CME Group is considering the creation of a credit-default swap futures product, which would set it toe to toe against rival IntercontinentalExchange. US regulators are considering making it tougher to execute block futures trades, as they remain concerned that market participants may look to avoid new derivatives rules. China unveils a new trading platform that makes it easier for investors to short stocks in that country. In First Read today, take a look at JLN’s latest interview; Nils-Robert Persson, executive chairman for Cinnober Financial Technology, discusses the speed of execution and clearing systems, as well as what’s next for the firm.
Nils-Robert Persson Talks About Cinnober and the Growth of Real-time Risk Management
There are some firms who are ahead of the curve and profit from it. Cinnober Financial Technology, the Swedish-based provider of electronic trading platforms was certainly one of them when it began pushing real-time risk management technology for trading and clearing platforms long before the 2008 financial crisis. Now its an integral part of the marketplace.
NFA’s Board of Directors re-elects Christopher Hehmeyer to serve as Chairman
The Board of Directors of National Futures Association (NFA) has re-elected Christopher K. Hehmeyer, Vice Chairman, Knight Futures, to serve a one-year term as Chairman. The Board also elected Michael C. Dawley, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co., to serve as Vice Chairman.
**** I always wanted to be a vice chairman. I mean, who would not want to be in charge of the vice?
Fledgling European Equities Market Recovery will be Undermined by Regulation, Says TABB Group in State of the Industry Research
European equities markets deemed “un-investable” only six months ago are regaining popularity but the financial transaction tax (FTT) and other market reforms may create a false dawn, according to new research published by TABB Group.
***** At the end of the day, only two things are certain: death and taxes.
No tax please, we’re British, Italian, French…
Steve Grob – Fidessa
The debate about Financial Transaction Taxes (FTTs) seems to roll on and on. Italy’s FTT is due to come into force this Friday and two democrats in the US want to introduce an American FTT. Even EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta says a global tax on financial transactions eventually should be a reality.
***** This is the worst Italian import since biscotti.
Cinnober rolls out new SaaS marketplace technology for banks and brokers
The leading financial technology supplier Cinnober recently launched a fully managed marketplace service, TESS Connect & Go, targeting trading-intensive banks and brokers. TESS is a software-as-a-service solution, suitable for building and provisioning trading venues such as OTFs, SIs, SEFs and dark pools.
***** This is the best Swedish export since Kanebullar.
CME Group Announces Treasury Futures Trading Volume Record
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced a record in daily trading volume for its Treasury futures complex on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. These contracts are listed by and subject to the rules of CBOT. Total daily volume for Treasury futures reached 10,103,808 on February 26, breaking the previous record of 8,887,804 set on May 29, 2012.
***** We need some t-shirts, QUICK, that say “I LOVE VOLATILITY!!!”
SunGard Named Best OTC Derivatives Trading Platform
SunGard has been named “Best OTC Derivatives Trading Platform” in the 2013 Wall Street Letter Institutional Trading Awards for its Front Arena solution.
***** The best Sungard export since the last Sungard award winning product, which was probably like last week.
Seeking an ethical framework
George Möller – FOW
George Möller is a man on a mission. During a discussion with his daughter about the ethical framework of her work in the medical profession, it struck him that no such framework existed in the world of finance. In Banking on Ethics, he sets out to provide that framework.
***** Thou shalt not steal has been around a long time. Same for “thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s’ portfolio.”
Hong Kong Bourse’s Li ‘Not Losing Sleep’ Over Slowed IPOs
Hong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s expansion into new asset classes means slowing initial public offerings aren’t a concern, said Charles Li, chief executive of the world’s largest exchange operator by market value.
****** You can’t hit on all cylinders at all the time. And you never know which cylinders are going to hit this year. Rules to live by.
Financial Firms Struggle With Compliance — Reuters
A global survey of compliance professionals by Reuters concluded that they struggle under the weight of regulation and need the support of the board and supervisory authorities.
