First Read

John Lothian News Special Report: Unchained: How Blockchain And Bitcoin Are Going Mainstream

Please click on the Special Report image to see the full report, which includes a full feature story, videos from Hans-Ole Jochumson on Nasdaq’s efforts in blockchain technology and Adam Honoré, CEO of the fintech consulting firm MarketsTech, as well as the best recent Top Stories on the topic.



Richard Boerke, Jr. Joins The PRICE Futures Group; Futures Broker & Consultant Adds Business Development Capacity To Meet Institutional Client Demand
The Price Group
The PRICE Futures Group today announced Richard Boerke, Jr. has joined the firm as Institutional Sales Executive and the newest addition to its business development team. Susanna Jung, President of the futures broker and consultant, announced the appointment. The PRICE Futures Group, founded in 1988 by Walter T. Price III and a division of Price Holdings Inc., an employee-owned financial services firm, is adding business development expertise to outpace the needs of its institutional clientele.

***** This is a few days old, but I missed it. Congratulations to Rick and The Price Group. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


Chinese Stock Plunge Leaves State Media Speechless
Rising up from the center of Beijing, not far from the Temple of Heaven, is the loudest voice in the wild east of the Chinese stock market.

***** The Chinese version of Rick Santelli was seen not talking and with his hands in his pockets.


Message from the President & CEO; Takamichi Hamada, President & CEO
As the new President and CEO of TOCOM, I am pleased to share a first message with our market participants and related parties.

***** I am a related party, but not sure what the relation is.


New UN Report Shows Marijuana Is Getting Stronger and Cocaine Is in a Bear Market; Coke is dying out, while weed is innovating
by Sangwon Yoon, Bloomberg
Thanks to innovation, illegal marijuana users are getting a stronger—and possibly more harmful—high today than they did 10 years ago.

***** My long weed, short coke trade continues to work, but the counterparties to the trade are very undependable.


Why Wall Street’s Women Are Stuck in the Middle; Banks say all the right things about promoting women, but the numbers tell a different story.
by Laura Colby, Bloomberg
The first woman to run a Wall Street firm could be a behavioral scientist, a mathematician, or an engineer.

***** They can’t even get to the glass ceiling when they are stuck in the middle.


Girls Who Code From Around Globe; Ten teams of pre-college girls pitch apps addressing issues like waste disposal, water conservation
Five 14-year-old girls from India are in San Francisco this week, where they visited the Golden Gate Bridge and did a little shopping. Then they pitched the mobile app they built, intended to encourage recycling, help fight disease and earn them some money.

***** This could be a big disruptive force, Girls Who Code.


There’s a Huge Investment Opportunity in Chinese Bones
by Natasha Khan, Bloomberg
Shuai Yuan wants to help all the hunched-up grannies in China stand tall again.
The former banker worked on the 2010 initial public offering of a Chinese maker of hip implants as a summer associate at Morgan Stanley and went on to see that company acquired for more than double the value. Now an entrepreneur, he’s seeking to capitalize on the shortfalls of China’s public hospital system and surging demand from those seeking care for creaking knees and fractured hips.

****** Based on my experience with joint replacements, and the number of Chinese there are, I would say yes. There is a big opportunity there. BTW, my doctor was very impressed yesterday that I could raise my right arm straight up.



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Lead Stories

CME traders face uphill battle to delay pit closures – lawyers
By Tom Polansek, Reuters
U.S. regulators will likely allow CME Group Inc to close most of its open outcry futures pits as planned next month, despite last-minute calls from a handful of traders and brokers for an extended review, industry lawyers said on Thursday.

China to become world’s biggest overseas investor by 2020
By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing, FT
China will become the world’s biggest cross-border investor by the end of this decade, with global offshore assets tripling from $6.4tn presently to nearly $20tn by 2020, according to new research.

Paulson Says Pollution Could Overwhelm China as Cities Expand
by Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said China’s leaders are serious about tackling environmental problems yet could be overwhelmed as hundreds of millions more people flock to cities in coming decades.

Greenberg Gets Ready for Round 2 in AIG Fight; After partial court win, AIG ex-chief says, ‘We didn’t bring the lawsuit to win half of a victory’
Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg will allow that he is “pleased” with a court ruling earlier this month that the government violated the law in demanding a 79.9% equity stake in its 2008 rescue of American International Group Inc., the financial-services powerhouse he long ran.

