John Lothian Newsletter: ICE Seeks EU Merger Review for NYSE Takeover; MCX-SX to launch equities trading on February 11; Berkshire Said to Have Made NYSE Euronext Bid

Jan 29, 2013

ICE plans to ask the EU to review the takeover plans for NYSE Euronext. India’s new exchange MCX-SX targets February 11 as the day to begin stock trading. Berkshire Hathaway is said to have been seeking a takeover last year of NYSE Euronext along with ICE, injecting a measure of optimism into the future outlook for the exchange business. In today’s First Read, Leo Melamed pens a eulogy for Barry Lind. It’s also time for the next installment of JLN’s Restoring Customer Confidence series; John Omahen, vice president of post trade derivatives solutions at SunGard, talks about the value in moving customer funds to a clearing house.

First Read

Eulogy: Barry Lind
At the height of the 2008 financial crisis, when scores of financial giants such as Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers were in distress, some of them ending in bankruptcy, the one financial institution in the US that weathered the meltdown without a hitch was the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

People ask, how did that happen? I know the answer. It happened back in 1971, at the birth of the International Monetary, the IMM. I had asked my best friend, my fellow board member, my financial advisor, to build us the Clearing House.

And Barry Lind said to me “Leo, we have to make a statement to the world so that the IMM is as financially sound as the NYSE.” It was nearly a laughable concept. The NYSE was then the most revered institution in the universe, second perhaps only to God.

And Barry did just that. He laid the cornerstone for the financial foundation that to this day serves the financial integrity of the CME.

Please visit the JLN blog to read the entire eulogy:


New Restoring Customer Confidence Video
The ninth video in our Restoring Customer Confidence series deals with securing segregated funds. Each week we will post a new idea answering the question – how do you restore customer confidence and bring traders back?

Restoring Customer Confidence More ideas»
Customer Segregation: Keep It Separate

Customer Segregation: Keep It Separate

There has been much talk about protecting customer funds but keeping them in segregated accounts outside of the brokerage house. John Omahen, vice president of post trade derivatives solutions at SunGard, talks about the value in moving customer funds to a clearing house. Such segregation could help not only protect customer funds, but also could create lower financing costs.

Watch the video »

Also see — Customer Segregation: A Clear View


About the Restoring Customer Confidence video series
In the aftermath of the MF Global collapse, fraud at Peregrine Financial Group and high profile high-frequency trading shocks, John Lothian News asks – how do you restore customer confidence and bring traders back? Previous videos:

Visit the video series page on over the next several weeks for new ideas and solutions.


ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher Discusses Planned Merger With NYSE In An Exclusive Interview In Futures Industry
The January issue of Futures Industry magazine includes an interview (attached to this email as a PDF) with Jeff Sprecher, the chief executive officer of IntercontinentalExchange, discussing how the merger agreement with NYSE Euronext came about and his strategic vision for ICE.


ICE Announces February 11 Launch Of 16 New Oil, Iron Ore And API 8 South China Coal Contracts
IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of global markets and clearing houses, today announced the introduction of 16 new energy contracts on ICE Futures Europe. The new contracts include global oil and ferrous metal futures products, as well as API 8* CFR South China coal futures, a cash settled contract based on the price of coal delivered into Southern China.


CME launches three-year CNH futures contract to meet dim sum bond hedging demand
CME Group has announced it will offer CNH futures contracts with tenors of up to three years to meet demand from offshore dim sum bond investors looking to hedge their foreign exchange exposure.

**JK – I prefer hibachi, but dim sum is nice sometimes


OptionsCity Rolls Out Online Client Resource Hub
OptionsCity Software, a leading provider of end-to-end electronic trading solutions, today announced the launch of a new online resource hub to further serve its clients’ support and training needs. The portal can be accessed through the Algo Store website and will allow existing Metro, Freeway, and Algo Store users around the clock access to product documentation, video tutorials, feature upgrade and new functionality notifications, support and API documentation, FAQs, and other valuable client tools.


