First Read

Double Miles?: CBOE’s Frequent Trader Program Looks to Reward Traders and Provide a Window into Traders’ Worlds
Jim Kharouf – JLN – Reporting from the Options Industry Conference
So how many miles you got?

For frequent fliers, piling up miles trip after a trip has its payoff. CBOE adopted just that approach for its end-user community, a group which has been somewhat of a mystery to the exchange. Last month, CBOE launched its Frequent Trader program, which gives rebates to traders who reach certain monthly trading thresholds.

The program is designed to do two things – encourage individual traders to trade more of the CBOE’s exclusive products, SPX options and VIX options, and give CBOE a view of just who is trading them. The voluntary program establishes an anonymous numeric ID with the exchange but not with anyone they are trading with, and allows the exchange to examine some of the key questions for any exchange – just who is trading certain products, when and in what increments? Understanding all of that information is a first for CBOE.

“We could never identify individual customers before because they were always behind the broker-dealer,” said Eric Frait, CBOE’s vice president of business analysis, at the Options Industry Conference in Palos Verdes, Calif. “We had some idea, but it’s always been anecdotally.”

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Half Full: Trade Alert’s Schwartz Says Options Industry Has Growth Opportunities
Jim Kharouf – John Lothian News – Reporting from the Options Industry Conference
Today’s options market is a mixed bag of some strong products gaining traction but, in general, the industry has slowed dramatically over the past decade.


Opinion: Investors have the best stock market ever — thanks to high-frequency trading; HFT has cut the cost of trading on Wall Street, leaving more for Main Street
Would you like to retire with 32% more money in your 401(k) account? Do you want to be sure your online brokerage is providing you with the best prices on your stock trades? Do you want to ensure your mutual funds have the potential to generate a higher return for you than even a decade ago?

***** Bill Harts is the CEO of the Modern Markets Initiative. He will be speaking at our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series in New York on July 19.


When Rice Shakes The World: The Importance Of The First Grain To World Economic & Political Stability
Milo Hamilton, Founder –
For millennia, rice has sealed the fate of dynasties and kingdoms in Asia but has only remained a cultural curiosity to Western financial markets.

****** My old friend Milo Hamilton, not the dead baseball announcer, but the rice trader and consultant, has written a very important book. If you are interested in Asia, you should definitely read this book.


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Former Merrill CEO Dan Tully dies at 84
BY DAN FREED – Reuters
Dan Tully, who was chief executive of Merrill Lynch from May 1992 to April 1997, died Tuesday, Bank of America Corp spokeswoman Sue McCabe said on Thursday.

****** He was the CEO of Merrill Lynch from another era completely. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.


John Ruth discusses OCC as the foundation for secure markets
OCC via Youtube

****** Former ABN AMRO Clearing CEO John Ruth talks about the OCC. John was a speaker at our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series in 2014. See here


“Magnum Contact Sheets” exhibition opens; Special exhibition in The Cube in Eschborn from 13 May to 19 August 2016
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is opening the “Magnum Contact Sheets” exhibition this Thursday. The exhibition will display more than 100 works by artists under contract to the renowned Magnum Photos Paris agency. The works are presented next to their associated raw material, the contact sheets, giving a unique insight into the origins of some of the best-known images of our time. The exhibition will run from 13 May to 19 August 2016 at Deutsche Börse’s headquarters in Eschborn.

****** One of the things I love about Deutsche Boerse is their understanding of the importance of art as it relates to everyday life. To be at their headquarters and see their photo exhibits is to be in a world class exhibit.

****** “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


Thursday’s Top Three
The winner in yesterday’s click race was Citadel’s Ken Griffin, who said in a Crain’s article, “Hedge fund talent is there to snag”. Nipping at its heels was Kharouf’s chat with Trade Alert‘s Henry Schwartz at OIC. In third place was a human interest story from Bloomberg, Young Americans Drink More, Eat Worse, and Stay Skinnier Than Everyone Else. Ah, youth.


Lead Stories

Euronext In Exclusive Talks To Acquire 20% Of EuroCCP And To Offer User Choice Clearing Model For Equity Markets
Euronext today announced that it is in exclusive talks to acquire a 20% equity stake in EuroCCP for EUR14M (including contribution to regulatory capital) subject to closing adjustments and regulatory approval. In addition, Euronext will offer choice in clearing within the Eurozone through the implementation of a preferred Central Counterparty (CCP) model for its equity markets. EuroCCP is the leading CCP for pan-European equity markets providing clearing and settlement services and this new partnership will allow clients to benefit from significant operational and cost efficiencies.

