First Read

CME’s CEO Is Expected to Make Full Recovery After Lung Collapse
by Brian Louis – Bloomberg
Company sees Duffy returning in ‘next couple of weeks’; Illness was disclosed at CME’s annual shareholders meeting
CME Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Terry Duffy is recovering at home from a collapsed lung, according to the company, operator of the world’s largest futures exchange.

**** We all wish Terry Duffy a speedy recovery!


Talent Battle: Hedge Funds vs. Silicon Valley
The battle for quantitative talent has turned some of the richest money managers into underdogs. Why? Because they are up against the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. for hiring the world’s top minds.

****** The young man who was the origin of the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series has taken a job with Google after spending two summers with KCG. Just one data point, but.


This Old School Hedge Fund Is Going Quant
By Rob Copeland – WSJ
Alec Litowitz, founder of one of the country’s largest hedge funds, raised a simple question at the firm’s investment committee meeting: How often do mergers fall apart?

****** Magnetar is staying in the news.


HFT ambassador steps down from electronic trader Quantlab; Executive who started out as general counsel at the storied electronic trading outfit, The Island ECN, has been a public advocate for HFTs
By Samuel Agini – Financial News
The president of Quantlab, a high-frequency trading firm that has been at the forefront of efforts to improve the industry’s public image, is stepping down after 10 years with the firm.

****** Cameron Smith, fare ye well!


NetXpress partners with BSO to open up new regions for market makers
NetXpress, a specialist managed services provider for market data, has selected BSO’s global low-latency connectivity network to deliver U.S clients seamless access to emerging markets.

***** BSO should sell their services to the CSO.


Manipulation in the VIX?
John M. Griffin, Amin Shams – University of Texas at Austin – Department of Finance
At the settlement time of the VIX Volatility Index, volume spikes on S&P 500 Index (SPX) options, but only in out-of-the-money options that are used to calculate the VIX, and more so for options with a higher and discontinuous influence on VIX. We investigate alternative explanations of hedging and coordinated liquidity trading. Large transient deviations in prices demonstrate the importance of settlement design.

****** White paper about VIX manipulation.


VIX Trading, Hoaxes and Blockchain; Also oil data, executive business education, fat unicorns and bond market liquidity.
By Matt Levine – Bloomberg
VIX manipulation!? The CBOE Volatility Index — the VIX — is a measure of expected volatility in the S&P 500 index. People pay more for options when they expect prices to be volatile, and you can compute implied volatility from option prices. So the VIX looks at the trading prices of a bunch of out-of-the-money put and call options on the S&P 500 and computes a sort of average implied volatility from them. The methodology is in this white paper.

***** And a Matt Levine story explaining it.


Fighting for Futures
May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month and we only have 6 more days to go! Fighting for Futures supports the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in its efforts to cure the deadliest of all childhood cancers. Please donate today: and join the dozens of other futures industry professionals who have donated to the effort in support of a colleague whose child suffers from a brain tumor – Beckett’s Battle – at Fighting for Futures Fundraising Happy Hour – Thursday, June 1 – 4:00 – 8:00 at Poag Mahone’s – 333 S. Wells St. Chicago, IL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Leading off yesterday’s top three is Trading Technologies’ TT®: Breaking the Browser Tab. In second is the Financial Times’ Blockchain consortium raises record $100m and in a close third is Reuters’ U.S. derivatives regulator splits with White House over budget


MarketsWiki Stats
101,092,81 pages viewed; 22,490 pages; 205,936 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Fixing FX: The Currency Trader’s New Guide to Ethical Behavior
by Lananh Nguyen and Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
75-page code of conduct aims to restore trust after scandal; Principles cover ‘last look,’ pre-hedging, info sharing
The $5.1-trillion-a-day currency market is getting a new playbook as foreign-exchange traders try to change their image from naughty to nice.

