First Read

LSEG retakes top spot from BATS Chi-X Europe
The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) overtook BATS Chi-X Europe as the largest equity trading venue operator in Europe last month, according to Thomson Reuters Equity Market Share Report.

***** I love the smell of competition in the morning.


New York attorney general takes deep dive into ‘dark pools’
The New York Attorney General’s sweeping investigation into the U.S. stock market will include whether trading centers known as “dark pools” are conducting themselves properly, an official said on Wednesday.

***** This should be interesting. The first issue is how are they conducting themselves. Inquiring minds want to know. Start with IEX since they seem to have their hand up.


Virtu Touting Near-Perfect Record of Profits Backfired, CEO Says
Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
Virtu Financial Inc.’s decision to trumpet an almost unbroken string of profitable trading days didn’t work out as planned, according to the high-frequency trader’s chief executive officer. “I thought it would be a good thing to disclose to the world that the firm was profitable every day,” Doug Cifu said at a Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP conference. “But boy, did that backfire in my face, so I take responsibility for that.”

***** The problem is that for every other regular trader investor out there, this is just not true. It raises a red flag and Cifu should have been smart enough to have seen this beforehand.


Newedge shutters grains desk on CBOT open-outcry floor
Commodities brokerage Newedge is closing its grains desk on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, a company spokeswoman said, the latest firm to depart the once-bustling open-outcry pits as the industry increasingly shifts to electronic screen trading.

***** Somewhere Jay Starr is crying or laughing, or both.


MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Series Goes to London
John Lothian & Co. is pleased to announce the MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series is coming to London on July 1st and 2nd, 2014 with the generous support of the [[CME Group]].

***** If you are planning to host some bright young interns this summer at your office, this is an event that would be perfect for them. We have a great speaker list. Drop us a line to save them a seat.


ICAP’s i-Swap Platform Sets US Dollar Interest Rate Swap Volume Record in May
BusinessWire, via MarketWatch
i-Swap, ICAP’s award-winning electronic interest rate swaps platform, which allows trading on the ICAP SEF, announces today that it has set a monthly US Dollar interest rate swaps (USD IRS) volume record in May of 428 trades worth a notional value of $17 billion, representing 23% of all USD IRS trades at ICAP.

***DA: i-Swap is ICAP’s electronic swaps platform. The iSWAP is a robotic microplate gripping tool. iSwap Faces is a goofy iPhone app that allows you to cut a face out of a digital photo and superimpose it elsewhere. Then there’s the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.


Reframing the HFT Debate
Wall Street & Technology
There has been a lot of debate recently as to the benefits and costs of high-frequency traders (HFTs). Spurred by Michael Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, regulators and market participants are trying to determine if HFTs are good for the markets. The focus of these debates tends to center on whether HFTs make the markets more “efficient.” Do their activities provide additional liquidity, lower trading costs, or increase systemic risk? Is it possible, however, that market “efficiency” is not what we should be evaluating, but rather a bigger, more fundamental question should be addressed.

***** One should never underestimate the value of narrowing the bid offer spread, but as the writer points out that is not the only consideration. One must always focus on the marketing of innovation too.


Finra Fines Cost JPMorgan 3 Minutes of Profit
Hugh Son and Lisa Abramowicz – Bloomberg
The world’s biggest bond dealers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Morgan Stanley, failed to properly report trades to the industry’s price-tracking system more than 11,000 times. JPMorgan’s penalty: About three minutes of its annual profit.

***** At the TAC meeting the rep from FINRA was asked who monitored the cash bond market, or whether FINRA did. It was an awkward moment to say the least.


CAIA Chicago and Katten Joint Educational Event
Join CAIA Chicago for an educational event on June 23, 2014, featuring investment executive-turned-SEC industry expert José L. Santillan, who will present “A Day in the Life of a SEC Asset Management Unit Industry Expert.” This event is generously sponsored by Katten Muchin Rosenman.

***DA: Special shout-out to my fellow CAIA members, plus an invitation to come meet the chapter reps. CAIA’s new CEO, Bill Kelly, will be in attendance as well. You do not need to be a member of CAIA to join us.


IDX International Derivatives Expo – June 10-11, 2014,The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.
Join FIA and FIA Europe to discuss current issues, network with colleagues and meet with exhibitors to see the latest industry products and technology. This year’s panels will cover diverse topics such as: The State of the Industry, Best Execution and Open Access, Collateral, Tagging Algos, The Operational Challenges of the Convergence of OTC and ETD, SEFology, Off-the-Wall Products and more.