With $21 Trillion, China’s Savers Are Set to Change the World
by Enda Curran, Jeff Kearns, Bloomberg
Few events will be as significant for the world in the next 15 years as China opening its capital borders, a shift that economists and regulators across the world are now starting to grapple with.

Deutsche Boerse Said Leading Bidder for German FX Platform 360T
By John Detrixhe and Matthew Monks, Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse AG, under the direction of a new chief executive, has emerged as the leading bidder for a foreign-exchange platform that may sell for more than $600 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
(No Link)

Tiny Greece’s Threat to Currency Credibility Is Why It Matters; There’s a reason so much time and effort has been spent keeping them in the union
by Lukanyo Mnyanda, Bloomberg
To understand why Europe is investing so much time and effort on keeping Greece in the euro area, look no further than Mario Draghi’s celebrated speech three years ago.

The Robots Are Coming. To Put You in an Index Fund; Digital financial advisers are raising the standards for their human counterparts
by Ben Steverman, Margaret Collins, Bloomberg
You’re sitting down with your financial adviser and looking her right in the eye. Is she advising you? Or selling you?

State-Owned Banks Strained by Bad Debt
The gulf between India’s healthy private banks and its fragile state-owned lenders is widening, sparking concerns that the swelling pile of bad debt is straining government-controlled banks and preventing them from growing, a report by the country’s central bank warned Thursday.

Masters’s Startup Buys Blockchain Firms
The blockchain startup led by former J.P. Morgan Chase executive Blythe Masters has acquired two smaller firms and is preparing for its first Series A funding round in the coming months, the firm’s chief executive said Thursday.

Study finds few female fund managers, a challenge to industry
Women are under-represented among mutual fund managers, a new study found, in a gender imbalance that poses challenges for an industry looking to run more money from female clients.

The Investment Bank Pivot
By Larry Tabb, Tabb Forum
The financial crisis is now six years behind us. Massive leverage, thin capital cushions, and a global laissez-faire legislative agenda are gone. To ensure financial surety, regulators are forcing banks to take less risk. But how will this impact the markets?

SEC Chief Tilts Again to Activists; Mary Jo White outlines change that would make it easier for shareholders to vote on board candidates offered by investors
Activist investors may get more firepower in their battles against a company’s board candidates.

U.S. SEC Chair says agency will propose ‘universal proxy ballot’ rules
By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is working to propose new rules to simplify the voting process for contested corporate board elections by permitting the use of so-called universal proxy ballots, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said on Thursday.

Europe Needs Common Bank Rules for Stronger Financial Fabric; Eurozone banking regulator Danièle Nouy highlights work needed to create single banking system
As Greece and Britain strain the ties of the European Union from each end and the European Commission promotes a vision for binding them more tightly, the everyday, practical problem of supervising Europe’s banks is caught in the middle.

The three scariest things about municipal bonds
When it comes to municipal bonds, the headlines can drown out the news.
Horror stories from Chicago, Detroit and Puerto Rico, painting a harrowing financial picture amid talk of budget shortfalls and potential defaults, mask a sector that is otherwise pretty sound.

BitFury adds former CFTC chairman James Newsome to advisory board
BitFury Group, the leading Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company added Dr. James Newsome, ex-Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and former CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Hernando de Soto, the President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), to its advisory board.


John Roeser Named Associate Director of the Office of Market Supervision
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has named John C. Roeser as Associate Director and deputy head of the Office of Market Supervision in its Division of Trading and Markets. Mr. Roeser will assume his new role immediately.

Speech: Building Meaningful Communication and Engagement with Shareholders
Chair Mary Jo White, SEC
Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals 69th National Conference Chicago, Illinois

What’s in Store for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Regulation
Institutional Investor
What will the future hold for regulation of cryptocurrency derivatives? Whereas the Commodity Futures Trading Commission hasn’t yet released explicit regulatory guidance, it has left clues that indicate what the regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency derivatives could look like. After all, increased acceptance and usage of cryptocurrency indicate a clear need to hedge the risk of volatility. At Latham & Watkins, we’ve examined how the current U.S. derivatives regulatory regime of the CFTC may apply to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Here are some points investors, start-ups, payment processors and financial institutions should keep in mind.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