BIS Releases New Set of Standards for Currency Trading; Code of conduct seeks to restore public trust after foreign-exchange scandals
Chelsey Dulaney – WSJ
A group of global standards-setters on Thursday completed a new set of principles for trading in the foreign-exchange market, capping a two-year effort to improve transparency after a series of collusion scandals at major banks.

Post-crisis regulations have had ‘adverse impact’ on bond activity; NY Fed findings say moves have constrained banks’ ability to trade and hit liquidity
Eric Platt and Joe Rennison in New York – FT
Regulations designed to safeguard the US from another financial crisis have damped corporate bond trading activity, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Metropolitan Stock Exchange and GMEX agree to collaborate in exchange space in India
GMEX via Mondovisione
MSE and GMEX Group of London enter into a Joint collaboration to deliver innovative products for existing and new trading segments in Indian Capital Market
This partnership with MSE is GMEX’s first strategic partnership in Indian market
Mumbai and London May 25, 2017. Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India Limited (MSE), the third national level stock exchange, today announced it has agreed to collaborate with GMEX Group (GMEX) of London, provider of multi-asset exchange trading and post trade technology and business solutions.

Dealer Balance Sheets and Corporate Bond Liquidity Provision
Tobias Adrian, Nina Boyarchenko, and Or Shachar – NY Fed
Regulatory reforms since the financial crisis have sought to make the financial system safer and severe financial crises less likely. But by limiting the ability of regulated institutions to increase their balance sheet size, reforms—such as the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States and the Basel Committee’s Basel III bank regulations internationally—might reduce the total intermediation capacity of the financial system during normal times.

Clearing costs to spike for buy-side with euro clearing move; Panellists at The TRADE’s Future of Post-Trade event warned costs will rise if clearing moves to EU.
By Joe Parsons – The Trade
Costs to trade euro-denominated interest rate swaps will increase significantly for asset managers if euro clearing is forced to move from London to the EU, buy-siders warned at The TRADE’s Future of Post Trade event.

BIS issues new code of conduct for foreign-exchange trading
Katie Martin – FT
Banks, policymakers and investors have drawn up a new set of guidelines for behaviour in the vast global foreign exchange markets, seeking to rebuild trust after years of scandals, just a day after France’s BNP Paribas became the latest bank to receive a fine for years of “nearly unfettered misconduct” in currencies.

FX Survey 2017: Fragile forex enters a new era
The FX industry has moved on from the fixing scandal and now wants to write its next chapter, underpinned by a new code of conduct. But liquidity remains fragile, volume is down and further challenges lie ahead.
Global turnover has contracted. Low interest rates, coupled with political and economic uncertainty, are stripping profit opportunities from speculative investors. And as the damaging benchmark-rigging scandal recedes into history, a new set of conduct principles is about to be unveiled to keep everyone’s behaviour under much tighter control and scrutiny.

Cryptocurrency Mania Goes Beyond Bitcoin
by Lily Katz – Bloomberg
Market value of digital currencies jumps 50 percent in a week; Ethereum, litecoin, zcash join bitcoin in dramatic rise
Think bitcoin’s surge of more than 30 percent in the last week is impressive? Check out what some of its cousins are up to.

LBMA launches code of conduct for precious metals markets
BY REUTERS via ET Marktes
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is launching a code of conduct aimed at boosting confidence in the $5 trillion a year London gold market, it said on Thursday, following years of heightened regulatory scrutiny of the city’s financial sector.

Data Mining to Find Tax Cheaters; That Swiss bank account may be closed—but it’s not forgotten.
by David Voreacos and Christian Berthelsen – Bloomberg
Driven by fear of prison and scandal, tens of thousands of Americans who hid money offshore have taken an amnesty deal offered by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service since 2009. They had to bring the money home, pay the taxes plus penalties, and tell authorities how bankers helped them cheat. In return, they weren’t prosecuted. Some resisted, however. They moved their money from Switzerland to other tax havens such as Singapore and Hong Kong, daring the U.S. government to find them.

