ICE and IPC Systems to launch cloud-based audio solution for traders

Feb 29, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Welcome to Leap Day of Leap Year 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in his state-of-the-nation speech today of a wider conflict over Ukraine and made his most explicit threat to use nuclear weapons since the full-scale invasion, the Financial Times reported. He also said claims that Russia intended to attack Europe were “nonsense.”

CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam will deliver a keynote address and participate in a fireside chat at FIA Boca on March 12 at the annual International Futures Industry Conference. The speech will be the first thing on Tuesday morning. JLN will be interviewing the chairman on Monday morning for our JLN Industry Leader video series, which is sponsored by Wedbush

Chairman Behnam will also testify before the House Committee on Agriculture on March 6, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), explains in a video on LinkedIn the story behind the Group’s 2023 results.

Today, Interactive Brokers (IB) introduced IBKR Desktop, the next-generation desktop trading application for Windows and Mac. IB says the new IBKR Desktop is “engineered for today’s traders who demand simplicity but value Interactive Brokers’ powerful trading tools.”

The London Data Summit 2024 will be held on March 26, 2024, at 22 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AJ, and will attract a diverse audience comprising discretionary and systematic investors, private equity firms, and hedge funds. The event serves as a platform for discussions and presentations centered around data-driven insights and strategies relevant to the financial industry, catering to the varied interests and approaches within the investment landscape.

ICE Clear Credit (ICC), a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., seeks a Project Lead to oversee initiatives for both ICE Link and ICE Clear Credit. ICE Link is a versatile post-trade messaging and workflow system serving the global credit derivatives market, while ICE Clear Credit stands as the world’s largest Clearing House for Credit Default Swaps.

Robert Khoury, author of “How to Intern Successfully,” better watch out. Bevon Joseph is about to launch his own intern-focused book, “The Intern’s Blueprint: From Internship to Career.” Look for it soon. I love the smell of competition in the morning.

Former John Lothian News Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Lothian and nephew has published a commentary titled “Invasive Species: Understanding the Impact, Repairing the Damage” in his role as science communications manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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

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Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
The Trillion Dollar Equation from Veritasium (YouTube).
Traders Rush to Hedge Against Euro Losses as ECB Day Nears from Bloomberg.
Traders amass big bet on falling grain prices after bumper harvests from the Financial Times. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).

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Sponsored Content

Russell 2000 Index Quarterly Chartbook – February 2024

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Futures Discovery: Physical Delivery VS Cash Settlement
JohnLothianNews.com

Today, we’re delving into the fundamental aspect of futures trading-the Settlement Showdown: Physical Delivery versus Cash Settlement. In the dynamic world of futures trading, how contracts are settled is a game-changer, influencing strategies and risks alike. Join me as we explore the two primary methods that define this landscape: Physical Delivery and Cash Settlement.

Watch the video »

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The Surprising Effect Friends Have on Our Finances; We tend to measure our financial health based on our friends-and what they post on social media
Julia Carpenter – The Wall Street Journal
It is human nature to judge your financial health against your friends. Just know they probably aren’t giving you a full accounting. How we measure up against our friends and peers has an outsize effect on our financial perception, economists and researchers say-especially as people spend more time scrolling social media. These comparisons can make our finances seem inadequate even when things are going fairly well.
/jlne.ws/3UWDQSk

***** It is important first to have friends.~JJL

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AI Warfare Is Already Here; US military operators started out skeptical about AI, but now they are the ones developing and using Project Maven to identify targets on the battlefield.
Katrina Manson – Bloomberg
On a summer evening in 2020 at Fort Liberty, a sprawling US Army installation in North Carolina, soldiers from the 18th Airborne Corps pored over satellite images on the computers in their command post. They weren’t the only ones looking. Moments earlier, an artificial intelligence program had scanned the pictures, with instructions to identify and suggest targets.
/jlne.ws/48F5re2

*****This picks up a theme I have been writing about.~JJL

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Steptoe’s Ryan Hayden and Micah Green Advise the ARRC, Swap Dealer Beneficiaries in Receiving CFTC No-Action Relief for SOFR-Referencing Swaps from Pre-Trade Mid-Market Market Requirements
Steptoe
On February 22, 2024, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Market Participants Division (MPD) issued a No-Action Letter (NAL 24-02) to swap dealer (SD) and major swap participant (MSP) registrants as former members of the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) Regulatory Working Group, from pre-trade mid-market mark (PTMM) requirements for overnight index swaps referencing the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). The CFTC has previously reached settlement with several SDs involving violations of PTMM requirements, CFTC Rule 23.431(a)(3)(i). The no-action letter is only the second issued by CFTC staff this year.
/jlne.ws/3If77Aa

****** When I saw the headline, I was wondering what animals Ryan and Micah were advising the ARRC to accept.~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story on Wednesday was the press release, Trading Technologies extends energy trading capabilities with connectivity to the European intraday physical power markets on EPEX on PR Newswire. Second was the fascinating video from Veritasium (YouTube) on the history of the math behind the Black-Scholes/Merton equation, The Trillion Dollar Equation. Third was, The unfulfilled potential of Europe’s stock markets from the Financial Times.

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Lead Stories

ICE and IPC Systems to launch cloud-based audio solution for traders; Named ICE Voice, the solution will leverage IPC’s global voice platform to provide always-on open voice connections.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and trading communications solutions provider IPC Systems are set to launch ICE Voice, a cloud-based audio solution for traders and professional investors. ICE Voice will be offered with ICE Chat, bringing together the latter’s network of over 120,000 active users and IPC’s Connexus Unigy private cloud platform to offer always on, open communications between individuals or groups of traders across internal trading desks, alongside any other registered ICE Chat users.
/jlne.ws/3TjwNCd

Hong Kong stock exchange’s profits fall sharply as chief departs; Nicolas Aguzin’s term ends on downbeat note with subdued trading and scant initial public offerings
Hudson Lockett – Financial Times
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing reported a sharp fall in fourth-quarter profits on the back of subdued trading and fewer new listings for the stock exchange, as outgoing chief executive Nicolas Aguzin acknowledged “turbulent” geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions. Profits at HKEX during the three months to the end of December fell 13 per cent as average daily turnover for equities – a key driver of revenues – dropped 29 per cent year on year to HK$80.4bn (US$10.3bn), even after Hong Kong’s government took special measures to boost market liquidity.
/jlne.ws/42WwnVo

Is Hong Kong Over? The Answer Lies Beyond Stock Prices; The real question is if policies are moving in the right direction and taking enough ordinary people on board. Comparisons with Singapore offer some clues.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
The economist Stephen Roach’s pessimistic conclusions about Hong Kong’s future have triggered a heated debate, though most of the angry reactions to the former Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd. chair’s Financial Times article have been sparked by its provocative title: “It pains me to say Hong Kong is over.” Is it? Any evaluation of the Chinese special territory’s prospects must go beyond the Hang Seng Index, a wealth marker typically associated with prosperity in a city purpose-built for commerce. Roach’s article notes how the benchmark has been basically flat since the former British colony’s 1997 handover to Beijing. In the past five years, the gauge has slumped by nearly 45%.
/jlne.ws/3USWLO0

LSEG sees double-digit growth across post-trade as exchange continues to reap benefits of acquisition push; The exchange’s post-trade division increased 17.4% year-on-year, while its data and analytics offering rose by 7.3%, and capital markets by 6.1%.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange (LSEG) saw overall growth across its key businesses in 2023, with considerable improvement across data and analytics, capital markets, and in particular, post-trade. The data and analytics offering saw a 7.3% year-on-year increase, while capital markets saw a 6.1% rise year-on-year as compared to 2022.
/jlne.ws/4bPhSqB