***** No one asked me.
Cantor Fitzgerald bets on fantasy sports
Jonathan Blum and Alex Dalenberg – Crain’s
Last week, Cantor Fantasy Sports, a unit of lower Manhattan-based investment shop Cantor Fitzgerald, confirmed it will be expanding its sophisticated pay-to-play fantasy products on smartphones later this year. The company is bringing a new playbook to the pay-to-play fantasy market dominated by CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports and others: Cantor’s niche is pay fantasy sports developed specifically for mobile devices.
****** Fantasy sports is Cantor’s reality.
LinkedIn: The Ugly Duckling of Social Media
EVELYN M. RUSLI – WSJ
Shares of Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc. tanked after their rocky stock-market
debuts. But LinkedIn Corp.’s stock is still soaring, closing at an all-time high of $168.55 on Wednesday. That may be because of people such as Chris Hoyt, who helps manage recruiting for PepsiCo Inc.
***** I love this ugly duck. This one of the most useful tools I use every day.
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35,500,566 pages viewed, 7,415 articles, 155,417 edits
CME weighing credit default swap futures
Dow Jones Newswires
CME Group is looking to introduce futures tied to credit default swaps, people familiar with the talks said, a move that would put the Chicago exchange operator in direct competition with rival IntercontinentalExchange.
Block trades face higher minimums
Gregory Meyer in New York – FT.com
A US regulator is pondering making it tougher to execute block futures trades, a way to transact discreetly while dodging new rules covering derivatives. Block trades have become a point of friction among brokers, traders, exchanges and regulators as financial reforms take hold. They worry about keeping markets transparent while also letting customised risk management survive.
China eases path for short sellers
Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing and Josh Noble in Hong Kong – FT.com
China has made it easier for investors to short stocks, in a further effort to help restore confidence in the country’s equity markets. A new platform, the China Securities Finance Corporation, will enable brokerages to borrow stock from institutional investors, making it easier to short shares in Chinese companies. The lending of shares via CSFC began on Thursday.
SEC Fraud Actions Lag, EU Cartels: Compliance
The Securities and Exchange Commission must move more quickly in pressing some fraud lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a decision that may affect agencies across the government.
Heinz Case May Involve a Side Bet in London
BEN PROTESS and SUSANNE CRAIG – NYTimes.com
Regulators have escalated an investigation into suspicious trades placed ahead of the $23 billion takeover of H. J. Heinz, focusing on a complex derivative bet routed through London, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Trustee Offers Hope for Some Peregrine Clients
Jacob Bunge – Dow Jones
Certain customers of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. potentially could see all of their money returned following an analysis of accounts by the trustee liquidating the firm, according to a court filing. About $28 million held in thousands of accounts used by investors to trade futures contracts on foreign-based exchanges were not “infected” by the embezzlement scam of Peregrine’s founder, Russell Wasendorf Sr., though any distribution of those funds has yet to be decided, according to Trustee Ira Bodenstein.
EU decides firm cap on banker bonuses
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
BRUSSELS — Top European Union officials late Wednesday struck an agreement on a package of financial laws that includes capping bankers’ bonus payments at a maximum of one year’s base salary.
Abe Nominates Haruhiko Kuroda as Next Bank of Japan Governor
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda to lead the nation’s central bank, raising the likelihood of further monetary stimulus this year.
Steven J. Randich Named FINRA’s Chief Information Officer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that Steven J. Randich, currently Citigroup’s Co-Chief Information Officer (CIO), will join the organization as Executive Vice President and CIO. Randich will oversee technology at FINRA, as well as FINRA’s Registration and Disclosure division. Randich will start at FINRA on March 11.
SEC to Hold Fixed Income Roundtable
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it will hold a roundtable on April 16 to discuss potential ways to improve the transparency and efficiency of fixed income markets. The roundtable will focus on the corporate bond market and the municipal securities market, which was the subject of a July 2012 Commission report.
ESMA And The EBA Warn Investors About Contracts For Difference
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) have published a warning to retail investors about the dangers of investing in contracts for difference (CFDs).
