John Lothian Newsletter: Deutsche Börse receives full regulatory approval from Monetary Authority of Singapore for its clearing house; Trading Platform IEX to Apply for Exchange Status; World’s Wildest Stock Market Submits to Communist Party Rule

Jul 22, 2015

First Read

Intern Series Tickets Selling Like Hot Cakes
Doug Ashburn – JLN

The MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity Summer Intern Series continues to set new records as we proceed through year three. Yesterday we were forced to close off registration for Session 3 of this year’s Chicago event series. The August 7th event, held at Trading Technologies‘ Tech Tap and featuring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as Phupinder Gill, CEO of Global Premier sponsor CME Group, has been filled to capacity.

The first two days of Chicago 2015 will be held once again at IIT’s downtown campus auditorium, and we still have room, but you are advised to hurry if you plan to register. We have a number of dynamic speakers scheduled for those dates as well, plus we have added a nifty giveaway, sponsored by SunGard, that we will announce shortly. We will also be raffling off several Series 3 exam study kits, compliments of the Institute for Financial Markets, and a host of industry swag. Get the full lineup and register HERE

The positive feedback continues to roll in from last week’s New York event, and industry folks are taking note.

We return to London this fall for the second year of our education series there, and have have set aside October 14th and 15th as tentative dates. Stay tuned.


Community Building: CME Europe’s Cees Vermaas Looks To Grow Asset Classes and Customer Base
Jim Kharouf – John Lothian News
Cees Vermaas, who took the reins as managing director and CEO of CME Europe in January, is in building mode. On his plate is a plan to expand the exchange’s product line-up and customer base to become a broad-based European derivatives market.


FIA Meet the Disruptors
Chuck Mackie – Maven Wave Partners
Financial services has seen a great deal of disruption over the past 20 years with the shift from floor-based to electronic trading, serving as an obvious example. Of late, other industries, such as media or retail, have been more profoundly impacted by technology and the perception prevails that financial markets are ripe for a new wave of change and innovation.

**JK – Chuck secretly wants to be a financial news reporter – more good stuff.


Capitalist Soul Rises as Ho Chi Minh City Sheds Its Past
NY Times
Taking a puff from a hookah and a sip from her beer, Thuy Truong, a 29-year-old tech entrepreneur in a black cocktail dress, pondered the question: What were her thoughts on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon?
“Forty years ago?” she yelled over the body-rattling roar of nightclub music. “Who cares!”

**JK – Hard to believe the change.


A $7 Billion Charge at Microsoft Leads to Its Largest Loss Ever
NY Times
An accounting charge wiped out Microsoft’s profit for the quarter, leading to its largest loss ever, the company said on Tuesday, making clear the cost of its missteps in the mobile business.
The $7.5 billion accounting charge, stemming from Microsoft’s troubled acquisition of Nokia’s cellphone business, was disclosed by the company earlier this month, along with plans to eliminate 7,800 jobs, mostly in the company’s phone operations. While the accounting charge was on paper and will not diminish the company’s huge cash hoard, it was a psychic blow to Microsoft, one of the biggest money makers in tech.

***JB: In a week they start giving away Windows 10. Trying to figure out their business model.


Capital Group Chairman James Rothenberg Dies
James Rothenberg, the chairman of Capital Group Cos., died Tuesday from a heart attack, the company said in a statement.
Mr. Rothenberg, who was 69, had just celebrated 45 years with Los Angeles-based Capital Group, which includes the mutual-fund unit American Funds. Once prominent in the early part of the decade, American Funds suffered from years of investor outflows as investors have pulled money from actively managed stock funds and put them into index funds that track a benchmark. Recently those flows have rebounded.


Beijing may be fighting wrong battle in curbing index futures
Beijing has blamed some futures traders for suspected “malicious” short selling in its efforts to contain a stock market rout, but a Reuters analysis shows it may be barking up the wrong tree. The correlation between futures markets and the main indexes, including hedging interest and trends in futures turnover shows that investors were using futures mainly to hedge against tumbling stock prices, rather than to speculate.

***DA: The three certainties in life are death, taxes, and passing the blame to derivatives markets every time a stock bubble bursts.


