliet Chung – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley were quick to move large blocks of assets before other large banks that traded with Archegos Capital Management, as the scale of the hedge fund’s losses became apparent, according to people with knowledge of the transactions. The strategy helped limit the U.S. firms’ losses in last week’s epic stock liquidation, they said.
/on.wsj.com/3frxWE0

Joint Statement on the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum
US Department of the Treasury
U.S. and EU participants in the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum (“the Forum”) met virtually on March 24 and 25, 2021, to exchange views on topics of mutual interest as part of their ongoing financial regulatory dialogue.
/bit.ly/3cBEJcu

Mystery surrounds rumored Ion acquisition of Italian trading platform provider List; While it would appear that Ion has acquired the Pisa-based vendor, details are murky. If the deal has gone through, though, it could mean contractual changes will occur in the near future for List users.
Josephine Gallagher, Joanna Wright – Waters Technology
This month, two different reports in the Italian media (here and here) indicated that Ion Group had acquired Pisa-based trading platform provider List S.p.A from its previous owner, TA Associates. While Ion acquiring a trading technology provider is hardly shocking news, the details around this particular deal are murky.
/bit.ly/2QJTm4Z

Wells Fargo’s likely role in Archegos could draw regulatory scrutiny: J.P. Morgan analysts
Reuters Staff
Wells Fargo & Co’s involvement in the Archegos Capital fallout comes as a surprise and carries the risk of additional regulatory scrutiny for the bank or a delay in its asset cap being lifted, J.P. Morgan research analysts said on Tuesday.
/reut.rs/3m2OLql

Green investing ‘is definitely not going to work’, says ex-BlackRock executive;
Tariq Fancy once oversaw the start of the biggest effort to turn Wall Street ‘green’ – but now believes the climate crisis can never be solved by today’s free markets
Dominic Rushe – The Guardian
From his desk in midtown Manhattan Tariq Fancy once oversaw the beginning of arguably the biggest, most ambitious, effort ever to turn Wall Street “green”. Now, as environmentally friendly investing grows at an exponential rate, Fancy has come to a stark conclusion: “This is definitely not going to work.”
/bit.ly/3ruRpWQ

ISDA Statement on JBATA Announcement on Yen TIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR
ISDA
ISDA has published the following statement in response to today’s announcement by JBA TIBOR Administration (JBATA), the administrator of yen TIBOR and euroyen TIBOR.
/bit.ly/3fq8zT6

ISDA Press Briefing: The End of Libor – What it Means for Derivatives Markets
ISDA
/bit.ly/3cy6L8Q

Supreme Court Weighs Merit of Goldman Sachs Ethics Statements; Justices consider whether generic commitments to integrity can be deemed false in the face of alleged conflicts of interest
Jess Bravin – WSJ
The Supreme Court on Monday examined whether Goldman Sachs GS -0.51% Group Inc.’s generic assertions of corporate ethics and integrity, undermined when the company’s role in the 2008 financial crisis was revealed, could expose it to a shareholder class action over false statements.
/on.wsj.com/2O8RW3a

Supreme Court Looks for Narrow Path in Investors’ Suit Against Goldman Sachs; Both sides agreed that generic statements about firms’ integrity and honesty can sometimes be the basis for securities fraud class-action suits.
Adam Liptak – NY Times
A frustrated Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a securities fraud class-action case against Goldman Sachs, with several justices indicating puzzlement about what they were meant to do in light of both parties seeming to agree about the governing legal standard. Two justices, using the same metaphor, said they saw little daylight between the two sides.
/nyti.ms/3cxWIQX

Coronavirus

Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are 90% effective after two doses in study of real-life conditions, CDC confirms; Report on essential workers is one of the first to estimate protection against any infection, regardless of symptoms
Lena H. Sun – Washington Post
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being deployed to fight the coronavirus pandemic are robustly effective in preventing infections in real-life conditions, according to a federal study released Monday that provides reassurance of protection for front-line workers in the United States.
/wapo.st/3syvUFZ

BioNTech Raises 2021 Covid Vaccine Target to 2.5 Billion Doses
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc. raised this year’s production target for their Covid-19 vaccine to as many as 2.5 billion doses, with the German biotech’s chief executive predicting a version of the shot that can be stored in refrigerators will be ready within months.
/bloom.bg/2QHDJLk

Tourism in Antigua and Barbuda Is Sending Covid Skyrocketing Officials contend the problem isn’t resort-goers. But locals aren’t so sure.
Kiernan Dunlop – Bloomberg
On a clear day in Antigua, Uriah Gregory, 43, pulls his taxi van over in front of a guest house painted in bright pink, purple, and orange hues and steps out to help a woman with her luggage. Pre-pandemic, Gregory estimates his taxi brought in $1,110 a month, shuttling visitors from resorts to restaurants and beaches during peak tourist season on the Caribbean island. Now, with few of those visitors in sight, he’s barely averaging $110.
/bloom.bg/3wenkyc

Drugstores Can’t Wait for Scheduling Covid Shots to Get Simpler
Angelica LaVito – Bloomberg
Ordeal of finding an appointment compared to ‘Hunger Games’; Vaccine sales could help plug holes left by mild flu season
While millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses are available, it could be months until anyone can just walk into their local pharmacy for a dose, a frustrating situation for big chains like Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., as well as their customers.
/bloom.bg/3u55X15