    • BOX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 7260 to Extend, Through June 30, 2016, the Pilot Program that Permits Certain Classes to be Quoted in Penny Increments (Release No. 34-75295; File No. SR-BOX-2015-23)


    • C2: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amending Rule 6.4 to Extend the Penny Pilot through June 30, 2016 (Release No. 34-75278; File No. SR-C2-2015-015; June 24, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • CBOE: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amending Rule 6.42 to Extend its Penny Pilot Until June 30, 2016 (Release No. 34-75287; File No. SR-CBOE-2015-060; June 24, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • EDGX: Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change to Establish Rules Governing the Trading of Options on the EDGX Options Exchange (Release No. 34-75297; File No. SR-EDGX-2015-18)


    • MIAX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Exchange Rule 510 to Extend the Penny Pilot Progra (Release No. 34-75284; File No. SR-MIAX-2015-40; June 24, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchanges Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been Delisted (Release No. 34-75283; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-063; June 24, 2015)


    • NASDAQ OMX BX: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Amend and Restate Certain Rules that Govern the NASDAQ OMX BX Equities Marke (Release No. 34-75291; File No. SR-BX-2015-015; June 24, 2015)


    • NYSE: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Amending the Eighth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the Exchange to Establish a Regulatory Oversight Committee as a Committee of the Board of Directors of the Exchange and Make Certain Conforming Amendments to Exchange Rules (Release No. 34-75288; File No. SR-NYSE-2015-27; June 24, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Commentary .02 to NYSE Amex Options Rule 960NY in Order to Extend the Penny Pilot in Options Classes in Certain Issues through June 30, 2016 (Release No. 34-75281; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-43; June 24, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


    • OCC: Notice of No Objection to an Advance Notice Concerning Modifications to Backtesting Procedures in Order to Enhance Monitoring of Margin Coverage and Model Risk Exposure (Release No. 34-75290; File No. SR-OCC-2014-810; June 24, 2015)


    • Phlx: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Amend and Restate Certain Rules that Govern the NASDAQ OMX PS (Release No. 34-75293; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-29; June 24, 2015)


    • Phlx: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchanges Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been Delisted (Release No. 34-75286; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-54; June 24, 2015)

Proposed Rule Change to Adopt Rule 7650A Relating to Debit Process for the Collection of FINRA/Nasdaq Trade Reporting Facility Fees
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to adopt FINRA Rule 7650A (Collection of Fees) to require FINRA members that are FINRA/Nasdaq Trade Reporting Facility (“FINRA/Nasdaq TRF”) participants to provide a clearing account number for an account at the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) for purposes of permitting the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF to debit undisputed or final fees due and owing by the member under the Rule 7600A Series.

FCA bosses Wheatley and Lawton to lead ESMA committees
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed six senior regulatory figures to lead its regulatory standing committees, including FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

NZX Sells Its 50% Stake In Link Market Services NZ
After more than 10 years in a successful joint venture partnership, NZX today announces that its partner Link Market Services of Australia, a member of the Link Group, will purchase NZX’s 50% shareholding in Link Market Services (Link NZ). Link NZ is New Zealand’s leading provider of share registry services, with 12 of the S&P/NZX 20 issuers as clients.

ICE signs new Singapore clearing members
Jeremy Grant, FT
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has signed up a further two clearing members for the delayed launch of its Singapore derivatives exchange, adding United Overseas Bank and Phillip Futures after admitting KGI Ong Capital last month.

Data deals signal way ahead for the Vienna Stock Exchange
Henry Foy, FT
It was a conversation in the men’s room of the Connaught hotel in London that changed the growth strategy of the Vienna Stock Exchange. By chance, Michael Buhl, the bourse’s longstanding chief executive, found himself listening to a financial data vendor who, while washing his hands, voiced his gripes about emerging Europe’s stock exchanges.

HKEx Welcomes Government Appointments to HKEx’s Risk Management Committee
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) welcomes the Government’s appointments of Lawrence Lam Yuk Kun and Barbara Shiu as members of HKEx’s Risk Management Committee (statutory) (RMC). The appointments were made under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. They are for a term of two years with effect from 1 July 2015.

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for Futures Contracts
Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (HKFE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong
Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), has announced that with effect from the
commencement of trading on Thursday, 2 July 2015, the minimum margins to be collected by an Exchange Participant from its clients in respect of their dealings in the following futures contracts will be as outlined in the table below. The adjustments are based on the clearing company’s normal procedures and standard margining methodology.

