First Read

IPXI Closes – March 2015
By Jim Kharouf, JLN
Even smart, innovative ideas for new markets sometimes don’t make it. Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI) announced last week to its employees and investors that it was shutting down the exchange aimed at bringing market-based solutions to the IP sector, John Lothian News has learned. In a company memo to staff and shareholders, Gerard Pannekoek, president and CEO of IPXI, wrote that it appeared that the “time was just not right, and the obstacles – including …


Out of Chaos: ICE’s Sprecher Says Exchange Is Set For Growth

The Intercontinental Exchange Group had a record 2014, but for CEO Jeff Sprecher “boy, it was a chaotic year.” ICE posted revenues of $3.01 billion last year from transaction and clearing fees, as it consolidated operations from the 2013 NYSE Euronext acquisition, navigated changing regulations, handled energy market volatility and eyed its Asian expansion.

Sprecher, who spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf at the FIA Boca conference, said regulation will continue to be a strong influence on the marketplace in 2015. But ICE is not waiting for the US and European rulemaking process to reach its conclusion. The exchange plans to launch a new Singapore-based exchange and clearinghouse to complement its US and European operations.
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Bernanke: I didn’t throw seniors under the bus
By GREG ROBB, MarketWatch
Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke unveiled a new blog on Monday and used his first post to defend his record from criticism that he kept rates artificially low and hurt savers.

***** No, he was driving the bus and running over them again and again.


In 20 years, the world may run out of minable gold; Gold will become scarce, say Goldman Sachs analysts.
By MYRA P. SAEFONG, MarketWatch
In another two decades rare commodities may become seriously scarce.

***** This is a BS story. There is a lot more gold to mine, but we need to find new ways to find it and mine it. Call it 1000 tonnes under the seas.


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Lead Stories

Commodities traders’ alarm over Europe’s stricter regulations
Neil Hume, Commodities Editor, FT
If you thought US plans to cap speculative activity in commodities were broad, then take a glance at what’s unfolding on the other side of the Atlantic.

CME Group Announces First Trades of New Physically Delivered Cocoa Futures Contract on CME Europe
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced the first trades of its new Physically Delivered Cocoa futures contract (contract code CCP), which were launched yesterday on its European exchange, CME Europe.

Here Comes a New Wave of Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds
by Katherine Burton, Simone Foxman, Bloomberg
Hedge fund investors aren’t giving up just yet. At least five new hedge fund companies are on track to start with at least $1 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after eight firms started with a 10-figure sum last year. The industry hasn’t seen this many mega-startups since 2005, when 13 funds raised a combined $19 billion.

JPMorgan Rising; JPMorgan came out of the banking crisis stronger than it went in and it’s time for shares to catch-up. They could rise 30% in a year, not including the 2.9% yield.
By ANDREW BARY, Barron’s
After five years of leading JPMorgan Chase through epic regulatory struggles and legal settlements, Jamie Dimon has cemented his position as the world’s top banker. As other big banks floundered in the wake of the financial crisis, he used JPMorgan’s strong financial position to push to the fore in investment banking, credit cards, and asset management. And with some $2.6 trillion in assets, JPMorgan is the country’s largest bank.

Lynn Tilton overbilled loan funds by nearly $200 million, SEC charges
Lynn Tilton is accused of overvaluing her funds by nearly $200 million.
A high-profile manager of loan funds was accused of overbilling investors by nearly $200 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday in a major case brought by the agency.

Poker-Playing Money Manager Settles With CFTC on Futures Bet
by Silla Brush Bloomberg
A Las Vegas-based money manager who competed in the World Series of Poker will pay $100,000 to resolve a U.S. regulator’s claims that he violated an order barring him from betting on some derivatives. Daniel Shak, founder of SHK Management LLC, will be banned from trading certain futures contracts during the closing period for two more years under a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the agency said in a statement Monday. He had been sanctioned initially for attempting to manipulate the price of oil futures contracts and violating speculation limits in 2008, according to the agency’s statement citing a March 27 court order.

FINRA Sanctions Three Firms for Inadequate Supervision of Consolidated Reports
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has sanctioned three firms – H. Beck, Inc., LaSalle St. Securities, LLC, and J.P. Turner & Company, LLC – with fines of $425,000, $175,000 and $100,000, respectively, for inadequate supervision of consolidated reports provided to customers and other violations.