More than 1,300 senior-level executives from intermediaries, exchanges, clearinghouses, regulatory agencies, service providers and members of the press will be in attendance. Join this distinguished group of delegates today!

***DA: Though the big guy, still recuperating from back surgery, will not be attending IDX this year, Jim and I will be there all week. Our dance cards are rapidly filling up, but we still have some meeting time available. Drop us a line at either or

**JJL: You really don’t want to dance with Doug as his tango needs some work.


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Readers of John Lothian Newsletters are invited to apply for a complimentary pass to the event. Please write “JLN” in the Comment box on the event’s registration page.

Registration and full agenda  HERE.



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
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MarketsWiki Recent Updates


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Lead Stories

Deutsche Boerse Fights NYSE Bid Ban to Protect Future Deals
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) is fighting for its right to make future acquisitions after the European Union blocked its merger with NYSE Euronext, which would have created the world’s biggest exchange, lawyers told an EU appeals court.

Banks Get Chance to Target ‘Burdensome’ Rules
Alan Zibel – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bankers and their lobbyists are being given a potent opportunity — the chance to scour the federal rulebook for regulations they want axed. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve and other U.S. banking regulators said they would take a comprehensive look at existing regulations to determine which may be outdated or overly burdensome to the financial sector.

Draghi Takes ECB Deposit Rate Negative in Historic Move
Stefan Riecher and Jeff Black – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank cut its deposit rate below zero and said it would announce further measures later today as policy makers try to counter the prospect of deflation in the world’s second-largest economy.

Virtu CEO urges strict standards for electronic firms that are market makers
Electronic trading firms that call themselves market makers should be held to strict market-making standards that ensure their style of high-frequency trading is adding value to markets, Virtu Financial’s chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

Appeals Court Ruling in S.E.C. Case Will Curb Judicial Power Over Settlements
PETER J. HENNING – Dealbook – NY Times
On Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit came down squarely in favor of the power of a government agency to resolve cases in the manner it sees fit.

Overruled, Judge Still Left a Mark on S.E.C. Agenda
Jed S. Rakoff is a maverick jurist who picked a three-year fight to make the Securities and Exchange Commission tougher on a Wall Street bank.

ETF Securities enters race to provide silver price benchmark
Xan Rice – Financial Times
One of the biggest providers of exchange traded funds has entered the race to develop a new global silver price benchmark when the 117-year-old London silver fix is disbanded in August.

Who are the big winners from Markit’s IPO?
Tim Cave – Financial News
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is set to be the biggest winner from the IPO of Markit, while the largest individual shareholder is potentially in line for a $8.75 million pay day if the financial data provider prices at the top of its range.

Timothy Geithner: After the Financial Crisis
David Wessel – WSJ
TIMOTHY GEITHNER SPENT 23 YEARS in government, the last several as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and secretary of the Treasury during and after the worst financial crisis in 75 years. He’s now beginning a new phase of life, having recently become president of Warburg Pincus, a private-equity firm.

North Korea Gold Taints U.S. Firms
As companies scrambled to meet a deadline to report whether their suppliers used minerals from mines controlled by armed groups in the Congo region, they stumbled on something even more troubling: Many of their products may contain North Korean gold.

Pimco’s Banet to Quit For Food Truck Selling Sandwiches
Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam and Elizabeth Stanton – Bloomberg
Jeremie Banet, a fund manager at Pacific Investment Management Co. specializing in inflation-protected bonds, plans to leave the firm to start a food truck business in Los Angeles and Orange County.


SEC Doesn’t Need Facts to Settle Cases
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Back in 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission had a vogue of entering into nine-digit settlements with major banks who sold collateralized debt obligations of mortgage-backed securities with not-so-hot disclosure. It would take those settlements to judges, to show off what it had done, and the judges would then approve the settlements. But then one day, one judge, Jed Rakoff, decided that the SEC was not allowed to settle these cases. These cases had to go to trial — or, at least, end with a full confession from the banks — so that The Truth Could Come Out. He didn’t say that, but he meant that.

CFTC Staff Issues Extension to Time-Limited No-Action Letter on the Applicability of Transaction-Level Requirements in Certain Cross-Border Situations
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Division of Clearing and Risk, and Division of Market Oversight today issued a time-limited no-action letter that extends relief to swap dealers registered with the Commission that are established under the laws of jurisdictions other than the United States from certain transaction-level requirements under the Commodity Exchange Act.