MarketsWiki Education Intern Series 2015

Lead Stories

Deutsche Börse receives full regulatory approval from Monetary Authority of Singapore for its clearing house; Eurex Clearing Asia to file application with ESMA as next step
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse: Deutsche Börse Group has received full regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate Eurex Clearing Asia. This new clearing house of Deutsche Börse Group, based in Singapore, is an integral part of its new trading and clearing offering for investors during Asian trading hours.

**JK – Now if you could just find a good Bockwurst in Singapore, they’d be set.

Trading Platform IEX to Apply for Exchange Status; Speed-trading opponent plans to submit application to SEC within two weeks
IEX Group Inc. is poised to seek a green light to become to become a fully-fledged stock exchange.

**JK – I guess that answers Bill O’Brien’s question about whether they are an exchange or not.

The Blockchain Revolution Gets Endorsement in Wall Street Survey
By Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Bitcoin supporters argue the software that makes the digital currency possible could accelerate trading on Wall Street. A new survey suggests financial-services professionals are on board.
Greenwich Associates found 94 percent of respondents say blockchain — the ledger that drives bitcoin — could be used in finance, according to a report to be released Wednesday.
(No link)

World’s Wildest Stock Market Submits to Communist Party Rule
It took three weeks of unprecedented government intervention, but Chinese authorities have finally managed to subdue the world’s wildest stock market.That’s the verdict from options traders, whose expectations of share-price swings on mainland exchanges have tumbled 48 percent since the end of June. In a market where daily fluctuations exceeding 3 percent had become the norm, this week’s moves of less than 1 percent in the Shanghai Composite Index have barely registered on the price charts.

States, Cities to Ask SEC to Beef Up Disclosures for Private-Equity Firms; About a dozen comptrollers, treasurers from around country sign letter to SEC demanding action
A group of states and cities said it intends to send a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday asking for greater transparency and more frequent disclosures by private-equity funds.

Hedge Funds Gear Up for Another Big Short
Wall Street is preparing for panic on Main Street.
Hedge funds are lining up to profit from potential trouble at some “alternative” mutual funds and bond exchange-traded funds that have boomed in popularity among retirees and other individual investors.

Gold Miners on ‘Knife Edge’ After Slump Wipes Out $19 Billion
Gold’s slump to a five-year low this month is squeezing the world’s biggest producers of the precious metal, already struggling to rein in costs and pay down debt.
A rout in bullion has sapped investor confidence in gold miners, sending the benchmark 30-member Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index of the largest producers to its lowest since 2001. A five-day losing streak through Monday wiped $19 billion off the index, which includes Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp.

BOE Minutes Show Rate Rise Debate Intensifying
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bank of England officials voted unanimously in July to keep the central bank’s benchmark interest rate steady, but their united front masks an increasingly lively debate over when to start raising borrowing costs.
Minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s July policy meeting published Wednesday, show all nine members of the rate-setting panel voted to keep the BOE’s benchmark rate at a record low of 0.5% earlier this month. All nine also voted to leave the BOE’s bond portfolio at 375 billion pounds ($583.51 billion).

‘Brexit’ fears haunt London’s roaring trade in euros
If there is a symbol of British ambivalence to Europe then it may be the euro itself.
The capital of euro trading prospers outside the euro zone, but London’s dominance of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market could wane if Britain left the European Union.
While British leaders have long resisted replacing pounds with euros, traders in the City of London financial center now buy and sell more than twice as many euros as the whole 19-member euro zone and more dollars than the United States.

Greek bailout vote to test Syriza party rebellion
Greece’s leftist government urged disgruntled lawmakers on Wednesday to back reforms required for talks on a rescue deal to start, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced his second major test in parliament in a week.
A first set of reforms that focused largely on tax hikes and budget discipline triggered a rebellion in his party last week and passed only thanks to votes from pro-EU opposition parties.

U.S., Cuban Banks Agree to Form Financial Link
Florida-based Stonegate Bank signed on Tuesday the first deal to set up a correspondent account in Cuba since President Barack Obama’s December move to re-establish relations with the island nation, the bank’s president said.

Senate Panel Chief in No Rush on Fed Nominees
The powerful chairman of the Senate Banking Committee signaled he is in no hurry to act on President Barack Obama’s two nominees for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) said Tuesday that he had no immediate plans to schedule confirmation hearings for University of Michigan economist Kathryn Dominguez, who was formally nominated Tuesday, or former Bank of Hawaii Chief Executive Allan Landon, whom Mr. Obama nominated in January.