Former Federal Agents Charged With Stealing Bitcoin During Probe;Men were members of a ‘Silk Road Task Force’ operating out of Baltimore
Two former federal agents were charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of virtual currency during an undercover investigation into an online drug mar


CFTC Provides Chief Compliance Officers Additional Time to Submit Annual Reports
by Stephen M. Quinlivan, JD Supra
The CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued a no-action letter to futures commission merchants, swap dealers and major swap participants, referred to as registrants, that provides relief from certain requirements under Regulation 3.3(f). The Regulation requires registrants to give the Commission their Chief Compliance Officer, or CCO, annual report not more than 60 days after the end of their fiscal year.

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

  • BATS: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for the BATS One Market Data Product (Release No. 34-74598; File No. SR-BATS-2015-24; March 27, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • BYX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for the BATS One Market Data Product (Release No. 34-74599; File No. SR-BYX-2015-19; March 27, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • EDGA: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for the BATS One Market Data Product (Release No. 34-74600; File No. SR-EDGA-2015-14; March 27, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • EDGX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for the BATS One Market Data Product (Release No. 34-74601; File No. SR-EDGX-2015-14; March 27, 2015); see also Exhibit 5


  • OCC: Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change to Establish Procedures Regarding the Monthly Resizing of its Clearing Fund and the Addition of Financial Resources (Release No. 34-74603; File No. SR-OCC-2015-009; March 27, 2015)

ISDA Announces Annual Determinations Committees Outcome
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) today announced the outcome of the annual process to determine members of ISDA’s five regional Determinations Committees (DCs), which together comprise the global decision-making structure around events in the credit default swap (CDS) industry.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Margin Call From Eurex Said to Trigger DuessHyp Collapse
by Ben Moshinsky, Boris Groendahl, John Detrixhe, Bloomberg
The near-collapse of Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG, the German lender hit by Heta Asset Resolution AG’s debt moratorium, was prompted in part by a margin call from Eurex, people familiar with the matter said.

Shanghai Stock Exchange: What’s Holding It Back?
After a mainland equity collapse in 2007, investors the world over largely wrote off Shanghai’s stock exchange as the lesser cousin of regional heavyweight Hong Kong. But tides have turned since the middle of last year, when the Shanghai Composite Index started rocketing upwards from around 2,500 points to above 3,600 points in recent days, a peak in about seven years.

The industrial company is the first to start trading on MAB’s growth segment in 2015
The Board of Directors of the Mercado Alternativo Bursátil (MAB) has announced the listing of NBI Bearings Europe on the Growth Companies segment of this market, following a thorough review of all the information presented by the company and after the favourable assessment report on its listing issued by MAB’s Coordination and Admission Committee.
(No Link)

BlackRock ups LSE stake to £587m
ByTim Cave and James Rundle, Financial News
BlackRock upped its stake in the London Stock Exchange Group on the same day that Borse Dubai’s sold out of the UK exchange, it has emerged, with the US funds giant now holding a stake of nearly 7% in the UK bourse.

LME Allows Malaysian Warehouses to Accept Metal After Tax Ruling
by Eddie Van Der Walt, Bloomberg
The London Metal Exchange will allow Malaysian warehouses to keep accepting metal after finance officials exempted transactions from a new tax, according to a statement from the exchange.

CME scores victory in day one of battle of new cocoa contracts
By David Brough, Reuters
Focus shifts to physical delivery specifications
Too early to predict which contracts will succeed
CME Group won the first round of a battle of two new euro-based cocoa futures contracts against rival exchange ICE Futures.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Swiss Investor Calls for Big Cut in Hedge Fund Fees
One of Europe’s biggest hedge fund investors, Unigestion, is pushing hedge funds to scrap management fees in place of a bigger slice of profits as investors attempt to crack down on high charges.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Ray Dalio Steps Up Foundation Giving
By Nathan Vardi, Forbes
Billionaire Ray Dalio has already built the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates, which manages some $160 billion. He is now also building a large philanthropic foundation.

Wealth Adviser: Don’t Call It a Sales Job
Wall Street brokerages are soft-selling adviser jobs these days, particularly to younger recruits. While veteran brokers knew from day one that pitching clients on products and services was at the core of what they did, the firms know that a new generation is turned off by the idea of a career in sales. So UBS UBS +0.84%, Wells Fargo WFC +1.19% and other firms are putting more emphasis on how advisers guide people toward their financial goals and less on the competitive hunt for customers and their money. “The future is about planning and not just about selling,” UBS’ David McWilliams tells Wealth Adviser at For millennials, it’s also about a stable income – so the brokerages are providing more of that in guaranteed form during the early, difficult years of building a business.

