John Lothian Newsletter: CME Agrees to Buy GFI to Expand in European Energy; FCA bans payment for order flow; Wall Street Faces New U.S. Scrutiny of Derivatives Tactic

Jul 31, 2014

First Read

FCA bans payment for order flow
William Mitting – Futures & Options World
The Financial Conduct Authority has said that it will take action against any firms that continue to receive payment for order flow from retail and professional clients. In a long awaited Thematic Review published this morning, the FCA has heavily criticised firms for inadequate best execution requirements and thrown out arguments from FIA Europe and the Wholesale Markets Brokers Association in defence of PFOF.

***** In a couple of year, or months, there will start to be enforcement cases for underground payment for order flow. As I said in Washington, DC at the TAC Committee, Payment for Order Flow is like prostitution, you can make it illegal, but you can’t make it go away. I borrowed that line from a friend.


Dark pools: There’s ‘already been changes’
Rebecca Healey, senior analyst at Tabb Group, discusses the importance of dark pools and says the focus should be on providing greater clarity.

***** The focus should be on getting orders into the light, period.


ICE considers changing Liffe cocoa currency to euro-sources
Sarah McFarlane – Reuters
The Intercontinental Exchange is considering changing the currency of its sterling-denominated Liffe cocoa futures to euros, market participants said.

***** The Brits shall not take this change easily, they said as their stiff upper lip quivered.


Most hedge funds fail
Dan McCrum – Financial Times
That conclusion, and its consequence — picking good hedge funds that will survive is beyond the ability of big investors like pension funds — has been the central point of this series about hedge fund zombies.

***** Most traders fail.


New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Issues First Equity Crowd Funding Licences
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today issued its first equity crowd funding licences under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. PledgeMe and Snowball Effect are New Zealand’s first licensed providers of this new financial service.

***** I have a new idea for a sheep themed amusement park, do you think I can crowd fund it there? I promise all the rides will be baaad.


Bank Regulators’ Rush to Reform Leads to Quality Concerns
Ben Moshinsky and Jim Brunsden – Bloomberg
When the European Union’s markets regulator wheeled out 844 detailed pages of draft rules covering everything from dark pools to high-frequency trading, it gave banks 10 weeks to respond.

***** 10 weeks is plenty of time. They get a semester.


Goldman Sachs protected weekends: Young bankers want money, not time.
Alison Griswold – Slate
Roughly six months down the line, protected-weekend policies are in full swing at many top-10 banks (affectionately called the “bulge bracket” by analysts), and many say the workplace culture is beginning to shift as a result.

***** Did anyone tell them that time is money?



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GFI Group Inc; Quadriserv, Inc.; Trayport; Aite Group; Intrade; London Metal Exchange


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Lead Stories

CME Agrees to Buy GFI to Expand in European Energy
Doni Bloomfield and Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
CME Group Inc. (CME), owner of the world’s biggest futures market, agreed to buy GFI Group Inc. (GFIG) for $580 million, expanding its reach in European energy trading. The transaction calls for Chicago-based CME Group to sell GFI’s wholesale brokerage and clearing unit to a group of managers led by Michael Gooch, GFI’s executive chairman, for $165 million plus the assumption of $63 million in liabilities.

***** Get the ABC’s of CME’s purchase of GFI ASAP.

Wall Street Faces New U.S. Scrutiny of Derivatives Tactic
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Wall Street banks face heightened scrutiny from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over their latest tactic to escape U.S. trading rules for overseas derivatives.

Firms failing on best execution – FCA
John Bakie – The Trade
UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found widespread failure in the delivery of best execution to both retail and institutional clients.

***** I will know best execution when I see it. I don’t see it.

Juncker considers creating financial services tsar
Alex Barker in Brussels – Financial Times
A new EU financial services tsar charged with regulating the City of London and ensuring financial stability in the region would be appointed in Brussels under new plans being considered by Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming European Commission president.

CFTC Says Flexibility Vital to Oversee Cross-Border Swaps
Andrew Zajac and Silla Brush – Bloomberg
U.S. regulators need flexibility in overseeing cross-border swaps, a lawyer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission told a federal judge as he defended the agency’s reliance on guidance rather than formal rules in a lawsuit brought by Wall Street’s largest lobbying groups.

Credit Suisse says probed by regulators about dark pools
Swiss bank Credit Suisse on Thursday became the latest major European bank to say it was caught up in an investigation into alternative trading venues known as dark pools.

Dark liquidity impairs lit market liquidity: Alex Frino
Simon Osborne – The Trade
Dark liquidity impairs lit market liquidity, especially in non-US markets. That is according to Alex Frino, the dean of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, also associated the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre.