NFA to hold an audio conference to help swap dealer and major swap participant members prepare for exams
On Thursday, June 5, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, NFA will host an audio conference, “NFA’s Examination Approach for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.” The conference will describe the proposed approach for NFA’s swap dealer (SD) and major swap participant (MSP) examination program.

Regulators & Data: Business as Usual
Dave Lauer – TABB Forum
In approving FINRA’s filing to charge fees for machine-readable access to ATS volume data, the SEC has shown that the regulators clearly do not understand the principles of open access to data and the benefits that can be realized.

Buy side hits out at CFTC’s foreign CCP proposals
Lukas Becker –
BlackRock, Citadel and Eaton Vance criticise CFTC proposals that would prevent them using some foreign clearing houses, while CME Group attacks the EU’s approach to the same issue

Regulating high frequency trading
Speech by Martin Wheatley, CEO, the FCA, at the Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference, New York. This is the text of the speech as drafted, which may differ from the delivered version.

The Financial Policy Committee Of The Bank Of England; An Experiment In Macroprudential Management – The View Of An External Member – Speech By Richard Sharp

SIFMA Statement On Senate Confirmation Of CFTC Chairman And Commissioners

ISDA Statement On CFTC Confirmations

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

LME Set to Challenge Rusal Decision on Warehousing Reforms
The London Metal Exchange said it will attempt to overturn a ruling that blocked planned reforms to its warehousing system designed to cut excessive delays to metal deliveries.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports ICE And NYSE May Volume
ICE’s May average daily volume (ADV) was 5.4 million contracts, a decrease of 15% compared to May 2013.

NASDAQ OMX May 2014 Volumes

BM&FBOVESPA Publishes May Market Performance
In May the equities market’s (BOVESPA segment) financial volume totaled BRL 133.83 billion against BRL 150.11 billion in April. The daily average was BRL 6.37 billion against BRL 7.50 billion in the previous month. The total number of trades in May was 17,481,365 against 19,724,219 in April. Daily average number of trades was 832,446 against 986,211 in April.

NZX May 2014 Shareholder Metrics

Ljubljana Stock Exchange: Monthly Statistical Report For May 2014

DGCX Volumes Surge 24% In May
May trading volumes on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) recorded a robust growth of 24% from previous month , aggregating 1,017,991 contracts, valued at US$ 31.5 billion.

CME Group Chief Executive Officer to Present at Sandler O’Neill Conference June 5
CME Group announced today that Chief Executive Officer Phupinder Gill will present at the Sandler O’Neill 2014 Global Exchange & Brokerage Conference, to be held at the Le Parker Meridien, New York, on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).

BOX Options Exchange June 2014 InBOX
This is the June issue of InBOX, your news source from inside the BOX Options Exchange. This monthly publication will provide convenient summaries of recent developments at BOX.

Intercontinental Exchange Sets August 7 For Second Quarter 2014 Earnings Announcement

TSX Markets: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – May 31, 2014

PGE Dom Maklerski Starts Trading On WSE – PGE Dom Maklerski Is The 58th Exchange Member

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Institutional Investors Paying More for Services
Dan Strumpf – MoneyBeat – WSJ
For the first time in five years, big investors such as mutual funds and hedge funds are forking over more in stock trading commissions. In an annual survey, Greenwich Associates found that for the 12 months ending February 2014, U.S. cash stock trading commissions increased 10% to $10.34 billion, from $9.30 billion a year ago.

Sallie Krawcheck Looks to Ellevate With New Venture
Sara Murray – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck is on to her next investment. Ms. Krawcheck’s women’s network, formerly 85 Broads, relaunched Tuesday evening as the Ellevate Network. Wednesday morning the group announced a new index fund comprising companies that have better-than-average gender diversity in their top ranks.

Krawcheck Proves Everything’s an Index Fund Now
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Here is a story about the marketing of financial products. Sallie Krawcheck is doing some stuff with the women’s network that she bought last year, changing its name from 85 Broads1 to Ellevate,2 and using it to offer “an index fund focused on companies where women make up a significant portion of officers and directors”

U.S.-based stock funds post $2.4 bln outflows in latest week -ICI
Investors in U.S.-based mutual funds pulled $2.4 billion out of stock funds in the week ended May 28, as the rise in U.S. stocks to record highs made investors cautious, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday.

Self-managed funds on the rise as superannuation bounces back
The Australian
IT’S official: there are now more than a million Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) members in Australia, according to statistics just released by the ATO.