Israel Plans to Buy Millions of Vaccine Doses for Future Use
Alisa Odenheimer – Bloomberg
Israel plans to buy millions of additional doses of coronavirus vaccine that may be used once its initial inoculation drive is complete, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
/bloom.bg/39spelg

London lags behind as the UK’s vaccine rollout gathers pace; Hesitancy among ethnic minorities, deprivation and health inequalities may explain lower uptake of jab
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe, Chelsea Bruce-Lockhart and Liz Faunce – FT
“My main concern was that there could be animal products in the Covid-19 vaccine,” explained Jay Mehta. “There were lots of rumours going around that it might contain pork.” Mehta, a resident of the London borough of Harrow, decided to get the vaccination this year, after researching the ingredients of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and taking part in local webinars hosted by the Jain Health initiative, a religious group working to boost uptake among the South Asian community.
/on.ft.com/39pAcI0

GSK to help manufacture 60m doses of Novavax Covid vaccine in UK; Drugmaker will ‘fill and finish’ as-yet-unapproved jabs as talks continue over EU export controls
Sarah Neville and George Parker – FT
British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will be part of the manufacturing process for up to 60m doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by US rival Novavax in an agreement set to boost UK production of coronavirus jabs.
/on.ft.com/3w51wFg

Biden vows to expand vaccine access as CDC chief raises alarm; Rochelle Walensky says she senses ‘impending doom’ in Covid-19 trends despite inoculation gains
James Politi and Peter Wells – FT
Joe Biden is moving to rapidly expand vaccination eligibility, warning Americans against complacency in the fight against the pandemic after a senior US health official said she felt a sense of “impending doom” about surging infections.
/on.ft.com/3wb28cC

Germany Probing Astra Shot After Berlin Stops Use in Under 60s
Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
Germany is reassessing AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine after the capital Berlin suspended its use for people under the age of 60, citing new data on potentially dangerous side effects. Dilek Kalayci, the city’s top health official said that Germany’s vaccination commission and the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which oversee vaccine use, will make new recommendations on how to proceed. RKI spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher confirmed that the advisory group is assessing the Astra vaccine.
/bloom.bg/3rAemYE

Austria in Talks About 1 Million Sputnik Doses From April, APA Says
Jonathan Tirone – Bloomberg
Austria is in talks about purchasing as many as 1 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine with first deliveries as early as next month, the APA newswire reported.
/bloom.bg/2PJPAYJ

Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Stop Infections in Real-World Study
John Tozzi – Bloomberg
CDC report suggests shots cut transmission, not just illnesses; Study looked at about 4,000 early recipients of vaccines
Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. effectively prevented coronavirus infections, not just illness, with substantial protection evident two weeks after the first dose, government researchers said. Two doses of the vaccines provide as much as 90% protection against infection, according to data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published Monday. Earlier clinical trials had established that the shots also prevent illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.
/bloom.bg/2PI0ApP

Why Are COVID Cases Going Up in New York City?
Chas Danner – NY Magaxine
On Monday morning, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky issued an urgent — and at times emotional — plea for the country to stay vigilant against COVID-19, amid a more than 10 percent uptick in new cases nationwide and a smaller but still notable rise in COVID hospitalizations and deaths. Fearing another wave of cases amid the rapidly reopening country’s mass-vaccination drive, Walensky said she felt a sense of “impending doom,” and urged Americans to “just hold on a little longer” and not let down their guard. Amid this mini-surge, New York State is now home to the country’s second-highest rate of new daily infections per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks (548), behind only neighboring New Jersey, which has had a 14-day average of 647 new cases per 100,000 residents. Infections in New York State and City, still extremely high despite having dropped significantly from their mid-winter peak, have been trending up again — and it’s not precisely clear why. Below is what we do know about the uptick in infections and ongoing risk in New York City.
/nym.ag/3m2N0t4

University scientists deconstruct Covid-19 vaccines and publish ‘recipe’ on open web; Stanford University scientists determine sequences of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from vials set to be discarded
Josh Taylor – The Guardian
Scientists have determined the “recipes” for two Covid-19 vaccines using leftovers in vials bound for the trash and published the mRNA sequences on Github, the online repository for software code.
/bit.ly/3cxup5c

Am I a Chump for Waiting for the Vaccine? People are stretching the truth to get the vaccine faster, but experts say I shouldn’t. Here’s why.
Olga Khazan – The Atlantic
I’ve always been a rule follower. So when I learned that my state, Virginia, was currently vaccinating only people older than 65, people with health conditions, and essential workers, I decided to patiently wait my turn. I didn’t prowl around pharmacies and hospitals at closing time, hoping for an extra dose. A few weeks ago, I signed up for Virginia’s COVID-vaccine waitlist, closed my laptop, and turned on Netflix.
/bit.ly/3m5A9qf

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Peter Großkopf leaves Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange GmbH
Boerse Stuttgart
Peter Großkopf (40), Chief Technical Officer and Member of the Management Board of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange GmbH, will leave the company at his own request at the end of March 2021. Having successfully built up Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX) as the first multilateral trading venue for digital assets in Germany, he would like to return to entrepreneurial activities as the founder of a new company in the field of Decentralized Finance (DeFi).
/bit.ly/3w8lwaa

