Europe to recognise LCH, ICE & LME as CCPs in ‘no-deal’ Brexit

Feb 18, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker formed two task forces to tackle the state’s pension problems. Former CBOE CEO William Brodsky is co-chairing one of those task forces.~SD

Under the bipartisan spending bill passed by the Senate, the CFTC would get a funding increase for the first time in four years, increasing its budget to $268 million. CFTC Chairman Giancarlo asked for $281.5 million.~SD

BBC News reports on a blockchain answer for…sexual harassment? Vault Platform, set to be piloted by a small number of companies in March, enables those experiencing misconduct in the workplace to record a private, time-stamped report that is stored as evidence in a “private vault” on users’ phones.~SR

Craig Wright, the Australian entrepreneur who claims to be the creator of bitcoin, threw his two cents into the CFTC’s Request for Information (ROI), saying that the popular cryptocurrency platform is “a poorly-designed copy of bitcoin.” He also said he was “willing to testify under oath” to back up his claims. You can read Coindesk’s full story HERE.~MR

Money laundering continues to reach $2 trillion per year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.~JJL

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Citadel’s Ken Griffin aims to give Chicago Mayoral candidate Bill Daley another $1 million for his campaign. This brings up the question of buying politicians. The problem with buying a politician is that they don’t stay bought. But another $1 million helps.~JJL

My wife wanted us to get a second dog, so we did on Friday. We bought a collie mix three and a half month old puppy from a shelter in Morton Grove, IL. We named it Indy for Indiana Jones. I wanted to name it Brexit for two reasons. It is a bad idea and supported by a minority. Only my wife thought a second dog was a good idea. The dog is cute and there is nothing like having a puppy in the house.~JJL


The Spread – Alternative History – 2/15

It was a semi-slow week for options news, the big exception being the SEC’s surprise rejection of the OCC’s capital plan. In this episode, we wonder what could have happened in a different universe.

Watch the video and see the stories referenced here »


Craig Wright Claims to Be Satoshi in Critical Response to CFTC on Ethereum
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
NChain chief scientist Craig Wright has criticized ethereum to a top U.S. regulator, while again claiming to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto. In a response to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) request for input on crypto asset mechanics and markets, the Australian entrepreneur briefly set out his case that he is Nakamoto on Friday, saying:

*****If he can redeem some of Satoshi’s Bitcoin, then I will start to believe him. But he has some interesting things to say about Bitcoin, Ethereum and decentralization.~JJL


Eurex and Stoxx drive ESG investing
Eurex, one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges, and STOXX, one of the world’s leading index providers, have teamed up to innovate the market for ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investments. Based on three STOXX benchmarks, Eurex launches ESG Futures, thus supporting investors who apply ESG criteria.

***** Doc Sandor always says we can do well by doing good.~JJL


Brexit III: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (VIDEO)
John Oliver – HBO (via YouTube…Note: Strong language)

****A good overview of Brexit. From the episode, “…if customs delays each truck by only 70 seconds the delay to board the ferry could reach six days.” It only hurts when you laugh. ~JB


Cryptosecurities, Cryptocurrencies, Examination Priorities Redux
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a reversal of a November 2018 decision by a federal court in California that denied it a preliminary injunction against an issuer of digital tokens that the SEC claimed was involved in a fraudulent and unlawful securities offering. The court agreed after reconsideration that the challenged conduct satisfied the criteria of a securities offering and there was a reasonable likelihood of new unlawful activity if the defendants were not formally enjoined at least preliminarily. Meanwhile, a well-known Canada-based social media company and an associated foundation are publicly opposing a privately threatened SEC enforcement action that might claim they too engaged in an unlawful securities offering for their distribution of virtual tokens that the entities claim are principally intended for use as a digital currency. Separately, divisions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued, for the first time, a summary of their examination priorities for this year.


