Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Jon Herrick has returned to the NYSE and assumed the newly created position of head of markets. In this role, Jon is responsible for the NYSE’s transactions businesses, including the product roadmap, market structure strategy, competitive positioning, and trading floor experience for the NYSE’s cash equities and options exchanges. He reports to Michael Blaugrund, the NYSE’s chief operating officer. Jon previously served NYSE as head of equities, though there was a stop at Quantlab as managing director of Americas. He has also been with Hudson River Trading and Sun Trading, joining HRT when Sun was acquired by it.
Citadel’s Ken Griffin paid $8 million to fly in space with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, but then donated his seat to a New York schoolteacher, Business Insider reported.
Evidently the shareholders of the CME Group did not like the low threshold for performance and the high payouts associated with them in the pay package for CEO Terry Duffy and rejected the $23 million package. Crain’s Chicago Business has the story of how just 23 percent of the shareholders voting on May 7 approved “the futures exchange’s pay practices last year, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.”
On May 3, Cboe Global Markets published a research report titled “Stock Splits Lead to Split Results in Trading.” The conclusion on the effects of the splits was that:
“On average, stock splits do not lead to increased liquidity that is proportional to the split ratio and appear to lead to a decrease in investors’ overall capital exposure to the split security. However, it is clear that stock-split events may drive additional participation from retail investors. As the retail trading community continues to grow, stock splits may interest companies seeking to make trading in their stock more accessible, however splits may be to the detriment of existing shareholders.”
The Financial Times added to its Special Reports on Exchanges, Trading and Clearing with two stories.
– Ukraine war cuts foreign investors off from their Russian assets; The conflict has dealt a huge blow to the integration of Russian companies with western stock exchanges
– Cloud computing powers the world’s financial exchanges; Embracing the cloud is not just a case of improving infrastructure, experts believe, but also a way to drive transformation
The American Financial Exchange is launching a new advertising campaign to raise awareness of AMERIBOR, the credit-sensitive interest rate AFX created to be a successor to LIBOR
The Federal Reserve Board is accepting applications for its Community Advisory council, which offers the council diverse perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income populations.
The latest podcast from IEX of “Boxes and Lines” is titled “Weird Alliances, Competition, and Token Regulation; with J.W. Verret of the Antonin Scalia Law School.” This March 8 recorded episode hosted by Ronan Ryan and John Ramsay features J.W. Verret, associate professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School and an expert on the SEC and fintech space, who discusses the history of disagreements between market participants and the SEC, governing the Web3 ecosystem, and using crypto for social good.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
TMX Group’s Luc Fortin discusses customers’ rush to the yield curve and leading by example in ESG
Luc Fortin, president and chief executive officer of Montréal Exchange and global head of trading at TMX Group, sees the launch of extended hours at TMX last year as an important step in the exchange’s globalization. “We had our hours in Europe where we were seeing more and more demand as we saw growing pools of capital requiring liquidity and Canadian derivatives over the Asian hours,” Fortin said. “So when we launched this in the fall, obviously, we’ve seen a very good uptake to it, particularly around all the crazy volatility that we’ve seen since the beginning of this year.”
Fortin spoke with John Lothian News at FIA Boca 2022.
FIA’s International Derivatives Expo is returning to The Brewery in London this coming 6-8 June. Standing still is not an option in today’s evolving cleared derivatives environment. Without adapting to new products, processes, technologies and regulations, your business won’t meet the needs of tomorrow’s industry. We’re bringing together industry leaders, vendors and policymakers to discuss what’s “now” in derivatives, and what lies ahead. Sign up here.
CME shareholders: CEO got paid too much; Proxy adviser ISS harshly criticized the $23 million package for Terry Duffy, saying CME’s board is setting easy-to-meet financial targets for cash bonuses.
Steve Daniels – Crain’s Chicago Business
Shareholders of CME Group overwhelmingly voted against the unusually large 2021 compensation package for CEO Terrence Duffy. Just 23% of the shareholders voting on May 7 approved of the futures exchange’s pay practices last year, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing. Duffy recently signed an employment-contract extension that came with a special $5 million cash bonus. The extension was for just one year, until the end of 2024.
***** Shareholders are different from board members, it would seem. More independent, less influenced by the CEO and concerned with their bottom line.~JJL
Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ at $195 Million, Shatters Auction Record for an American Artist; At Christie’s sale for charity, the glamorous silk-screen beat out Basquiat’s skull painting that had set a record in 2017.
Robin Pogrebin – NY Times
Maybe the image is not racy, like the one of Marilyn Monroe with her dress flying up in the movie “The Seven Year Itch,” but on Monday night it became the priciest. In under four minutes of bidding, Andy Warhol’s 1964 silk-screen of the actress’ face, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” sold for about $195 million to an unknown buyer at Christie’s in New York, making it the highest price achieved for any American work of art at auction.
****** I miss seeing the Andy Warhol exhibit in the CBOT Building every day in the lobby on the way to my old office. It brightened my day.~JJL
Flow Traders Executive Leaves After Swedish Ski Trip Incidents; Ex-global head of tech at center of review of alleged incident; Episode follows ousting of Flow Traders’ top U.K. official
Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
A senior executive at Flow Traders NV, Europe’s biggest market maker in exchange-traded funds, left the firm amid an internal investigation into alleged incidents at a company party in a Swedish ski resort, people familiar with the matter said. Thomas Wolff, who was chief technology officer at Amsterdam-based Flow Traders and a member of its management board until March, is at the center of the review, the people said. The alleged incidents took place that month at the Copperhill Mountain Lodge in the town of Are where dozens of Flow Traders employees had gathered for the firm’s annual party, according to the people, who requested anonymity as details aren’t public.
***** From one perspective, the mistake began with the idea of holding a ‘costume party.’~JJL
Exegy Acquires Enyx, Expands Global FPGA Leadership; Companies’ combined product suite eliminates the ‘build or buy’ dilemma for firms
Exegy Incorporated, a leading provider of front-office trading solutions differentiated by hardware acceleration, predictive analytics, and premium managed services, today announced it has acquired Enyx, a leading developer of FPGA-based, high-performance trading solutions. The transaction was supported by Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm with over $8.1 billion of capital commitments under management. Operating as Exegy Inc., the combined company is the only global firm offering a product suite that leverages low-latency field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology at all stages of the trading lifecycle.
***** More socks to give away.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Day Trader Army Loses All the Money It Made in Meme-Stock Era, from Bloomberg. Second was Vox’s The massive, unregulated source of plastic pollution you’ve probably never heard of, about nurdles, which are far worse than tribbles. Third was an opinion piece from The Guardian, If everyone’s working from home, why is commercial office space booming?
26,832 pages; 238,433 edits
FIA Tech launches client services and operations center in Tampa
FIA Tech, the futures industry’s leading technology provider, today announced that it has launched a new client services and operations center in Tampa, Florida. FIA Tech’s client services team is the primary interface for FIA Tech’s global client base and is responsible for the onboarding of new clients, overall client satisfaction and implementation of initiatives across FIA Tech’s various business lines.