Robo-Advisers Battle Wall Street for Rich Investors; Betterment wants to stake a claim on the wealthy before big banks do.
by Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. doesn’t think its richer customers will drop their high-priced money managers in favor of automated investing, but Betterment LLC is betting it can prove the big bank wrong.

ECB warns on risk of ‘abrupt’ bond market shake-out
Claire Jones
The reliance of the eurozone’s financial system on the policies of its central bank have been laid bare in the European Central Bank’s latest financial stability review, which highlights the risks posed by attempts to rein in extraordinary monetary stimulus.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME chief recovering from collapsed lung
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy missed the future exchange’s annual meeting in Chicago today because he was home recovering from a collapsed lung. Duffy, 58, who added the CEO title last year, underwent a “procedure” last week after his lung collapsed, said a spokeswoman for the company. He is expected to make a full recovery and to return to the office in a couple of weeks, she said.

CME Group CEO Terry Duffy recovering from a collapsed lung
Gail MarksJarvis – Chicago Tribune
CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy is home recovering from a collapsed lung after a procedure last week to repair it, the company said Wednesday.

TMX Group Develops Blockchain Prototype for Energy Business
TMX Group today announced the development of a blockchain-based prototype to power a new service offering from Natural Gas Exchange (NGX), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group and leading North American energy exchange.

Canada’s TMX says its natgas exchange to use blockchain to track flows
TMX Group Ltd, Canada’s biggest stock exchange operator, said on Wednesday it had developed a blockchain-based service to track the flow of deliveries on its Natural Gas Exchange.

The CAT Scratches: Fees for Options Exchanges
Spencer Doar – JLN
I’ll set the table with this stat from a Reuters story earlier this month – “Options execution venues with more than 1 percent of industry volume will pay $57,615 per quarter and those with less than 1 percent will pay $39,612 per quarter.” “Per venue” means per medallion/exchange. That means that MIAX would pay $388,908 per year to support the CAT — MIAX at $57,615 a quarter and MIAX Pearl at $39,612 a quarter, since Pearl executes less than 1 percent of industry volume.

CME Group Inc. Announces Preliminary Results from its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
CME Group
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) today announced the preliminary shareholder voting results from its 2017 annual meeting.

Eurex roadmap tour 2017; Workshop tour through Europe concluded successfully
More than 250 participants joined us for our workshops in Frankfurt, London, Zurich und Amsterdam, four of Europe’s key financial centres. Workshop attendees received a comprehensive overview of current developments at Eurex Exchange and Eurex Clearing.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange: Change To Immediately Executable Price Range (DCB Range)
This is to inform you that Immediately Executable Price Range (DCB Range) for Oil, Chukyo-oil and Rubber markets will be changed as below from the Day Session on the 1st of June 2017.|

FIA Japan Newsletter May 2017 Edition Released
Futures Industry Association of Japan has released FIAJ Newsletter May 2017 edition. Click the following URL to access the newsletter.

NEX Markets To Adhere To The FX Code Of Conduct
NEX Markets, a NEX Group business which provides electronic trading technology services in the fixed income and foreign exchange (FX) markets, announces today that following the publication of the FX Code of Conduct (“the Code”), it plans to adopt the Code’s principles across its FX trading platforms.|

Qatar Stock Exchange & Stenden University In Qatar Sign MoU For Cooperation In The Fields Of Education And Training
Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) and Stenden University in Qatar (SUQ) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote collaboration between the two sides.

The Moscow Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange signed an agreement on strategic cooperation
As part of the expansion of interaction Moscow Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange signed an agreement on strategic cooperation. The agreement was signed during a meeting of heads of exchanges, which took place in Moscow on May 22, 2017.