UK groups need to pay executives more, says LSEG chief ahead of bumper new package; Exchange group has proposed 76% increase to David Schwimmer’s pay deal
Nikou Asgari and Michael O’Dwyer – Financial Times
UK companies need to pay their executives more to compete with US businesses, said the head of the London Stock Exchange Group whose own package is set to increase by 76 per cent. Speaking on the day LSEG published earnings, David Schwimmer, a New York native, said that on pay the US was “in a different place” compared with other countries.
/jlne.ws/3TgH2H7

SEC Investigating Whether OpenAI Investors Were Misled; Regulator is examining internal communications of CEO Sam Altman, after board last year temporarily ousted him for alleged lack of candor
Deepa Seetharaman – The Wall Street Journal
The Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing internal communications by OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman as part of an investigation into whether the company’s investors were misled. The regulator, whose probe hasn’t previously been reported, has been seeking internal records from current and former OpenAI officials and directors, and sent a subpoena to OpenAI in December, according to people familiar with the matter. That followed the OpenAI board’s decision in November to fire Altman as CEO and oust him from the board. At the time, directors said Altman hadn’t been “consistently candid in his communications,” but didn’t elaborate.
/jlne.ws/3Ijh5Ra

Trading Stock Takes Time; Also Alfi, private credit marks and 23-hour trading; T+1
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Say you are a big mutual fund and you own 1,000 shares of Stock X and you want to sell. You meet a pension fund that wants to buy 1,000 shares of Stock X, the pension fund comes to your office to negotiate a trade, and you agree on a price of, say, $14 per share. The pension fund reaches into its bag of cash, pulls out $14,000 in crisp $20 bills and hands them to you. You open up your vault, pull out a stock certificate that says “1,000 Shares of Stock X” and hand it to the pension fund. “Pleasure doing business with you,” you say; you shake hands with the pension fund and it walks out of your office holding the shares.
/jlne.ws/3wzQ0qa

New Cloud-Based Audio Solution Will Bring Instant Voice to ICE’s Instant Messaging Platform for Traders and Professional Investors
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, and IPC Systems, a leading provider of trading communications solutions, today announced plans to launch ICE Voice, a cloud-based audio solution that will be offered with ICE Chat to provide a seamless communications platform for traders and other market participants. ICE Voice will bring together ICE Chat’s extensive network of over 120,000 active users and IPC’s Connexus Unigy private cloud platform to provide always on, persistent open connections between individuals or groups of traders across internal trading desks and with any other ICE Chat user signed up for the service. Users will be able to instantly jump from chat to voice and open calls from chat tabs and group chat rooms, and create Voice Blasts to ‘shout out’ to groups of open connections simultaneously. ICE Voice will also support full audio recording with configurable retention, anywhere, anytime playback of archived calls, and integrated chat and voice logs to create a single record of communications, aiding in trading desk or firm-wide compliance programs.
/jlne.ws/48v0vII

Best part of a trillion dollars pumped into settlement penalties and resolution measures over past decade, finds research; The first-of-its-kind benchmark data on the true cost of settlement inefficiency released by Firebrand Research shows some alarming statistics including how much the industry spent at the peak of volatility in 2021.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Over the past ten years the industry has poured $914.7 billion in the form of regulatory penalties and resolution measures, new research has found. A report by Firebrand Research worked with a range of key market participants, including buy- and sell-side firms and market infrastructures to collate the first-of-its-kind benchmark data on the true cost of settlement inefficiency.
/jlne.ws/48Df5Oa

Crypto Exchange Gemini to Return $1.1 Billion to Customers in Regulator Settlement; New York’s financial regulator also fined the company about $37 million over compliance failures
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
New York’s financial regulator said Gemini Trust has agreed to return at least $1.1 billion to users of the cryptocurrency exchange’s Earn investment program and to pay about $37 million in fines for compliance failures. The New York State Department of Financial Services said Wednesday that Gemini failed to oversee and vet its partner in the Earn program, now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Global Capital, whose bankruptcy prevented 200,000 Earn customers from accessing their virtual currency, valued currently at about $1.8 billion.
/jlne.ws/3uUGTzZ

London Stock Listings Pipeline Is Strongest in Years, LSE Group Chief Says
Josh Mitchell – The Wall Street Journal
London’s stock exchange has been mired in a rut when it comes to new listings. But there are signs that momentum is shifting, the head of the London Stock Exchange Group said Thursday. Multiple companies are taking steps to list their stock in the capital so they can publicly sell shares, Chief Executive David Schwimmer told reporters.
/jlne.ws/3OXdDQ0

China’s Crackdown on High-Frequency Trading Ensnares Another Firm; The regulatory actions come as China steps up efforts to boost investor sentiment and revive sluggish stock markets
Jiahui Huang – The Wall Street Journal
Chinese regulators have hit another firm with disciplinary action as they keep cracking down on high-frequency trading as part of efforts to stabilize equities markets. The China Financial Futures Exchange said late Wednesday that Shanghai Weiwan Fund Management recently used high-frequency trading in stock futures to circumvent the trading-limit system trade, making 8.9 million yuan ($1.2 million) in profits.
/jlne.ws/3URLRbk

Singapore’s Richest Banking Dynasty Grapples With Succession; Late UOB patriarch Wee Cho Yaw’s fortune spanned finance, luxury properties and a traditional heat-rub for sore muscles that’s known throughout Asia.
Low De Wei, Yoojung Lee, and Pui Gwen Yeung – Bloomberg
Building a multibillion-dollar empire is one thing. Keeping it in the family is another matter. By the time Wee Cho Yaw died earlier this month at 95, his five children had firmly established roles within Singapore’s richest banking dynasty that forged a $10 billion fortune. His eldest son, Wee Ee Cheong, 71, has led United Overseas Bank Ltd. since 2007, while his other two sons and two daughters, all over 60, hold management roles elsewhere in the empire.
/jlne.ws/3wzUvkA

Singapore details climate disclosure timeline; All listed issuers to report from FY2025, large non-listed companies from FY2027
The Asset
Singapore will introduce mandatory climate-related disclosures (CRD) in a phased approach, in line with the recommendations of its Sustainability Reporting Advisory Committee, as part of the government’s efforts to help companies strengthen their sustainability capabilities. The announcement was made by Chee Hong Tat, the city-state’s second minister for finance, while Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), which is responsible for violations of disclosure laws, and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), which regulates capital markets, provided the details for mandatory climate reporting by listed issuers and large non-listed companies (NLCos) – defined as those with annual revenue of at least S$1 billion (US$743 million) and total assets of at least S$500 million.
/jlne.ws/48BV4b0

FCA concludes data competition is not working but quells plans for further regulatory intervention by competition authority; Watchdog has concluded areas of wholesale market data competition are not working thanks to some firms undue “market power”.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has concluded its market study in data competition concerns, with no plans for further regulatory intervention through the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) despite concluding some areas of competition are not working. First launched in March last year, the study explored three key areas including benchmarks provision, credit ratings data by credit ratings agencies (CRAs) and their affiliates, and the provision of market data vendor (MDV) services, following calls from participants that competition was not working within these areas and costs were too high.
/jlne.ws/3IjOE5A