MIAX-Parent Miami International Holdings Confidentially Files for U.S. IPO
Miami International Holdings Inc, which owns the options exchange Miami International Securities Exchange (MIAX), said on Friday it has confidentially submitted paperwork with regulators for a U.S. initial public offering. The Princeton, New Jersey-based exchange operator did not share any other details related to the terms of the offering and chose to keep its finances hidden from competition by confidentially filing initial paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
OPEC Kingpins Sound Alarm Over World’s Dwindling Energy Capacity
Anthony Di Paola and Ben Bartenstein – Bloomberg
The oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates warned that spare capacity is decreasing in all energy sectors, as products from crude to diesel and natural gas trade near record highs in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “I am a dinosaur, but I have never seen these things,” Saudi minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who’s been attending OPEC meetings since the 1980s, said Tuesday at a conference in Abu Dhabi, referring to the recent surge in prices for refined products. “The world needs to wake up to an existing reality. The world is running out of energy capacity at all levels.”
Less than a month until our #DerivativesForum #Frankfurt takes place! Secure your tickets now to join us on site or virtually from 24 to 25 May for keynotes, panels, and networking with speakers and the many participants already registered. Tickets, agenda and further details:
SEC Extends Comment Periods on Three Major Rule Proposals; The extension to mid-June follows criticism by lobbyists, lawmakers that 30 days wasn’t enough
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday it has extended the public-comment period on three major rule proposals after receiving widespread complaints from interest groups that it wasn’t allowing enough time for analysis. The SEC said it will accept comments until June 17 on proposed requirements for private funds, climate-related disclosures by companies and trading platforms for Treasury debt. The content of the proposals remains unchanged. “Commenters with diverse views have noted that they would benefit from additional time to review these three proposals,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement.
ICE Launches Nature-Based Carbon Credit Futures Contract
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said on Monday it had launched a nature-based solutions carbon credit futures contract to help bring price signals to the voluntary carbon market. Nature-based solution (NBS) carbon credits can be generated through schemes such as planting trees, agricultural projects or protecting forests that would otherwise be destroyed. “The NBS future is our first contract specifically designed to measure the carbon sequestration and storage capabilities of nature, which we hope will be an important valuation tool to conserve and grow the world’s natural capital base,” Gordon Bennett, Managing Director of Utility Markets at ICE, said in a statement.
Stablecoins Are Vulnerable to Runs, May Heighten Risks, Fed Says; Warns of rising use of stablecoins to meet margin requirements;nAlgorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD under stress amid crypto rout
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
The increasing use of stablecoins to meet margin requirements in leveraged crypto trades may heighten redemption risks, the Federal Reserve said in its semi-annual Financial Stability Report published Monday. Designed to maintain a peg to a hard currency like the U.S. dollar, stablecoins are backed by assets that may lose value or become illiquid during stress. The U.S. central bank repeated its concerns that the tokens are therefore “vulnerable to runs” and said a lack of transparency around the assets may exacerbate those vulnerabilities.
Why Wall Street Can’t Escape the Culture Wars; Appealing to the customers of the future may be uncomfortable for bank CEOs, but it’s a commercial imperative.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
Wall Street has always been involved in politics even if bank bosses sometimes want to pretend disinterest. In the past, they were able to stick mainly to battles about tax and regulation. Now, it is ever harder to avoid the U.S. culture wars. Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser has stuck her head highest above the parapet with vaccine mandates to combat Covid and pledges of support for female staff in states that are banning or criminalizing abortions.
Trade secrets: oil majors keep quiet on a key profit driver; BP, Shell and Total have singled out their trading divisions for praise but won’t say how much money they make
Tom Wilson and Neil Hume – FT
As Europe’s biggest energy companies reported record profits for the first three months of the year, each singled out different parts of their business for praise. But there was one constant: trading. BP’s highest quarterly earnings since 2008 were driven by “exceptional oil and gas trading”. TotalEnergies noted the “outperformance” of its oil trading activities and the “very good performance” of its gas and electricity dealers. At Shell, “higher trading and optimisation margins for gas and power, due to exceptional market environment”, resulted in the highest quarterly profit on record.
Goldman Sachs pauses work on new Spacs after SEC takes tougher stance; Wall Street bank last year ranked as second-biggest underwriter for blank-cheque companies
Ortenca Aliaj, Nikou Asgari and Joshua Franklin – FT
Goldman Sachs has paused new Spac offerings, said people familiar with the matter, in another blow to blank-cheque companies as regulators close in on the once-booming market. The move marks a retreat for the Wall Street investment bank, which last year ranked as the second-biggest underwriter for special purpose acquisition companies, helping sponsors raise almost $16bn, according to data from Refinitiv.
Crypto Exchange KuCoin Scores Funding at $10 Billion Valuation; IDG, Matrix also invested in the $150 million financing; Bitcoin plunged below $30,000 for the first time since July
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
KuCoin, one of the world’s most popular crypto-exchanges, has raised $150 million from investors led by Jump Crypto, boosting its valuation to $10 billion. Circle Ventures, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners took part in the pre-Series B financing, the Seychelles-based startup said in a statement. It will use the proceeds to expand in decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens via its own venture investment arms.
Citi, BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo invest in crypto tech company; Deal valuing Talos at $1.25bn comes as price of digital assets such as bitcoin tumbles
Gary Silverman – FT
Three of the world’s leading banks — Citigroup, BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo — have joined a funding round for a US developer of cryptocurrency trading technology, highlighting the work now being done on Wall Street to prepare for the growing adoption of digital assets.
$80M Ponzi Scheme Operator In Sarasota Guilty Of Multiple Charges: DOJ; A Sarasota man was found guilty of charges related to running an $80 million Ponzi scheme, the Department of Justice said.
Tiffany Razzano – Patch
Following a 13-day trial, a federal jury in Tampa found a Sarasota man guilty of multiple charges related to operating an $80 million Ponzi scheme. Michael J. DaCorta, 57, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering, and filing a false income tax return, according to a Department of Justice news release.
Only regulators can clear up Credit Suisse’s Archegos mess; Shareholders were right to keep officers and directors on the hook until all the facts are known
Kris Devasabai – Risk.net
After losing $5.5 billion in the collapse of Archegos Capital Management, Credit Suisse dusted off the standard playbook on banking blow-ups. It fired several high-ranking executives and pledged accountability, which in practice meant paying a law firm to investigate. A report published by Paul Weiss last July largely validated the bank’s initial response. That wasn’t enough for the bank’s shareholders, who voted against discharging top executives and directors of legal liability for the scandal at its annual general meeting last week. Nor should it be.
DTCC’s Mike Bodson Recognized as Financial Market Innovator
DTCC Connection Staff – DTCC
Michael Bodson, DTCC President & CEO, has been named to the inaugural TabbFORUM 40, an honor roll of executives and other influencers who are leading technology-driven innovation and disruption in the financial markets. Acknowledging the firm’s work in a range of areas, including central clearing in the U.S. Treasuries market, accelerating settlement to T+1 and the proof of concept for using distributed ledger technology in Project Ion, TabbFORUM said, “Bodson has flawlessly maintained the post-trade plumbing while also cultivating an edgier, more innovation-driven culture belying the firm’s staid ‘legacy’ reputation. (DTCC) sponsors a fintech incubator and has undertaken artificial intelligence and cloud computing transformation initiatives.”