OptionsCity Continues European Expansion as Futures and Options Trading Firms Seek Proven Software Solutions.
Bob’s Guide
OptionsCity Software, a global provider of futures and options trading software, announced today that Tower Trading Group, headquartered in London and supporting over 200 active traders, has selected the Metro platform as its preferred platform for options trading and market-making. In addition, the Tower Trading Group risk management team will also leverage Metro’s global risk solution, enabling the team to analyze their real-time P&L and options market risk exposures in realtime, based on accurate pricing models and advanced volatility models implemented across all of the Tower Trading Group options markets including markets with less liquid products. The announcement comes after an extensive review conducted by Tower Trading Group as they expand their trading operations focused on options.

Google’s A.I. Program Rattles Chinese Go Master as It Wins Match
It’s all over for humanity — at least in the game of Go. For the second game in a row, a Google computer program called AlphaGo beat the world’s best player of what many consider the world’s most sophisticated board game. AlphaGo is scheduled to play its human opponent, the 19-year-old Chinese prodigy Ke Jie, one more time on Saturday in the best-of-three contest.

Colt to offer new low-latency network route between Tokyo and Chicago
Colt Technology Services has announced newly optimised low-latency network routes linking stock exchanges in Tokyo and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which will be available from May 23, 2017.

Wolverine Execution Services Bridges the Gap Between Voice and Electronic Trading
Wolverine Execution Services
Wolverine Execution Services (WEX), a leading provider of premier technology and execution services to Institutional clients, announced today the launch of “Request For Quote” (RFQ). This new functionality, within the WEX Trading Platform (WTP), will provide a simple and fully electronic workflow, which will mirror the traditional high touch trading. Only available in the WTP, RFQ allows the user to request option quotes for single or multi leg spreads and quickly select one or many liquidity providers to furnish a single or two sided market. Once the request is made, the liquidity provider is immediately notified and can respond with a quote. The firm who responds with the best quote may receive a systematized order from the client allowing them to trade the order using WTP.


Democrats Ask Deutsche Bank to Produce Documents on Trump Family Loans
by Greg Farrell – Bloomberg
House Democrats ratchet up pressure on German lender; Seeking details also about handling of Russian mirror trades
Democratic lawmakers asked Deutsche Bank AG to hand over its findings on two politically charged matters — its banking on behalf of now-President Donald Trump and trades from the bank’s Moscow operation that helped move some $10 billion out of Russia.

Mnuchin’s Recruiting Tool: Titles That Don’t Need Senate Confirmation
by Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Treasury relying on four ‘counselors’ to advise secretary; Goldman’s Donovan, nominee for No. 2 job, dropped out Friday
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is trying to fill a leadership vacuum in his department by increasingly recruiting financial industry executives for senior positions that come with a perk: a title that doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

U.S. financial council reimagined as boon, not bane, for Wall Street
The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which brings together all U.S. financial watchdogs, used to be the scourge of Wall Street but under Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin it can serve to ease its regulatory burdens.


NP Paribas pays $350 million to settle New York currency probe
Karen Freifeld – Reuters
French bank BNP Paribas on Wednesday agreed to pay $350 million to New York’s banking regulator to resolve a probe of misconduct in its foreign exchange business.
The bank allowed more than a dozen traders and salespeople in New York and other key trading hubs to manipulate foreign exchange prices through a failure to supervise, according to New York’s Department of Financial Services. Foreign exchange traders colluded in online chat rooms to manipulate the currency prices, the regulator said.

Securities Commission Malaysia Sues Seven Individuals For Insider Trading
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has filed a civil suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against seven individuals for insider trading involving the shares of Worldwide Holdings Bhd (Worldwide), a company previously listed on Bursa Malaysia.|

FCA statement on the publication of the FX Global Code
The FCA welcomes today’s publication of the FX Global Code.|
As we set out in our Mission, standards can be a useful way for the industry to police itself in support of our regulatory work and can help firms to communicate expectations of individuals when linked to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime.