Euronext CEO Says ‘Energy, Security, Geopolitics’ Is New ESG
Alice Gledhill – BloombergLaw
Stock exchange head supports joint EU borrowing for priorities; Sees need for more defense spending amid geopolitical tension. The urgent need to boost defense spending amid rising global tensions is giving rise to a new brand of “ESG” principles, according to Stephane Boujnah, chief executive officer at Euronext. ESG, shorthand for environmental, social and governance-based finance, has exploded in popularity over the past decade, largely in response to climate change. But the outbreak of war in Europe and the subsequent rush to diversify the bloc’s energy sources away from Russian gas has highlighted other areas in need of investment.
/jlne.ws/49Qp5Vj

Jacob Rothschild, financier and philanthropist, 1936-2024; The dynamic investor and collector made his presence felt, in both business and the art world
Harriet Agnew – Financial Times
Last May, Lord Jacob Rothschild hosted a 100th birthday lunch for former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger at Waddesdon Manor, his 19th-century French château in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Among the illustrious guests were former British prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major; private equity titan Stephen Schwarzman; media barons Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg; and historians Niall Ferguson and Simon Schama.
/jlne.ws/3SXBDDB

Ukraine Invasion

Vladimir Putin warns of wider conflict over Ukraine; Russian president makes most explicit threat to use nuclear weapons since full-scale invasion
Max Seddon and Courtney Weaver – Financial Times
Vladimir Putin has said that western support for Ukraine risks triggering a global war, in his most explicit threat to use nuclear weapons since he ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. In his state of the nation speech on Thursday, the Russian president told the country’s political elite that claims his country intended to attack Europe were “nonsense”.
/jlne.ws/3uTJEla

Putin warns West of risk of nuclear war, says Moscow can strike Western targets
Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrew Osborn – Reuters
President Vladimir Putin told Western countries on Thursday they risked provoking a nuclear war if they sent troops to fight in Ukraine, warning that Moscow had the weapons to strike targets in the West. The war in Ukraine has triggered the worst crisis in Moscow’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Putin has previously spoken of the dangers of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, but his nuclear warning on Thursday was one of his most explicit.
/jlne.ws/4bWE16f

Leaked Russian military files reveal criteria for nuclear strike; Doctrine for tactical nuclear weapons outlined in training scenarios for an invasion by China
Max Seddon and Chris Cook – Financial Times
Vladimir Putin’s forces have rehearsed using tactical nuclear weapons at an early stage of conflict with a major world power, according to leaked Russian military files that include training scenarios for an invasion by China. The classified papers, seen by the Financial Times, describe a threshold for using tactical nuclear weapons that is lower than Russia has ever publicly admitted, according to experts who reviewed and verified the documents.
/jlne.ws/3T0cQPg

British soldiers helping fire Ukrainian missiles, Olaf Scholz reveals; German chancellor criticised for ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence’ that could endanger UK personnel on the ground and help the Russians
Joe Barnes and James Rothwell – Telegraf
Germany was accused of a “flagrant abuse of intelligence” after revealing that British soldiers are supporting Ukrainian forces launching long-range Storm Shadow missiles. Olaf Scholz said on Monday that he would not deliver the Taurus, Berlin’s equivalent of the Storm Shadow, as it would require soldiers assisting on the ground, citing the UK and French approach with their own systems. Mr Scholz argued that following the UK would make Germany a “participant in the war”.
/jlne.ws/3wBNCPT

Ukraine says it has shot down three more Russian warplanes
Reuters
Ukraine’s military said on Thursday it had shot down three more Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers, the latest successes it has reported against Moscow’s air force. “After successful combat operations against an enemy aircraft in the night on Feb. 29, two more Russian aircraft were destroyed: Su-34 fighter-bombers in the Avdiivka and Mariupol sectors,” Army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on the Telegram messaging app.
/jlne.ws/3uFXlEg

Ukraine Sees Risk of Russia Breaking Through Defenses by Summer; Kyiv’s assessment of battlefield situation increasingly bleak; Putin still aims to capture Kyiv, Ukrainian intelligence shows
Daryna Krasnolutska and Natalia Drozdiak – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/4c704aC

Pentagon Weighs New Plan to Ship Weapons to Ukraine Quickly; A short-term measure carries political and military risks as the Biden administration considers whether to tap into U.S. stockpiles again.
Eric Schmitt – The New York Times
/jlne.ws/3uHLOEt

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Hamas Is Losing Every Battle in Gaza. It Still Thinks It Could Win the War; On the run, Yahya Sinwar is betting the militant Islamists can achieve a political victory by surviving Israel’s onslaught
Marcus Walker, Anat Peled and Summer Said – The Wall Street Journal
Senior members of Hamas’s leadership in exile met in Doha, Qatar, earlier this month amid concerns that its fighters were getting mauled by an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Enemy troops were killing dozens of militants each day as they methodically overran Hamas strongholds. Then a courier arrived with a message from Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, saying, in effect: Don’t worry, we have the Israelis right where we want them.
/jlne.ws/49SecCB

Israeli troops fire on crowds seeking aid as Gaza officials say dozens killed; Palestinian health authorities report more than 100 dead but Israel says some died in crush
Mehul Srivastava and Heba Saleh – Financial Times
Dozens of people were killed in northern Gaza on Thursday after the Israeli military opened fire on Palestinians rushing towards trucks carrying food but said some had died in a crush to reach the supplies. It was not immediately clear how many people were killed by Israeli forces. Local health authorities in the Hamas-controlled strip said at least 104 people were killed in the incident and hundreds more injured.
/jlne.ws/3wwv97b

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

HKEX’s Earnings Took a Blow as Slower China Growth Hit Markets
Sherry Qin – The Wall Street Journal
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing’s quarterly net profit fell for the first time in over a year as the exchange operator fell victim to China’s lackluster economic recovery and continued tepid demand for fundraising in one of Asia’s biggest financial hubs. HKEX’s 388 -0.82%decrease; net profit fell 13% year on year in the fourth quarter, dropping to 2.60 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$332.1 million), the exchange operator said Thursday. That marked the first decline since the third quarter of 2022, and missed an estimate for HK$2.71 billion compiled in a FactSet poll of analysts.
/jlne.ws/3UVMn88

Nuam Selects Vermiculus For Clearing System In Chile, Colombia, And Peru; “We are proud to deliver a system that plays an integral role in the core of this historical merger, empowering one of Latin America’s most crucial markets with VeriClear’s state-of-the-art technology, together with our deep market expertise.”
Finance Feeds
Nuam Exchange, a collaborative effort that integrates the stock exchanges of Lima, Santiago, and Colombia, has announced a partnership with Vermiculus Financial Technology to deploy new core infrastructure.
/jlne.ws/49Sp7fp

SIX to Become Clearstream’s Latest D7 Digital Market Partner for International Reference Data Distribution
BME
SIX is delighted to announce its partnership with Clearstream in order for the Connexor service of SIX to become D7 Digital Market Partner to process and distribute reference data of financial instruments. SIX will connect its flagship service for reference data, Connexor, with D7. D7 is Deutsche Boerse’s digital post-trade platform for digitizing financial instruments, which allows for the issuance of electronic securities, operating under the German eWpG regulation. This move comes in response to a regulatory directive as well as market needs for standardization, representing a significant leap towards a digital and efficient future for financial markets.
/jlne.ws/435a8Ne