Supreme Court Reverses SEC V. Gabelli On Discovery Rule Grounds
In Gabelli et al. v. Securities And Exchange Commission, February 27, 2013), the Court considered an enforcement action brought by the Securities And Exchange Commission under the Investment Adviser Act in April 2008, when the SEC filed a Complaint seeking civil penalties arising from allegations of illegal activity up to August 2002.
Testimony Of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler Before The US Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, Washington, DC
Compliance Teams Continue To Struggle, Says Thomson Reuters Annual Survey
Compliance professionals globally continue to struggle under the weight of global regulation and need the support of the Board and supervisory authorities within their firms to deliver effective and stable risk management, according to a new survey by Thomson Reuters.
U.K. to Relax Rules for New Banks
New U.K. banks will be able to start with less capital than established firms under rules being finalized by the Financial Services Authority, as part of an effort to break a stranglehold by the country’s major banks on current accounts and lending.
Gautié flies the custody flag with Europe’s regulators
Sophie Baker – Financial News
Sophie Gautié is blazing a trail for custodians. As head of strategy, corporate development and public affairs at BNP Paribas Securities Services, she has put custody firmly on the radar of the regulators.
Occupy the SEC, Frustrated With Regulatory Defiance of Volcker Rule Implementation Requirements, Sues Fed, SEC, CFTC …
Occupy the SEC has filed suit in the Eastern District of New York over the failure of the relevant financial regulators to issue a Final Rulemaking as stipulated in Dodd Frank.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Peter Koch GmbH Joins Vienna Stock Exchange As Trading Participant
As of today, new member Peter Koch GmbH Securities Trading Bank starts trading on the cash market of Vienna Stock Exchange.
NYSE Group Inc. Issues Short Interest Report
NYSE MKT Issues Short Interest Report
NYSE to Commence Proceedings to Delist Dex One Corporation
NASDAQ Announces Mid-Month Open Short Interest Positions In NASDAQ Stocks As Of Settlement Date February 15, 2013
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Blackstone Profits From Regulation With Citigroup Deal
Blackstone Group LP , the world’s largest private-equity firm, has devised a way to profit from regulation: It’s helping banks meet tougher capital rules without the pain of selling assets or raising equity.
Fund firm Man Group hit by employee arrest, outflows
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The arrest of an employee in an investigation into insider dealing and yet more cash withdrawals by clients overshadowed hedge fund firm Man Group (LSE: EMG.L – news) ‘s first results under new chief executive Manny Roman on Thursday.
Man Group’s revival hinges on flagship fund
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – Man Group , trying to turn around the fortunes of its flagship fund AHL, will report its first set of results under new CEO Emmanuel Roman on Thursday. Man, with $60 billion in assets, is trying to stem persistent client withdrawals and reverse the poor fund performance that has contributed to a fall in its share price by around two-thirds since the start of 2011.
The ice just got thinner for pension schemes
Mike Foster – Financial News
Printing money isn’t enough to force banks to lend. You need to give them a good reason to do so. In the absence of economic recovery, Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker has introduced the idea of charging banks for the privilege of depositing their money in his hallowed halls.
Man Group: Results for the financial year ended 31 December 2012
Funds under management (FUM) at 31 December 2012 of $57.0 billion (31 December 2011: $58.4 billion)
Sales of $12.8 billion, redemptions of $20.1 billion, FRM acquisition $8.3 billion, investment movement of $1.3 billion, FX translation effects of $(0.3) billion and other movements, principally guaranteed product de-gears, of $(3.4) billion
South Carolina Hedge-Fund Bet Makes Pension Trail as Fees Soar
South Carolina’s $27 billion pension dove into private equity and hedge funds in 2008, hoping to increase returns that were at the bottom tenth of public- employee retirement funds.
Argentina’s Bond Case Is Being Closely Watched for Ramifications
PETER EAVIS – NYTimes.com
A federal appeals court on Wednesday heard impassioned arguments from two of the nation’s most prominent lawyers in a case that pits a group of bond investors in a long-running battle with the country of Argentina.
Fed Could Slow Bond Selloff
VICTORIA MCGRANE – WSJ
The Federal Reserve is potentially years away from ending its easy-money policies and tightening credit, but Chairman Ben Bernanke said central bank officials could alter their strategy for what to do when that time comes.