***** That is the risk. Regulators must bias rules towards making things lit.

ISDA Should Stay Its Hand, Not Derivatives In Bankruptcy
Streetwise Professor
I’ve been meaning to write about how derivatives are treated in bankruptcy, but it’s a big topic and I haven’t been able to get my hands around it. But this article from Bloomberg merits some comment, because it suggests that market participants, led by ISDA, are moving to a partial change that could make things worse if the bankruptcy code treatment of derivatives remains the same.

Post-Argentine default calm will fade
Ralph Atkins in London – Financial Times
Argentina’s latest default is easy for financial markets to dismiss as an aberration. More than a Latin American accident is needed to upset the prevailing calm, engineered by a still-dovish US Federal Reserve. The nonchalance may, however, have reached a high-water mark.

BoE group points to risks in pensions herding
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
UK pension funds’ “tendency to herd” in and out of asset classes could contribute to market volatility and price swings during times of financial stress, according to the latest research into the issue of systemic risk outside the banking industry.


FCA takes tough line on pay for flow
William Mitting – Futures & Options World
For the past three months, the industry has awaited the publication of the Financial Conduct Authority’s thematic review on Payment for Order Flow. When it came on Thursday morning, the results were not entirely a surprise. It has long been known that the FCA sees no justification for PFOF, the process by which brokers take payment for directing transactions to market-makers. But there were some intriguing elements of the review in terms of both what it said and didn’t say.

SEC Names Alberto Arevalo as Associate Director in the Office of International Affairs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Alberto Arevalo has been named an associate director in the Office of International Affairs (OIA), where he will oversee international enforcement, supervisory cooperation, and technical assistance programs.

FCA finds firms fail to deliver best execution
Retail and professional clients are being failed by firms that don’t properly apply the rules on best execution when trading on their behalf, according to a review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Hedge Funds Face Compliance Hurdles of AIFMD
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
Alternative funds selling to European investors must meet ESMA’s strict guidelines for trader reporting, risk controls, and valuations — similar to SEC’s Form PF.

Here’s How Much Dodd-Frank Costs The Six Biggest Banks In the U.S.
John Carney – MoneyBeat – WSJ
It has gotten a lot more expensive to be too big to fail. A study from Federal Financial Analytics says the quantifiable regulatory costs borne by the six largest U.S. banks have more than doubled since before the financial crisis. The price tag in 2013 was around $70.2 billion, up from $34.7 billion in 2007.

Regulators strengthen banker bonus clawback powers
Julia Rampen –
Poorly-performing senior bank employees face bonuses being clawed back up to seven years after they were awarded, under plans unveiled by the Bank of England today.

U.S. SEC lawyer Gellasch to leave for Senate investigative panel
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
An attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who once helped craft legislative language for the “Volcker rule” and other major pieces of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law is returning to Capitol Hill.

ASIC consults on OTC derivatives trade reporting
Simon Osborne – The Trade
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is seeking feedback on proposed revisions to the rules requiring the mandatory trade reporting of OTC derivatives.

Fatca legislation pierces corporate veil, says DMS
Peter Stafford –
The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) has officially arrived in the Cayman Islands and spawned a new era of international tax compliance that was inconceivable only a few short years ago. Fund directors and other fiduciaries of investment funds must now comply with the US and UK intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with Cayman.

EU takes a close look at its own regulators
Anish Puaar and Tim Cave – Financial News
The bodies that scrutinise Europe’s financial markets are themselves under scrutiny.

ASIC snarls at backdoor listings
Paul Garvey – The Australian
A SURGE in the number of technology start-ups using unloved exploration companies for backdoor listings has caught the attention of the corporate watchdog, with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission warning investors and directors to use caution.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority: Temporary Restriction In Short Selling

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

UK appeals court ruling seen months away in LME warehousing case
Eric Onstad and Alexandra Reza – Reuters
The London Metal Exchange’s attempts to cut backlogs at warehouses with new rules are likely to be delayed again for several months after judges declined to make an immediate ruling on a case holding up the reforms.

Moscow Exchange suspends share trading on main market
The Moscow Exchange said on Wednesday it had temporarily suspended share trading at 1200 GMT on its main market where the most liquid assets are traded.

Moscow Exchange: Reasons For Halt Of Trading On Equity And Bond Market
Press Release
Today at 15:56 Moscow time a software malfunction affected the systems at Moscow Exchange’s Equity and Bond Market. A fund transfer transaction resulted in a discrepancy in the state of several components of the trading system, namely the central core and perimeter access gateways.