Bitcoin Washout Is Leaving Mom-and-Pop Buyers Holding the Bag
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
There’s a crypto refrain when prices crash precipitously like this: The selloff is washing out the short term-focused non-believers, known as weak hands, strengthening the industry in its wake. It’s a glib way to think of all those who had joined the market as Bitcoin’s price rose to an all-time high at the end of last year — including institutions and small-time at-home investors, many of whom are deeply underwater on their investments now.
Billionaire hedge fund boss Ken Griffin paid $8 million to fly to space with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin — but will donate his seat to a New York schoolteacher, report says
Kate Duffy – Business Insider
The Citadel founder won a seat on a New Shepard mission at auction Monday night — but will donate it to a New York schoolteacher, Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet told Bloomberg. The $8 million Griffin paid represents a $20 million price drop from the first ticket sold for a crewed Blue Origin spaceflight — although one of the passengers on the first flight was Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
11 additional firms join Sustainable Trading industry initiative; Cross-industry support for non-profit membership network driving positive ESG change in the financial markets trading industry
Sustainable Trading, the non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices in the trading industry, today welcomes an additional 11 financial services organisations into its membership network.
On an unexpectedly subdued Victory Day, Ukrainians see cause for hope
Max Bearak, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Louisa Loveluck, David L. Stern and Fredrick Kunkle – The Washington Post
The day on which many here feared that Russia would escalate its assault on Ukraine turned out to be very different. Instead of formally declaring war, annexing occupied areas or increasing bombardments, as many had expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t even mention Ukraine by name in his speech Monday commemorating the Allied triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Putin tells experts to work on trade payments with allies and ‘unfriendly’ states
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the creation of a working group on international payments whose tasks will include figuring out terms for transactions with “unfriendly” states. Putin said in March that Russia, the world’s largest natural gas producer, would require countries it deems hostile to pay for fuel in roubles by opening accounts at Gazprombank and making payments in euros or dollars, to be converted into Russian currency.
The Fight to Feed the Ukrainian Resistance; A national network of cooks, restaurateurs and bakers has rallied to provide meals for Ukraine’s military and civilian population as the war with Russia grinds on.
Taras Kaidan and Mariana Matveichuk – Bloomberg
Two days after the Russian invasion began, Dmytro Borysov’s restaurants went to war. The Kyiv chef-owner behind a chain of more than 50 eateries across Ukraine, Borysov had plenty of food sitting in warehouses, but all his restaurants had been shuttered in the opening hours of the war. “At the same time, we received our first hot meal requests from the military,” says the 41-year-old restaurateur. “We decided to open the first volunteer kitchen in one of our restaurants.”
Study puts cost of halting Russian gas supply at 12% of German GDP; Government adviser says Europe’s largest economy faces big hit if Berlin accepts Russia gas ban
Martin Arnold – FT
Germany’s economy faces losing around 12 per cent of its annual output — some EUR429bn — if Russian natural gas supplies stopped abruptly, according to a new study by an adviser to the government. The study by Tom Krebs, an economics professor at the University of Mannheim who advises the finance ministry in Berlin on economic policy, is more pessimistic than most previous estimates and is likely to stiffen the government’s resolve in resisting calls for an immediate EU embargo on all Russian energy imports.
Prospect of Russian cyber war may have been ‘overhyped’, says UK spy chief; Online conflict has not materialised but threat from Moscow remains real, warns GCHQ head Jeremy Fleming
Mehul Srivastava – FT
Russia’s ability to unleash devastating cyber attacks on Ukraine’s military and civilian infrastructure may have been overblown, according to a British spy chief, as Ukrainian defences prove to be resilient against some of the country’s most sophisticated assaults.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
The American Financial Exchange (AFX) Launches New AMERIBOR® Interest Rate Advertising Campaign; Survey Reveals More Education on Choice in Benchmarks Needed
The American Financial Exchange (AFX) today announced a new advertising campaign to raise awareness of AMERIBOR® – a credit-sensitive interest rate that is a leading successor to the LIBOR interest rate benchmark. In a recent pilot survey conducted by AFX, most banks indicated that to continue to expand wider AMERIBOR loan usage, further industry education and more customer index awareness would be most beneficial. As one way to address this need, the AMERIBOR ad campaign, promoting the benefits of institutions seeking a credit-sensitive rate, will appear throughout 2022 on the ABA Banking Journal homepage. See the ad’s landing page here.
CME explores nickel contract after LME trade chaos
Pratima Desai – Reuters
CME Group is talking to market participants about the idea of a cash-settled nickel contract for companies to hedge costs of the electric vehicle battery raw material, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Market participants say a viable alternative trading venue would give disgruntled users the opportunity to move away from the London Metal Exchange (LME) where nickel trading was thrown into chaos early in March.
Deutsche Börse and Clearstream partner on fixed income data platform; New service will provide analytics and insights into assets and portfolios, liquidity and risk in the fixed income market.
Chris Lemmon – The Trade
Deutsche Börse and Clearstream have co-developed a new data service, offering analytics and insights into the fixed income marketplace. Called Bond Liquidity Data, the new platform will pull aggregated data of settlement instructions for international securities from Clearstream’s ICSD. Investors will be able to evaluate fixed income asset and portfolios, measure liquidity and systemic risk of bond issuers and estimate execution prices for secondary trades.
Effective on trade date Monday, May 23, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, this Market Regulation Advisory Notice will supersede CME Group Market Regulation Advisory Notice RA2201-5 from February 11, 2022. It is being issued with the addition of a new Section 14 regarding derived block trades in CME E-mini Select Sector futures and CBOT Dow Jones US Real Estate Index futures. RA2202-5 also removes product-specific thresholds and reporting requirements from the text of the advisory and directs market participants to the list of block eligible products here.
Amendment to Russian Ruble Futures and Options Contracts
Effective immediately, temporarily suspend trading and clearing of the July 2022,
August 2022, October 2022, November 2022, January 2023, February 2023, April 2023
and all subsequent contract months in the Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD)
Futures, and all expiries in the Monthly and Weekly Options on Russian Ruble/U.S.
Dollar (RUB/USD) Futures until further notice.
Amendments to the Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD) Futures and Options on Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD) Futures Contracts and the Temporary Suspension of Trading of Certain Contract Months
Effective Sunday, June 5, 2022, for trade date Monday, June 6, 2022, and pending all relevant Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will implement various amendments to the Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD) Futures (Rulebook Chapter 260; Commodity Code: RU) and Options on Russian Ruble/U.S. Dollar (RUB/USD) Futures (Rulebook Chapter 260A; Commodity Code: RU; RU1-RU5) contracts (the “Contracts”).