KKR strikes first real estate deal in South Korea
KKR & Co LP has struck its first real estate deal in South Korea, acquiring a commercial property in Seoul with Hong Kong-based hedge fund LIM Advisors in a deal which local media valued at around 500 billion won ($489 million).

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, declares economic recovery to be in “full swing”
Andy Pearce – Financial News
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has described the asset management industry as of “crucial importance” to the UK economy, while declaring the economic recovery is in “full swing”.

V2 Capital Hires Kristin Scherer as Global Head of Business Development
V2 Capital, an SEC-registered investment advisor, today announced the hiring of Kristin Scherer as Managing Director and Head of Global Business Development. In this newly created position, Scherer’s primary responsibility will be to implement and execute the firm’s global marketing efforts for the V2 Hedged Equity Strategy.

Banks & Brokers

ECB Making Steady Progress in Review of Major Euro-Zone Banks
The European Central Bank is making steady progress in its review of the health of major euro-zone banks, a key step on the path to a closer banking union for the currency bloc bruised by a financial crisis, Daniele Nouy, the head of the new pan-euro area banking supervision authority, said Thursday.

Possible U.S. Fines Increase Tensions at BNP
David Gauthier-Villars, David Enrich and Noémie Bisserbe – WSJ
The prospect of large penalties for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions has sparked a debate within BNP Paribas SA BNP.FR -0.10% ‘s executive suites over whether top officials, including the French bank’s chairman, Baudouin Prot, should resign, according to people familiar with the matter.

BNP Paribas Faces Capital Hit, but Not a Dire One
PETER EAVIS – Dealbook – NY Times
As the United States authorities prepare to punish BNP Paribas, the doubts about the French bank’s financial strength are growing.

Transaction banks to outsource back-office operations
Duncan Kerr – Euromoney Magazine
Large global transaction banks could start offloading some of their back-office operations in a bid to cut costs and sharpen their competitive advantage, according to the chief operating officer of Fundtech.

Deutsche Bank raises more cash than expected in issue
Deutsche Bank priced its rights issue at a higher than expected 22.50 euros per share on Thursday, raising more capital than initially anticipated to fortify its regulatory ratios and fund a restructuring.

Clearing & Settlement

TriOptima And LCH.Clearnet Members Reduce Notional Outstanding By $114 Trillion Since December 2013
Press Release
TriOptima, provider of OTC derivative post trade services, today announces that since the resumption of triReduce compression cycles within LCH.Clearnet’s SwapClear service in December 2013, members have eliminated $114 trillion in notional principal. This brings the cumulative total of notional compressed by TriOptima and SwapClear to $302 trillion.

Indexes & Products

ETF execs push smart beta at industry event
Mike Foster – Financial News
The promotion of smart beta exchange-traded funds has gone into overdrive at this year’s annual ETFs Inside Europe conference in Amsterdam, with one delegate claiming they could even be used to replicate the investment style of legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Investors Chart New Course as Index Stars Graduate
Javier Espinoza – MoneyBeat – WSJ
This week, the UAE and Qatar, which until the end of May together made up more than one-third of the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, officially graduated to the MSCI’s Emerging Market Index. As members of the emerging markets index, the two countries will be minnows alongside whales such as China and Brazil. Together, they represent just over 1% of the value of the EM index.

Euronext Announces Request For Size Service (RFS) For ETFs – Exchange Pursues Its Wide Range Of Innovative Solutions For ETFs

KLCC Prop & REITS – Stapled Securities Replaces IOI Properties Group In The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI June Semi-Annual Review

FTSE Launches Global R/QFII Index Series

Moscow Exchange Indices Monthly Review: May 2014

Oslo Børs: Changes To The Composition Of The OBX Index From 20 June

Class A Shares Of Google Inc. To Remain In NASDAQ OMX Indexes – Update On Google Shares In NASDAQ OMX Indexes

Hornbach Baumarkt And Borussia Dortmund To Be Included In SDAX – Deutsche Börse Reviews Index Composition – Changes To Be Effective On 23 June 2014


Celoxica and Born Technology Collaborate to Provide Institutional Traders Ultra Low-­Latency Access to the CME Group
The institutional trading community now has a new option to get the fastest access to the CME Group, with a new collaboration between Celoxica, a leading provider of ultra low-latency market data, order entry and pre-trade risk solutions, and Born Technology, a premier provider of high-speed trading networks, managed hosting and sponsored access services.
(via email)

The technology behind banks’ client analytics
Tim Cave – Financial News
To solve the mystery of which clients are profitable, banks don’t need a magnifying glass – they need technology.