CME sets sights on European energy
Luke Jeffs – Futures & Options World
The CME’s $580m acquisition of GFI tech unit Trayport gives the Merc a key foothold in Europe and Asia as the CME aims to challenge the energy dominance of the IntercontinentalExchange but the deal does raise questions over the future of platform CME Direct.

CME Group and GFI Group Announce Plan for Strategic Transactions
Press Release

Former Top Spokesman for N.Y.S.E. to Join Public Relations Firm
Dealbook – NY Times
A former top spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange, Robert Rendine, is moving to the public relations firm that handled the Big Board’s sale to the IntercontinentalExchange.

CME Group Inc. Reports Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results
CME Group Inc. today reported revenues of $732 million and operating income of $412 million for the second quarter of 2014. Net income attributable to CME Group was $264 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.79. Excluding the items noted in the reconciliation, adjusted earnings per share would have been $0.77.

CBOE Holdings Increases Quarterly Dividend By 17 Percent And Stock Repurchase Authorization By $100 Million
CBOE Holdings, Inc. announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a 17-percent increase in the Company’s quarterly cash dividend and, effectively immediately, a $100 million-increase in its stock repurchase authorization.

Frankfurt Stock Exchange: Feike AG Listed In The General Standard

Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) Executive Board Passes A Resolution Temporarily Banning Short-Selling Of Bes And Jerónimo Martins Shares

Direct Edge Trading Notice #14-30: EDGA Fee Schedule Changes

MIAX Options – August 1, 2014 Fee Changes – Monthly Firm Fee Cap, Priority Customer Rebate & Select Symbol Rebate Programs

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Pimco’s Gross says income, not capital gains, to drive returns
Sam Forgione – Reuters
Bill Gross, manager of the world’s largest bond fund, said Wednesday that income, rather than capital gains, would drive future investment returns as a result of low global economic growth.

Commodities assets under management rise $8 bln in June – Barclays
Total global commodity assets under management (AUM) rose to $325 billion in June 2014 from $317 billion in May 2014, Barclays Capital said on Wednesday.

Commodity Hedge Funds Continue Building Momentum In 2014
Newedge, a global leader in multi-asset brokerage and clearing, today announced the performance for its suite of hedge fund indices for the month of June.

FX Provides Boost as Data Suggests CTA Recovery
Profit & Loss
Currencies have been the best performing sector this year, according to new data from the Newedge CTA indices

Jupiter Fund Management assets hit record 33.1 bln stg in June quarter
Jupiter Fund Management said funds under management (FuM) rose to a record 33.1 billion pounds ($56.08 billion) in the June quarter, boosted by inflows into its fixed income products.

Schroders posts record results as intermediary inflows hit GBP3.8bn
Anna Fedorova –
Multi-asset and equity products have driven net intermediary inflows of GBP3.8bn for Schroders in the first half of 2014, prompting a 50% hike in the group’s interim dividend.

Threadneedle launches multi-asset income fund after pension reforms
Dan Jones –
Threadneedle has launched a Global Multi Asset Income fund, to be managed by Toby Nangle, as it seeks to provide an alternative vehicle for retirement assets.

Giles Hargreave steps down from CEO role
Nick Paler –
Giles Hargreave has relinquished his role as CEO of Hargreave Hale in order to focus on running his funds, with the group promoting two of its directors to jointly head the business.

Multi-asset managers hike cash as fears gain momentum
Anna Fedorova –
Multi-asset investors have been upping their cash allocations as fears of a market correction escalate and safe-haven opportunities in other asset classes dry up.

Carlyle’s William Conway: ‘Europe is the best place to be’
Ayesha Javed – Financial News
William Conway, co-founder and co-chief executive of the $199 billion alternative investment giant Carlyle Group, is in little doubt about where he wants to do deals.

Revenues top £5m at Canosa Capital
Vivek Ahuja – Financial News
Canosa Capital, the Brummer-backed hedge fund launched by two former Rubicon managers, has enjoyed a healthy start, generating over £5 million in revenues since launching a global macro fund last year and seeing assets under management top $1 billion.

In Hedge Fund, Argentina Finds Relentless Foe
The hedge fund firm of billionaire Paul E. Singer has about 300 employees, yet it has managed to force Argentina, a nation of 41 million people, into a position where it now has to contemplate a humbling surrender.

Banks & Brokers

UPDATE 2-BNP clients shrug off sanctions-busting as fine delivers Q2 loss
Andrew Callus and Matthias Blamont – Reuters
BNP Paribas’ capital markets business grew by a fifth in the second quarter – a signal clients have shrugged off the U.S. sanctions busting affair that pushed France’s biggest bank to a second-quarter loss.