FXPA Endorses Global Code For FX Market
The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) welcomes the release of the Global Code for the wholesale foreign exchange market, which was published this morning in London.|

Complete FX Global Code Published
A global code of conduct for the foreign exchange (FX) markets has been launched today (25 May).|

IHS Markit develops MiFID II regulatory outreach platform; Outreach 360 platform allows regulatory compliant exchange of information between firms and customers.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
IHS Markit has launched a platform to helps firms meet MiFID II regulatory outreach and repapering requirements.

Instinet launches MiFID II unbundling connectivity tool; RQ Connect allows the transfer of research assessment data to Instinet’s commission management platform, Plazma.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Instinet has developed a tool to connect third-party data for research distribution, monitoring and evaluations for MiFID II research payments.

U.S. Charges Four With Trading Insider Tips on Health-Care Policy; Government official allegedly gave information to a consultant, who told two hedge-fund investors
Brody Mullins and Susan Pulliam – WSJ
Federal prosecutors filed insider-trading charges against one of Wall Street’s best sources of tradable information from the government, accusing him of relaying a series of tips from an obscure bureaucrat inside a key health-care agency to traders at a New York hedge fund.

SEC Files Charges in Trading Scheme Involving Confidential Government Information
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges in an alleged insider trading scheme involving tips of nonpublic information about government plans to cut Medicare reimbursement rates, which affected the stock prices of certain publicly traded medical providers or suppliers.

ESMA publishes updated AIFMD and UCITS Q&As
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published updated questions and answers documents (Q&A) on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and the Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive (UCITS).

ESMA consults on Money Market Funds rules
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Consultation Paper (CP) on the Money Market Funds Regulation (MMFR). The CP contains proposals on draft technical advice (TA), draft implementing technical standards (ITS), and guidelines under the MMFR. The key proposals relate to asset liquidity and credit quality, the establishment of a reporting template and stress test scenarios.

Reflections from FINRA Annual Conference
Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting many of you at our Annual Conference—an event attended by more than a thousand individuals from around the country. I enjoyed meeting with members representing every corner of our industry and learning about the opportunities and challenges ahead for investors, the markets, and the brokerage industry. We also heard key perspectives from a range of guest speakers, including important insights from U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Jack Brennan, FINRA Board Chairman and former Vanguard CEO. The rich dialogue throughout the week reflects a shared commitment to protecting investors and ensuring market integrity while promoting healthy and vibrant capital markets.

Trial for Euribor six delayed until next year
Jane Croft
A high profile trial of six traders who face allegations that they tried to rig a key global interest rate benchmark has been delayed until next year.

Investing and Trading

Dividend Growers vs High Dividend Yielders: How They Compared as Interest Rates Rose
Kieran Kirwan – S&P Dow Jones Indices
There are generally two types of dividend strategies: 1) Dividend growers: Those targeting stocks that consistently grow their dividends over time and 2) High dividend yielders: Those focusing on stocks that pay a high dividend yield.

What We’re Telling Clients About European Stocks
The Reformed Broker
Providing historical context is one of the roles we play on behalf of our clients. And that’s a good thing, because for an investor who just began paying attention to markets in the last ten years, the extent of their context is that the S&P 500 is the only game in town worth playing, it always goes up, and dollars invested in anything else are wasted.

BlackRock, Vanguard Mull Pressuring Exxon to Disclose Climate Risks; Shareholder proposal would push oil company for a climate ‘stress test’ gauging impact of green tech on its assets
Bradley Olson, Sarah Krouse and Sarah Kent – WSJ
Two of the world’s largest asset managers are strongly considering a public rebuke to Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.35% over climate change at the company’s annual meeting next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Where Nestlé Guzzles Water, Locals Doubt Claims of Negligible Impact
The creek behind Maryann Borden’s house was once “a lovely little stream that just babbled along and never changed for decades,” she says. Now it is perhaps 12 feet across — half what it was, she reckons — with grassy islands impeding what used to be an uninterrupted flow.