Financial Rule-Makers Must Learn to Use Their Calculators
Believe it or not, U.S. financial regulators don’t have to calculate the economic impact of the rules they write. It’s an omission they should correct before it becomes a serious obstacle to fixing the financial system.

**JK – Regs can cost participants money? Wow!


When Corruption Helps the Bottom Line
Most investors would agree that less corruption and more transparency in financial markets are good things. But in a contrarian way, a high degree of corruption in foreign markets can actually be beneficial. And that may provide an interesting counterargument to recent enforcement actions.

**JK – This kind of research is why I’m against tenure.


CME’s seasoned traveller plots an FX revolution
Tom Osborn – Financial News
After a career spent furthering the reach of UK-based banks into Europe, it seems apt that William Knottenbelt, the 52-year-old head of CME Group’s London office, should lead the US exchange’s international push with the launch of a foreign exchange franchise.

**JK – CME and currencies is like eggs and butter.


Media Firms Probed on Data Release
Law-enforcement authorities have conducted a wide-ranging investigation into whether media companies facilitated insider trading on Wall Street by prematurely releasing market-moving government data, according to people familiar with the probe.

**JK – So how are those investigations into AIG, Lehman, Goldman, MF Global … going?


Eurozone banking union is deeply flawed
Hans-Werner Sinn and Harald Hau –
Largely ignored by public opinion, the European Commission has drafted a new directive on bank resolution which creates the legal basis for future bank bailouts in the EU. While paying lip service to the principle of shareholder liability and creditor burden-sharing, the current draft falls woefully short of protecting European taxpayers and might cost them hundreds of billions of euros. Further lobbying by banks is likely to make things only worse.


CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia and Marathon Asset Management CEO Bruce Richards Set to Speak at TabbFORUM’s Fixed Income 2013 Conference
With registration fast approaching a standing-room only audience response as it did in January 2012, the TabbFORUM conference, “Fixed Income 2013: Liquidity, Products, Platforms,” being held January 30 in midtown Manhattan at The TimesCenter on 41st Street, features CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia as the keynote speaker and Bruce Richards, co-founder and CEO, Marathon Asset Management, in a rare public interview.



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Lead Stories

ICE Seeks European Union Merger Review for NYSE Takeover
Aoife White – Bloomberg
IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) will seek a European Union merger review of its plans to buy NYSE Euronext to avoid multiple probes across the 27-nation bloc.

MCX-SX to launch equities trading on February 11
By Rafael Nam – Reuters
MCX-SX, India’s new stock exchange, will begin trading of cash equities and equities derivatives on February 11, setting up what is expected to be intense competition with the country’s two established bourses.

Berkshire Said to Have Made NYSE Euronext Bid Last Year
Nandini Sukumar – Bloomberg
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) made an offer last year to buy NYSE Euronext, conditioned on the exchange operator selling its European derivatives business, said two people familiar with the matter.

Berkshire Hathaway, CME Eyed NYSE Deals
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has said he wouldn’t care if the stock market closed down for years, made a bid late last year for the iconic New York Stock Exchange.

Libor Lies Revealed in Rigging of $300 Trillion Benchmark
Every morning, from his desk by the bathroom at the far end of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s trading floor overlooking London’s Liverpool Street station, Paul White punched a series of numbers into his computer.

Fed Releases Global Shock Stress Test Scenario for Biggest Banks
The Federal Reserve released “adverse and severely adverse” global financial market scenarios to measure the strength of six large banks, as part of tests that will be released in March.

German watchdog in special probe of Euribor banks
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
German financial watchdog Bafin has escalated an investigation launched last year into possible manipulation of the euro interbank offered rate (Euribor) to include a special probe of German banks, a spokesman said on Monday.

U.S. Wants Criminal Charges for RBS
U.S. authorities are pushing for a settlement of interest-rate-rigging allegations with Royal Bank of Scotland Group RBS.LN -5.55% PLC that would result in a unit of the big British bank pleading guilty to criminal charges in addition to paying a penalty, according to people briefed on the negotiations.