One-stop shops rule the multi-fund high street
Harriet Agnew – Financial News
When London’s Camden Council Pension Fund made its first foray into hedge funds last year, its shortlist pitched funds of funds managers Aurum Funds, Blackstone and Prisma Capital Partners against single managers BlueCrest Capital Management and Brevan Howard Asset Management.
Gas Boom Projected to Grow for Decades
RUSSELL GOLD – WSJ.com
U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.
Banks & Brokers
Goldman electronic trade head to join Getco
Arash Massoudi and Tracy Alloway in New York – FT.com
Greg Tusar, head of electronic trading at Goldman Sachs, will become the latest banker to leave a big investment bank and join high-frequency trading firm Getco, people familiar with his decision said.
Top Goldman Sachs Germany banker Blessing to retire: memo
Reuters via Yahoo! News
FRANKFURT – Dorothee Blessing, co-head of investment banking for Germany at Goldman Sachs and wife of Commerzbank’s chief executive Martin Blessing, is retiring from the U.S. bank, according to an internal memo.
Morgan Stanley Sells European Stock Plan Unit for $48.5 Million
Morgan Stanley , owner of the world’s largest brokerage, agreed to sell its European stock plan services business to Computershare Ltd. for $48.5 million.
Panel Rules Morgan Stanley Owes Ex-Brokers $1.5 Million
An arbitration panel has tossed out Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s attempt to claw back roughly $5 million in bonuses from two brokers, instead ruling that the firm actually owes them $1.5 million.
RBS Recoups 302 Million Pounds From Employees After Libor Fine
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest publicly owned lender, will recoup 302 million pounds from bankers by cutting its bonus pool and clawing back compensation following its fine for rigging Libor.
Barclays to cut pay by $890 million over scandals: source
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – Britain’s Barclays plans to cut or claw back about 450 million pounds of pay from its staff over a rate-rigging scandal that last year forced out its chief executive and chairman, a person close to the matter said on Wednesday.
JP Morgan closing gap on the equities elite
Giles Turner – Financial News
A lot has changed at JP Morgan’s investment bank since the US group’s 2012 investor day. But as the bank delivered its 2013 presentation this week one thing remained the same – the goal of attaining an elusive top-three place in global equities trading.
Misdeeds mask markets growth at RBS
Operating profits at RBS’s markets unit grew to £1.5bn in its first year since being restructured, but a £1.4bn bill relating to past misdemeanours wiped out the lion’s share of this figure.
Bankia upbeat despite record E19.2bn loss
Tobias Buck in Madrid – FT.com
Bankia, the lender at the heart of Spain’s financial crisis, on Thursday revealed a record loss of E19.2bn for 2012, but claimed it was now in a “solid position” and eyeing a return to profitability.
Irish Presidency Reaches Breakthrough On New Rules For Stronger EU Banks
Goldman Sachs Signs Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case on Marriage Equality
Indexes & Products
STOXX Limited Celebrates 15 Years Of Index Innovation – Global Growth Of Index Provider Is Marked By The Launch Of The STOXX China A 50 Index
FTSE and TMX Datalinx create new global fixed income index business: FTSE TMX Debt Capital Markets
FTSE Group, part of London Stock Exchange Group, and TMX Group today announce that they have signed a definitive agreement to combine their fixed income index businesses in a new joint venture. FTSE TMX Debt Capital Markets will be the third largest fixed income exchange traded fund index provider globally. Together these indices are used as benchmarks for more than C$1 trillion in fixed income assets.
PCF Files Published For New ETFs On The Tokyo Stock Exchange Website
Volante Offers Multi-Asset Message Integration Capability For The Global Financial Markets
Volante Technologies, a global leader in the provision of innovative financial data integration, today announced the development of their v-Derivatives programme and OTC-Connect, a new multi-asset message integration product.