Initial coin offerings risk damaging your financial health; As the total value of bitcoins soars to $91bn, the hype surrounding ICOs is going into overdrive
Izabella Kaminska – FT
Would you invest in a token that promises you absolutely nothing in return? Not even your money back?

Fed Is Losing Its Influence Over the Bond Market; The data suggest the central bank follows the bond market rather than the other way around.
By Gary Shilling – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve seems determined to raise the overnight federal funds rate it controls. Many believe that two or three more 25 basis-point increases this year are all but certain, unless the economy suddenly weakens appreciably or a major financial or political crisis unfolds here or abroad.

The Hottest New Way of Investing in Silicon Valley Comes With a Big Catch
by Camila Russo – Bloomberg
Investors pouring cash into tech startups in return for coins; Rapid rise in value for some tokens raises bubble concerns
It’s too late to invest in Airbnb Inc. but a company that bills itself as the Airbnb of cloud computer storage is raising cash — and anyone with an Internet connection can get in on the action.

The ‘Below Average’ Fund Fee Could Eat Your Retirement; Overall fees paid by investors are down. But the math can be tricky.
by Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
Average fees paid for U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds fell to a new low of less than 0.6 percent in 2016, Morningstar reported on Tuesday.

Billionaire Cliff Asness’ Big Trend Following Fund Is Down 19% Since Its 2015 Peak
Nathan Vardi – Forbes
Billionaire Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management has over the last few years successfully sold investors on a hedge fund lite strategy featuring data-driven approaches. But amid all the investor interest in such computer trading, one of AQR’s largest funds has been posting some poor returns over the last two years.


How to find out what your broker is charging you
By Robert Powell – MarketWatch
Uniform disclosure is underway, but more may be needed
A growing number of brokerage firms are starting to disclose various account and service fees to their clients based on a model developed by North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

Banks and funds will never quite be forex friends
By Patrick Graham – Reuters
On U.S. election day last November, banking executive David Puth stood in line behind Woody Allen to vote in his Manhattan neighborhood and then got on a plane to be shouted at for the rest of the day by a group of rich fund managers.

NEX Group Announces Title Sponsorship Of The ‘XBlades’ Global Drone Racing Team
NEX Group plc (“NEX”) (NXG.L), a financial technology company at the centre of the global markets, announces today that it is the official global sponsor of ‘XBlades’, the world’s leading drone racing team.|

Former L&G global trading head joins Liquidnet; Stephen Grady is currently head of market structure and strategy at Ipreo.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Legal & General’s former global head of trading has joined Liquidnet as a non-executive director in Europe.

Citi narrowly tops annual FX traders ranking
By Patrick Graham – Reuters
U.S. bank Citi held on to top spot in the foreign exchange industry’s main annual ranking of traders by volume on Wednesday despite losing around 2 percent in market share, results showed.

Brokers reduce hiring, rely far more on technology to reach clients
Brokers are building ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions wherein human intervention is minimal or nil
Ashley Coutinho – Business Standard
The domestic broking sector had significantly reduced its personnel after the global financial crisis hit in 2008. It has resumed hiring since 2015 to cater to a surge in clients, especially of high net worth individuals. However, despite the surge in the market, hiring has been much more restrained than in the heydays of 2006-07, with staffer addition at 10-15 per cent of that in 2007. Large domestic brokers are focusing on the online space, where the personnel required is much lower than in the offline one.


CAD Swaps – What Does the Data Show?
Chris Barnes – Clarus FT
Amir took a look at CAD swaps when we first added the new Canadian DTCC data source at the beginning of this year. Now that we have more data and reporting has bedded down a bit, I thought it worthwhile to analyse the data to see if two sources are better than one.

Italian finance minister reassures over liquidity of troubled banks
Rachel Sanderson – FT
Italy’s troubled mid-sized lenders Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca have “all the public guarantees necessary” to shore up their liquidity, Italy’s finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

OPEC, Fighting Multiple Trends, Tries to Control the Oil Market
A sense of déjà vu pervades the latest meeting of oil exporting countries on Thursday.