REMINDER: Derived Block Trade Eligibility for all CME E-mini S&P Select
Sector Futures and CBOT Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Futures
Effective Sunday, May 22, 2022 for trade date Monday, May 23, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and The Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. (collectively, the “Exchanges”) shall permit derived block trading for all of the CME E-mini S&P Select Sector Futures and the CBOT Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Futures contracts listed in Table 1. below (the “Contracts”).
Deutsche Börse introduces Bond Liquidity Data, thereby increasing transparency on the bond market
– New service offers unique market overview of instrument liquidity and transaction data in the bond market
– Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services uses data from instructions on international securities that are exclusively settled via Clearstream’s ICSD
Passive Liquidity Protection: Launch date for OESX
Eurex Circular 050/22 Passive Liquidity Protection: Launch date for OESX
With this circular, we would like to provide you with further information about the planned rollout of the Passive Liquidity Protection (PLP) functionality for EURO STOXX 50® Index Options, which is scheduled for October 2022.
ICE Launches its First Nature-Based Solutions Carbon Credit Futures Contract
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that it has launched a Nature-Based Solutions carbon credit futures contract (“NBS future”). The NBS future, which trades under the contract code NBT, physically delivers Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) credits certified under Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Projects with Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Certification, with vintages between January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020. Each NBS futures contract is equal to 1,000 carbon credits, where each credit is equal to the removal or reduction of one metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions achieved by projects that preserve and maintain natural ecosystems. ICE has listed NBS futures expiries in December 2022, December 2023, and December 2024
Special Change in KRX Climate Change Solutions Index
There will be special constituents change in KRX Climate Change Solutions Index as follows.
Effective May 9, 2022, MIAX Options And MIAX Emerald Options 2X Opening And Intraday Valid And Priority Quote Spread Relief In All Symbols
Please be advised, effective May 9, 2022, the MIAX Regulation Department has granted 2 times opening and intraday quote parameter relief for all symbols on MIAX Options and MIAX Emerald Options.
NSE Academy Limited collaborates with The Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
to strengthen business resiliency through Risk Management Education
NSE Academy Limited (NAL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has signed an agreement with The Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)to deliver a series of RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional Certification (RIMS-CRMP) instructor-led virtual preparation courses for both aspiring students and seasoned executives. The RIMS-CRMP is the only accredited risk management certification in the world (American National Standards Institute – ANSI – under ISO/IEC 17024:2012). It tests individuals on their command of five risk management tenets: analysis of business models; ability to design organizational risk strategies; implementation of the risk process; development of organizational risk competency; and their ability to support decision-making.
Shanghai International Energy Exchange has released its Circular on the Delivery Issues of SC2206
Shanghai International Energy Exchange has released its Circular on the Delivery Issues of SC2206 as follows: The last trading day for the crude oil futures contract SC2206 is May 31, 2022, and the delivery dates are June 1, June 2, June 6, June 7 and June 8, 2022. Accordingly, Shanghai International Energy Exchange (hereinafter referred to as “the Exchange”) hereby notifies issues concerning delivery as follows:Exchange (hereinafter referred to as “the Exchange”) hereby notifies issues concerning delivery as follows:
Taiwan Futures Exchange May Newsletter
News and Events
TAIFEX to List Taiwan Semiconductor 30 Futures & Shipping and Transportation Sector Futures
Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) is scheduled to launch Taiwan Semiconductor 30 Futures (SOF) and Shipping and Transportation Sector Futures (SHF) in June, further expanding its suite of sector index futures offerings.
Another New Trading Participant – Virtu ITG Europe – Joins SIX Swiss Exchange; As of today, Virtu ITG Europe Limited starts trading on SIX Swiss Exchange, the highly liquid reference market for Swiss equities
SIX Swiss Exchange is pleased to welcome Virtu ITG Europe Limited as a new trading participant. For agency clients, the UK and Irish based company specializes in execution services. Virtu ITG Europe Limited brings the number of trading participants on SIX Swiss Exchange to 95, all of whom benefit from an attractive equity universe and highly liquid and efficient trading.
TNS Live with Managed Layer 1 Access in Bergamo IT3 Following Euronext Move; Customers benefit from seamless Managed Hosting relocation providing lowest latency trading services
Transaction Network Services
Transaction Network Services (TNS) has enabled existing and new customers to seamlessly move trading operations from Basildon, England to Bergamo, Italy and directly access the Euronext exchange matching engine, with operations now live in IT3. This includes customers that have taken space in the Bergamo colocation facility and those that have chosen to connect to Euronext from outside the colocation facility.
Clearview AI settles suit and agrees to limit sales of facial recognition database.; The facial recognition software maker is largely prohibited from selling its database of photos to private companies.
Ryan Mac and Kashmir Hill – NY Times
Clearview AI, the facial recognition software maker, on Monday settled a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and agreed to limit its face database in the United States primarily to government agencies and not allow most American companies to have access to it. Under the settlement, which was filed with an Illinois state court, Clearview will not sell its database of what it said were more than 20 billion facial photos to most private individuals and businesses in the country. But the company can largely still sell that database to federal and state agencies.
The acceleration to T+1, where are we now? Industry experts from DTCC, Loomis Sayles and Morgan Stanley discuss the acceleration of settlement cycles to T+1 and how firms can prepare.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) are working together to reduce the T+2 settlement cycle in the United States to T+1 by the first half of 2024.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange is first to market with equity data analytics platform; The platform, in partnership with big xyt, provides daily online trading analytics for listed shares and ETFs.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the largest stock exchange in Africa, is the first bourse to come to market with a new information service from smart data and analytics provider big xyt. Leveraging big xyt’s Liquidity Cockpit for security analytics, the new service uses peer group rankings to help trading firms explore their market share, examine how they interact with the order book, and view their trading performance. The tools should assist client-facing staff to discover new and granular information about their trading flows to improve their algorithms and update their trading strategies.
Scott Leader named Managing Director, APAC for Eventus
Heads sales in Asia-Pacific region as demand continues to grow for firm’s trade surveillance, market risk solutions
Eventus, a leading global provider of multi-asset class trade surveillance and market risk solutions, announced today that Scott B. Leader has joined as Managing Director, APAC, heading the company’s sales efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. Leader has nearly three decades of financial services, sales and management experience throughout APAC and Europe, hiring and building high-performing teams at large organizations, including financial exchanges and global business information services providers.
How Microsoft is expanding its cybersecurity offerings
Daniel Howley – Yahoo Finance
Microsoft (MSFT) has been increasingly moving into the cybersecurity business, with CEO Satya Nadella saying the company is investing $20 billion through 2026. But the tech giant says a lack of cybersecurity professionals is making it difficult for everything from local governments to large businesses to protect themselves.
To that end, Microsoft is expanding its cybersecurity options to include five new services that will let its customers use Microsoft’s own cybersecurity experts as their own.
UK cybersecurity unit tackles record number of online scams in 2021
Dan Milmo – The Guardian
Britain’s cybersecurity unit has reported a record crackdown on internet scams after tackling more than 2.7m attempted frauds last year, a near-fourfold increase on the figure for 2020.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an arm of the GCHQ spy agency, said the interrupted scams included fake celebrity endorsements and bogus extortion emails. It stressed, however, that the increase in detection reflected aggressive targeting by the unit rather than an increase in scams.