Midnight witness tracks gold crash
By Henry Sanderson, FT
In the small hours of Sunday morning, when most traders in London were asleep, one gold broker who was suffering a restless night said he happened to check the price of the precious metal on his iPhone.


SEC official rips proposed brokerage fee limits as ‘nanny-statism’
A top U.S. securities regulator on Tuesday blasted a proposed Labor Department rule that aims to make it harder for brokers who offer retirement advice from steering clients into higher-fee products, calling the plan “rampant nanny-statism.”

FDIC’s Hoenig Leads Campaign Against Easing Swaps-Margin Rules
by Silla Brush and Jesse Hamilton, Bloomberg Business
Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is fighting congressional efforts that have made progress in freeing large banks from having to hold collateral against derivatives used internally.

US hedge funds shun Europe over regulation
Financial News
The European Union’s controversial Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ directive was implemented on July 22 last year, fundamentally changing how hedge fund and other alternatives managers operate in the region. It governs aspects of alternative fund management as diverse as remuneration, reporting and marketing.
The far-reaching directive not only impacts European managers, but also managers from further afield, which must also comply with the rules if they want to actively market funds in the region.

Capital Charges and Illicit Indexing
Matt Levine, Bloomberg View
Yesterday the Fed released a final rule on capital surcharges for global systemically important banks, and I like how explicit Janet Yellen is here.

ISDA proposes changes to Dodd-Frank derivatives reforms
Elliott Holley, Banking Technology
ISDA says Dodd-Frank reforms should be tweaked
Five years on from the Dodd-Frank Act being signed into law in the US, a number of outstanding issues for derivatives reform need to be resolved, according to a new paper by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.
The paper, The Dodd-Frank Act: Five Years On, notes that most of the requirements contained within Dodd Frank Title VII – the section relating to derivatives – have been implemented, resulting in the launch of clearing mandates, trade execution requirements and reporting and transparency obligations. It also takes stock of progress so far achieved:

Volcker Bank-Risk Rule Set to Start With Little Fanfare
Starting Wednesday, Wall Street banks have to comply with perhaps the most significant new restriction on their activities since after the Great Depression.
It was greeted with a shrug.
The “Volcker rule,” the regulation banning taxpayer-insured banks from making bets with their own money, arrived with little fanfare, showing how much Wall Street has changed since Congress ordered regulators to write the rule as part of the Dodd-Frank financial law five years ago.

CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Announces Four New Associate Members
Press release
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today four new associate members of the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC).

United States: CFTC Division Of Market Oversight Holds Roundtable To Assess The Made Available To Trade Process
Article by Neal E. Kumar, Anthony M. Mansfield, Paul J. Pantano, Jr., Lamiya Rahman and Mary Treanor – Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Market Oversight (“DMO”) hosted a public roundtable to discuss the process to determine whether a swap must be executed on an exchange. The roundtable assessed industry experience with the current process under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and compared approaches to mandatory exchange trading in other jurisdictions.

After Toshiba scandal, foreign investors want tougher Japan governance steps
Japan needs bolder measures such as harsher criminal sanctions for fraud and whistleblower protections to improve corporate transparency and prevent a repeat of the accounting scandal seen at Toshiba Corp, foreign investors and governance experts said.
Toshiba’s chief executive Hisao Tanaka and a string of other senior officials resigned on Tuesday after an independent inquiry found he had been aware the company had inflated its profits by $1.2 billion over several years.

Mifid II increases burden on custodians
Financial News
While Mifid I was primarily aimed at sellside firms including the likes of investment banks and interdealer brokers, it would be a mistake to be complacent. Mifid II, like many of the regulations introduced since the financial crisis, aims to enhance investor protection, and custodians, as safe keepers of client assets, cannot ignore it.
Safe keeping is not an “investment service” under Mifid II, and custody is listed instead as an “ancillary service”, alongside cash and collateral management. Despite this exemption, Mifid II does lay additional burdens on custodians.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Deutsche Börse plans Asian exchange to follow clearing house
The Trade News
Eurex has submitted an application to launch an exchange in Singapore following the full regulatory approval of its clearing house.