Kenya’s Biggest Bank Warns Rate Caps Risk Crippling Industry
by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura – Bloomberg
Equity Group’s first-quarter profit drops on lending slump; Non-performing loans surge as equity boosts provisions
Equity Group Holdings Ltd., Kenya’s biggest bank by market value, posted a 6 percent decline in first-quarter profit as its chief executive officer warned government-imposed caps on commercial lending rates risk crippling the industry.

Investors Flock to Pakistan ETF Before Emerging Market Entry
by Viren Vaghela and Faseeh Mangi – Bloomberg
Bearish bets in Global X Pakistan Fund dwindle amid inflows; Fund assets quadruple to record in 2017 amid buoyant market
Investors are snapping up a U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund dedicated to Pakistani stocks before the nation’s entry into MSCI Inc.’s emerging-market index next week.

Hedge Funds Squeezed by World’s Highest Rents Are Moving Out
by Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Hong Kong hedge funds are leaving Central as Chinese move in; It’s hard to hire top talent if you’re ‘sitting in a shoebox’
Benjamin Fuchs raised eyebrows five years ago when he opened his hedge fund next to a place selling live chickens in Hong Kong’s hustling, bustling Tin Hau neighborhood.

The Saudi Oil Blunder That Will Keep Costing; Instead of OPEC production cuts, the kingdom should have fought for market share.
By Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
It’s all but decided that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will extend their so-called “production cuts” at Thursday’s meeting in Vienna. It’s clear, however, that the play has been a mistake for Saudi Arabia, which initiated it. It should have stuck with the policies of its former oil minister, wise Ali Al-Naimi, who had driven down the price of oil in 2014 and put the U.S. shale industry through the wringer.

Shanghai’s Financial Center Was a Swamp Last Time Moody’s Cut China’s Rating
Bloomberg News
China’s previous credit rating downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service in 1989 came after a crackdown on student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, and as the Berlin Wall was poised to fall. Pudong, now home to the nation’s gleaming financial center in Shanghai, was still a swamp.

S&P’s Famous FANG Trade Has Nothing on China Four-Stock Boom
by Sofia Horta E Costa – Bloomberg
Tech shares account for half of MSCI China’s rally this year; Megacaps Tencent, Alibaba have surged 40 percent in 2017
China is having its own FANG moment.


British fund managers in Brexit Brawl
Kadhim Shubber – FT
It’s a fight like you’ve never seen before. A brawl that’s up there with Ali and Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle. Two heavyweights going toe-to-toe until the final bell. It’s… the differing opinions about the UK economy held by British fund managers.

ECB plays down Brexit threat to eurozone economy; Brushing off impact as ‘minimal’ runs counter to warnings from BoE
Jim Brunsden in Brussels and Philip Stafford in London – FT
The European Central Bank has ruled out the possibility that Brexit could pose a major threat to the euro area economy, rejecting warnings from the Bank of England that a messy UK withdrawal could leave EU companies without vital services.


Teenagers Everywhere Don’t Understand Money; An international study finds that only 12 percent of 15-year-olds have high financial literacy.
by Peter Coy – Bloomberg
You’re living in Zedland. Which is a better deal at the local market, loose tomatoes for 2.75 zeds per kilogram, or 22 zeds for a 10-kg box? Before you answer, rest assured that there is no Zedland and no currency called the zed. The test question is part of a multinational assessment of the financial literacy of 15-year-olds. They didn’t do well.

WSJ Privacy Test: Who Can See Your Personal Data?
By Geoffrey A. Fowler – WSJ
Privacy wasn’t a concern for her until it was too late.
The woman, who agreed to share her story if she weren’t to be identified, told me she left home one midnight, after four years in a relationship. She moved away and restarted her life. But then, she says, she was bombarded by phone calls from men soliciting her for sex. Then came bizarre friend requests on social media. She says one man showed up at her house.

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