Sandell Asset Management Selects SunGard’s Hedge360 for Increased Operational Efficiency


British Bank Regulators Pine to Win a Big Case
JENNY ANDERSON – Dealbook – NY Times
When Credit Suisse agreed on May 19 to plead guilty and pay $2.6 billion for conspiring to help Americans avoid taxes, it was yet another day of dreary headlines for bankers around the world. Global regulators, on the other hand, were elated.

FINRA Fines Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch $1 Million Each for Submitting Inaccurate Blue Sheet Data
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today announced it has censured and fined Barclays Capital Inc.; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., $1 million each for failing to provide complete and accurate information about trades performed by the firms and their customers, commonly known as “blue sheet” data, to FINRA, the SEC and other regulators. In addition, FINRA issued a complaint against Wedbush Securities, Inc., for failing to submit complete and accurate blue sheets.

S.E.C. Drops Insider Trading Case Against Health Care Executive
RACHEL ABRAMS – Dealbook – NY Times
For the second time in less than a week, the Securities and Exchange Commission had a yearslong investigation involving insider trading end in a whimper.

Conspiracy Charge Filed Against Former Convergex Trader
A former trader for ConvergEx Global Markets Limited (CGM Limited) — a former securities broker-dealer registered in Bermuda — has been charged in the District of New Jersey with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

NZX May 2014 Shareholder Metrics

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Confirms Settlement With Strategic Finance Directors And Auditors

Environmental & Energy

EU says successful in climate change goals as UN talks start
Alister Doyle, Reuters
The European Union touted its success in cutting greenhouse gases at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday, where a U.S. plan to cut power plant emissions has lifted hopes for a global deal in 2015.

EU Carbon Reform Breakthrough Seen Unlikely as This Month
Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg
European Union governments are unlikely to reach a breakthrough this month on a proposal to make supply more flexible in the world’s biggest carbon market, according to Greece, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

***LB: Also in this story “The proposal to introduce a stability mechanism to adjust supply in the $73 billion carbon market needs support from EU governments and the European Parliament to become binding.”

U.S. Fossil-Fuel Cut Must Go Deeper to Spur Climate Fight
Reed Landberg and Lananh Nguyen, Bloomberg Businessweek
The U.S. must go much further than President Barack Obama has proposed in reducing carbon emissions if the fight against global warming is to gain any traction.


China port probe into metal financing rattles banks, trade houses
Global trading houses and banks were scrambling to check on their exposure to a probe into metal financing at China’s Qingdao port, as concerns grow that a crackdown into commodity financing could hit trade in the world’s top metal buyer.

Goldman Sachs bolsters Asia mergers team amid rising volumes
Goldman Sachs has named John Kim as its new head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for Asia ex-Japan and will relocate Christos Tomaras from London to join that team, amid surging deal volumes in the region.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency Publishes A Report On Over-The-Counter (OTC) Derivatives As Of End-March 2014

Frontier Markets

Exclusive: New TASE CEO Yossi Beinart wants to cut back exits
Beinart believes that he can make it easier and more attractive to go public in Israel instead of running off to the NASDAQ instead.

Investors Chart New Course as Index Stars Graduate
Javier Espinoza – MoneyBeat – WSJ
This week, the UAE and Qatar, which until the end of May together made up more than one-third of the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, officially graduated to the MSCI’s Emerging Market Index. As members of the emerging markets index, the two countries will be minnows alongside whales such as China and Brazil. Together, they represent just over 1% of the value of the EM index.

Riding the Baltic rollercoaster
Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker – Euromoney Magazine
Concerns about the Crimea crisis risk taking the gloss off euro entry for Latvia and Lithuania, but it is the legacy of recession that still poses the biggest challenges for the region’s banking sectors

KKR & Co. Investing About $200 Million for Stake in Afriflora
For private-equity giant KKR & Co., a debut investment in Africa smells of sweetheart roses. Afriflora is an Ethiopian company that grows about 730 million of the flowers a year for export to Europe, making it a significant player in the east African country’s blossoming cut flower export industry.

Egypt’s currency black market under threat as confidence rises
Egypt’s currency black market is under threat from two directions, as aid from wealthy Gulf states promises to ease a dollar shortage and an increasingly confident central bank engineers a gradual depreciation of the Egyptian pound.

Awards for Excellence 2014 Middle East
Euromoney Magazine

CEO Of Qatar Stock Exchange Explains MSCI And S&P Market Upgrade Requirements, Challenges And Implications At Annual Conference Of The Union Of Arab Stock Exchanges

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