Tekna lists on Euronext Growth Oslo
Euronext
The advanced material provider Tekna has today been admitted to trading on Euronext Growth (ticker code: TEKNA). Tekna produces high-purity metal powders for 3D printing in the aerospace, medical and automotive sectors, and induction plasma systems for industrial research and production.
/bit.ly/3u5SCpd

Interview with SIG on the launch of seven new equity options on Xetra listed U.S. underlyings
Eurex
Paraic Rogan, Volatility Trader and Market Structure Specialist at Susquehanna International Group. Paraic Rogan started his career with SIG in 2008, trading everything from carbon futures to volatility options. An expert in market structure and product design, Paraic answered some questions we posed on Eurex’s recent introduction of equity options on Xetra U.S. underlyings.
/bit.ly/39qZ3vo

Equity index derivatives: Introduction of futures on STOXX Europe 600 and USA 500 Factor Indices
Eurex
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decisions with effect from 26 April 2021: Introduction of futures on: STOXX Europe 600 Industry Neutral Ax Value, Size, Quality, Multi-Factor, Momentum, Low Risk Indices; STOXX USA 500 Industry Neutral Ax Value, Size, Quality, Multi-Factor, Momentum, Low Risk Indices and Introduction of a Liquidity Provider Scheme for the new products (as of 26 April 2021)
/bit.ly/3wbbVPI

Sabrina Bailey appointed to run Wealth Solutions business
London Stock Exchange Group plc
LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group plc) today announces the appointment of Sabrina Bailey in the US to lead its Wealth Solutions business, part of the Data & Analytics Division. In this role, Sabrina will build on recent investment into the Wealth Solutions business, focusing on driving technology innovation, developing key regional and global partnerships, expanding global reach and creating sustainable value for clients and prospects. The Wealth Solutions business supports a significant number of established and emerging wealth customers providing global, regional and emerging market wealth platforms across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
/bit.ly/39pLLPw

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture – Effective March 30, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
/bit.ly/39rRMeN

COMEX & NYMEX Metal Inventory Report New Field
CME Group
Deliveries Plus will begin including a “Position Account” field for all warrant records on the Inventory List for COMEX/NYMEX Metals.
/bit.ly/2PiFo9W

Applications for Wheat Regularity
CME Group
Pursuant to Regulation 703, notice hereby is given that Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. has applied to the Exchange for a declaration of regularity in Wheat at the following locations:
/bit.ly/2PagB85

Delisting of the South American Short-Dated New Crop Soybean Options Contract
CME Group
Effective today, Monday, March 29, 2021, The Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. (“CBOT” or “Exchange”) delisted the South American Short-Dated New Crop Soybean Options contract (the “Contract”) as set forth in the table below. There is no open interest in the Contract.
/bit.ly/31whY3f

SGX RegCo issues Trade with Caution alert on shares of Yinda Infocomm Limited
SGX
Singapore Exchange Regulation (“SGX RegCo”) urges investors and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of Yinda Infocomm Limited (“YIL”). The share price of YIL climbed steadily from $0.053 on 24 September 2020 to $0.149 on 30 March 2021, a rise of $0.096 or 181%. The Straits Times Index increased 30.2% during the same period.
/bit.ly/3dhZau9

SGX welcomes Haitong International Singapore as Securities and Derivatives Clearing Member
SGX
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Haitong International Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Haitong International Singapore) to its securities and derivatives markets as a clearing member, and as a depository agent of The Central Depository (Pte) Limited (CDP). Haitong International Group has a global financial servicing network covering the world’s major capital markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, London, Tokyo, Mumbai and Sydney. Haitong International Singapore has been a trading member of SGX’s securities and derivatives markets since 2014.
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Establishment of Center for Advanced Research and Development: DigiMa Lab.
JPX
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) will establish a center for advanced research and development: DigiMa Lab. to design a future vision of JPX on April 1, 2021.
/bit.ly/3fnLIrm

Tokyo Commodity Exchange: Handling Of Electricity Futures Settlement Prices Of Current Contract Month Contracts From April 2021
Mondovisione
/bit.ly/3sCUqpl

Changes To The Board Of Directors Of SIX
Mondovisione
Andy Kollegger, Head Corporate & Institutional Clients International at UBS, has been nominated as the bank’s representative on the Board of Directors of SIX. He will succeed Sabine Keller-Busse, who has decided to step down from the Board of Directors after nine years of service, effective end of April 2021.
/bit.ly/3cBJbry

Fintech

Refinitiv global trading head appointed CEO of Broadway Technology; Global head of trading at Refinitiv, Michael Chin, joins Broadway Technology as co-founder and CEO takes on a new role as chief innovation officer.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Broadway Technology has appointed the global head of trading at Refinitiv, Michael Chin, as CEO of the firm as its co-founder assumes the new role of chief innovation officer. Tyler Moeller takes on the new position after co-founding Broadway in 2003 and leading the firm as chief executive officer. As chief innovation officer, Moeller will work alongside Chin to grow and expand the company.
/bit.ly/3wb51tY

Where Goldman, Citi, JPMorgan are putting fintech investment dollars
Penny Crosman – American Banker
Big banks continue to invest heavily in fintech startups that can help them stay competitive, reach new markets and improve efficiency, but the specific sectors they put money into are changing. Capital markets and wealth management fintechs are attracting bank investment, while blockchain companies appear to have gone out of favor, at least for now.
/bit.ly/2O4FAsH