What is the problem with Barclays’ dark pool?
Nick Hirschey, professor at the London Business School, discusses possible problems at Barclays’ dark pool.

Hungary: Banks count cost of FX loan legislation
Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker – Euromoney Magazine
A slew of Hungarian banks issued profit warnings last month after the country’s parliament approved the latest round of legislation on foreign exchange and retail loans.

ITG steps up multi-asset offering with RFQ-Hub acquisition
John Bakie – The Trade
Agency broker ITG has acquired Paris-headquartered RFQ-Hub, a platform for trading OTC products including equities, futures, options and swaps.

Jefferies launches utilities team with BAML hires
Nick Kostov – Financial News
Jefferies, the mid-market investment bank, has hired two ex-Bank of America Merrill bankers to build a dedicated power and utilities franchise, as it continues to expand its investment banking operations internationally.

BTG goes to Switzerland for private banking
Rob Dwyer – Euromoney Magazine
BTG Pactual to acquire Swiss private bank BSI; in line with bank’s international strategy.

UK’s Tullett Prebon cuts 210 jobs after revenue falls 15 pct
Interdealer broker Tullett Prebon said first-half revenue fell 15 percent and announced around 210 job cuts, as regulatory changes shake up its industry.

Evercore names Rothschild exec as senior managing director
Evercore Partners Inc said it had hired Swag Ganguly as a senior managing director from Rothschild Group as part of its expansion of the investment banking business in London.

For Bank of America, No News Is Good News
Christina Rexrode – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bank of America Corp.’s second-quarter regulatory filing was the quietest one in a long time. The 10-Q is usually where Bank of America tucks in the news that it’s under investigation over foreign-exchange practices, or that the government is looking into the mortgage securities it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

Moelis enjoying public life after posting record quarter
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Revenues at Moelis & Co’s rose by more than a third in the second quarter – its first as a publicly-traded company – benefiting from a market that is “telling companies to go ahead with their proposed deals”.

Indexes & Products

Enhanced trading service for ETFs
SIX Swiss Exchange offers its participants an enhancement of its trading service based on an international structure. As of today, the ETF position can be transferred into Euroclear after settlement at SIX Securities Services. Position at SIX SIS Ltd can be arranged via the CBL or EB account of SIX SIS Ltd. The established access to clearing arrangements through SIX x-clear AG and LCH.Clearnet Ltd remains part of this offering.

Women In ETFs Announces Board Of Directors And Leadership Team
First Women’s Organization For ETF Industry Founded In January 2014


OptionsCity July 2014 Newsletter
In this issue: We rev up automation and risk management with the release of Metro 5.2; Find out what makes OptionsCity an exciting place to work; Check out the recorded webinar Capturing Volatility: Trading MGEX’s Hard Spring Wheat Contract; In our blog Quantitative Analyst David Hrencecin reviews Volatility Trading by Euan Sinclair, Kira Brecht covers FX volatility levels, and save the date for OptionsCity’s NY Customer Appreciation Party on August 14th; Join us at FIA Chicago’s golf outing on 9/22.

Barchart Rolls Out Canadian Securities Exchange Data
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Chicago-based data and analytics vendor Barchart has added market data from the Canadian Securities Exchange to its data services.

Redline Gets $5M VC Funds, Adds Ex-Thomson CEO Harrington to Board
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Woburn, Mass.-based low-latency ticker plant and feed handler provider Redline Trading Solutions has raised $5 million in new funds from Cue Ball Group, a Boston-based venture capital firm chaired by Richard Harrington, the former president and chief executive of Thomson Corp. prior to its merger with Reuters, who joins the vendor’s board of directors as a result.

Bloomberg Touts New Toronto Ticker
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Bloomberg has gone live with a new ticker plant in Toronto, to provide financial firms with faster access to data captured from Canadian exchanges, reducing latency by 71 percent compared to its previous offering.

Survey Finds Lack of Proactive Data Reporting Hinders Success of Effective Business Intelligence Programs
A global survey* undertaken by SunGard reveals the priority placed on business intelligence (BI) continues to heighten, but many organizations are challenged by the need to improve reporting techniques, business capabilities and information management.

Lombard Risk expands team to meet demand for compliance assessment solutions as regulators introduce attestations
Lombard Risk Management plc, a leading provider of integrated regulatory compliance and reporting, and collateral management solutions for the financial services industry, announces the appointment of George Leckie as part of an ongoing expansion to meet demand for compliance assessment solutions.