Time to find out hard way if asset management is systemic risk
Patrick Jenkins in London, FT
Effective regulatory crackdown may come too late
Scan the financial horizon of late and you might come away with two impressions. First, that the world is about to end. Last Monday, senior Federal Reserve official James Bullard spoke of the “devastating consequences” that will ensue from fast-growing asset price bubbles if the Fed fails to raise interest rates soon. The pronouncement came as 80 per cent of fund managers surveyed by CFA UK, a financial standards body, signalled worries about the inflated value of bonds.

Banks & Brokers

JPMorgan Execs Said Deposed in SEC Asset-Management Probe
by Neil A Weinberg,Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. executives have been deposed and thousands of pages of internal documents subpoenaed as part of a U.S. investigation into the bank’s asset-management unit, according to people familiar with the situation.

Macquarie to axe 100 Asia investment banking jobs
Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong and Jamie Smyth in Sydney, FT
Macquarie is axing almost half its investment bankers in Asia as the Australian bank — once dubbed the “Millionaire Factory” — becomes the latest to pare its operations in the region.

Clearing & Settlement

Clearstream opens new representative office in Zurich
Office opens on 1 April 2015 / Inauguration is part of Clearstream’s strategy to extend global presence / Marco Geisselhardt General Manager of new office
Clearstream: Clearstream – a full subsidiary of Deutsche Börse Group – is establishing a new representative office in Zurich on 1 April 2015 to better serve its growing customer base in the region. The office in Zurich will provide local services for clients based in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and will complement Clearstream’s network of offices around the world.

LCH.Clearnet outlines stress testing plans
The Trade News
LCH.Clearnet has proposed a stress testing framework for central counterparties (CCPs) in order to increase transparency into the risk management systems within clearing houses.

Cleartrade Exchange to launch new global trading platform
Commodities Now
David Briggs, Chief Technology Officer, at Cleartrade Exchange (CLTX) talks to Commodities Now about how participants in traditional OTC cleared voice markets require increasingly sophisticated tools as they transition to electronic trading, how Cleartrade have tackled this issue with the launch of their new global trading platform in April 2015 and why they have chosen Deutsche Börse Group’s global Architecture.

Indexes & Products

5 Must-Know Facts About The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)
Over the 119-year Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) history, the index has become synonymous with the markets. Most investors check on the DJIA at the end of every trading day, if not more frequently.
But how much do investors really know about the index they rely on?
Other than that it contains 30 blue-chip stocks, few investors give much thought to how the DJIA came about or why it’s structured the way it is. And yet the Dow Jones Industrial Average history is key to understanding what the index is really telling us every day.

How to Profit from the Best MSCI Emerging Markets Index Countries
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index countries are off to a hot start this year.
But for investors looking to get a piece of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, the better option is not the obvious one.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a market benchmark, not an investment vehicle. To play its performance, investors go with the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (NYSE Arca: EEM ), a tracking ETF. Though this year it’s not doing a good job of tracking the index…

Investors Purchase High Volume of iShares MSCI Japan ETF Put Options (EWJ)
iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSE:EWJ) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Traders acquired 11,000 put options on the stock, AnalystRatings.Net reports. This represents an increase of approximately 1,217% compared to the typical volume of 835 put options.

Russell Investments Strategists’ Outlook – Q2 2015 Update: Declining Energy Prices Amplify Divergence of Central Banks
Press Release
Russell Investments released its Strategists’ 2015 Global Outlook – Q2 Update report today, which highlights the most recent economic insights and market expectations from the firm’s global team of investment strategists.

S&P Dow Jones launches smart beta ESG index
Global Investor Magazine
S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched the DJSI Ethical Europe Low Volatility Index, combining its strength in developing both smart beta and ESG indices. The new index has been licensed to Commerzbank.


Interest in Bitcoin Grows on Wall Street
Amid a slew of deals involving prominent finance and tech companies lie signs that the U.S. business establishment is exploring innovative new enterprise uses for digital currencies. They are making early, tentative bets that the so-called blockchain-ledger technology behind bitcoin might one day transform how banks, businesses and even smart appliances circulate money, assets and sensitive data around the world.

‘Algo’ trading probably played role in October bond turmoil: TMPG
Algorithmic trading probably played a role in the abrupt move in the U.S. fixed income market 5-1/2 months ago, when 30-year Treasuries bond prices jumped 6 points in minutes, according to records released on Monday from a bond industry group meeting.


Bitcoin Entrepreneur Charlie Shrem Reports to Prison
Charlie Shrem’s new home doesn’t accept bitcoin. The one-time bitcoin entrepreneur reported to federal prison on Monday to serve a two-year sentence for his involvement in what prosecutors alleged was a drug scheme involving his virtual-currency exchange and an online black market.