The Start-Up Enemies of Wall Street Are Booming
Erin Griffith – The New York Times
In 2009, Shamir Karkal and several colleagues struggled to raise money for a banking start-up, Simple. Most of the 70 venture capital firms they met over the course of a year didn’t see the point of the idea, he said. The few that did thought it would fail. By last year, things had changed. When Mr. Karkal set out to raise funding for his new financial technology start-up, Sila, which makes regulatory compliance software, he garnered $5 million in a few months with a fraction of the pitches. He said he was frustrated it didn’t happen even faster. “I know folks in the space who raised rounds in less than one week,” he said.
/nyti.ms/3fovpuc

Broadway Technology Expands Executive Team, Appoints Michael Chin CEO
Traders Magazine (press release)
Broadway Technology, a leading provider of high-performance front-office solutions, today announced it has named Michael Chin as CEO and will appoint him to the board of directors. Chin’s appointment marks the latest phase in Broadway’s long-term strategic growth plan to capitalize on growing market opportunity and continuously deliver high value services to clients. As part of the executive team expansion, Broadway co-founder and board of directors’ member Tyler Moeller will become Chief Innovation Officer, continuing his leadership of Broadway’s innovation strategy and track record delivering long-term pioneering technology to the industry.
/bit.ly/3dlGrh9

Pirum Appoints Nick Barnes To The Business Development Team
Mondovisione
Pirum has further bolstered its Business Development team to meet the growth in demand seen across its full suite of front office and post-trade services. Nick joins Pirum from Eurex where he was responsible for various CCP and repo related initiatives. Prior to this he spent sixteen years at Barclays Capital in a number of senior front office roles.
/bit.ly/3czYAc9

Finch Capital, Through Nomu Pay, Acquires Wirecard Turkey
Mondovisione
Finch Capital, through Nomu Pay, a vehicle that invests in payment assets, has today reached an agreement to acquire Wirecard Ödeme Ve Elektronik Para Hizmetleri (Wirecard Turkey). The deal is expected to be completed by Summer 2021 and is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals.
/bit.ly/2PE5jZu

Seth Merrin Joins Neuravest As Executive Chairman
Mondovisiione
A renowned entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist, and author, Seth Merrin has spent his entire career reinventing how global financial markets work by implementing advanced technology solutions to drive efficiencies and eliminate barriers for investors.
/bit.ly/3cAgIm1

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin climbs as PayPal launches ‘Checkout with Crypto’
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
Bitcoin rose on the news PayPal Holdings is launching Checkout with Crypto, a new feature which allow users with cryptocurrency holdings to pay for goods and services. Bitcoin rose over 3%, and the other currencies PayPal is allowing — Litecoin , Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash — also rose.
/on.mktw.net/39rIQWq

Buying Teslas With Bitcoin Sort of Defeats the Purpose of Teslas; Melding the electric-car maker’s fortunes with the energy-intensive cryptocurrency undercuts its purported mission.
Liam Denning – Bloomberg
Tesla Inc. has begun accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicles in the U.S. This could be a clever marketing strategy, a way of bolstering the value of the company’s own crypto-bet, or perhaps just something to do. Maybe it’s all three. One thing it isn’t: compatible with Tesla’s green credentials.m “Mining” Bitcoin is energy intensive. The computers competing to log and verify the transactions underpinning, and securing, the cryptocurrency demand electricity — currently as much as used by the entirety of Finland, according to one estimate.
/bloom.bg/3wb1ADx

Ex-SEC Chairman Clayton to Advise Brevan-Backed Firm on Crypto
Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Role shouldn’t be seen as relaxed view on regulation, he said; Advisory board also to include Kevin Hassett and Jon Orszag
One River Asset Management, a $2.5 billion firm whose cryptocurrency funds are backed by hedge fund titan Alan Howard, brought on former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton as an adviser, lending credibility to an emerging asset class that still lacks comprehensive regulation.
/bloom.bg/2Pa9ZGN

Crypto Firm Ripple to Take 40% Stake in Asia Payments Specialist
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Crypto firm Ripple Labs Inc. is planning to take a 40% stake in Asian cross-border payments specialist Tranglo. Ripple said in a statement Tuesday that the tie-up will help meet demand for the use of its affiliated token XRP in transactions. The announcement comes about a week after Brooks Entwistle, a former executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., became Ripple’s managing director of Southeast Asia.
/bloom.bg/2PnaJYZ

Visa takes a major step toward embracing cryptocurrency
Shelby Brown – CNET
Visa on Monday announced that it will now allow the use of cryptocurrency to settle transactions in its payment network. USD Coin — a stablecoin backed by the US dollar — will be used to settle transactions with Visa over the Ethereum blockchain, according to a release. Visa is piloting the program with Crypto.com and said it plans to offer USDC settlement to more partners later this year.
/cnet.co/39swRYW

Tether Takes Step Toward Transparency With First Accounting Firm Report Card
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, published an attestation on Tuesday verifying that it had $35 billion in the bank backing a similar amount of its USDT token last month. Produced by Cayman Islands-based accounting firm Moore Cayman, the document examines Tether’s holdings as of Feb. 28, 2021 at 23:59 UTC, finding that the company had at least $35.28 billion in total assets, against total liabilities of $35.15 million. Tuesday’s attestation is the first third-party verification Tether has produced indicating its reserves match the amount of USDT in circulation since 2018, the first from an actual accounting firm since September 2017, and by far the least equivocal of the bunch. As such, it may help resolve some longstanding questions about the stablecoin’s backing.
/bit.ly/3rBn3BS