Tokyo Commodity Exchange Signs London Bullion Market Association Good Delivery List License Agreement
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange Inc., announced today that it has signed a License Agreement with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) to use the LBMA’s Good Delivery List as part of its own accreditation procedures. The signing took place at the LBMA Bullion Market Forum held in Shanghai on June 25.

Euronext further expands spotlight segment with options on Refresco Gerber
Successful first year for Spotlight options
Euronext, the primary exchange in the Eurozone, today expanded its Spotlight segment with options on the shares of Refresco Gerber, the leading European bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and A-brand owners. The new options that are available for trading on the Amsterdam market follow the company’s recent successful IPO on Euronext Amsterdam.

London Stock Exchange
14 fund IPOs on London’s markets in first half of 2015, raising £2.3bn, a 6 per cent increase on last year; London attracts growing numbers of international fund managers across diversified range of funds; 20 per cent of money raised is for US based managers
461 funds now listed on London markets
London Stock Exchange today announces that there have been 14 fund IPOs on its markets to date in 2015, raising £2.3bn. This is the most money raised in the first half of the year for the last 10 years and reflects London’s continuing attractiveness to international fund managers, particularly from the US.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

INSIGHT-Unfazed by Greece, some fund managers stay bullish on Europe
The prospect of Greece defaulting on its debt has long been viewed as the recipe for a global stock market disaster. Yet some fund managers are prospering by ignoring the risks of another financial crisis and moving more money into European stocks.

Chinese Stocks Tumble as Morgan Stanley Says Don’t Buy the Dip
Chinese stocks sank the most in five months, leaving the benchmark index on the cusp of a bear market, after leveraged investors cut holdings and Morgan Stanley joined a chorus of analysts warning that valuations have climbed too far.

Star Trader Chris Rokos Is Back and This Time He’s a Billionaire
by Tom Metcalf, Bloomberg
Chris Rokos booked profits of more than $4 billion during his decade as a trader at Brevan Howard Asset Management. After a three-year hiatus his new fund is about to test whether he’s retained the Midas touch.

From Deutsche Bank to Siemens: What’s Troubling Germany Inc.?
by Alex Webb, Bloomberg
All is not well in corporate Germany.

Calpers’s Disclosure on Fees Brings Surprise, and Scrutiny
Earlier this year, a senior executive of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the country’s biggest state pension fund, made a surprising statement: The fund did not know what it was paying some of its Wall Street managers.

Four Things the Stock Market Has Taught Me; Investing is a great way to learn about human behavior—and about yourself
The S&P 500 is up 167% in the past five years, including dividends. It could easily be one of the best five-year investing periods you will ever experience. When markets surge as much as they have, not getting overly excited and keeping your expectations in check are two of the most important things any investor can do.

Wealth managers to be biggest beneficiaries of rate hike – Liberum
Natalie Kenway, Investment Week
UK wealth management firms would see more benefit from an interest rate rise than any other companies in the financial sector, according to research from Liberum Capital.

The Impact of Interest Rates on Bond Funds |
By Covenant Capital

Banks & Brokers

ABN Amro to help lead manage its own IPO, other banks vetted
By Toby Sterling, Reuters
ABN Amro (IPO-ABN.AS) will help lead manage its own initial public offering, the Dutch government agency tasked with overseeing the deal said on Frid

Citi managers ‘low-balled’ Libor, Hayes defence argues
Michael Hegarty,
Citi European treasury chief gave in to requests of the New York office to lower Libor submissions in 2007, the jury in the trial of Tom Hayes heard today

Neuberger Berman to acquire Merrill Lynch private equity funds of funds
ARLEEN JACOBIUS, Pensions & Investments

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Fixed Income Team Expands with Senior Hires
Cantor Fitzgerald
Cantor Fitzgerald, a leading financial services firm, today announced the expansion of its fixed income team with the appointment of John Altier and Andrew Javorsky as Managing Directors. Mr. Altier will focus on U.S. government agency and Treasury securities, and Mr. Javorsky will focus on all mortgage products.