London Stock Exchange Group plc Directorate Change
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange Group plc (“LSEG”) today announces that Ashok Vaswani will step down as Non-Executive Director of the Board of LSEG with immediate effect. This follows Ashok’s appointment as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kotak Mahindra Bank. The information in this paragraph is provided in accordance with the notification requirement of LR.9.6.11R of the FCA’s Listing Rules. Don Robert, Chair, LSEG, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ashok for his contribution to the Board since joining in 2021. We wish him all the best in his new role as CEO of Kotak.
“https://jlne.ws/4c9qeJV

London Stock Exchange Group plc Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023; Continued strong performance: accelerating growth, significant strategic progress, substantial returns to shareholders
London Stock Exchange Group
David Schwimmer, CEO said: “2023 was another strong year for LSEG. We continued our track record of broad-based growth, despite an uncertain environment, and delivered on all the targets we set at the time of the Refinitiv acquisition. We also significantly improved our products and services, further strengthened our leadership team and made great progress on creating a high-performance culture throughout the organisation.
/jlne.ws/3SWp0ZE

Product Modification Summary: Amendments to the Termination of Trading Rule of the U.S. Midwest Shredded Scrap (Platts) Futures Contract – Effective March 25, 2024
CME Group
Amendments to the Termination of Trading Rule of the U.S. Midwest Shredded Scrap (Platts) Futures Contract.
/jlne.ws/3P5Hm9h

New Product Summary: Initial Listing of Three (3) WTI Financial Futures Contracts – Effective April 15, 2024
CME Group
Initial Listing of Three (3) WTI Financial Futures Contracts.
/jlne.ws/3IibgU8

New Product Summary: Initial Listing of the Options on Urea (Granular) FOB US Gulf Futures Contract – Effective March 25, 2024
CME Group
Initial Listing of the Options on Urea (Granular) FOB US Gulf Futures Contract
/jlne.ws/48I96be

Product Modification Summary: Availability of Additional Treasury Invoice Swaps and Spreads – Effective March 25, 2024
CME Group
Availability of Additional Treasury Invoice Swaps and Spreads
/jlne.ws/3SR98aG

Product Modification Summary: Expansion of the Listing Schedule of Three (3) Lithium (Fastmarkets) Futures and Option Contracts – Effective March 25, 2024
CME Group
Expansion of the Listing Schedule of Three (3) Lithium (Fastmarkets) Futures and Option Contracts.
/jlne.ws/3wxvI0t

SPAN 2 Framework Energy Product Addition to Cross Model Offset (“CMO”) – Effective February 29 2024
CME Group
As per normal review, CME Clearing’s Risk Management staff approved the addition of the following products to the SPAN 2 framework’s cross model offset (“CMO”) against products that are margined in the SPAN 2 framework’s crude pod. For avoidance of doubt, products that are added to CMO continue to be margined under the SPAN methodology, however they may receive margin offsets against products that are margined under the SPAN 2 methodology. The rollout schedule for asset classes to be margined under the SPAN 2 methodology is available here and the list of current products margined under SPAN 2 methodology is available here. The addition and associated margin impacts will be effective after the close of business on Thursday, February 29, 2024.
/jlne.ws/3uQgXW9

Performance Bond Requirements: Cryptocurrency Margins – Effective February 29, 2024
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. The rates will be effective after the close of business on February 29, 2024.
/jlne.ws/3wvUA8N

Consolidated Financial Statements For The Year Ended 31 December 2023
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
As at 29 February 2024, the Board of directors of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX or the Company) comprises 12 Independent Non-executive Directors, namely Mrs Laura May-Lung CHA (Chairman), Mr Nicholas Charles ALLEN, Mr Apurv BAGRI, Mr CHEAH Cheng Hye, Ms CHEUNG Ming Ming, Anna, Mrs CHOW WOO Mo Fong, Susan, Mr HUNG Pi Cheng, Benjamin, Ms LEUNG Nisa Bernice Wing-Yu, Mr LEUNG Pak Hon, Hugo, Mr Carlson TONG, Mr YAM Chi Kwong, Joseph and Mr ZHANG Yichen, and one Executive Director, Mr Alejandro Nicolas AGUZIN, who is also the Chief Executive of HKEX.
/jlne.ws/49unHIg

2023 Final Results, Dividend And Closure Of Register Of Members(Incorporated in Hong Kong with limited liability)
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
Stock Codes: 388 (HKD Counter) and 80388 (RMB Counter)(Financial figures in this announcement are expressed in Hong Kong dollar (HKD) unless otherwise stated) Strategic And Financial Highlights Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer said: “HKEX delivered a strong set of 2023 full-year results, fuelled by notable growth in its derivatives, fixed-income and currencies business. Despite the persistent challenging global backdrop and softer Cash Market, we are pleased to be reporting our second-best revenue and other income, and profits, on record, with profit attributable to shareholders for 2023 up 18 percent.
/jlne.ws/3TeB4GX

HKEX Welcomes Its First Listings Of Covered Call ETFs
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
The new Covered Call ETFs are first of their kind in Hong Kong ADT of ETP market reached all-time high at $14 billion in 2023, up 17 per cent year-on-year. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to welcome today (Thursday) Hong Kong’s first-ever listings of Covered Call ETFs, further expanding its product ecosystem by offering Hong Kong and international investors with even more choice and opportunity. The two new ETFs listed today – Global X HSI Components Covered Call Active ETF (Stock code: 3419) and Global X HSCEI Components Covered Call Active ETF (Stock code: 3416), both issued by Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) Limited, primarily invest in constituent equity securities in the Hang Seng Index and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index respectively.
/jlne.ws/49Uwtz0

ICE Benchmark Administration Provides Update Regarding the Cessation of Sterling LIBOR
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today announced that ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA), the authorized and regulated administrator of LIBOR®, has provided an update regarding the cessation of sterling LIBOR. In line with feedback from its June 2022 consultation and previous statements, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has used its powers under the U.K. Benchmarks Regulation (U.K. BMR) to require IBA to publish the 3-Month sterling LIBOR setting using an unrepresentative “synthetic” methodology until March 28, 2024. The FCA has stated that it has no intention to require publication beyond then and that this setting will cease after publication on that date.
/jlne.ws/48zJiha

Caution for Investors
MultiCommodity Exchange of India
It has been brought to the notice of the Exchange that certain entities in the name and style of JV Trade, Prime Stock Commodity are operating through a website www.jvtrade.in with the help of applications in the name of ARC Trade, ARK Trade and mobile numbers 9289632348, 9873946142, 9319886027, 7087629402, 9625939847 , 7700001497 , 8287770328, 6262282895, 9915977955, 8283901084, 8585911919, 8585911717. They are providing illegal dabba trading platform and misusing the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) brand name.
/jlne.ws/49zm2B9

Re-Introduction Of An Option Class
Bourse de Montreal
Bourse de Montreal Inc. (the Bourse) and Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC) hereby inform you that at the opening of trading on Thursday February 29, 2024, the following
new option class will be re-listed: Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust (D.UN)
/jlne.ws/3uIUqL1

National Stock Exchange (NSE) Celebrates the Second Listing on Social Stock Exchange Segment by Ekalavya Foundation
National Stock Exchange of India
The Social Stock Exchange (SSE) achieves yet another milestone with the successful second listing, featuring Ekalavya Foundation, on the SSE Segment. The listing ceremony took place at National Stock Exchange’s Headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai, marking a significant step forward in the realm of impact-driven finance. The inaugural listing of SGBS Unnati Foundation on December 13, 2023, set the stage for historic moments on the SSE platform. The current listing, celebrated with enthusiasm, witnessed a gathering of distinguished dignitaries, officials, and representatives from Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs), NABARD, donors such as Zerodha and other stakeholders.
/jlne.ws/48DmAEO