Dutch court rules TOM infringed Euronext IP
Futures & Options World
Euronext won its protracted legal battle with The Order Machine (TOM) on Wednesday when a court found the Dutch options market had infringed on the European exchange’s intellectual property. The Hague District Court said on Wednesday TOM and its shareholder BinckBank have infringed Euronext’s database rights and they must halt their activities related to options within five working days.

KRX clears last hurdle for EU recognition
The Korea Times
The nation’s bourse operator said Tuesday that it cleared the last hurdle to be recognized by the European Union as an international clearing house after the National Assembly passed a bill earlier this month to revise a related law.

LME moves may help members reduce capital requirements
The London Metal Exchange is planning to allow members to offset multiple notional positions in the market into a single trade, a move which may help them reduce capital requirements. The Bank of England has approved the plan by the LME’s clearing house, the exchange said in a statement on Tuesday. The new service will be launched later this year.

HAL Order Processing
CBOE System Status
Under a limited sequence of events, an order entered in the Hybrid Agency Liaison mechanism (¿HAL¿) may not be fully processed..

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Low bond liquidity presents little risk
Douglas Hodge, FT
It is not surprising that the subject of bond market liquidity has come under increasing focus among regulators, investors and the media.

Powder Stays Dry as Private Equity Struggles to Spend
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Too much money in the bank might be a welcome problem for many people but it is causing a headache for private equity firms and their investors.
Investors have committed a record amount of cash to private equity firms in Europe during the past two years but the firms, reluctant to match the high prices being paid for assets, are struggling to spend it.

It’s a Bull Market. Get Intelligent About Stock Market Investing
Bloomberg Business
To go to cash is easy. Far harder is to buy equities. And ever harder is to stay in equities. By now it is wildly understood that if you “time” the market, you will fall behind by missing just once, or at the most twice, a major up move.

***DA: Gee, NOW you tell me.

The Botched Block Trade That Spoiled Mother’s Day for Bankers
Bloomberg Business
It all started the morning of Mother’s Day. A rare Sunday e-mail from Blackstone Group LP invited banks to submit pitches to underwrite 90 million shares in hotel-chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. that the private equity-firm needed to unload fast — a $2.7 billion stake.

Banks & Brokers

Goldman’s Esposito: Europe’s Capital Markets are Healthy
A little over a year ago, Goldman Sachs gave London-based Jim Esposito took his first global markets role: handling the bank’s work across capital markets as co-head of its global financing group. The bank’s decision to base the role in London, was, he thinks, part of its preparations for a new era in global dealmaking, with global clients attracted by the prospects for growth in Europe.

Wells Fargo & Co. Is the Earth’s Most Valuable Bank
Quick: Can you name the most valuable bank in the world?
It isn’t who you think.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. recently surpassed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. as the lender with the largest market value in the world. Now, Wells Fargo’s market capitalization is approaching $300 billion, a first for a U.S. bank—and $42 billion and $120 billion more than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., respectively.

Prime broker buys AQX Securities
The Trade News
Agency broker AQX Securities has been acquired by UK prime brokerage firm Linear Investments.

Clearing & Settlement

ICIS Selected as Benchmark Provider for Shanghai Clearing House Petrochemical Swaps
Press Release SINGAPORE
Leading petrochemical market intelligence provider, ICIS is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the Shanghai Clearing House (SHCH) to provide price benchmarks for two upcoming petrochemical swaps contracts – styrene monomer (SM) and monoethylene glycol (MEG), approved for launch on 20 July 2015.

PayPal is now worth more than Netflix, eBay, and Twitter
Yahoo Finance
PayPal started trading as an independent company on Monday after its spin-off from eBay last week — and it’s already worth more than some of the biggest tech companies.

DTCC Names New Chief Security Officer From Experian
By Steven Norton,
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., a financial services firm that clears and settles securities trades, has named Stephen Scharf chief security officer.
The position is a new one for DTCC, and will encompass information security, physical security, employee safety and crisis management. Mr. Scharf started July 20 and reports to Chief Risk Officer Andrew Gray.

Murex Partners with DTCC’s Omgeo to Enhance Post-Trade Operations Offering
PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Murex, the leading provider of integrated trading, risk, collateral and processing solutions, announced today a strategic partnership with Omgeo, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and the global standard for institutional post-trade efficiency. With real-time certified connectivity to Omgeo Central Trade ManagerSM (Omgeo CTM), the Murex MX.3 platform provides increased automation and straight through processing (STP).