Friday’s Top Three
Our top read stories from Friday were led by – you know who – in the divorce of the century, in The Sun-Times’ Ex-CBOT chief Patrick Arbor released from jail after reaching divorce settlement with ex-wife. Second was The Wall Street Journal’s We’re Suing the SEC to Protect the Stock Market. Third went political, with The Atlantic’s excerpt from Andrew McCabe’s book, in a piece titled When James Comey Was Fired


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Lead Stories

Europe to recognise LCH, ICE & LME as CCPs in ‘no-deal’ Brexit; ESMA has been making plans to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ scenario ahead of Brexit, with disruption to clearing being one of the biggest concerns.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
UK clearinghouses LCH, ICE Clear Europe and LME Clear have been granted approval to continue providing clearing services in Europe in the case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, Europe’s financial regulator has confirmed.

German regulator bans shorting of Wirecard shares; BaFin cites ‘serious threat to market confidence’ in introduction of ban
Myles McCormick – FT
The German financial regulator on Monday banned investors from shorting shares in Wirecard, the fintech group under investigation by the Singapore police. BaFin said on Monday it was “prohibiting with immediate effect the establishment of net short positions in shares” in the group until April 18. Wirecard’s shares rose 8 per cent in early trading.

Tiger Global dumps Barclays stake in blow to Staley; New York hedge fund offloads $1bn stake as Barclays chief battles activist investor
David Crow in London and Stephen Morris – FT
Tiger Global, the US hedge fund that was one of the biggest investors in Barclays, has sold its entire holding, according to people familiar with the matter, in a blow to the bank’s efforts to win support for its turnround strategy.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to hold IPO in 2019 -CEO
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) expects to hold an initial public offering of close to one-third of its shares this year but the timing is uncertain, its chief executive officer said on Monday.

EU derivatives traders get clearing house access in no-deal Brexit
Philip Stafford- FT
European derivatives traders have been given formal permission to use crucial UK market infrastructure in a no-deal Brexit, as regulators enact contingency plans to contain market turmoil from Britain’s departure from the EU.

Why Morgan Stanley paid $900m for ‘Calgary’s best kept secret’; Acquisition of Solium gives the bank a boost in the war for wealth management clients
Robert Armstrong – FT
Morgan Stanley’s bet on Solium Capital may not be big — the $900m acquisition, announced this week, amounts to a small slice of the $8.7bn that the bank earned in 2018 — but it is unquestionably bold. It is a wager that technology sold to employers can give the bank an edge in the vicious competition for wealth management clients.

One of Sweden’s Biggest Banks Just Named Its First Female CEO
Niklas Magnusson – Bloomberg
Carina Akerstrom to start as Svenska Handelsbanken chief; The top job will require focus on costs as bank falls behind
One of Sweden’s biggest banks, Svenska Handelsbanken AB, is about to get its first female chief executive officer. The Stockholm-based lender has named veteran Carina Akerstrom as CEO to replace retiring Anders Bouvin at the end of March. Akerstrom, who is 56, has worked at Handelsbanken since 1986, most recently as deputy CEO.

For Wall Street Banks in London, It’s Moving Time; One thing is clear about the legacy of Brexit: Financial services will be spread across Europe, with no one city again dominating the financial arena as London has.
Amie Tsang and Matthew Goldstein – NY Times
In Paris, an empty Art Deco postal office is on its way to becoming Bank of America’s headquarters for its European brokerage arm. Where telegraph operators once tapped out messages, hundreds of traders and sales people will be working by spring.

UK clearing houses approved to continue EU business under no deal Brexit
Europe’s financial markets regulator has granted approval to UK-based derivatives clearing houses to continue serving EU clients if there’s a no-deal Brexit, a major boost to London’s battle to remain the central market for euro clearing.