Clearing & Settlement

CME Group Clearing Advisories
CME Group

    • Performance Bond Requirements: Crude Oil and Metals Outrights; Crude Oil, Equity Index, and Interest Rates Intra-Commodity Spread Charges; Coal, Electricity, and Natural Gas Inter-Commodity Spread Credits; Short Option Minimums- Effective Friday, June 26, 2015


    • REVISED: CME Group Delivery Dates for July 2015

ICE signs new Singapore clearing members
Financial Times
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has signed up a further two clearing members for the delayed launch of its Singapore derivatives exchange, adding United Overseas Bank and Phillip Futures after admitting KGI Ong Capital last month.
The development is a sign that local banks in Singapore appear to have some confidence that there will be sufficient client demand for the products that ICE will offer when its platform goes live before the end of the year.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Struggles to Emulate LME Metal Success : Business : Chinatopix
The Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) is now the world’s biggest bourse operator after embarking on various stock trading programs to bring together traders in the Asian region. At the center of these enterprises is the “link” plan with the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) that allowed mainland funds to purchase Hong Kong shares.

Moody’s sets out clearing house plan
Following the financial crisis, regulators have pushed derivatives trading into central counterparties (CCPs), concentrating default risk in these institutions.
“Moody’s notes that the CCPs play a central role in the risk management of financial markets, with the CCP industry showing a strong history of default avoidance.

ACHs join forces to optimize European clearing services
Six members of the European Automated Clearing House Association (EACHA) have joined forces to deliver centralized and optimized processing services for SEPA transactions. For this purpose they have set up a new company called European Clearing Cooperative (ECC), registered on 23 June 2015. The objective of ECC is to strengthen interoperability and further increase efficiency in the Single Euro Payments Area through a shared service platform.

Indexes & Products

HSBC ends sponsorship tie-up with Markit for China PMI, emerging markets indexes
By Pete Sweeney and Michelle Price, Reuters
HSBC has ended its marketing tie-up with financial information firm Markit Ltd, both companies told Reuters on Friday, winding down a five-year relationship that some industry insiders said may have become too expensive and a potential political liability for HSBC in China.

A New Measure of Active vs. Passive Investing – Total Return
A new measure from Morningstar may bring more clarity to the debate over whether active or passive investing is superior.
The Active/Passive Barometer report, introduced Thursday, measures the performance of U.S. active mutual-fund managers relative to the performance of passive funds net of fees.

The S&P 500 P/E Ratio Is 19, Unless It’s Actually 27; Even Robert Shiller doesn’t know what to make of price-earnings data that make stocks look expensive.
by Michael P Regan, Bloomberg
“Stocks are cheap!” “Stocks are expensive!” It’s one of the oldest debates on Wall Street—and an especially good way to divide investors into competing camps as the U.S. bull market soldiers on in its seventh year.

iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Declares $0.35 Semiannual Dividend (EWU)
iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index (NYSE:EWU) announced a semiannual dividend on Thursday, June 25th, AnalystRatings.Net reports. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 29th will be paid a dividend of 0.3466 per share on Wednesday, July 1st. This represents a yield of 3.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 25th.

Lawson Products Set to Join Russell 3000 Index
Lawson Products, Inc. LAWS, +11.86% is set to join the broad-market Russell 3000 Index as well as the Russell Global Index at the conclusion of the Russell indexes annual reconstitution on June 26, according to a preliminary list of additions posted June 12 on the FTSE Russell website.


Paris Confronts Airbnb’s Rapid Growth; City of Light brags about Airbnb but ramps up inspections of listings, as residents turn to tourist rentals
Xavier Fouquerand is among the most prolific hosts on Airbnb Inc.

Fintech’s Bulge-Bracket Banking Boom Points To Bubble
Until recently, the paths of venture capital investors and private equity funds rarely crossed. Venture capital firms have historically invested in early-stage startups with high potential while private equity firms typically invest larger amounts of capital into more mature businesses.

This chart proves the US is leading the world in fintech investing
The US is leading the world in fintech investing.
Have a look at the chart, provided to Business Insider by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City.
The rate of the value of startup financings rose nearly 200% from 2013 to 2014, substantially outpacing growth elsewhere in the VC market.

The quiet hiring spree for Fintech professionals in China
The recent bull-run of China’s stock market has prompted many banks in China to bolster their trading functions, but this has had the knock on effect of increasing demand for technology professionals in the financial sector.
“Because of the increase in front office staff, banks need more technology staff to be able to actually support their business,” says Kavi Kumar, Hong Kong-based head of technology and contracts at the recruiter Selby Jennings. “These Chinese businesses are actually quite attractive to our candidates.”