Indexes & Products

S&P China Provincial Bond Index
In fact, since Jiangsu’s debut issuance on May 18, 2015, the municipal bond market that is tracked by the S&P China Provincial Bond Index has expanded rapidly. In the June 2015 index rebalancing, the total number of muni bonds surged from 47 to 138, while the total par amount increased four times to CNY 847 billion.


Aquis to provide technology for startup South African exchange
The Trade News
London-based trading venue operator Aquis Exchange has signed its first software licencing transaction with a South African group. A2X, a South African exchange, will be supplied with Aquis’ trading platform, clearing and surveillance systems and support services.

OTR Global Selects IPC’s Enhanced Voice Services, Trader Voice And Connexus To Gain Better BCP, Plus Simplicity And Savings
IPC Systems, Inc., a leading provider of mission-critical voice and electronic communication solutions to the world’s top financial services firms and global enterprises, today announced that OTR Global, a marketplace research and channel intelligence firm, has enhanced both the business continuity and efficiency of its trading communications infrastructure by consolidating trader voice and data services with IPC.


SEC Charges Three Penny Stock Promoters Behind Pump-and-Dump Schemes
The SEC alleges that the three men, who live in Israel, obtained shares in several penny stock companies and pumped the prices as high as 1,800 percent before dumping the shares for at least $2.8 million in illicit proceeds. In one extravagantly positive promotional e-mail about a particular stock, they stated that a $5,000 investment could be worth more than $250,000 in two years. The men used numerous corporate identities and developed at least 20 different stock promotion websites to con investors into buying the stocks and causing the spikes in trading volume and share price that spurred their schemes.

U.S. Charges Five in Cases Connected to J.P. Morgan Hack
U.S. authorities charged five people Tuesday in the first cases bearing some link to the massive cyberattack on J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. last year.
The men were accused of crimes ranging from securities fraud to money laundering—not with anything directly related to the attack on the bank—but U.S. officials confirmed there was a link.

Consumer protection agency demands Citi return $700m
US regulators have struck out at Citibank, ordering it to pay about $700m to millions of credit card customers duped into buying add on products they often neither wanted nor needed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Tuesday that roughly 7m consumer accounts had been affected by Citibank’s “deceptive” marketing, billing, and administration of debt protection and credit monitoring products.

Hayes Didn’t Consider Libor Actions to Be Dishonest
Former bank trader Tom Hayes’s efforts to move benchmark interest rates were so explicit and out in the open that he clearly didn’t view what he was doing as dishonest or inappropriate, his defense team argued Tuesday.
The criminal trial of Mr. Hayes, who used to work at UBS AG and Citigroup Inc., is in its final stages, with the case expected to go to the jury early next week. Mr. Hayes is the first person to stand trial for trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and is accused by British prosecutors of eight counts of conspiring to commit fraud.

Environmental & Energy

CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Announces Four New Associate Members
Press release
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today four new associate members of the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC).

Big Oil Will Find Tough Competition in Iran
The capabilities of Iran’s oil industry, from sophisticated engineering to laying pipeline, have sharpened during years of isolation, offering prospects of competition and cooperation for European and U.S. firms.


China still wary of market forces 10-years after de-peg
Gabriel Widau in Shanghai, FT
What a long, strange trip it has been for the renminbi since the Chinese government ended the exchange rate’s strict peg to the US dollar 10 years ago this week.

Frontier Markets

U.A.E. Removes Fuel Subsidy as Oil Drop Hurts Arab Economies
Bloomberg Business
The United Arab Emirates, the third-biggest OPEC producer, will link gasoline and diesel prices to global oil markets starting next month, becoming the first country in the oil-rich Persian Gulf to remove transport fuel subsidies.


Cargill announces $30 million investment in Ecuador shrimp feed facility project; enters into joint venture with Naturisa; Deal gives Cargill opportunities in Ecuador, a critical aquaculture growth market
Driven by a historical shift in food production with farmed fish surpassing global beef production for the first time in modern history, Cargill today announced it has formed a joint venture with Naturisa to build a USD $30 million shrimp feed facility near Guayaquil. The transaction involves the construction of a new world-class shrimp feed mill that will produce 130,000 metric tons annually and employ 260 people when the facility is fully operational in 2017.

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