World’s Largest Cybersecurity Benchmarking Study Finds that Top Executives Believe their Organizations are Not Prepared for New Era of Risk
ThoughtLab, a leading global research firm, today announced the findings of its 2022 cybersecurity benchmarking study, Cybersecurity Solutions for a Riskier World. The study analyzed the cybersecurity strategies and results of 1,200 large organizations across 14 different sectors and 16 countries, representing $125.2 billion of annual cybersecurity spending.
IBM Tackles Talent Shortage and Cybersecurity Crisis with New and Expanded Partnerships
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced education initiatives with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Specialisterne Foundation, and six Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) to provide no-cost STEM job training to U.S. military veterans, neurodivergent learners worldwide, and university students from underrepresented communities in the U.S.
Bitcoin Price Falls 54% From Its High; World’s largest cryptocurrency drops to $31,000
Jenna Telesca – WSJ
The cryptocurrency market has continued its slide from last week, mirroring the fall of the broader stock market. The world’s largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, fell to $31,075.70 on Monday evening, a 10% drop from Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT, according to prices from CoinDesk. Bitcoin’s price has fallen 54% from its record high of $67,802 in November. It is on track for the worst five-day stretch since the five days ended March 16, 2020, when it fell almost 38%.
Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency tool used by North Korea
Tobias Burns – The Hill
The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions Friday on online cryptocurrency tool Blender, which is used by North Korea to steal and launder virtual currencies, the department said. A North Korea cyber operations unit, known as the Lazarus Group, which had already been sanctioned by the U.S., carried out a $620 million heist in March and used the Blender tool to launder more than $20 million of the stolen funds, Treasury said. Blender, or Blender.io, is a cryptocurrency tool known as a “mixer,” software designed to anonymize the source of virtual currency by exchanging it for an equal amount of randomized currencies.
France becomes first big European nation to grant crypto giant Binance regulatory approval
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Binance has been granted approval from regulators to operate its cryptocurrency exchange in France. The company is now listed as a registered digital asset service provider by the French stock market watchdog AMF, enabling it to offer trading and custody services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Binance is the largest crypto exchange globally. The company handles spot trading volumes of more than $14 billion and nearly $50 billion in derivatives volume in a single day, according to data from CoinGecko.
Bourbon County NFTs put Goose Island at forefront of burgeoning trend, as breweries mix in real-world perks to engage fans
Josh Noel – Chicago Tribune
Goose Island Beer Co.’s newest Bourbon County offering will be released Friday, and it’s one of the most striking innovations to date in the brewery’s long history of aging beer in whiskey barrels. Just don’t try to drink it. To celebrate what may (or may not be) the 30th anniversary of Goose Island’s iconic Bourbon County Stout, the brewery will put more than 2,000 “Barrel House Collection NFTs” on sale Friday that it values at more than $1 million.
Bored Ape creator’s next windfall: selling land in an ‘open’ metaverse; Yuga Labs made $300mn from virtual land deeds but the sale exposed problems with its egalitarian vision for ‘Otherside’
Tim Bradshaw and Cristina Criddle – FT
The start-up behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, the non-fungible token collection of digital art snapped up for millions of dollars by celebrities and crypto-enthusiasts, has an ambitious new idea from which it has already made a fortune. Miami-based Yuga Labs is creating a so-called metaverse — an expansive virtual playground where 3D avatars can mingle. The concept has become the latest obsession for Big Tech companies such as Facebook-parent Meta and Microsoft. Plots of virtual land in Yuga’s upcoming metaverse, which is called “Otherside”, recently sold for a total of $300mn.
‘Woke, Inc.’ Author’s Startup to Take On BlackRock; Backed by Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman, Vivek Ramaswamy’s Strive will tell CEOs to stay out of politics
Liz Hoffman and Charley Grant – WSJ
An upstart financial firm backed by Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman has a message for American corporations: Focus on making money, not taking stands. Vivek Ramaswamy, who made his fortune in pharmaceutical startups before writing a book last year called “Woke, Inc.,” says he has raised $20 million to start a fund manager that would urge companies not to wade into hot-button social or environmental issues. Mr. Thiel invested both personally and through his Founders Fund, joined by Palantir Technologies Inc. co-founder Joe Lonsdale and other venture investors.
Pulitzer Prize: 2022 Winners List; Here’s the full list of winners and finalists.
The Pulitzer committee honored The Post with the prestigious public service award for its “compellingly told and vividly presented account of the assault on Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.”
U.S. to Lift Tariffs on Ukrainian Steel
Ana Swanson – NY Times
The Biden administration announced on Monday that it would lift tariffs on Ukrainian steel for one year, halting a measure that President Donald J. Trump placed on that country and many others in 2018. The move comes as the Biden administration looks for ways to assist Ukraine during the Russian invasion. Ukraine is a fairly minor supplier of U.S. steel, shipping about 218,000 metric tons in 2019, to rank 12th among America’s foreign suppliers. However, the sector is a significant source of economic growth and employment for Ukraine, and steel mills have continued to provide paychecks, food and shelter for their workers through the war.
For millions of Japanese, confrontation between the U.S. and China is already a reality.
Yoshiaki Nohara – Bloomberg
As the sun rose over Tanegashima, a small island off the southern tip of mainland Japan, a group of amphibious vehicles emerged from the stern of the Kunisaki, a flat-topped assault ship operated by the country’s Self-Defense Forces. The vehicles—essentially floating armored personnel carriers painted in green and brown camouflage, designed to bring an infantry squad ashore under fire—roared through the surf, firing smoke rounds to obscure their positions. Once they hit the beach, which had been fortified with barbed wire and iron posts, teams of soldiers sprinted out the rear doors and fanned out into combat formations. Two hovercraft followed behind; in a real battle they would carry additional troops and armored assets, but for the day’s exercise they were mostly empty. From higher ground more soldiers watched the landings closely, assessing their comrades’ performance in seizing the coastline from an imaginary occupier.
How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Pushed Finland and Sweden Toward NATO
Kati Pohjanpalo, Niclas Rolander, and Leo Laikola – Bloomberg
Despite their orientation toward the U.S. and western Europe, Finland and Sweden since the Cold War have bet that their national security was best protected by staying out of NATO. They aimed to avoid disturbing the military balance in the Baltic Sea region and provoking Russia. Now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a rethinking in both countries. For the first time, an entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization looks more likely than staying put at least for Finland. Sweden’s stance is less clear.
Japan Should End Cap on Foreign Visitors, Senior Lawmaker Says; Ruling LDP’s Seko says border controls have lost significance; Prime Minister Kishida has said opening must come gradually
Hiroshige Seko – Bloomberg
Japan should end a policy of capping daily arrivals from overseas, abolish virus testing on entry, and allow a free flow of tourists and businesspeople, a senior figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said. Speaking in an interview Tuesday at his offices in parliament, Hiroshige Seko said the country should wind down some of the toughest Covid-related border restrictions among leading economies. He said travelers who have received three vaccine doses should be allowed entry, but be required to wear masks in line with government advice.