3 crypto-market trends to look out for this year, according to PwC
Isabelle Lee – Markets Insider
Mergers and acquisitions will be a big theme in the cryptocurrency space, according to PwC, after the value of M&A deals in the sector doubled year over year in 2020. In a report published on Monday, the Big Four accounting firm revealed that the average M&A deal size jumped by 174% from $19.2 million to $52.7 million, with four deals valued at more than $100 million in 2020. The firm also revealed that transactions are shifting away from the Americas, with 60% occurring in Asia and Europe compared to 2019. Transactions, according to PwC, are also more spread out across categories. “With increasing interest in crypto from retail and institutional investors following the positive market momentum, it is not surprising to see increase M&A in the broader train sector,” the report said.
/bit.ly/39qLf3T

SEC files suit against LBRY, accuses crypto startup of selling unregistered securities
Michael McSweeney – The Block
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against New Hampshire-based crypto startup LBRY Inc., accusing the company of selling unregistered securities in the form of its token. LBRY operates a decentralized content publishing platform. According to the company, the firm’s in-house tokens, dubbed LBRY Credits, are used as part of the platform to publish and buy content. The SEC’s lawsuit contends that LBRY Credits are securities and that the firm’s sale of these credits constituted an unregistered offering to investors.
/bit.ly/3m7TEOW

Blockstream Issues Security Token Tied to Bitcoin Hashrate, Payable in BTC
Colin Harper – Coindesk
Bitcoin development company Blockstream is launching a token that is tied to the company’s Bitcoin mining production and which is redeemable in bitcoin. One Blockstream Mining Note (BMN) represents 2,000 terahashes per second of hashrate from one of Blockstream’s mining facilities. The first tranche of 62.5 BMN will go on sale next week, April 7, and can be redeemed after three years for the bitcoin equivalent to the total hashrate the note represents.
/bit.ly/3ubNxvL

UK Tax Authority Updates Treatment of Crypto Assets to Incorporate Staking
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has updated its guidance on taxation of crypto assets to incorporate income from staking in proof-of-stake networks. This marks the first time that HMRC has released guidance specifically describing how staking is treated for taxation purposes. It has been assumed previously that staking comes under the umbrella of mining, thus the same guidance has applied. The guidance issued today on staking is indeed almost identical in its wording to that on mining. However, the introduction of separate guidance for the two opens the door to divergence in the future.
/bit.ly/3flAtQe

11 things you may not know about China’s digital currency;China was the first major economy to begin exploring its own digital currency in 2014, though it is yet to launch the proposed digital yuan
Unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which are not centrally controlled, China’s “sovereign” digital coin would fall under the authority of the People’s Bank of China
SCMP Reporters
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A Crypto Exchange Weighs Going Public. Bitcoin Is Just That Hot.
Luisa Beltran – Barron’s
Now that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global has filed to go public, all eyes are on which competitor will be next to the public equity markets. Put Kraken at the top of that list.
/bit.ly/3sCU4iv

HUBUC And Currencycloud Partner To Support Global Payments
Mondovisione
The next generation banking-as-a-service platform, HUBUC, has partnered with fintech Currencycloud to support HUBUC’s business customers with seamless cross-border payments, employee to employer payments, access to a digital multi-currency account and real-time wholesale foreign exchange rates.
/bit.ly/2O8NQrO

Politics

SIFMA Statement on the Investing in Our Communities Act
SIFMA
SIFMA today issued the following statement from president and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. on the reintroduction of the “Investing in Our Communities Act:”
/bit.ly/2PJRetn

Regulation

The FCA and the Bank of England encourage market participants in a switch to SONIA in the sterling non-linear derivatives market from 11 May
UK FCA
Following close engagement with market participants, the FCA and Bank of England support and encourage liquidity providers in the sterling non-linear derivatives market to adopt new quoting conventions for inter-dealer trading based on SONIA instead of LIBOR from 11 May this year. This is to facilitate a further shift in market liquidity toward SONIA, bringing benefits for a wide range of users as they move away from LIBOR.
/bit.ly/3sywWSn

FCA confirms Finalised Guidance for advising on Defined Benefit transfers
UK FCA
We have today confirmed our finalised Defined Benefit (DB) transfer guidance for advisers.
/bit.ly/2O4jyGw

Don’t let Spac mania sway London’s IPO reforms; The UK listing process should be made more open and transparent
Helen Thomas – FT
This year’s IPO market has every pandemic celebration well and truly covered. Takeaway courtesy of Deliveroo. Drinks from Virgin Wines. Greetings from your nearest and dearest via Moonpig. So good that you might choose to spend your next birthday this way. Except of course you won’t. The appeal of restaurants, bars and real live human companions will almost certainly win the day.
/on.ft.com/3fnGrQA

Cboe gets green light from SEC to launch US equities periodic auctions; The US equities periodic auctions are expected to launch at Cboe during the third quarter of this year.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cboe Global Markets has received approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce periodic auctions onto its Cboe BYX Equities Exchange. The exchange operator confirmed its plans to launch a periodic auction system in the US in July last year, after being the first to launch the alternative trading venue in Europe in 2015.
/bit.ly/3dhqYPf