Everything Goes Wrong for Billionaire’s Successor at Fund
Matthew Burgess and Sarah Wells – Bloomberg
Platinum CEO Andrew Clifford keeps faith with his approach; Shares tumble, funds yanked as Clifford tries to steady ship
Andrew Clifford took on the top job at Platinum Asset Management Ltd. after 30 years working alongside his former boss Kerr Neilson, who became a billionaire and one of Australia’s most famous fund managers. It’s proving to be a tough act to follow.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Intercontinental Exchange Announces That ICE Clear Europe Receives Recognition as a Third-Country Central Counterparty Under EMIR
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced today that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario, ICE Clear Europe has been recognized as a third-country central counterparty (CCP) in accordance with the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

MiFID II helps Tradeweb reach record European ETF volumes in January; Tradeweb saw record European ETF volumes last month, with 44.9% being traded via its AiEX electronic trading platform.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Exchange-traded fund (ETF) volumes in Europe reached record highs at Tradeweb in January, as MiFID II rules continue to have a positive impact on the asset class.

Do we need a global technology regulator for financial services?
This is a guest post by Axel P. Lehmann, UBS president of personal and corporate banking and president of UBS Switzerland, and Steffen Kern, chief economist and head of risk analysis at the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma). Both are also members of the WEF global future council on financial and monetary systems.

NZX Board Announces Director Appointment
The NZX board announces the appointment of Elaine Campbell as a director. NZX Chair James Miller commented: “Elaine brings to the board a deep understanding of NZX, the regulatory settings in New Zealand’s capital markets, and a passion for the critical role an exchange plays within the economy. Elaine comes with a big reputation and we are delighted to secure her appointment to the board.”

SGX Futures trading sets record US$105 billion in bumper start to 2019
SGX FX Futures volume hits all-time high of US$105 billion in January; 1.87 million contracts traded
*SGX FX Futures volume (US$ notional) up 60% year-on-year
*SGX FX Futures volume (contracts) up 30% year-on-year
*SGX USD/CNH futures volume above US$73 billion
*SGX INR/USD futures volume at US$32 billion
A flash crash that took down the Japanese yen and the Australian dollar greeted the currency markets in the first week of 2019. Although the exact causes are still being debated, market participants were quick to apportion blame on thin liquidity amid the holiday season.

NYSE Arca Filing Kicks Off Countdown for New Bitcoin ETF
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
The clock just started on the latest effort to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it was beginning its review of a bitcoin ETF rule change proposal filed by NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management on Feb. 11, and the proposal itself was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 15, meaning the regulator has 45 days to make its initial decision on whether to approve, reject or extend the proposal.

Big U.S. exchanges to sue SEC over ‘overreaching’ fee experiment
John McCrank – Reuters
The three largest U.S. stock exchange operators said they will sue the Securities and Exchange Commission for overstepping its authority by ordering a pilot program to test banning lucrative payments exchanges make to brokers for resting stock orders.


Fintech firms cannot be allowed to play unsupervised; ‘Sandboxes’ that offer regulation-free zones put consumers at risk
Karen Petrou – FT
Companies that promise to use technology to deliver better consumer finance have been welcomed with open arms. Regulators from Singapore to the US have opened “sandboxes” that allowed these fintech companies to develop new products without having to provide the safeguards long considered essential to protect customers from discrimination or deceit and to maintain financial stability.

Citigroup chief expects machines to replace thousands of call centre jobs; US bank can use tech to serve customers better and more cheaply, says Mike Corbat
Laura Noonan and Patrick Jenkins -FT
Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat has suggested that “tens of thousands” of people working in the US bank’s call centres are likely to be replaced by machines that can “radically change or improve” customers’ experience while cutting costs.

How elite investors use artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain an edge
Matt Egan, CNN Business
Artificial intelligence and machine learning might sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies. But hedge funds, major banks and private equity firms are already deploying next-generation technologies to gain an edge.

Data business Hivemind gains Barclays and Fidelity backing
Hivemind, the data company spun out of hedge fund Winton Group in 2018, has received backing from investment bank Barclays and asset manager Fidelity International in its latest funding round.

UK fintech investment surging as iwoca and GoCardless raise millions
Oscar Williams-Grut – Yahoo Finance
Two UK financial technology businesses on Monday announced they had raised over £200m between them, adding to hundreds of millions already invested in the sector so far this year. Online small business lender iwoca has raised £150m in debt and equity funding, the company said on Monday. Separately, direct debit tech business GoCardless raised $75m (£58m).