A new year data detox
John Mitchell – FOW
From the early part of the last decade through to 2008, the financial services industry was awash in profits, a party where nearly everyone had their fill. Then in late 2008 the excess finally caught up with the markets and a lengthy hangover ensued. Four years later and the financial system still has a significant number of toxins within its assets, operations and, down at the core, its data.


How Mary Jo White’s Connections Could Complicate Her S.E.C. Job
New York Times
The nomination of Mary Jo White as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission has been hailed as a signal that a tough regulator will patrol Wall Street. But there are also questions about whether her defense work will raise conflicts of interest.

Legal talent rises as exchanges adapt to new reality
Suzi Ring – Financial News
As the financial services industry gets to grip with post-crisis reform, one role – the general counsel – has taken on renewed prominence, advising the board through the twists and turns of the dramatic structural shifts under way.

Senator Grassley prods U.S. CFTC watchdog on sloppy auditing
Dairy Herd
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley is pressuring the inspector general of the nation’s futures regulator to prove that his office has cleaned up its auditing procedures, after the internal watchdog flunked a peer review in 2011.

SEC Announces Agenda for Feb. 1 Meeting of Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the agenda for a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies being held this Friday, February 1.

Editor’s Note: Casting a Little Light Into Dark Pools
Regulators are signaling that they’ll be looking more closely at “dark pools”, private stock venues that let traders operate anonymously.

Federal Reserve Board Announces Release Dates For Results From Supervisory Stress Tests And From The Comprehensive Capital Analysis And Review (CCAR)

Meeting Of The Financial Stability Board In Zurich on 28 January
At its meeting in Zurich, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) discussed vulnerabilities affecting the global financial system and progress in authorities ‘work to strengthen global financial regulation. The FSB also took the procedural steps to constitute itself as a legal entity, as part of its ongoing strengthening of its capacity, resources and governance.

Dion launches FATCA TRAC Indicia Check Service
Dion Global Solutions, technology partner to the financial services industry, today announced that it has launched the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) TRAC Indicia Check Service to assist financial firms in making an initial assessment of the impact of the FATCA regulations on their business.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

BM&FBOVESPA Launches New Commodity Derivatives For The Sugar/Ethanol Sector Today – Portfolio Gains Crystal Sugar And Anhydrous Fuel Ethanol Contracts
BM&FBOVESPA begins trading today new commodity derivatives developed for the sugar/ethanol sector. The first of these is the cash-settled crystal sugar futures contract. The contract is authorized for trading from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (São Paulo time), with after-hours trading from 2:35 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., under ticker symbol ACF and as of the April 2013 contract month. Each futures contract is quoted in Brazilian Reals and the contract size is 508 50-net kilogram bags.

Deutsche Börse IPO indicator gives positive prognosis for IPOs in Frankfurt
Deutsche Börse published the IPO sentiment indicator forecasting issue activity for the 1st quarter of 2013 on Monday. According to the indicator, the IPO climate, which reflects the sentiment of investors, companies and underwriters on the primary market, remained positive at 32.43 points compared to 32.8 points in the previous quarter.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Major Hedge Fund Will Run Two Sets Of Books
Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world with $120 billion in assets, will soon use Northern Trust to shadow the fund administration work it outsourced to BNY Mellon in 2011.

Armajaro Asset Management Trader Ben Steele Dies at Age of 35
Ben Steele, who joined hedge fund Armajaro Asset Management LLP last year to start a pool trading shares of financial companies, has died. He was 35.

State Street targets unusual approach to managing pensions money
Mark Cobley – Financial News
State Street Global Advisors, which launched a new business targeting defined-contribution pension plans in the UK in November, is likely to adopt an unusual “target date” approach to managing this money.

CalPERS Launches Research Initiative To Study Impact Of Sustainability Factors On Investments
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today launched the Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI), in an effort to drive innovative thought leadership that will inform and advance the organization’s understanding of sustainability factors and the impact they have on financial performance.

FOCUS: Speculators Add Again To Precious Metals Futures, Options — CFTC
Speculators are slowly adding bullish precious metals trades back to their net holdings as these market participants increased their net-long positions on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Nymex, according to U.S. government data.