Federal Court in Florida Enters Preliminary Injunction Order against Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC, Lloyds Commodities, LLC, and 18 Other Defendants in Connection with Operating a Multi-Million Dollar Fraudulent Precious Metals Scheme
Finding that new Dodd-Frank anti-fraud authority applies, Court freezes defendants’ assets and appoints special corporate monitor for corporate defendants
Man Group Says GLG Partners Employee Arrested by FSA, Suspended
Jesse Westbrook – Bloomberg
Man Group Plc (EMG) said an employee of its GLG hedge-fund division was arrested by the U.K. Financial Services Authority and London police today.
SEC Said to Probe Milken’s Guggenheim Ties for Ban Violation
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether former junk-bond pioneer Michael Milken acted as an adviser to Guggenheim Partners LLC in violation of a lifetime ban from the securities industry, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Environmental & Energy
EU climate chief to huddle with White House, State officials
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The European Union’s climate minister is heading to Washington, D.C., for meetings with senior Obama administration officials as the White House is vowing to confront global warming during President Obama’s second term.
**RKB — Hedegaard’s schedule, here.
UN Carbon Offsets for March Rise 94% as Compliance Buying Jumps
United Nations carbon credits for March jumped the most ever and trading rose to the highest in more than two months ahead of a deadline to surrender permits and offsets in the European Union’s carbon market.
Debate grows over carbon tax, despite long odds
A tax on carbon emissions may not be on anyone’s short list of legislation likely to emerge from the gridlocked Congress, but that’s not dampening the debate over the merits of the idea.
UBS sued by two traders fired in Singapore over rate scandal
Reuters via Yahoo! News
SINGAPORE – Two former UBS AG traders in Singapore are suing the bank for wrongful dismissal, saying the bank fired them to lessen its role in the alleged manipulation of reference rates used to price currency derivatives known as non-deliverable forwards.
Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Going On A ‘Shopping Spree’ In Europe
International Business Times
With trillions of dollars in foreign-exchange reserves, China is gradually diversifying from its custom of simply parking that wealth in low-risk government bonds. The Chinese are now buying up depressed assets on foreign soil. And their favorite destination is Europe.
Vietnam Weighs Raising Foreign Investment Limit for Banks
Wall Street Journal Blogs
The State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, is preparing a draft regulation that aims to attract more foreign investment into local banks, according to a document posted on its website early this week.
Japan Exchange to Keep Sliding Index Events, SMBC Says
Japan Exchange Group Inc. , which doubled in value since listing in January, may continue to trim gains accumulated ahead of the bourse’s inclusion in stock indexes this week, according to SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
Tokyo Commodity Exchange: Sanction Against Member
Dalian Commodity Exchange Optimizes Arbitrage Trading System And Studies And Promotes The Measures For Favorable Arbitrage Margin And Position Holding Exemption
Morgan Stanley Announces Sale of EMEA-Based Global Stock Plan Services Business
Morgan Stanley today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell the EMEA-based portion of its Global Stock Plan Services business to Computershare Limited. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013.
EBS launches two new rupee products in India
EBS, ICAP’s market-leading electronic FX business, today announces the launch of two new products on EBS Market, its flagship anonymous platform in India.
S.Africa plans international sukuk, increases weekly issuance
Reuters via Yahoo! News
JOHANNESBURG – A planned Islamic bond announced by South Africa last year will be an international bond forming part of $1.5 billion in foreign issuance, Treasury Director General Lungisa Fuzile said on Wednesday.
Hedge-Fund Manager’s Personal Flaws Conveniently Summed Up by Bike Ride
New York Magazine
A large and mostly unexplored undercurrent running through the recent hedge-fund battle over Herbalife is the fact that Bill Ackman, the silver-haired hedge-fund investor who opened up the Herbalife can of worms in the first place by making a $1 billion short bet against it and accusing the company of being a pyramid scheme, is kind of a weenie.
Corporate Call for Change in Gay Marriage Case
ERIK ECKHOLM – NYTimes.com
Arguing that the federal Defense of Marriage Act imposes serious administrative and financial costs on their operations, some of the nation’s largest companies filed a supporting brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, urging it to overturn a section of the act that denies federal benefits and recognition to same-sex couples.