Straits Times Index (STI) quarterly review – March 2024
SGX Group
One change to the constituents of the STI; FTSE Russell announces that there will be one change to the constituents of the Straits Times Index (STI), following the March 2024 quarterly review. Frasers Centrepoint Trust has been added to the STI and Emperador has been removed from the index. A full list of STI constituents can be found on the website.
/jlne.ws/3IjQsf2

TMX Group Welcomes International Mining Community to PDAC 2024
TMX Group
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) are patron sponsors. TMX Group, the global exchange leader in mining, is a patron sponsor of the 2024 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, being held on March 3-6, 2024, in Toronto. “Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange are proud to support the world’s premier mining event, and to welcome representatives from across the global mining industry ecosystem to Toronto for PDAC 2024,” said Loui Anastasopoulos, CEO, Toronto Stock Exchange and Global Head, Capital Formation, TMX Group.
/jlne.ws/48ux0Xq

The Moscow Exchange is expanding its line of futures and premium options on shares
MOEX
On March 5, 2024, trading in deliverable futures contracts and premium options on Sovcombank shares will begin on the Moscow Exchange derivatives market. The Moscow Exchange is progressively developing a line of derivatives instruments on the derivatives market in order to expand investment opportunities for all categories of clients. Stock futures and premium options allow you to implement a variety of trading strategies, including active trading or hedging equity portfolios.
/jlne.ws/3P2UX11

The Moscow Exchange has confirmed compliance with international standards for information security and business continuity
MOEX
The Moscow Exchange confirmed the compliance of the information security management system with the international standard ISO 27001:2013 International standard to manage information security [1] and the business continuity management system with the ISO 22301:2012 Business continuity management systems standard [2].
/jlne.ws/42XnYRv

Trading schedule on the Moscow Exchange in March 2024
MOEX
The Moscow Exchange reminds about the regulations for the operation of markets during public holidays in March 2024. March 8, 2024 , Friday is a non-working holiday, trading on the Moscow Exchange markets is not conducted. On March 7, Thursday, trading will be held on all markets as usual. March 9-10 are days off.
/jlne.ws/3wwup1T

Fintech

Despite the dominance of voice trading, electronification is the natural path for Peru; Marco Merino, head of FX trading and algorithmics at Banco de Crédito (BCP), sits down with The TRADE, to unpack the opportunities Peru holds for investors, the electronification of NDF’s in the country, and how the market is evolving to further improve transparency.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
During the last few years, there has been a notable increase in financial institutions and corporates in Peru accessing offshore liquidity through electronic platforms, with transparency and high liquidity for G10 currencies some of the main drivers that promoted an increase in market activity. Foreign banks with well-established electronic platforms have been able to provide liquidity in spot and forward instruments. In the case of USD/PEN, the story is a little bit different. Local participants are less familiar with trading USD/PEN electronically which gives a large space to improve traded volumes and the number of participants. There is a learning curve and a change of mindset from local participants who are more used to trade USD/PEN through voice. One of the main reasons for this has been the limited availability of streaming services for USD/PEN.
/jlne.ws/3UXRvsg

Interactive Brokers Unveils Next-Generation Trading Platform: IBKR Desktop; Combining Streamlined Design with Powerful Tools
Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), an automated global electronic broker, is excited to introduce IBKR Desktop, the next-generation desktop trading application for Windows and Mac, engineered for today’s traders who demand simplicity but value Interactive Brokers’ powerful trading tools. IBKR Desktop marks a new chapter for innovation and focus on the intuitive user experience at Interactive Brokers.
/jlne.ws/3IiOtr6

Snowflake’s Frank Slootman to Retire From CEO Role, Will Remain Board Chair
Bloomberg
Snowflake Inc. is heading for its biggest decline on record after the software maker delivered a disappointing sales forecast and announced that Chief Executive Officer Frank Slootman is stepping down from the role. Product revenue – a closely watched measure – will be $745 million to $750 million in the first quarter, Snowflake said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts had predicted $769.5 million on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A full-year forecast also fell well short of projections.
/jlne.ws/3UZaP8S

Inquiry Into Ouster of OpenAI’s Chief Executive Nears End; WilmerHale, the law firm investigating Sam Altman, could present its findings to the company’s board as soon as next month. Mr. Altman was reinstated as chief executive.
Mike Isaac and Cade Metz – The New York Times
WilmerHale, a prominent U.S. law firm, is close to wrapping up a detailed review of OpenAI’s chief executive, Sam Altman, and his ouster from the artificial intelligence start-up late last year, two people with knowledge of the proceedings said. The investigation, when complete, could give insight into what went on behind the scenes with Mr. Altman and OpenAI’s former board of directors, which fired him on Nov. 17 before reinstating him five days later. OpenAI, which is valued at more than $80 billion, has led a frenzy over A.I. and could help determine the direction of the transformative technology.
/jlne.ws/430zSKk

Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia back $2.6bn robot start-up; Figure AI aims to transform labour market as it raises total $675mn in a funding round that also includes Jeff Bezos
Michael Acton – Financial Times
Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia are among the investors backing a Silicon Valley start-up that aims to introduce artificial intelligence-powered humanoid robots to the workforce and transform the global labour market. Figure AI said on Thursday it had raised $675mn from some of the world’s leading AI companies in a new funding round that valued the company at $2.6bn. It plans to use the capital to scale up its AI training, robot manufacturing and hire more engineers.
/jlne.ws/3uR259V

Consultants navigate regulatory sensitivities in the AI era; UK firms face calls to address ethics and governance concerns, both internally and with clients
Charlotte Middlehurst – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3OYnYek

Cybersecurity

SeeMetrics launches a dedicated set of cybersecurity performance boards to allow CISOs to govern more effectively
SeeMetrics
SeeMetrics, the pioneering Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM) platform reshaping how security leaders measure, track, and improve security performance, launches its latest development: Governance Boards. This product feature launch comes in anticipation of the NIST CSF 2.0 framework expansion, which introduces the new Govern function. The new NIST Govern function is aimed at monitoring organizations’ cybersecurity risk management strategy, expectations, and policy. The six categories listed under Govern correlate with SeeMetrics’ approach to Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM), focused on granting a panoramic oversight to the CISO and CISO’s team. With these boards, which are out-of-the-box (OOTB) collections of ready-to-use metrics, security leaders will manage their policies, processes, and KPIs driven by organizational context and a clear connection between risk and business strategy.
/jlne.ws/49Nawls

Making Sense of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations
Stefanie Shank – TripWire
The financial services sector faces unprecedented cybersecurity challenges in today’s digital age. With the industry being a prime target for cybercriminals, understanding and adhering to cybersecurity regulations has never been more crucial. This article delves into the labyrinth of cybersecurity regulations affecting financial services, underscoring their significance in safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining robust cyber defenses. We aim to demystify these complex regulations and highlight the path to compliance.
/jlne.ws/3wAb00d

Cryptocurrencies

Crypto exchange Gemini agrees to return $1.1bn to users
Joe Miller – Financial Times
Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winkelvoss twins, has agreed to return at least $1.1bn to customers who invested in its flagship crypto lending product and were unable to withdraw their money in the 2022 crypto crash.
/jlne.ws/3P0y5iF