CALDB admonishes Queensland liquidator
ASIC notes the decision by disciplinary body, the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB), to admonish a Queensland-based registered liquidator.

Environmental & Energy

GE invests in $348 mln windfarm after Australian subsidy deadlock ends
By Byron Kaye, Reuters
General Electric Co said it will help fund a $348 million Australian windfarm, the country’s third largest, after political leaders ended a deadlock over state subsidies that had stalled the $13 billion industry for over a year.

Canada’s Potash approaches German rival
James Wilson in London, FT
The world’s largest potash producer has approached a rival about a possible takeover worth at least $7bn, a step that would be one of the largest transactions in the mining industry during the commodity price downturn of recent years.

Wall Street Pumps Billions Into Renewable Energy
After years of lofty promises, Wall Street believes the renewable energy industry can produce a payoff.

ADM, biofuels supporters challenge U.S. ethanol ‘blend wall’
Archer Daniels Midland Co and ethanol supporters on Thursday challenged a U.S. government plan for biofuels use, saying it will not push past the “blend wall” because of a niche market for biofuels credits.


China encourages privately-owned banks, allows more foreign participation; Pace of new pvt bank launches to be controlled to ward off risks; Foreign shareholding curbs on China banks won’t be impacted by move; More than 40 applications to start pvt banks received (Adds comments by CBRC chairman)
By Kevin Yao and Matthew Miller, Reuters
China’s banking regulator said on Friday that it will permit the establishment of more privately-owned banks and allow foreign investors to participate in the reform process to help shore up the state-dominated financial sector.

China plunges towards bear market territory as stocks tumble 8%
Investment Week
China’s Shanghai Composite index is on the verge of bear market territory after falling more than 8% in overnight trading.

China’s Market Selloff Accelerates; Shanghai, one of the best-performing markets globally last year, nears bear territory
China’s stock markets plunged Friday, a sharp turnaround after a year of strong gains, as investors start to question the sustainability of that breathless rally.

China’s yuan stays flat on suspected central bank intervention
By Reuters
China’s yuan was flat on Friday as dollar sales by big state-owned banks offset rising corporate dollar demand for dividend payments at the end of the first half of the year, traders said.

Guotai Junan’s 44% Surge in Trading Debut Prompts Brief Halt
Guotai Junan Securities Co., China’s largest brokerage by revenue, surged 44 percent on its first day of trading in Shanghai after it completed the nation’s biggest domestic initial share sale since 2010.

Frontier Markets

Goldman Says Ukraine To Default In July
Ukraine could default on its debt obligations as soon as next month, according to Goldman Sachs GS -0.76%, leaving international investors holding about $19 billion of the country’s bonds likely facing losses, or “haircuts.”


These Three Maps Show How Drugs Move Around the World; Smugglers adjust their routes to match the drug
by Sangwon Yoon, Bloomberg
In 2013, 246 million people worldwide—one of every 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64—used an illegal drug. Some 27 million of those are problem drug users suffering from addiction, dependence, or other disorders.

The Four Books You Must Read If You Really Want to Understand Currency Markets; Perfect summer reading
by Tom Keene, Bloomberg
The Swiss and the Swiss franc are in the news. The two-minute drill is the nation is wildly successful while its euro-neighbors are not. Thus money rolls in and destabilizes the economy. There are benefits to the Swiss, yes, but there are also problems. It is all managed by the Swiss National Bank amid a roaring Swiss domestic political debate. The thing to focus on within the complexity is the time function: The longer Europe is surreal, the more profound and intractable the effects on Switzerland. Two treatments of this are above. Dr. El-Erian writes a brilliant essay for Bloomberg View wrapped around his command of Euro-Swiss game theory. The FX team at Barclays pen a market-based note on how to make money and critically how not to lose money in the CHF market [no, CHF doesn’t stand for “congestive heart failure;” it’s the ISO code that bank computers use for Swiss francs].

FX mis-selling: Travel companies take aim at banks
Lawyers and hedging consultants are reporting a rise in mis-selling accusations from companies in the travel and leisure sector, over complex currency derivatives sold to them by their banks and brokers. These cases are in their infancy, but are predicted to rise as the mis-selling scandal broadens from interest-rate hedging products to forex products.

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