SEC Awards Over $500,000 to Whistleblower Under “Safe Harbor” for Internal Reporting and Surpasses Record for Individual Awards
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more than $500,000 to a whistleblower who raised concerns internally before submitting a tip to the Commission. The whistleblower’s information and assistance allowed the Commission and another agency to quickly file actions, shutting down an ongoing fraudulent scheme.
/bit.ly/2QRVBmY

ESMA publishes response to IASB Post Implementation Review of IFRS 10, 11 and 12
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today published its response to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Post Implementation Review of IFRS 10, IFRS 11 and IFRS 12, including a report providing an overview of the implementation of the three standards by European issuers. The report draws on the experience of European enforcers since 2014 and is based on a review of a sample of 65 issuers relating to the financial years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
/bit.ly/3m2KoeK

ESMA Updates AIFMD Q&S
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today updated its Questions and Answers on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).
/bit.ly/3sCArr1

ESMA updates UCITS Q&As
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today updated its Questions and Answers on the application of the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive (UCITS Directive).
/bit.ly/31AhUPW

ESMA proposes amendments to MiFIR transactions and reference data reporting regimes
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today published the Final Report on the review of transaction and reference data reporting obligations under MiFIR.
/bit.ly/3rGSues

ESMA fines Moody’s EUR3.7 million for conflicts of interest failures
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has fined five entities in the Moody’s Group, based in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, a total of EUR3,703,000 and issued public notices for breaches of the Credit Ratings Agencies Regulation (CRAR) regarding independence and the avoidance of shareholder conflicts of interest.
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Investing in a SPAC
FINRA
For decades, conventional initial public offerings (IPOs) served as the primary path for growth companies to raise money from investors in the public markets. But a new trend is emerging. An unprecedented number of companies are pursuing an alternative path to entering the public market by using a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC. In 2020, SPACs raised over $80 billion, and in the first nine weeks of 2021 SPACS raised over $70 billion.
/bit.ly/31Aik8Y

UK Regulators Urge Sterling Derivatives Providers to Switch from LIBOR
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
With the end of LIBOR drawing closer, the FCA and Britain’s central bank are encouraging market participants to actively transition from referencing LIBOR rates in their sterling non-linear derivatives. In this respect, the mega regulators recommend adopting new quoting conventions for inter-dealer trading based on SONIA, effective May 12. Instead of interbank offered rates, this step facilitates a further shift in market liquidity toward SONIA, bringing benefits for a wide range of users as they move away from LIBOR.
/bit.ly/3u7AzyU

Investing and Trading

Insurers Were Hit by $89 Billion of Disaster Losses Last Year
Katherine Chiglinsky – Bloomberg
Insurers were hit by $89 billion of losses from disasters in 2020, the fifth-costliest year for the industry in data going back five decades, according to a new report from Swiss Re. The reinsurer said the bulk of those costs, which were higher than the previous 10-year annual average of $79 billion, were from natural catastrophes, including hurricanes Laura and Sally and a derecho storm in the U.S. Total economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes reached $202 billion, up from $150 billion in 2019.
/bloom.bg/3weYnCP

Drivers Are Returning to the Road. That Is Good News for Corn Growers; The higher demand expected for gasoline additive ethanol could lift already lofty corn prices
Kirk Maltais – WSJ
Corn prices have hit their highest levels in almost eight years. Analysts say they are likely to get a further boost from motorists. Drivers returning to the road are expected to lift demand for ethanol. About 40% of the U.S. corn crop goes to producing the gasoline additive, and consumption has plunged amid the pandemic. Now ethanol producers envision a rebound powered by economic reopenings and a potential wave of bioenergy-friendly regulations from the Biden administration.
/on.wsj.com/3dhfiw6

Liquidity and alpha – the resurgent role of the trading desk
The Trade
MiFID II has had an impact on small to medium cap (SMID) share liquidity, compounded by a retraction in related research coverage. Fewer fund managers following companies with reduced research coverage has led to lower effective rates of trading. This coincides with a time when the fund management industry has had more pressures, than ever, on the liquidity profile and returns of its portfolio
/bit.ly/39s5Ogi

FTSE Puts Indian Bonds on Watch for Possible Index Inclusion
Subhadip Sircar – Bloomberg
Inclusion may attract $10 billion of inflows: Credit Agricole; Announcement to ensure more discipline in public finances: ANZ
FTSE Russell placed Indian government bonds on the watchlist for possible inclusion in its debt index, a move that may bring the nation closer to its aim of joining a global bond gauge after several false starts.
/bloom.bg/2PGQuFw

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Oil Trader Gunvor Eyes $500 Million in Renewables Deals
Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Gunvor starts Nyera renewables unit and vows emissions cuts; CEO says Gunvor is shifting the mix of commodities it trades
Gunvor Group Ltd., one of the largest independent oil traders, said it will invest at least half a billion dollars in non-hydrocarbon fuels and technology as looks to adapt and profit from the energy transition.
/bloom.bg/3wdsJG0

South Africa Speeds up Plans to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
Upper ceiling of emissions permitted by 2025 cut by 17%; Country is the world’s 12th biggest source of greenhouse gases
South Africa, the world’s 12th-biggest producer of greenhouse gases, has committed to improving its target for reducing its projected emissions of the pollutants by 17% in 2025. The environment ministry said in a presentation on Tuesday that it will, after consultation, present a revised so-called Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That will propose an upper limit of 510 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, down from an earlier target of 614 tons. While the upper limit for 2030 is now 440 tons, the minimum level was unchanged at 398 tons.
/bloom.bg/39qTIEm