Bitcoin ETFs Shake Up Crypto Market After Storming Wall Street; New US funds contribute to Bitcoin’s surge toward a record; Cost for bullish bets via some futures is highest since 2021
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
New US spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds are shaking up the market for the original cryptocurrency after widening demand for the token and attracting more than $7 billion of net inflows in less than two months. The most visible change is a surge of over 45% in the price of the largest digital asset this year to about $63,000, bringing the pandemic-era record high of almost $69,000 into view. A looming reduction in Bitcoin’s supply growth, called the halving, has also stoked the rally.
/jlne.ws/3UVQi4Q

Crypto factor investing. Really; Every day we stray further from God’s light
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Not everyone loves factor investing. Many see it as a silly marketing gimmick gussied up with fancy maths to give often muddled results a thin veneer of scientific respectability. However, even if you don’t invest money using factors – and most people shouldn’t – factors are still a flawed but decent framework to understand financial markets. As the statistician George Box said, all models are wrong, but some are useful.
/jlne.ws/430bV5V

Politics

Biden Is Too Old But Trump Is Dangerous, Swing-State Poll Shows; Trump leads Biden in seven key states, with perceptions of an improving national economy failing to translate into a significant increase in support for the incumbent.
Gregory Korte – Bloomberg
Swing-state voters across every major demographic group describe President Joe Biden as too old, a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll has found, showing that concerns about his age have permeated even the most reliable constituencies of the Democratic party. Overall, eight in 10 voters in crucial states said Biden was too old, when asked to think about the frontrunners in the 2024 election. The survey was taken after a special prosecutor’s report that cast the 81-year-old president as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
/jlne.ws/48AffpB

How One Methane Scientist Influenced Biden’s Pause on LNG Approvals; Cornell University professor Robert Warren Howarth says methane emissions from American LNG supply chains make the fuel as bad or worse for the climate than coal.
Aaron Clark – Bloomberg
When the Biden administration paused approval of new liquefied natural gas export licenses in January, the decision was driven by a recognition that the climate impact from the fossil fuel needs to be reassessed. The fight over just how much LNG contributes to global warming was rekindled in part by a study with explosive findings. Compiled by Robert Warren Howarth, a professor at Cornell University, the analysis – which was released in October but remains in peer review – uses leak and emissions data from an array of sources. It finds that total greenhouse gas emissions from US LNG in the best case scenario are comparable to coal. In the worst case, emissions could be more than two-fold greater.
/jlne.ws/49uN7Wr

Climate Investors Warn the Right Is Winning the War on ESG; US fund giants JPMorgan Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors and Pacific Investment Management Co. withdrew from CA100+ this month.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
When global warming is politicized, professional investors are unable to do their jobs properly. That’s the key message from the world’s biggest investor coalition on climate change after several of its largest members left the group this month. Climate Action 100+ said in a statement Monday that the climate crisis poses “an ever-increasing financial risk to long-term shareholder value and the broader economy, and we can’t afford to take a step back now.” It’s also a message echoed by several of the initiative’s founders.
/jlne.ws/3TcSpQt

How Russia war-gamed a Chinese invasion; Leaked military documents lay bare Moscow’s long-standing fears about Beijing
Max Seddon and Chris Cook – Financial Times
Angry mobs clashing with police in eastern cities. Networks of saboteurs smuggling arms across the border for attacks on police stations and military barracks. A resentful nuclear power boosting defence production as it accuses its neighbour of ethnic cleansing. These all sound like Russia’s playbook when it first invaded Ukraine in 2014, then launched a full-scale war in 2022. But the storylines are all from Russian military training exercises based on a hypothetical Chinese invasion of its far east.
/jlne.ws/432g6yb

Regulation

IRS Hires Former Crypto Executives To Bolster Crypto Tax Regulations
Davier M – CoinMarketCap
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has hired two former executives from the crypto industry to strengthen its expertise and competence in digital assets as the tax season approaches, according to the announcement made on February 27. Sulolit “Raj” Mukherjee, the former global head of tax at ConsenSys and former executive at Binance’s U.S. unit, will serve as an adviser to the IRS. Seth Wilks, who previously worked at crypto tax software firm TaxBit, will also take on a similar role.
/jlne.ws/3If7f2C

FMSB publishes Transparency Draft of Standard for Client Onboarding: Documentation and Processes
Financial Markets Standards Board
This Financial Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) Transparency Draft is applicable to firms when onboarding or reviewing client files under the UK requirements for KYC and AML. It proposes a Standard for the Documentation Requirements, and processes for obtaining such documents. The proposed Standard is structured in two main parts: Core Principles: which relate to the way in which onboarding firms choose the required data points and source relevant evidence in the process of client onboarding, and Annexes: including the Documentation Requirements, which consists of a list of the data points identified by participating firms, universally acceptable sources, and commonly available documents which can populate and evidence these data points to the level of credibility required.
/jlne.ws/4bVt44L

Nigeria Detains Binance Executives in Overseas Tax Crackdown; World’s biggest crypto exchange under fire amid FX crackdown; Nigeria missing out on revenue from unregistered operations
Nduka Orjinmo and Ruth Olurounbi – Bloomberg
Nigerian authorities have detained two Binance Holdings Ltd. executives, days after the central bank governor said that the nation is losing out on taxes from unregistered crypto exchanges. The two were intercepted by national security officers after arriving in the country on the grounds that Binance operates illegally in Nigeria, according to people familiar with the mater.
/jlne.ws/48C24EO

ASIC issues Urban Rampage with interim stop order over concerns of financial harm to First Nations consumers
ASIC
ASIC has made an interim stop order preventing Coral Coast Distributors (Cairns) Pty Ltd (CCD) from having customers at its Urban Rampage retail stores enter agreements to pay for goods on credit through Centrepay deductions. ASIC is concerned that the consumers in CCD’s target market are low income recipients of Centrelink benefits, residing in remote Indigenous communities, without access to other forms of credit. ASIC is concerned that these consumers are vulnerable, at risk of financial hardship and that many may currently be experiencing financial distress.
/jlne.ws/4bP1hDn

ASIC successfully appeals ACBF and Youpla misrepresentations case
ASIC
The Full Court has upheld ASIC’s appeal in its case against ACBF Funeral Plans Pty Ltd (ACBF) and Youpla Group Pty Ltd (Youpla), finding that funeral expenses insurance provider ACBF misrepresented to Aboriginal consumers that it was Aboriginal owned or managed when that was not the case.
/jlne.ws/4c6U0im

ASIC obtains bankruptcy orders against social media finfluencer Tyson Scholz
ASIC
ASIC has successfully sought sequestration orders in the Federal Court of Australia against social media finfluencer Tyson Robert Scholz. The effect of the orders is to make Mr Scholz bankrupt. ASIC sought the sequestrations orders after Mr Scholz failed to pay costs ordered by the Federal Court of Australia relating to proceedings brought by ASIC in December 2021.
/jlne.ws/3TevX9J

SEC Announces Departure of William Birdthistle; Natasha Vij Greiner Named Director of the Division of Investment Management
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that William Birdthistle, the Director of the Division of Investment Management, will depart the agency, effective March 8, 2024. Natasha Vij Greiner, currently the Deputy Director of the Division of Examinations, will be named Director of the Division of Investment Management upon Mr. Birdthistle’s departure. The Division oversees regulatory policy for investment advisers and investment companies, including mutual funds and other investment products and services relied upon by retail investors.
/jlne.ws/3TeiU8e