Fintech founder rebounds from bike accident with $75m investment; Digital payments start-up GoCardless aims to boost operations in Europe and the US
Martin Coulter – Financial Times
GoCardless has raised $75m from some of the biggest technology investors less than three years after the co-founder of the British digital payments start-up was paralysed from the chest down in a cycling accident. Hiroki Takeuchi, chief executive, damaged his spine after his bike collided with a parked car in central London in September 2016, only a few months after GoCardless raised $13m in its last fundraising round.

Citigroup’s head of innovation started her career as a teacher. Here’s her best advice for young people looking to break into fintech
Dan DeFrancesco and Alex Morrell – Business Insider
Vanessa Colella spent time as a teacher and conducting research on AIDS education before eventually landing at Citigroup, where she serves as the bank’s chief innovation officer. Colella, who also heads up Citi Ventures, gave advice for young people looking to get involved in fintech.
/ Announces Major Expansion of StockCharts TV, Streaming Video Channel for Online Investors has announced an expansion of its slate of original programming for its online streaming channel StockCharts TV. From December 2018 to early January 2019, three new shows debuted on the channel: DecisionPoint (hosted by Carl and Erin Swenlin); In The Know Trader (hosted by Rick Bensignor); and Market Buzz (hosted by Greg Schnell). With these additions, StockCharts TV now airs a total of eight different original weekday series.


ErisX Files Comment Letter in Response to CFTC’s Request for Input on Ethereum
Thomas Chippas – Medium
ErisX believes that robust, transparent and regulated financial markets are critical infrastructure that enable price discovery, risk transference and hedging opportunities. These are foundational elements of well functioning capital, commodity, and commercial markets globally. In 2014, the CFTC declared virtual currencies to be a “commodity” subject to oversight pursuant to its authority under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Bitcoin Investors in This European Country Can Now Buy Crypto at the Post Office
Samantha Chang – CCN
Liechtenstein’s official post office is offering fiat-to-bitcoin exchange services through a partnership with Swiss blockchain company Värdex Suisse, a regulated payment service provider based in Switzerland.
The Liechtensteinische Post AG office in Vaduz ? the capital of Liechtenstein ? launched the crypto exchange service on February 15.

Indonesia Passes Rules for Trading of Cryptocurrency Futures
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
An Indonesian financial watchdog has set out new regulations for the trading of crypto assets on futures exchanges in the country. The Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti), an agency under Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, announced the new rules Monday, stating that cryptocurrency futures exchanges must be registered and approved before operating. The agency has also confirmed that crypto assets are officially recognized as commodities that can be traded on the country’s futures exchange – a decision first reported last June.

Rethink, Renew: ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees to Rebrand Crypto Exchange
Christine Kim – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange startup ShapeShift is planning a major rebrand this year. Announced at ETHDenver, an ethereum developer conference being held in Colorado this weekend, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees said that starting Monday the company will be opening up a closed beta period for selected users so they can try a new version of the cryptocurrency exchange platform focused on simplifying the user experience.

Is JPMorgan Chase’s New Cryptocurrency a Threat to Ripple, Other Crypto Assets?
Matthew Frankel – The Motley Fool
Mega-bank JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) recently announced that it will launch its own cryptocurrency, becoming the first U.S. bank to do so. At first, this might sound like an odd move. After all, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been very outspoken against leading cryptocurrency bitcoin, going so far as to call it a “fraud.” However, there are some big differences between bitcoin, the more than 2,000 other existing cryptocurrencies (that’s not a typo), and the new cryptocurrency JPMorgan Chase is planning to create.

MTrading Suspends Cryptocurrency Offering, Citing Weak Demand; Crypto markets donot presently have the same appeal that triggered a feverish interest over the last two years.
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
Belize-regulated broker MTrading is suspending its cryptocurrency CFD offering until further notice, citing weaker-than-expected demand from its clients. After assessing the situation, MTrading decided to stop providing its clients with access to crypto CFDs altogether. Traders who still have open positions in any of the affected assets were left with a close-only feature.