U.S. Regulators Considering Plan B If Congress Fails to Act on Crypto; CFTC chairman says agencies discussing alternative solutions; Says CFTC would be a tough regulator for crypto market
Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
Financial market regulators are considering steps they could take to rein in the crypto market if Congress doesn’t pass legislation, the head of Wall Street’s top derivatives regulator said. “In the absence of clear direction from Congress, which I know they’re working on, it’s our responsibility to work together and to come up with solutions to the extent that we’re able to within the authority that we currently have,” Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News.
Family Offices Face Scrutiny as CFTC Boss Vows No Archegos Redux; Behnam concerned about large swaps unseen by regulators; Other Bill Hwangs may be out there, Behnam says in interview
Lydia Beyoud and Tom Schoenberg – Bloomberg
The top U.S. derivatives regulator is ratcheting up scrutiny of family offices after last year’s Archegos Capital Management’s blowup exposed significant blind spots in the swaps market. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam said Monday that the collapse of Bill Hwang’s firm shows a need to rethink some of the agency’s rules. The episode also underscored the danger of one investor building up a massive swaps position while leaving regulators unaware, he added.
CFTC Issues Proposed Rule to Modify Swap Clearing Requirement to Address Transition from LIBOR and Other Interbank Offered Rates to Alternative Reference Rates
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today unanimously voted to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the Commission’s interest rate swap clearing requirement to remove certain clearing requirements tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other interbank offered rates, and replace them with similar clearing requirements for swaps referencing overnight, nearly risk-free reference rates. The NPRM proposes to update the swaps required to be submitted for clearing to a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) or an exempt DCO under part 50 of the CFTC’s regulations and update the table of compliance dates for the CFTC’s swap clearing requirement to reflect the new set of swaps required to be cleared.
SEC Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rules on Climate-Related Disclosures, Reopens Comment Periods for Proposed Rules Regarding Private Fund Advisers and Regulation ATS
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has extended the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures for investors until June 17, 2022. The SEC also announced that it will reopen the comment periods on the proposed rulemaking to enhance private fund investor protection and on the proposed rulemaking to include significant Treasury markets platforms within Regulation ATS for 30 days.
Investing and Trading
S&P Drops Controversial Part of Ratings Plan for Insurers; Ratings firm got warning letter from Justice Department about antitrust issues
Leslie Scism – WSJ
S&P Global Ratings has withdrawn a controversial part of a proposed revamping of its model for determining creditworthiness of insurers following criticism that its move appeared to be self-serving and could hurt competition. The firm’s proposal had managed to anger insurance companies, state insurance regulators, rival ratings firms and even a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, The Wall Street Journal detailed last month.
Ford Sells About 8% of Its Stake in Electric-Vehicle Startup Rivian; Auto maker was early investor in Rivian but is now paring its stake as it expands its own EV lineup
Mike Colias – WSJ
Ford Motor Co. has sold off about 8% of its stockholdings in Rivian Automotive Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, pushing shares of the electric-vehicle startup to an all-time low. Rivian stock has come under pressure, following news of the Ford stock sale, previously reported by CNBC on Saturday. Rivian’s stock closed down 21% to $22.78 Monday, continuing a slide that began earlier this year as the company has had to curtail factory production due to supply-chain challenges.
A Short Seller Warns Elon Musk’s $44 Billion Twitter Deal Faces ‘Significant Risk’ of Getting Repriced Lower; Hindenburg Research says Twitter could lose 50% in equity if the world’s richest person walks away from the deal
Joseph De Avila – WSJ
A prominent short seller said Elon Musk’s proposal to buy Twitter Inc. for $44 billion is overpriced and that there is “significant risk” that the deal could get repriced lower. Mr. Musk has offered to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share and take the social-media company private with the intent to return to the public markets again after a few years. He recently lined up $7 billion in financing to help close the sale. Hindenburg Research LLC, an activist short seller, said Mr. Musk’s proposal to buy Twitter has artificially inflated the company’s stock price.
Tyson Foods Profits Soar as Meat Prices Climb; Higher prices are consistent with Tyson’s rising costs, CEO says, despite criticism from White House, lawmakers
Tyson Foods Inc. reported soaring profits as the company raised prices for beef, chicken and pork, citing higher costs. Tyson, the biggest U.S. meat processor by sales, said it increased prices for beef by an average 23.8% over the three months ended April 2, while its chicken prices increased 14.4% and 10.8% for pork. Tyson said its cost of goods sold increased by 15% over the quarter as the company paid more for animal feed, freight and labor expenses.
As Stock Markets Dive and Inflation Rises, It Pays to Automate Your Finances; This is no time to rely on human judgment alone, behavioral economists and financial planners say
J.J. McCorvey – WSJ
With the stock market selling off and inflation at a four-decade high, it is human nature to want to take action to protect your shrinking account balances. But human nature has a lousy track record. We tend to act rashly in times of financial stress, and often in our own worst interest, behavioral economists and financial planners say. The smarter move may be to take ourselves out of the equation and switch on the autopilot.
Why the Stock Market Keeps Plunging; The financial markets are coming to grips with the Federal Reserve’s policy change, as geopolitical factors complicate the outlook for the global economy.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Stephen Gandel, Lauren Hirsch, Ephrat Livni, Jenny Gross, Vivian Giang and Anna Schaverien – NY Times
The S&P 500 has now registered five consecutive weekly declines, its longest streak of losses since June 2011. Stocks rallied earlier last week, before suffering their largest-single day drop since the start of the pandemic on Thursday. Futures point to another drop in U.S. stocks this morning.
Gold Giant Barrick Is Hunting for More African Copper Projects
Thomas Biesheuvel and Felix Njini – Bloomberg
Barrick Gold Corp. is searching for copper projects in both Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as the gold-mining giant looks to expand in one of the world’s most-important industrial metals. Barrick already owns a copper mine in Zambia and in April laid out plans for a $7 billion copper-gold project in Pakistan. Copper is an essential part of the world’s efforts to decarbonize and new supply is constrained globally. Prices surged to a record in March and remain elevated, although they have retreated since then
IRS Has Millions of Delayed Tax Returns, and Is Paying Billions in Interest to Those Waiting; Tax agency now pays 4% interest to waiting individual filers; it made $3.3 billion in interest payments last fiscal year
Richard Rubin – WSJ
Americans can earn guaranteed 4% interest when money-market funds and savings accounts aren’t paying even half that. The catch: The IRS has to be sitting on your tax refund. That 4% rate for individuals took effect in April—up a percentage point from the prior quarter. The rate for large corporate refunds is 1.5%, up from 0.5%. Generally, the Internal Revenue Service has 45 days to process a tax return and pay a refund. After that, interest starts accruing in amounts tied to federal short-term interest rates and adjusted each quarter.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Nigeria Plans to Increase Forest Cover to 25% of Landmass; West African nation to issue $69 million in green bonds; Russia-Ukraine war threatens efforts to tackle desertification
Anthony Osae-Brown – Bloomberg
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, plans to increase forest cover to a quarter of its landmass and issue its third green bond later this year, the country’s president said at a United Nations climate conference.