China Ramps Up Push to Make World’s Biggest Steel Industry Green
Annie Lee – Bloomberg
Steel has surged as output curbs coincide with strong demand; Path toward net-zero is unclear, technology needs investment
China is strengthening efforts to clean up one of the dirtiest corners of its economy, and now plans for its mammoth steel industry to reach peak emissions within four years.
/bloom.bg/3dmT4Zq

Dubai’s Top Bank Is Said to Raise Gulf’s First Sustainable Loan
Archana Narayanan
Emirates NBD PJSC is raising around $1.75 billion in the Gulf region’s first sustainability-linked loan to refinance existing debt, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
/bloom.bg/3u4rDue

Methane pollution soars in US as shale drilling resumes; Emissions of greenhouse gas return to pre-pandemic levels despite industry pledges
Justin Jacobs – FT
Methane pollution from the largest oilfield in the US has soared back to pre-pandemic levels as a recovery in drilling undermines industry pledges to crack down on emissions of the potent greenhouse gas.
/on.ft.com/3we9hsL

Citi Creates New Investment-Banking Unit in Sustainability Push
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. will combine three of its investment-banking groups as part of its push to help large corporate clients transition away from using carbon. Steve Trauber and Sandip Sen will oversee the new natural resources and clean energy transition group, which includes the energy, power and chemicals franchises. The unit will work with other coverage areas, including industrials and technology, according to a memo to staff from Tyler Dickson and Manolo Falco, global heads of Citigroup’s banking, capital markets and advisory unit. “Energy transition, structural changes underway in global energy systems to drive toward low and zero carbon solutions, will unfold and accelerate over the next decade,” Dickson and Falco said in the memo Monday. ” Our chemicals, energy, and power clients, ranging from multinationals to fast growing alternative and clean-energy companies, are at the heart of energy transition, helping to drive new products, services and technologies.”
/bloom.bg/3wfbB2r

ESG-Linked Loans Are Set to Blast Off in Canada, CIBC Says
Esteban Duarte – Bloomberg
Regulators and banks move toward raising the product’s appeal; Canadian energy firms a good fit for borrowing via those loans
Sustainability-linked loans, a type of financing subject to a borrower’s compliance with environmental or socially responsible standards, is set for a boost in Canada as the government and companies move aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
/bloom.bg/3cy4jiE

World’s Top Agriculture Traders Gear Up for Green Diesel Boom
Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
ADM, Bunge make plants more efficient, Cargill boosts capacity; “We think it’s going to be a big market,” Andersons CEO says
The world’s biggest agricultural commodities traders are gearing up to profit from a boom in the American renewable diesel industry.
/bloom.bg/2PI4W09

Citigroup announces new investment banking unit in green push
Reuters Staff
Citigroup Inc said it will consolidate three of its investment banking groups into one in a push for environmental sustainability, an area that has become critical for investors. The new unit, to be called the Natural Resources and Clean Energy Transition Group, will be headed by Steve Trauber and Sandip Sen, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Monday.
/reut.rs/3u7VD8I

Institutions

Credit Suisse Bid for Tidy Archegos Fix Ends With Banks Brawling
Sridhar Natarajan and Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Prime brokerages held call with Archegos for orderly disposals; But an agreement was elusive. Then came the finger-pointing.
Alarms were blaring inside Wall Street’s corridors of power in the middle of last week, as executives realized they might be facing the biggest hedge fund blowup since Long-Term Capital Management in the 1990s. Global investment banks, gathering in a hastily arranged call, needed a swift truce to deal with Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management if they were to head off billions of dollars in losses for banks and a potential chain reaction across markets. Yet by Friday, it was everyone for themselves.
/bloom.bg/2PjoNmn

One of World’s Greatest Hidden Fortunes Is Wiped Out in Days
Katherine Burton and Tom Maloney – Bloomberg
Bill Hwang’s vast wealth and wagers were well-kept secrets; Wall Street is still trying to figure out how much he’s lost
From his perch high above Midtown Manhattan, just across from Carnegie Hall, Bill Hwang was quietly building one of the world’s greatest fortunes. Even on Wall Street, few ever noticed him — until suddenly, everyone did.
/bloom.bg/2QSQPph

Volatility Selling Is Back as Ex-Harvest Traders Join the Fray
Yakob Peterseil – Bloomberg
New fund Carrick Lane will focus on put-selling for income; Move follows launch of volatility firm by another Harvest alum
An options-powered strategy betting on calmer markets is roaring back as the Cboe Volatility Index, known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, recovers from pandemic-spurred gyrations. Two former executives of $3.5 billion Harvest Volatility Management are starting investment firm Carrick Lane, which will initially focus on selling equity derivatives for income, according to a press statement.
/bloom.bg/39rLH1X

Hedge funds hit out at William Hill over disclosure around takeover; GWM and HBK tell board they had not been given enough information over Caesars deal
Alice Hancock – FT
Two hedge funds have accused the board of William Hill of failing to disclose information about the bookmaker’s takeover by the casino group Caesars as they push for shareholders to have a second vote on the deal.
/on.ft.com/3ubGWBv