Financial regulator finds wholesale data market can be improved
FCA
The FCA has today published the findings of its wholesale data market study, which examined competition in the markets for credit ratings data, benchmarks and market data vendor services. The regulator has ruled out a significant intervention because of potential unintended consequences, such as on the availability and quality of data, in a market relied upon by investors worldwide. However, across all 3 markets, the FCA has identified areas where competition does not work well. Users may be paying higher prices for the data they buy than if competition was working more effectively. The FCA will take forward ideas to help support wholesale data being available on fair, reasonable and transparent terms as part of its work to ‘repeal and replace’ assimilated EU law.
/jlne.ws/4bWZMTC

Oral reply to Parliamentary Question on Money Lock
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 29 February 2024. Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament. Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Question: To ask the Prime Minister (a) what is MAS’ assessment of the effectiveness of the rollout of the Money Lock feature across local banks in protecting consumers from scams and unauthorised transactions; (b) how pervasive and consistent has the adoption of the Money Lock feature been among bank customers since its introduction; and (c) what is the total value of savings currently safeguarded under the Money Lock feature.
/jlne.ws/3wH5hFA

Investing and Trading

Warren Buffett Drops Investing Advice in Latest Shareholder Letter – ‘I Can’t Remember A Period Since March 11, 1942 … That I Have Not Had A Majority Of My Net Worth In Equities’
Chris Bibey – Business Insider
When Warren Buffett speaks, investors listen. Or at least they should. Buffett has long been known as one of the greatest investors the world has ever seen. On Feb. 24, Buffett shared Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s 2023 shareholder letter. While all 17 pages are worth a read, some tidbits are more impactful than others. Here are six lessons that may change the way you invest and/or manage your finances.
/jlne.ws/3wH8o0e

Market Herding Is Everywhere, Not Just the US; The concentration at the top of the S&P 500 isn’t as bad as in many countries, but global indexes are a more diversified alternative.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Concentration: So What? The US stock market is abnormally concentrated. You’ll have read plenty about it in Points of Return and many other outlets, as the S&P 500 grows more top-heavy, by various measures, than has ever been seen before – thanks largely to the dominance of the so-called Magnificent Seven internet platform groups. The S&P’s 10 biggest companies on their own account for more than 32% of the index.
/jlne.ws/49wgS9j

Tech companies cash in on ‘frothy’ stock rally with convertible bond sales; US borrowers raised $7bn this month by selling convertible debt
Harriet Clarfelt and Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times
Risky technology groups are rushing to raise cheap cash on the convertible bond market while investor enthusiasm about artificial intelligence fuels a surge in their stock prices. US companies have raised roughly $7.4bn through such debt in February, according to data from LSEG, the highest monthly figure since August, with tech and fintech groups accounting for three-quarters of the total. Last week was the busiest in a year for sales of so-called convertibles.
/jlne.ws/3wE7To0

Uber chief unlocks $136mn in options after beating $120bn valuation target; Dara Khosrowshahi became entitled to award after meeting targets set before ride-hailing group’s IPO
Camilla Hodgson – Financial Times
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has received options to buy stock worth about $136mn after hitting a performance target to secure a $120bn valuation for the ride-hailing company. The award, set before Uber’s 2019 stock market flotation, had looked unlikely to be met for most of its life as a public company as it struggled with persistent losses that ran into the tens of billions of dollars.
/jlne.ws/3IiJuGR

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

US spends billions on roads rather than public transport in ‘climate time bomb’; New analysis finds money from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening highways for cars
Oliver Milman – The Guardian
Roads, roads and more roads. The US is continuing to spend billions of dollars on expanding enormous highways rather than fund public transport, with a landmark infrastructure bill lauded by Joe Biden only further accelerating the dominance of cars at the expense, critics say, of communities and the climate. Since the passage of the enormous $1.2tn bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, hailed by Biden as a generational effort to upgrade the US’s crumbling bridges, roads, ports and public transit, money has overwhelmingly poured into the maintenance and widening of roads rather than improving the threadbare network of bus, rail and cycling options available to Americans, a new analysis has found.
/jlne.ws/42W0mwy

How One Methane Scientist Influenced Biden’s Pause on LNG Approvals; Cornell University professor Robert Warren Howarth says methane emissions from American LNG supply chains make the fuel as bad or worse for the climate than coal.
Aaron Clark – Bloomberg
When the Biden administration paused approval of new liquefied natural gas export licenses in January, the decision was driven by a recognition that the climate impact from the fossil fuel needs to be reassessed. The fight over just how much LNG contributes to global warming was rekindled in part by a study with explosive findings. Compiled by Robert Warren Howarth, a professor at Cornell University, the analysis – which was released in October but remains in peer review – uses leak and emissions data from an array of sources. It finds that total greenhouse gas emissions from US LNG in the best case scenario are comparable to coal. In the worst case, emissions could be more than two-fold greater.
/jlne.ws/3wxIUm6

The heartland oil refiner fuelling Carl Icahn’s empire; CVR Energy has paid out $3.2bn in dividends to feared activist’s public investment vehicle
Antoine Gara – Financial Times
The fusillades Carl Icahn has aimed at corporate boardrooms have made him one of the most famous and feared activist investors on Wall Street. Much of his firepower derives from a humble source: a small oil refining and nitrogen fertiliser company in the US heartland. CVR Energy will pay out $30mn in dividends to the investor’s Icahn Enterprises next month, on top of about $300mn sent over the past 12 months. Since 2012 Icahn Enterprises has collected $3.2bn in dividends from CVR, a Financial Times analysis shows. Its $2bn stake has become the single most valuable asset inside Icahn’s publicly traded financial empire.
/jlne.ws/48yXuXR

Companies walk ESG tightrope, under fire from all sides over disclosures
Richa Naidu and Simon Jessop – Reuters
Since joining Asahi Group in 2020 as sustainability chief, Preeti Srivastav has helped the Japanese brewer make several environmental and social pledges but has not got it to disclose all its progress. Asahi said on Feb. 9 it had brought forward its target to 2040 from 2050 for lowering net greenhouse emissions to zero. It has not fully explained how it plans to get there. Asahi is keeping private a sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) “dashboard” launched in December 2020 to monitor progress in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), Srivastav said in an interview.
/jlne.ws/48xog2J

BNP Clients Are Piling ESG Billions Into Money Market Funds; ESG investors in regular funds have faced lackluster returns; Not everyone considers money market funds genuine ESG products
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
BNP Paribas Asset Management says ESG clients have been piling into money market funds, drawn by the allure of stable returns in cash-like instruments. There’s “lots of cash” to move around and clients are reacting to “the volatility of the market in general,” said Thibault Malin, an investment specialist at the fund management arm of Europe’s biggest bank. The development coincides with an historic retreat from the more traditional ESG fund market, which has been plagued by lackluster returns. Combined with the uncertain outlook for global interest rates, ESG investors have been allocating an ever larger chunk of their money to low-volatility, highly liquid funds.
/jlne.ws/4bXZ08E

UK ministers must ‘move faster’ on net zero energy reforms, warns infrastructure tsar; Sir John Armitt accuses Whitehall of taking ‘too long’ to decide on measures to support decarbonisation
Rachel Millard – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3OWHE23

Airport Investor IFM to Bet A$1 Billion on Clean Fuel Expansion; IFM’s outlay on sustainable jet fuel may climb to A$2 billion; Pledge is one of largest yet as aviation races to decarbonize
Angus Whitley and Amy Bainbridge – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/49uXNEn

Job Cuts, Fleeing Investors: How Anti-DEI Lawsuits Take a Toll on Targets; US businesses sued over their diversity programs are making tough decisions about if – and how – to fight the threats
Kelsey Butler – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/42Xncnz