Buba’s new era of openness on its gold
Jack Farchy in London –
The gold market barely shrugged when the Bundesbank announced it would move 674 tonnes of the stuff from Paris and New York to Frankfurt. But the move is important: not for what it says about Germany’s faith in French or American vaults; nor for the cost of shifting 674 tonnes of gold; but because it is a major victory for transparency in the gold market.

Banks & Brokers

Toronto-Dominion Joins Canadian Lenders in Ratings Cut
Sean B. Pasternak – Bloomberg
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Bank of Nova Scotia and four other Canadian lenders had their credit ratings cut by Moody’s Investors Service because of high home prices and consumer debt.

Goldman Sachs financial services dealmaker set to leave- sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – Veteran Goldman Sachs dealmaker Luigi Rizzo, managing director of European financial mergers and acquisitions, is to leave the U.S. investment bank, five people familiar with his departure told Reuters.

BofA Said to Be in Talks to Move Irish Derivatives Unit
Bank of America Corp. is in talks with regulators to transfer about $50 billion of its derivatives business from its Irish unit into its U.K. operation, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Italy’s Monte Paschi finds no evidence of takeover bribes
Reuters via Yahoo! News
MILAN – Italy’s troubled Monte dei Paschi bank said on Monday it had no evidence of bribery in a 2007 takeover now under scrutiny over alleged corruption, but acknowledged accounting irregularities over derivatives deals under previous management.

UBS Told by U.S. Judge to Give IRS Data on Wegelin Accounts
A U.S. judge said the Internal Revenue Service can demand information from UBS AG about U.S. clients of Wegelin & Co., the Swiss bank that pleaded guilty this month to conspiring to help cheat the IRS.

BofA’s Moynihan calls for renewed focus on customers
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Bank of America Corp must focus on improving customer service as it moves past its crisis-era problems, CEO Brian Moynihan said in a letter sent to employees, signaling one of his strategies for boosting revenue at the bank.

HSBC Enters $55 Million 10-Year Insurance Distribution Agreement with AIG
Dow Jones
HSBC Holdings PLC said Monday that its subsidiary HSBC Bank PLC has entered a 10-year, $55 million agreement with AIG Europe Ltd for HSBC companies to distribute AIG non-life insurance products to customers in Turkey, France, and other countries in continental Europe as may be agreed.

Clearing & Settlement

LCH.Clearnet’s ForexClear reaches $500 bn notional cleared
LCH.Clearnet Ltd, the multi-national clearing house’s UK-based CCP, has cleared more than $500 billion in notional of FX NDFs through its ForexClear service since launch in March 2012. The volumes were driven by record figures of $207 billion in the fourth quarter.

Indexes & Products

New SPDR ETF launched on Xetra


ITRS CEO Kevin Covington named in Institutional Investor’s Trading Technology top 40
Kevin Covington, CEO of ITRS Group Ltd, the leading global provider of performance monitoring and management technology, has been recognised as one of the top 40 most prominent innovators in providing trading technologies to the world’s financial market community by Institutional Investor.

ACTIV Launches Canadian / US Interlisted ActivFeed Service
ACTIV, a global provider of real-time, multi-asset financial market data and solutions, today announced it has launched a Canadian / US Interlisted ActivFeed service into its Toronto data center from its Metro NYC PoPs.

Kyte Group Goes Live On AlgoSpan Low Latency Infrastructure And Exchange Access
AlgoSpan, the specialist market infrastructure provider, is pleased to announce that The Kyte Group has gone live with AlgoSpan’s low latency exchange market access platform, “AlgoNet’.

Add or Sublet Data Center Capacity With New Co-Lo Co-Op From HFT Technologies LLC
HFT Technologies LLC announced a new HFT “Co-Location Co-Operative” to give trading firms a single resource for adding or subletting data center capacity at major financial exchanges around the world.

IBM Empowers SLIB to Manage Millions of European Stock Market Transactions
IBM today announced that SLIB , a leading software publisher and Application Services Provider for the European financial services industry, has upgraded its IT infrastructure with an innovative new IBM System to streamline and securely process an estimated 15 million stock market orders this year.