Maker’s MKR Crypto Outperforms in February with 37% Gains
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
The ethereum-based token maker (MKR) is outperforming the broader markets with a 37 percent gain so far in February. Ranked 16th by market capitalization on CoinMarketCap, 1 MKR was valued at 4.6 ETH on Feb. 14 – the highest level since Oct. 8 – and was last valued at 4.37 ETH. The pullback is likely associated with profit-taking following a jump to 129-day highs.

Expanding blockchain analysis and investigation cross chains
Thomas Silkjær – Forbes
The fourth part in a continuous series on how graph databases can be used to explore and analyse blockchains. How can investigation into money distribution and tracking funds cross the borders of blockchains? In the previous part of this series, we looked at distribution patterns on the XRP ledger. However, the “cryptosphere” is comprised of many blockchains, so how can we tackle that?

It’s Time to Consider Crypto, Says Pension and Endowment Adviser
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Institutional investors should consider dipping their toes into cryptocurrencies, according to Cambridge Associates, a consultant for pensions and endowments.

That Crypto Exchange That Lost Access to Over $144 Million? It Just Misplaced Another $500,000
Chris Morris – Fortune
Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, which is already embroiled in one of the biggest controversies to hit the cryptocurrency world in years, has added some new problems to the list.

Pushing Forward With Blockchain: Pressing Reset On Our Current Financial Infrastructure
Daniel Shin – IB Times
Over the past few decades, society has taken steps to move our financial infrastructure towards a digital path, with the hopes of one day creating one cashless, international network that skips out on traditional banking and its limitations altogether. However, the steps we’ve taken haven’t gotten us far, and financial infrastructure as it stands is still long overdue for a complete reform . With the endless possibilities that decentralization and blockchain have to offer, it seems only fitting to examine exactly how the technology can be utilized to reinvent our modern financial infrastructure.

Crypto Securities Are Years Away from Mainstream, Technologists Say
Christine Kim – Coindesk
Despite a growing mainstream interest in the use of crypto assets and blockchains as a way to replicate and represent securities, some of the use case’s earliest innovators say sky-high expectations may not be in line with reality.

Ethereum Has Shot Past Ripple’s XRP In The Cryptocurrency Rankings–Here’s Why
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Ethereum, the decentralized app network and cryptocurrency rival to bitcoin, has continued to climb after last week’s sudden market pump, overtaking Ripple’s XRP digital token to reclaim the number two spot in the list of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

CME Group CEO: The Government Needs to be More Involved in Crypto.
Franklyn Richards –
Terry Duffy, CEO of the CME Group that launched Bitcoin Futures trading in 2017, recently sat down with ‘Bloomberg Markets’ for an interview regarding “Volatility, Data Expansion, Institutional Demand, Bitcoin and Crypto”. Duffy expressed that until Governments genuinely start to accept cryptocurrencies, it will continue to be challenging for financial institutions to engage properly in the space.

Apple Hints at Behind-the-Scenes Blockchain Work in New SEC Filing
Stan Higgins – Coindesk
Apple has submitted what might seem like an arcane filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – but the document contains tantalizing details about the computing giant’s interest in blockchain tech.


Data privacy bill unites Charles Koch and Big Tech; Republican power broker and Google have found common ground over data privacy regulation
Kiran Stacey – FT
Organisations run by Charles Koch have begun to lobby US politicians on data privacy, as the American billionaire and conservative donor deepens his unlikely alliance with Silicon Valley, and Google in particular.

Angela Merkel Ruffled at Prospect of More Trump Hardball Tactics, Sources Say
Patrick Donahue – Bloomberg
Chancellery alarmed at U.S. push against pipeline, people say; U.S. looked to divide Germany from EU allies on Nord Stream 2
Donald Trump is starting to get under Angela Merkel’s skin. The German chancellor emerged from a bruising week of diplomacy with her most vigorous defense yet of the multilateral order threatened by Trump on Saturday. Merkel’s push back was shaped by her alarm at the U.S.’s increasingly aggressive maneuvers, according to three people familiar with her thinking.