U.S. Gasoline Price Hits Record Before Driving Season; Costlier motor fuel to drive inflation in world’s top economy; Surge comes despite large oil release from strategic reserves
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
U.S. retail gasoline and diesel prices rallied to a record just ahead of the nation’s summer driving season, a challenge for President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve as it combats the fastest inflation in decades. Average gasoline prices hit $4.374 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. Diesel also hit a record at $5.55. The surge is set to add to inflationary pressures gripping the world’s biggest economy. The U.S. summer driving season starts in about three weeks.
EDF Warns of Nuclear Output Cuts on Rising River Temperatures; Restrictions on generation likely this week as weather warms; Warm spell set to remain in coming weeks in latest forecast
Jesper Starn – Bloomberg
Electricite de France SA warned that unusually warm river temperatures are likely to force it to reduce nuclear output at time when about half the country’s reactors are already offline. With air temperatures in Paris forecast to climb above 25 degrees celsius (77 Fahrenheit) this weekend, some of the rivers used to cool EDF’s nuclear power plants are set to get too warm to ensure normal output and production may have to be cut, the utility said Tuesday. Nuclear output is already down with 27 of the nation’s 56 reactors halted for repairs or maintenance.
EU Seeks to Boost Solar Energy to Cut Russian Gas, Draft Shows; Commission’s strategy sees more than 500GW of solar by 2030; Roadmap is part of plan to wean bloc off Russian energy
John Ainger and Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The European Union’s executive arm is drafting a strategy to more than double the pace at which solar panels are installed across the bloc under a plan to rapidly rid itself of Russian fossil fuels following the country’s war in Ukraine. The European Commission wants to install over 300 gigawatts of photovoltaics by the middle of this decade — twice the level seen in 2020 — and more than 500 gigawatts by 2030, according to a draft of its solar energy strategy seen by Bloomberg. The plan involves a “swift, massive deployment” of solar panels on rooftops, starting with buildings that have the highest energy consumption, and will be published alongside new legislation to speed up permitting.
Ken Griffin and Michael Sacks give $27.5 million to train police leaders; The donation helps launch an initiative at the University of Chicago Crime Lab to train police managers and community violence intervention experts.
Ally Mariotti – Crain’s Chicago Business
Billionaire Citadel founder Ken Griffin and GCM Grosvenor CEO Michael Sacks are teaming up to donate $27.5 million to a new University of Chicago initiative that will train police officers and community violence intervention experts from around the country. The Community Safety Leadership Academies, as the new initiative is called, will be part of the Chicago Crime Lab, which was founded in 2008 and has received donations from Griffin before. Officials will roll out the announcement at a University of Chicago event Tuesday, featuring Mayor Lori Lightfoot; Griffin; and policing experts from around the country, including former CPD interim Superintendent Charlie Beck and Christy Lopez, who helped lead the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Obama administration.
RBC Spends $155 Million to Keep Staff in Tight Labor Market
Kevin Orland – Bloomberg
The Toronto-based bank is raising base salaries in the four lowest levels of its pay scale, accounting for almost half of its workforce, by 3% starting July 1 to “address the market pressures and the rising cost of living,” Chief Executive Officer David McKay said in a memo to employees Monday. “We are committed to continuing to be a leading employer of choice — one that supports your unique life and career goals, in addition to being an inclusive culture and a great place to work,” McKay said in the memo.
Better Hires Ex-Goldman Partner Talwar With Eyes on Listing
Max Reyes – Bloomberg
The company appointed Harit Talwar as non-executive chairman, according to an internal memo from Chief Executive Officer Vishal Garg seen by Bloomberg News. He starts effective immediately and will “provide strategic direction to achieve Better’s long-term goals,” according to the memo. Talwar’s appointment comes as Better grapples with hikes in interest rates that weighed on the company’s loan volume, leading it to make staff reductions over the past several months. The cuts sparked backlash after a December round of firings was carried out over Zoom, and Garg took a hiatus from the company for his handling of the situation.
Gupta’s GFG faces insolvency hearing after Credit Suisse ends settlement talks; Metals group had borrowed $1.3bn from Swiss bank’s clients to finance sprawling empire
Owen Walker and Sylvia Pfeifer and Kaye Wiggins – FT
Credit Suisse has pulled out of settlement negotiations with Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, forcing the start of insolvency hearings in a UK court on Tuesday, according to people with knowledge of the process. Gupta has spent more than a year trying to head off legal action intended to force parts of his metals empire out of business over unpaid debts after the collapse of specialist finance firm Greensill Capital last March.
Tiger Global hit by $17bn losses in tech rout;Hedge fund suffers ‘breathtaking’ drop as speculative stocks sink from pandemic peaks
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Tiger Global has been hit by losses of about $17bn during this year’s technology stock sell-off, marking one of the biggest dollar declines for a hedge fund in history. The run of poor performance means the firm — one of the world’s biggest hedge funds and a big investor in high-growth, speculative companies whose shares have tumbled since their pandemic peaks — has in four months erased about two-thirds of its gains since its launch in 2001, according to calculations by LCH Investments.
SoftBank’s $100 Billion Fund Lags Behind After Five Years of Investing; Vision Fund rode the tech boom up and is riding the tech bust down
Eliot Brown – WSJ
Five years after its kickoff, SoftBank’s 9434 0.27% $100 billion Vision Fund is being battered by the tech selloff, making for an embarrassing performance that lags behind the overall stock market since its launch. Started with a goal of funding a whole generation of future tech giants, the fund raised roughly 30 times more cash than the next largest venture-capital fund at the time.
Two new Omicron variants are spreading. Will they drive a new U.S. surge?; The subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 may dodge immunity, especially in unvaccinated people, possibly causing a spike in infections worldwide.
Sanjay Mishra – National Geographic
New versions of Omicron are again causing a surge of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, and studies show that these new subvariants are so different from the original version of Omicron that immunity generated from a previous infection may not provide much protection. Dubbed BA.4 and BA.5, the new subvariants are nearly identical to each other, and both are more transmissible than the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. In South Africa, they replaced the BA.2 strain in less than a month. They are now responsible for a spike in South Africa’s COVID-19 cases, which have tripled since mid-April.
Shanghai’s Covid Lockdown Gets Tougher: ‘If One Person Tests Positive, the Whole Building Isolates’; Residents say authorities in Shanghai, now in its sixth week under strict lockdown, have begun forcing more people into centralized quarantine facilities
Cao Li – WSJ
After six weeks of strict lockdown, Shanghai authorities are again tightening Covid-19 restrictions amid a renewed push by central-government officials to eradicate the virus, sparking a new wave of frustration in the coastal city of 25 million people. Though Shanghai officials haven’t formally announced any new citywide measures, residential communities and grass-roots authorities have expanded the scope of people being taken into centralized quarantine while cutting off deliveries of nonessentials to swaths of the city, according to half a dozen Shanghai residents who have received notices and shared them with The Wall Street Journal.