Wealth managers look to next-generation automation for maximum efficiency
Whitepaper helps firms harness the full potential of technology to meet client demand


SEC Charges Company CEO and Former CFO With Hiding Internal Controls Deficiencies and Violating Sarbanes-Oxley Requirements
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against the CEO and former CFO of a Florida-based computer equipment company for misrepresenting to external auditors and the investing public the state of its internal controls over financial reporting.

Ex-hedge fund chief Micalizzi loses appeal against UK ban, fine
Kirstin Ridley – Reuters
The Italian former head of defunct UK hedge fund Dynamic Decisions on Wednesday lost his appeal against a multi-million pound fine and a ban from holding any role in Britain’s financial sector.

Metals trader caught up in Qingdao fraud asks for time to repay banks
Zhong Jun Resources (S) PTE, the overseas arm of a Chinese firm linked to a suspected metal financing fraud at Qingdao port, has asked a court in Singapore to reject a liquidation order sought by HSBC Holdings, saying it has enough cash and assets to repay banks.

British Fraud Office Reaches Second Settlement in Inquiry Over Icelandic Bank
CHAD BRAY – Dealbook – NY Times
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said on Thursday that it had reached a second settlement in a series of civil claims brought by two property developer brothers following a flawed investigation into the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing during the financial crisis.

Environmental & Energy

California and Mexico ink climate action alliance, as Obama prepares latest green push
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The governments of California and Mexico yesterday signed a major new agreement to co-operate in their efforts to tackle climate change, in a move that could pave the way for a significant expansion of the state’s carbon pricing and clean energy initiatives.

This Huge Corporation Is Tackling Climate Change Because It’s a Threat to the Bottom Line
James West, Mother Jones
A few months ago, the international food manufacturing giant General Mills was branded a “clear laggard” by climate activists for not doing enough to cut its carbon footprint.

***LB: Also in this story “By August 2015, the company has promised to account for emissions across its entire operation and to set clear reduction targets.”

White House launches PR push on climate rule
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
Full Steam Ahead: The White House is firing on all cylinders right now when it comes to climate change.


MOU Signed Between KRX And KIBO
On Monday, July 28, the Korea Exchange (KRX) concluded an MOU with the Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KIBO) in order to support the listing of quality small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and venture companies that are oriented towards technological innovation.

Asia a hard sell for Russian firms seeking cash
Rachel Armstrong and Tessa Walsh – Reuters
Russian banks and companies shut out of Western funding markets are unlikely to be greeted with open arms and ready wallets in Asia, international bankers and industry experts say.

Daring Traders Eye LNG Cargo Ships
Eric Yep – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Energy traders in Asia are starting to buy up cheap liquefied natural gas and store it in Singapore’s new terminal on bets prices will rally from their lowest in three years.

Duo of local brokers join Chi-X Japan
Simon Osborne – The Trade
Chi-X Japan has announced that two local brokers, Yamawa Securities.and Ark Securities, have commenced trading.

Thai Alternative Bourse Enhances Firms Via Scientific Innovative Researches

SGX Posts FY2014 Net Profit Of $320 Million

Tokyo Commodity Exchange To Change “Top 10 Volume By Member”

Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Publication Of ‘Financial Monitoring Report’

HKEx Forfeiture Of Unclaimed Interim Dividend For 2008

Frontier Markets

African Pension Funds Hold Cash for Private Equity Investment
Simon Clark – WSJ
African pension funds have $29 billion available to invest in private equity firms that are seeking to buy stakes in companies across the continent, according to a new report.

The Brics bank is a glimpse of the future
David Pilling – Financial Times
Thirteen years ago, Brics was a marketing ploy dreamt up by Jim O’Neill, then chief economist at Goldman Sachs. Now it is a bank. Next thing you know, it will have its own line of designer handbags.

Sub-Saharan Africa bond issuance booms
Laura Benitez – Reuters
Bond issuance volumes from sub-Saharan African have already surpassed last year’s levels with the promise of more to come. African issuance has dominated CEEMEA supply over the past month, with at least three more transactions possible over the coming next couple of weeks.

Thomson Reuters to Calculate Currency Benchmarks for Three African Economies
Profit & Loss
Thomson Reuters has won a competitive process to provide currency benchmarks for three of Africa’s growing economies – Kenya, Ghana and Zambia

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Board Of Directors Aligns With International Standards And Strengthens Risk Management Framework
Over-All Risk Management Policy Across All TASE Group Companies Approved – Board Of Directors Risk Management Committee To Be Established – Chief Risk Management Officer Joins TASE Senior Management

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