Seven Labour MPs Quit Party in Split With Corbyn: Brexit Update
Alex Morales, Thomas Penny, and Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
A group of Labour politicians have quit the party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit as well as alleged antisemitism and bullying within the U.K.’s official opposition. It comes as Theresa May starts a diplomatic drive try to save her divorce agreement with the European Union.

Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry
Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold – NY Times
European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.

Hammond’s trip to China scuppered by Williamson’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’
Mattha Busby – The Guardian
Philip Hammond is not going to China this weekend for trade talks, following reports that Beijing scuppered advanced preparations for a meeting after the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, threatened to deploy a warship in the Pacific. The UK chancellor was expected to meet the Chinese vice premier, Hu Chunhua, but Treasury sources said the trip was never confirmed. It is believed that there is an internal row brewing between the Treasury and the defence department over Williamson’s remarks, which the former chancellor George Osborne described as a throwback to an era of “gunboat diplomacy”.

If Joe Biden runs, his presidency goes through Wall Street
Charles Gasparino, Suzanne O’Halloran – Fox Business
If Joe Biden does run for president Opens a New Window. , it will be the culmination of two years of weighing the issue while meeting with donors, many of them Wall Street executives — and nearly duking it out with one of them along the way.

Asian markets rip higher as Trump praises ‘very productive’ trade negotiations with China
Will Martin – Business Insider
Asian markets surged to start the week Monday as investors took heart from positive comments surrounding trade negotiations between the US and China. The two nations are discussing their future trading relationship following the tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs during 2018.

Bill Gates Says Taxing Capital Gains Is the Best Way to Tap ‘Big Fortunes’
Ros Krasny – Bloomberg
Microsoft co-founder worried about high U.S. budget deficits; Addresses proposals for top marginal tax rate of 70 percent
Bill Gates is concerned about the high budget deficits being run by the U.S., and said if taxes are ultimately increased to make up the shortfall, then it’s appropriate for wealthy people to pay much higher taxes.

Trump’s national emergency press conference, annotated
Aaron Blake – The Washington Post
President Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border on Friday — but not without making a scene full of false claims, offbeat comments and tense exchanges. Below is the full transcript, with annotations in yellow.

Trump’s Emergency Declaration Shows He Is Unfit for Office
Jonathan Chait – NY Magazine
At worst, President Trump’s claim of emergency powers that would allow him to expand barriers on the southern border is a gross violation of democratic norms. At best, it is a craven ploy to cover his own blundering. Either way, it is a devastating indictment of his capacity to handle his job.

Natural Gas Guru Who Corrected the CIA Says Russia and U.S. Pick the Wrong Fight; Debate over energy security is clouding efforts to slash greenhouse gas pollution.
Jonathan Tirone – Bloomberg
The scientist who built the most prominent Cold War energy advisory said the U.S. and Russia should set aside their fight over natural gas markets and focus on slashing fossil fuel pollution more quickly.


FastMatch Settles Termination Lawsuit with Ex-CEO
Aziz Abdel-Wader – Finance Magnates
The spat between FastMatch and its former CEO has come to an end. The global FX spot market operator today said it has reached a settlement agreement with its co-founder Dmitri Galinov, who sued the company last year claiming he was fired under false pretenses.

HFX Limited – Correction
On 28 September 2012, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published a warning that “HFX Limited ( (link is external))” was believed to be providing financial services or products in the UK but was not authorised by the FSA to do so. The company which the FSA intended to refer to was in fact called HFX Global.

Temporary restriction in short selling: Bafin
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) would like to draw the industry’s attention to the announcement by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) today which restricts transactions under Article 20 (2) (b) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012. This applies to transactions in the following shares as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position:

Brexit briefings for regulated firms
We are hosting 2 briefings for regulated firms in preparation for the UK leaving the European Union. These will take place in London and Edinburgh with live webcasts.