JPMorgan, Salesforce Join Growing List of Firms Dumping Office Space; Rise of remote work means demand for office space could be permanently lower for some companies
Konrad Putzier – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Salesforce. com Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers are among the major firms looking to unload big blocks of office space, the latest sign that remote work is hurting demand for this pillar of commercial real estate.
/on.wsj.com/3u2RZNh

Deutsche Bank chief hands over investment bank responsibility in leadership reshuffle; Fabrizio Campelli will assume responsibility for the investment banking and corporate banking business from chief executive Christian Sewing, effective from 1 May.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Deutsche Bank has transferred responsibility for its investment and corporate bank business to its chief transformation officer, Fabrizio Campelli, amid swathes of leadership changes.
/bit.ly/3fopntB

Biggest Japan Bank Joins Nomura in Bracing for Archegos Loss
Taiga Uranaka and Yuki Hagiwara – Bloomberg
MUFG warned of $300 million loss at European securities unit; Loss won’t have material impact on firm’s business capability
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. joined a growing list of global financial firms to take a hit from the forced unwinding of bets by Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management in one of the biggest margin calls of all time. Japan’s largest bank warned of a potential $300 million loss related to a U.S. client, a hit that’s linked to Archegos, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing a matter that isn’t public.
/bloom.bg/31tUlsl

Bank of England acts to limit fallout from banking glitches
Huw Jones – Reuters
Banks and other financial firms in Britain must set out by March 2022 how quickly critical parts of their business could recover from IT glitches and other disruptions and how to minimise the impact, the Bank of England said on Monday. The BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), in conjunction with the Financial Conduct Authority, set out rules on operational resilience after glitches at TSB in 2019 and at other banks left millions of customers locked out of their online accounts and facing delayed payments. Each regulated firm must draw up plans that set out where disruption could hit customers and broader financial stability, and how long it would take to resume normal service.
/reut.rs/3wbe7a6

Regions

Xi Finalizes Hong Kong Election Changes, Cementing China Control
Bloomberg News
Top Chinese lawmakers approved plan Tuesday, Xinhua says; City to hold postponed legislative election in December
China finalized a sweeping plan to ensure leaders in Beijing control the outcome of Hong Kong’s elections, a move that could deepen already-fraught relations with Western nations. President Xi Jinping on Tuesday signed orders to amend Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, after revisions were passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The move provides more details on changes approved by China’s legislature on March 12 that called for a “review committee” to vet qualifications of election candidates to ensure they are all patriots loyal to the Communist Party in Beijing.
/bloom.bg/3dmVZRQ

China’s Big Banks Eked Out Higher Profits in Turbulent 2020; The turnaround in their fortunes during the year mirrored China’s rapid economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic
Xie Yu – WSJ
China’s biggest commercial banks managed to eke out small increases in profit for 2020, with a sharp turnaround in their fortunes during the year mirroring the country’s rapid economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
/on.wsj.com/31tr94y

Hong Kong set to allow corporate directors to obscure their identity; Proposal is latest challenge to transparency in financial hub
Primrose Riordan, Nicolle Liu and Tabby Kinder – FT
Hong Kong risks facilitating fraud and undermining its status as an open financial hub after proposals that would allow company directors to obscure their identities, according to corporate governance experts and investors.
/on.ft.com/3m5jNh1

Brexit

Britons worry less about COVID and Brexit, but new concerns grow, poll shows
Reuters
People in Britain are much less worried about the coronavirus pandemic than they were just a month ago as the country makes headway with its vaccination programme, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday. The proportion of respondents who cited COVID-19 as a big issue for the country dropped to 49% from 72% in February although it remained the single biggest concern, polling firm Ipsos MORI said. Britain has suffered Europe’s biggest COVID-19 death toll but has raced ahead of other European countries with its coronavirus vaccinations this year.
/reut.rs/2QRRebB

Brexit-hit Enterprise Ireland companies get EUR120m in supports
Charlie Taylor – Irish Times
Enterprise Ireland has paid out more than EUR120 million in supports for companies severely impacted by Brexit, chief executive Julie Sinnamon has told an Oireachtas committee. Speaking before the committee on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, Ms Sinnamon said 615 client companies employing 47,000 people are exposed to Brexit. She said the impact on trade flows and further potential barriers resulting from the full phasing in of checks and controls over the coming year “remains uncertain”.
/bit.ly/2QLvZrH

Biden’s tariffs threat shows how far Brexit Britain is from controlling its own destiny
Tom Kibasi – The Guardian
What do lipstick, cravats, gold chains and poker chips have in common? The answer is that they are among a host of items that the US is threatening to impose punitive import tariffs on if the UK proceeds with its plan to implement a tax on big tech. The new duties are intended to raise $325m – the amount the US government believes the exchequer will raise from the 2% tax on revenues of tech firms.
/bit.ly/39ry0ju

Miscellaneous

You’re Going Back to the Office. What Happens to Your Nap Habit? Working remotely has made taking an afternoon snooze a lot easier, and it won’t be easy to give up. ‘I will totally miss the naps.’
Ray A. Smith – WSJ
When high-school teacher Ryan Tibbens learned he would be resuming in-person school in March, he embarked on a mission. He wanted to continue the naps he’d been taking while working from home over the past year.
/on.wsj.com/3sF8Vt0

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