How Useful Is Big Tech in a Covid Lockdown, Really? Chinese consumers are falling out of love with their super apps.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
China’s consumer-tech companies are riding an endless train of trouble. Just as the government seems to be easing its regulatory crackdown, consumer fatigue — even disinterest — is setting in. At an April meeting of the Politburo, the top government policymaking body, Beijing vowed to support the healthy growth of platform companies, a statement interpreted by many analysts as the end of the government’s year-long campaign to rein in big tech across a wide range of issues, from antitrust to data security. Beijing’s crackdown cost tech companies as much as $2 trillion of market value, the equivalent of 11% of China’s gross domestic product, estimates Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
India RBI Seen Prudent in Spending Forex Reserves to Defend Rupee; FX reserves at nearly $600 billion, world’s fourth-largest; Current account gap seen at half of 2013 taper-tantrum level
Subhadip Sircar – Bloomberg
The Reserve Bank of India is once again seeking to defend its currency when the Federal Reserve is tightening. This time though, analysts expect it to mount a more limited defense, aimed at fending off the worst of speculative attacks rather than holding down a line in the sand when capital flows are shifting globally with the Fed set to hike throughout the year.
‘Happy Situation’ for India as High Prices Bolster Sugar Exports
Pratik Parija – Bloomberg
India will be able to keep exporting sugar without government subsidies if global prices stay close to current levels, according to Somit Banerjee, head of trading at Dubai-based refiner Al Khaleej Sugar Co. The country’s sugar cane production could be slightly higher in the next season as farmers are encouraged to boost planting on the back of higher exports and diversion to ethanol, Banerjee said in an interview at the Globoil International conference in Dubai. While India’s consumption may also increase, it’s likely to have some surplus to export in 2022-23, he said.
Trading Russian Oil Will Become Harder From Mid-May, Vitol Says
Paul Wallace – Bloomberg
Russia’s exports of crude and oil products have probably dropped by around 1 million barrels a day from 7.5 million before the attack in late February, Mike Muller, head of Asia at Vitol Group, said Sunday on a podcast produced by Dubai-based Gulf Intelligence. They could fall further after May 15, he said. Many trading houses interpret European Union regulations as prohibiting them from dealing with Russian state energy companies beyond then. “We’re virtually on top of that date where the international banking system just cannot make payments to Russian entities work,” Muller said. “EU sanctions prohibit a whole number of things from May 15.”
Hedge Fund Aurelius Moves Headquarters to South Florida From NYC
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
Aurelius now lists its address as 3825 PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As recently as this year, the hedge fund reported it was based at 535 Madison Ave. in Manhattan. A representative for Aurelius declined to comment. The firm, led by founder Mark Brodsky, started managing money in 2006, according to its website.
Russian Crude Keeps Flowing While Europe Wrangles Over Sanctions
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
Shipments of the nation’s crude were little changed in the seven days to May 6 compared with the previous week, even as the volume sent to Asia from Russia’s western ports tumbled. A total of 34 tankers loaded about 24.9 million barrels from Russian export terminals, according to vessel-tracking data and port agent reports collated by Bloomberg. That put average seaborne crude flows at 3.56 million barrels a day, down by about 2% against a revised 3.62 million barrels a day in the week ended April 29.
Exclusive-Germany, Qatar at odds over terms in talks on LNG supply deal -sources
Marwa Rashad, Andrew Mills and Christoph Steitz – Reuters
Germany and Qatar have hit difficulties in talks over long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deals amid differences over key conditions, including the duration of any contract, three people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.
Mexico’s Hottest Resort Towns Struggle With Covid Travel Boom; Growth in Cancún and Tulum highlights the country’s jump to the top of the global destination charts. Some question whether it can—or should—stay there.
Maya Averbuch – Bloomberg
It’s 2 in the afternoon at the Mexican resort town of Tulum, and the beach club at the Ikal Hotel is heating up for its “ecstatic dance” session. Inside a thatch-roofed pavilion, a sweaty crowd bops to a “folktronica” track spun by a DJ whose next stop is Berlin. Down a set of wide stone steps, fit thirtysomethings smack volleyballs on a beach that smells of seaweed and sunscreen. A “treehouse” room will set you back $800 a night, and a bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne sparkling wine runs $110.
Russia-exposed asset managers to shut funds permanently; Closures mark latest sign of Moscow’s isolation from international financial markets
Adrienne Klasa – FT
Fund managers including Danske, Nordea and Jupiter have taken steps to permanently shut down funds heavily exposed to Russia, in the latest sign that investors do not expect the country to rejoin global markets for many years. Most funds with big holdings in Russian securities have been frozen since early March, shortly after Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine. The suspensions trapped billions of dollars worth of investors’ capital after Moscow’s markets were shut and offshore asset prices plummeted. A series of punitive western sanctions and Russian countermeasures — including a ban on foreigners trading on the Moscow Exchange — have made it all but impossible to value and trade positions.
Canada to help Ukraine find options to export grain to ease supply worries -Trudeau
Tom Balmforth – Reuters
Canada will help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain to address global food security that has been shaken by Russia’s invasion of the country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late on Sunday.
The Working-Class Alternative to the Westminster Dog Show; The Farm Dog of the Year contest features the kind of dog you want to have a beer with
Jim Carlton – WSJ
Fit is good at a lot of things: catching Frisbees, taking a running dive off a dock, lounging on a couch. But the 33-pound border collie is indisputably best at her main job—bossing the sheep around on a Florida farm. “She knows more about livestock than I’ll ever know,” marvels owner Cindy Deak. Fit is the reigning Farm Dog of the Year. She beat out 100 contestants for a title that carries a $5,000 cash prize, a year’s supply of dog chow—and recognition for the scrappy pooches that serve as work dynamos on farms and ranches across the country.
Chicago rolls the dice on Bally’s. Hedge fund owner Soo Kim says the rebranded casino company will deliver.
Robert Channick – Chicago Tribune
When Mayor Lori Lightfoot named Bally’s the winner of a yearlong vetting process Thursday, it ended an intense competition that saw five proposals from four development teams narrowed down to one Chicago casino. The Bally’s proposal to build a $1.74 billion casino complex in River West is expected to generate $200 million in annual tax revenue for the city, transform a 30-acre industrial site into a bustling entertainment destination and send the Chicago Tribune printing plant packing from its longtime home along the Chicago River.
Travelers Will No Longer Be Restricted When Packing Liquids, Thanks To This New Technology
Kelsey Marie – Travel Noire
When going through TSA, taking large electronics out and packing liquids less than 3.4 fl. oz. is the norm. However, that norm may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the future of airport technology. Ireland’s Shannon Airport implemented its new CT scanning security system in October 2021. This new technology allows liquids to have no restrictions on volume. Shannon Airport is not new to being a pioneer in the travel industry. In 1947, the airport opened the world’s first Duty-Free shop. In 2009, Shannon Airport became the first airport in the world to provide full US pre-clearance facilities.