ESMA to recognise three UK CCPs in the event of a no-deal Brexit
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today announced that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, three central counterparties (CCPs) established in the United Kingdom (UK) – LCH Limited, ICE Clear Europe Limited and LME Clear Limited – will be recognised to provide their services in the European Union (EU). ESMA has adoped these recognition decisions in order to limit the risk of disruption in central clearing and to avoid any negative impact on the financial stability of the EU.

ESMA issues positive opinion on short selling ban by BaFin
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued an official opinion agreeing to an emergency net short position ban, for a period of two months, by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) on net short positions in Wirecard AG (Wirecard) shares under the Short Selling Regulation.

Monthly Disciplinary Actions – February 2019
FINRA has taken disciplinary actions against the following firms and individuals for violations of FINRA rules; federal securities laws, rules and regulations; and the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB).

SEC Files Charges in Elaborate Microcap Stock Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against four individuals and related businesses for their roles in two microcap frauds and unlawful securities offerings. In sum, the alleged illegal transactions resulted in proceeds of more than $25 million.

Statement of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo on Passage of FY2019 Appropriations
February 15, 2019
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo released the following statement regarding the funding increase for the agency contained in the FY2019 appropriations legislation:

CFTC Chairman Giancarlo Seeks Nominations for Agricultural Advisory Committee Membership
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, sponsor of the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC), announced today the CFTC is seeking nominations for membership and public input on the AAC’s priorities. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2019.

ASIC to appeal Westpac subsidiaries Federal Court decision
ASIC has filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Australia against the decision of the Honourable Justice Gleeson regarding Westpac subsidiaries; Westpac Securities Administration Limited (WSAL) and BT Funds Management Limited (BT Funds).

Investing and Trading

Investors and their managers climb the steep ESG learning curve; There are parallels with the dawn of stock markets when data were sparse and weak
Amin Rajan- FT
“On the road from the City of Skepticism I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity,” said Adam Smith, founding father of modern economics. This sums up the current state of investing in the environmental, social and governance sphere.

Big asset managers cut research costs at higher rate; Worry over industry equality as smaller groups find it harder to make savings in wake of Mifid II
Siobhan Riding – FT
Large asset managers have been more successful than smaller rivals at controlling costs in the wake of new European rules on research payments, raising concern about inequality between investment groups.

Federal Reserve nears decisions on its asset portfolio; Some officials think balance sheet reduction programme will end this year
Sam Fleming and Joe Rennison- FT
Federal Reserve officials are getting closer to identifying when they will end their market-sensitive balance sheet reduction programme, with some signalling it could be completed this year as they opt to keep a hefty quantity of reserves in the financial system.


BNP Paribas Asset Management Appoints Global Head Of Client Satisfaction
BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) announces the appointment of Christopher Dunn as Global Head of Client Satisfaction within its newly-formed Client Experience team. He joined in January and reports to Melanie Aimer, Global Head of Client Experience. Currently based in New York, he will shortly relocate to Paris.

BlackRock and Vanguard pull in 57% of global fund flows in 2018; Chart of the week: index funds far outpaced active peers in a year defined by volatility
Chris Flood – FT
BlackRock and Vanguard together grabbed more than half of global net new inflows into long-term mutual funds in 2018, ratcheting up the pressure on the business models of smaller rivals.

Why SocGen’s Oudéa is on borrowed time as Europe’s longest-serving bank boss; French bank has underperformed since 2008 while rival JPMorgan Chase has enjoyed success
Patrick Jenkins – FT
Love him for his charm or loathe him for his arrogance, shareholders at least have good reason to admire Jamie Dimon. Since the outspoken US banker took the helm at JPMorgan Chase at the start of 2006, they have enjoyed a 160 per cent rise in the share price. The total shareholder return is an even more impressive 254 per cent. No wonder he is the longest-serving chief of a major bank.