Ex-Jefferies Trader Litvak Arrested for Securities Fraud
Chris Dolmetsch & Zeke Faux – Bloomberg
A former Jefferies & Co. managing director was arrested and accused of defrauding customers of more than $2 million on trades of residential mortgage-backed securities, prosecutors said.

CFTC Charges Four Florida-based Precious Metals Firms and Three Individuals for Engaging in Illegal Retail Off-Exchange Transactions in Precious Metals
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued two Orders filing and settling charges against two Fort Lauderdale, Fla. companies, Secured Precious Metals International, Inc. and Secured Precious Metals Management, Inc., and their sole owner and principal, Linda Laramie (collectively SPM), as well as two West Palm Beach, Fla. companies, Barclay Metals, Inc. and Universal Clearing, LLC, and their owners and principals, Sean Stropp and Sylvia Williams (collectively Barclay), all for engaging in illegal off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals with retail customers.

CFTC Seeks to Revoke the Registration of Robert A. Christy and the Registrations of his Company, Crabapple Capital Group LLC, Based on Court’s Permanent Injunction Order Prohibiting Them from Committing Further Fraud
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a notice of intent to revoke the registrations of Robert A. Christy and Crabapple Capital Group LLC (Crabapple), both of Georgia.

Witness’s Credibility at Issue in Insider Probe
A key cooperating witness’s assistance in the government’s broad crackdown on insider trading was “extremely substantial,” but her lies to federal prosecutors and agents threatened to undermine that help, prosecutors said in court papers.

Tribunal upholds FSA decision to fine firm £8m for market abuse

ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from Macquarie Equities Ltd

Sydney man charged with insider trading conspiracy

Environmental & Energy

Canadian carbon project aims to prove ‘clean coal’ works
A technology that holds the hope for cleaner use of coal will be tested on a commercial scale for the first time in Canada next year, aiming to resolve big uncertainties about the vast amount of power it will need.

**RKB — Creators hopeful that success could spur interest in CCS technology from China, U.S., other big emitters as an effective way to fight climate change.

Russian row over Kyoto extension rumbles on
Business Green
A row over the extension of the Kyoto Protocol looks set to rumble on, after a group of former Soviet Bloc countries confirmed last week that they will take action against a controversial clause that would effectively force them to reduce emissions.

**RKB – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Oleg Shamanov told RTCC that currently there was “virtually no sense in accepting the amendment as it was pushed through”.

Major climate changes looming
San Francisco Chronicle
In his inaugural address last Monday, President Obama made climate change a priority of his second term. It might be too late.


China to launch regional monitoring of shadow finance flows
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
China will begin publishing a regional breakdown of economywide financing flows, a central bank official has said, in an apparent effort to strengthen regulation of shadow financing.

JPMorgan’s Japan Electronics, Chemical Staff Said to Exit
Tokyo-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts Yoshiharu Izumi and Nobuhito Owaki will leave the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley Japan Credit Strategist Miura Said to Leave
Morgan Stanley ’s Tokyo-based credit strategist Takashi Miura will leave the bank, according to two people familiar with the matter.

HKEx Provides Additional AHFT Information To Legco Panel
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) provided additional information on its planned After-hours Futures Trading (AHFT) to the Legislative Council’s Panel on Financial Affairs (Legco’s PFA) today (Monday) during a panel meeting.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Further Expand The Scope Of Underlying Stocks For Margin Trading And Securities Lending

Tokyo Stock Exchange Has Published The Index Value Of TSE Home Price Index For November

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Advance The Overall Information Disclosure Express Practice

HKEx Announces Temporary Holiday Risk Management Arrangements

Frontier Markets

Wells Fargo Opens New International Branch In DIFC
Company’s 10th International Branch – Located In Dubai International Financial Center

Dubai Mercantile Exchange Appoints Head Of Energy Products

Index Cooperation Between Vienna Stock Exchange And Kazakhstan Stock Exchange

John Lothian Newsletter

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