Former Federal Agents Charged With Stealing Bitcoin During Probe;Men were members of a ‘Silk Road Task Force’ operating out of Baltimore
Two former federal agents were charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of virtual currency during an undercover investigation into an online drug market, bringing an age-old law-enforcement problem into the Internet era.

SEC Announces Fraud Charges Against Investment Adviser Accused of Concealing Poor Performance of Fund Assets From Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against an investment adviser and her New York-based firms accused of hiding the poor performance of loan assets in three collateralized loan obligation (CLO) funds they manage. The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Lynn Tilton and her Patriarch Partners firms have breached their fiduciary duties and defrauded clients by failing to value assets using the methodology described to investors in offering documents for the CLO funds, which have portfolios comprised of loans to distressed companies.

CFTC Settles Enforcement Action in District Court against Daniel Shak for Violation of a CFTC Administrative Order
Court Orders Shak to Pay a $100,000 Fine for Violating the CFTC’s Order
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that on March 27, 2015, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Consent Order of permanent injunction against Defendant Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada, for his violation of a CFTC Administrative Order (CFTC Order) entered on November 25, 2013. The Court’s Consent Order requires Shak, among other things, to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty to settle CFTC civil charges that Shak violated the terms of the CFTC Order.

Environmental & Energy

ASX And AEMO Launch Wallumbilla Gas Futures
ASX and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) have announced the launch of ASX Wallumbilla natural gas futures, which start trading on Tuesday 7 April 2015.

Moonshine, Hogs and Drought Fuel Sorghum Boom Across U.S. Plains
by Megan DurisinJeff Wilson, Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg
Across the Great Plains, U.S. farmers are turning to a little-known grain called sorghum for relief from a two-year slump in agriculture prices.

Energy’s New Legal Threat: Earthquake Suits; In key test for industry, Oklahoma homeowner blames quake damages on wastewater wells
After an earthquake toppled her chimney, sending rocks crashing through the roof and onto her legs, Sandra Ladra didn’t blame an act of God. She sued two energy companies, alleging they triggered the 2011 quake by injecting wastewater from drilling deep into the ground.


Shenzhen leads China’s equity onslaught
Financial Times
Chinese equities conquered all during the first quarter of 2015, as domestic retail investors betting on stimulus fuelled a rally that analysts have already dubbed a new stock market bubble.
Despite slipping 1 per cent on Tuesday, the Shanghai stock market has added 16 per cent this year, outperforming all other global equity markets.

Hong Kong IPOs Pick Up on China’s Bull Market
China’s stock rally produced a big winner Tuesday when the country’s fourth-biggest brokerage raised US$3.6 billion in Asia’s largest initial public offering.
Shares of GF Securities were priced at the high end of the expected range as investors flocked to companies seen to benefit from the bull market. The deal made Hong Kong the world’s No. 1 destination for IPOs this year.

China to Begin Deposit Insurance From May; Deposits of up to 500,000 yuan will be guaranteed as Beijing looks to liberalize financial system
China said Tuesday it would roll out its long-awaited deposit insurance on May 1, a key step in its plans to liberalize the financial system.

COLUMN-Hong Kong and Shanghai, future metals allies or rivals?: Andy Home
By Andy Home, Reuters
On Friday the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) expanded its metals trading suite to include both nickel and tin.

Frontier Markets

Securities and Exchange Board of India Notices
Adjudication Order against Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd.
Religare Invesco FMP – Series 26 – Plan A to F
ICICI Prudential India Recovery Fund – Series 4 to 8
Amar Ujala Publications Limited
Adjudication Order in the matter of Fomento Resorts & Hotels Limited
Adlabs Entertainment Limited
Mar 30, 2015 Interim Order in the matter of Equinox Infratech Limited

MCX sells 9.02 million warrants of MSXI to IL&FS
Each warrant sold at Rs.2.50 is convertible into one equity share of the exchange, says MCX

NSEL brokers, investors battle it out on social media; accusations fly
By Ram Sahgal, ET Bureau
L’affaire National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) has spilled over from courtrooms and Mumbai crime branch to the print and social media. After Financial Technologies (FTIL), the embattled promoter of the scam-hit bourse, challenged a government draft order of October last year to merge NSEL with itself as ‘unconstitutional’ and violating the limited liability concept, a war of words has been brewing between brokers and certain investor forums on the one hand, and NSEL, on the other.


Cargill Limited contest gives back to communities
Cargill is celebrating our 150th anniversary throughout 2015 and to mark this milestone we are launching the Together We Thrive contest to give back to the communities where we live and work.

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