Citigroup makes offer to buy London skyscraper HQ for £1.2bn; Talks are part of US bank’s strategy to own rather than rent its major buildings
Stephen Morris – FT
Citigroup is in talks to buy its London skyscraper office for about £1.2bn, as the US bank commits its long-term future to the UK despite the political and economic turmoil surrounding Brexit.

U.S. Hedge Fund Unloads Its Entire Stake in Barclays, Report Says
Peter Vercoe – Bloomberg
U.S. hedge fund has sold its entire interest in U.K. bank; Tiger started reducing its position last year, the FT reported
U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has sold its entire stake in Barclays Plc, dealing a blow to the bank’s efforts to win support for its turnaround plan, the Financial Times reported.

Deutsche Bank to cut 1,950 jobs in Postbank integration: Handelsblatt
Deutsche Bank is planning to cut 1,950 jobs as part of the integration of its Postbank business, newspaper Handelsblatt reported, citing people familiar with the matter.


Citigroup Switches up its Markets and Securities Teams in China
David Kimberley – Finance Magnates
Banking giant Citigroup announced two key changes to its Chinese business on Friday.
Ji Yang has been appointed Head of Markets and Securities Services and Vicky Tsai will be working as Head of Securities Services.

Negative Yields Mount Along With Europe’s Problems; The proliferation of negative-yielding government bonds underscores the uncertainty over the growth prospects in much of the developed world
Daniel Kruger – WSJ
Investors around the globe are effectively paying governments to hold more than $11 trillion of their bonds, a fresh sign of ebbing economic confidence in Europe and Japan.

Local Risks in Emerging Markets Are Giving Traders Something to Worry About
Dana El Baltaji , Lilian Karunungan , and Aline Oyamada – Bloomberg
South Africa will announce its 2019-2020 budget this week; Nigeria counts cost of delayed election as stocks, bonds fall
With the U.S.-China trade dispute dominating headlines this year, idiosyncratic risks in emerging markets have played second fiddle to concerns over global growth. Not anymore.


Can Technology Solve Brexit Impasse When the Wifi Doesn’t Work?
Rodney Edwards – Bloomberg
Irish border residents can spend hours e-mailing documents; Brexit advocates says technology can remove need for backstop
From her home office close to the Irish border, Catriona Curran can spend up to eight hours struggling to e-mail documents to the U.S. She has a hard time believing technology could unlock the answer to the trickiest part of Brexit.

Britons stockpiling euros as Brexit day draws nearer; Currency exchanges from sterling to euros surge for three months in a row
Tim Wyatt – Independent
Britons have been stockpiling euros as the UK’s departure from the European Union draws nearer, new figures suggest.

Theresa May Makes Another Plea for Unity to Get Brexit Deal Through
David Goodman and James Ludden – Bloomberg
Prime Minister Theresa May launched a desperate appeal to Conservative Party lawmakers to unite behind her derided Brexit plan as she prepares for a return to Brussels for more talks with European Union leaders. In a letter to her party’s lawmakers, May said she’s planning to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and speak to the leader of every EU member state in the days ahead. Gaining headway in Brussels will depend largely on whether she can show a united front at home.

Brexit: ‘More and more people are trying to stop it,’ says MP
BBC News
“More and more people are trying to stop Brexit” and ensure the UK stays in the EU, a Welsh MP has said. David Jones said those calling for a second referendum or more negotiating time had no plan for leaving. The Tory MP for Clwyd West, a former Brexit minister, predicted a deal will not be agreed until “a few days” before the UK’s departure on 29 March. It comes as Labour’s Anna McMorrin said a General Election or final say vote were the only ways to avoid “chaos”.

Irish backstop can’t be changed for Brexit deal – Estonian president
Andreas Rinke, Paul Carrel, and Mark Potter – Reuters
MUNICH (Reuters) – There can be no changes to the Irish “backstop”, an arrangement to avoid a hard border between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid told Reuters. Many British lawmakers, especially in Prime Minister Theresa May’s governing Conservative Party, fear the backstop will trap the UK in a permanent customs union with the EU after Brexit.

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ETF trading surges on European stock exchanges

ETF trading surges on European stock exchanges

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