Mercedes CEO Downplays Risk of Blowback Over Shareholder Payouts; Along with GM, Ford and Stellantis, the luxury-car maker is returning more cash to shareholders while public money supports the transition to EVs.
Stefan Nicola – Bloomberg
/jlne.ws/4bSRrjH

Institutions

Banks Are Back Into Credit Derivatives. Stay Calm; Financial institutions are buying insurance to hedge lending risk, but it’s far from signaling that a 2008 redux is in the works.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
Barclays Plc struck a $1.1 billion deal with Blackstone Inc. this week to offload risks in its US credit-card business while still managing the accounts of its own customers. This obscure-sounding trade touches only a small part of its $32 billion US card book business, let alone the bank as a whole. But it is part of a growing trend of risk-transfer deals mainly by European banks to shore up their balance sheets and capital ratios.
/jlne.ws/3uV3fBl

UBS Battles Wealthy Canadian Family Over Technology Firm Buyout; Swiss bank and the Ahdoot clan are embroiled in litigation; ‘You can’t blame UBS for a scenario it didn’t write’: lawyer
Mathieu Dion – Bloomberg
UBS Group and a rich family from Montreal are in the final stretch of a legal fight over the buyout of a Canadian technology company, a dispute that escalated when the Swiss bank sued for its fee. Members of the Ahdoot family are seeking C$295 million ($217 million) in damages from UBS, which they hired several years ago to help resolve an ownership battle at Hypertec Group Inc.
/jlne.ws/3P0UkoQ

Elliott Management named in suit blasting ‘sweetheart’ activist deal; Co-founder of telecoms group Crown Castle criticises agreement to offer board seat to powerful hedge fund
Sujeet Indap – Financial Times
An agreement that activist investor Elliott Management struck with a large US telecommunications infrastructure group has been assailed as a “sweetheart deal” by another shareholder in a lawsuit that shines a spotlight on the rising frequency of such settlements.
/jlne.ws/3wzUPQk

Man Group profits drop 60% after weak returns from quant strategies; Core performance fees down by more than three-quarters to $180mn
Costas Mourselas – Financial Times
Profits at the world’s largest listed hedge fund Man Group more than halved last year as lacklustre returns from its computer-driven quant strategies hit fee income. Pre-tax profits fell from $745mn to $279mn in 2023, after core performance fees – which clients pay to Man Group when investment strategies deliver positive returns – dropped by more than three-quarters to $180mn.
/jlne.ws/3wAKDXU

Man Group: Results for the financial year ended 31 December 2023
Man Group
Record assets under management (AUM) of $167.5 billion (31 December 2022: $143.3 billion); Net inflows of $3.0 billion for the year ended 31 December 2023, 4.9% ahead of the industry[KPI]; Asset weighted relative investment outperformance versus peers across our strategies of 1.6%[KPI]; Resilient core management fee EPS of 18.4 cents highlighting the merits of our diversified business model Robyn Grew, Chief Executive Officer of Man Group, said: “2023 was a year that defied market expectations as the world grappled with macroeconomic uncertainty and unforeseen geopolitical events. Against that backdrop, I’m pleased to report a solid set of results for Man Group. Our strategies delivered positive relative investment performance of 1.6% and we recorded a net inflow of client capital of $3.0 billion, 4.9% ahead of the industry. Our assets under management ended the year at $167.5 billion, a 17% increase compared with the beginning of the year. These results reflect the quality of the business we have built, including the breadth and depth of our client relationships, and the merits of our diversified product offering.”
/jlne.ws/3Te1OXY

Hedge fund Eisler plans hiring spree to take on industry giants; UK group to tap investors for $1.5bn and add up to 25 portfolio managers
Costas Mourselas – Financial Times
/jlne.ws/3Ti6jQn

Work & Management

Steve Jobs adopted a no ‘bozos’ policy and said the best managers are those who never wanted the job – here are his 3 best management tips
Sydney Lake – Fortune
It’s been more than a decade since we lost Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind some of the biggest technological innovations in history. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2011, and would have been 69 years old today.
/jlne.ws/3UYOEPX

Wellness Exchange

Covid causes lasting damage to cognition and memory, research finds; ‘Brain fog’ detectable in long and short-term cases, detailed study suggests
Michael Peel – Financial Times
Infection with Covid-19 can cause lasting damage to cognition and memory, with “brain fog” detectable in long and short-term sufferers of the disease, according to new research. But the study, one of the most detailed efforts to describe the impact of Covid on mental acuity, showed that more severe cases can improve and the danger has become less acute as the coronavirus has mutated. The paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, suggests people whose longer-term symptoms had resolved performed just as well in cognitive tests as those who had recovered swiftly from the initial infection.
/jlne.ws/3Ie4uyG

Covid pandemic may have been started by scientists, professor tells UN; Dr Filippa Lentzos calls for better regulation after saying coronavirus may be from ‘research-related incident’
Sarah Knapton – Telegraph
Covid could have been created by a “research-related incident”, the UN has heard at the launch of a report calling for better regulation of experiments that could spark pandemics. Dr Filippa Lentzos, an associate professor of science and international security at King’s College London, said it was important to acknowledge the pandemic may have been started by scientists.
/jlne.ws/4bV86mI

Can these 1,800-year-old-wellness tips help you live better? The famed Greco-Roman physician Galen helped emperors and gladiators. Surely he could sort me out too
Madeleine Aggeler – The Guardian
It can be tempting, amid the chaos of modern life, to look backwards – to yearn for simpler times when smartphones didn’t exist and no one had ever uttered the word “microplastics”. Some turn to Freud, others to the stoics. For one week, I turned to one of the most famous physicians of the ancient world: Galen. A second-century Greco-Roman physician and philosopher, Galen served as court physician to Marcus Aurelius’s son Commodus. He was also a prolific writer (his texts account for an estimated 10% of all existing Greek literature from before AD350) whose theories shaped western medicine for more than 1,000 years. Now, some of his most significant texts have been collected in the new book How to Be Healthy: An Ancient Guide to Wellness.
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Ultraprocessed foods linked to heart disease, diabetes, mental disorders and early death, study finds
Sandee LaMotte – CNN
Eating ultraprocessed foods raises the risk of developing or dying from dozens of adverse health conditions, according to a new review of 45 meta-analyses on almost 10 million people. “We found consistent evidence linking higher intakes of ultra-processed foods with over 70% of the 45 different health outcomes we assessed,” said senior author Wolfgang Marx, a senior research fellow at the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, in an email.
/jlne.ws/4abs2jN

Regions

Catalonia’s farmers demand more help over drought
Guy Hedgecoe – BBC
The smell of barbecued artichokes wafts along a row of dozens of tractors parked in central Barcelona, as rock music blares out of speakers, and wine is poured into plastic cups. The scene is festive, but this is a protest, not a party. Hundreds of Catalan farmers have driven into their region’s capital to voice their grievances, central to which is the climate.
/jlne.ws/48AQERH

China’s ETF price war heats up; Regulator-led active fund fee reforms create downward pressure on prices and spread into passive fund space
Fred Chan – Financial Times
Chinese fund managers are slashing fees on large broad-based equities exchange traded funds as the regulator-led active fund fee reforms spread into the passive fund space. Escalating demand for onshore equities ETFs has also prompted more asset managers to enact fee cuts as they strive to attract more investors and subscriptions amid dismal sales of active equities fund sales.
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