Exchange Merger Architect Under Fire
The chief executive of Deutsche Börse on Wednesday defended his plan to merge with the London Stock Exchange and move the headquarters to London. Shareholders in Frankfurt accused him of giving up too much to close the deal.

Federal Reserve is too ‘white and male’, say Democrats; Letter from 100 lawmakers criticises central bank system for lack of diversity
by: Sam Fleming in Washington – FT
More than a hundred Democratic party lawmakers have written to Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen complaining of a lack of diversity within the central bank system and a leadership that is “overwhelmingly and disproportionately white and male”.

Hedging on the Case Against Hedge Funds
By Clifford Scott Asness – Bloomberg
Opinions of hedge funds always seem to be unhedged and occasionally unhinged. In the distant past, opinions were too positive. The media focused on stories of outsized success. Big winners were lionized. Failures were castigated, but not allowed to spoil the narrative.

LSE and Deutsche Boerse to hold merger votes after UK’s EU poll: sources
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) (LSE.L) and Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) will let shareholders decide on their proposed $30 billion merger after Britain’s June referendum on European Union membership, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Banks See Softer Side of Brussels as EU Readies Rule Revamp
Julia-Ambra Verlaine, Silla Brush – Bloomberg
EU Commission to hold public hearing on regulation on May 17; Shift in stance epitomized by fate of too-big-to-fail bill
After years of aggressive regulation reining them in, Europe’s banks are starting to get some slack from the policy makers in Brussels.

David Cameron Leads a Call to Thwart Financial Corruption
Six weeks after the Panama Papers revealed vast stores of hidden offshore wealth around the world, leaders from Britain, the United States and other nations vowed on Thursday to cooperate on sweeping measures against financial corruption.

Australian banks fear loss of rates trading name give-up; A push towards anonymous trading via platforms could undermine counterparty risk management
Blake Evans-Pritchard –
A regulatory push towards electronic trading in Australia’s rates market could face resistance from the country’s four major banks, which fear it would reduce visibility on trade counterparties. Electronic rates trading is seen as crucial for the successful reform of the country’s malfunctioning swap benchmark. But concerns have been raised that it could put an end to name give-up – the practice of revealing which counterparties are on either side of the trade after completion. “Electronic…


Antitrust in the Age of Amazon
Pens matter. Ink does not. In the age of Amazon, evaluating antitrust concerns is sometimes twisting government officials into knots. That was made clear this week, when the Federal Trade Commission blocked the merger of Office Depot and Staples, in part by drawing elaborate distinctions between who buys pens and printer ink cartridges, and how.

UK financial watchdog under fire over mis-selling response; MPs warn failure to tackle bank culture leaves ‘serious risk’ of future scandals
by: Emma Dunkley – FT
British taxpayers face “serious risks” of future mis-selling scandals as the City watchdog has not done enough to tackle the cultural problems in banks and financial services firms, MPs have warned.

Ontario Securities Commission Publishes Final Amendments To OTC Derivatives Trade Reporting
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published final amendments to OSC Rule 91-507 Trade Repositories and Derivatives Data Reporting (TR Rule) and its companion policy. The amendments will increase transparency in the Canadian over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market through public dissemination of transaction-level data and provide exclusions from the reporting requirement for certain OTC derivatives transactions between affiliates.

Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF): Greater Efficiency And Transparency Of OTC Derivatives Market
To enhance transparency of the over the counter (OTC) derivatives market, the Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) today released the final version of amendments to Regulation 91-507 respecting Trade Repositories and Derivatives Data Reporting (the “Regulation”). Under the Regulation, recognized trade repositories will be required, as of January 16, 2017, to publicize certain data on transactions executed by OTC market participants.

United Kingdom Parliament Treasury Committee Update: Chair Asks For Assurances On FCA’s Treatment Of Whistle-Blowers
Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, writes to Tracey McDermott, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for further clarity about what measures it is putting in place to improve its treatment of whistle-blowers, following concerns raised by the SME Alliance.

Regulators “can’t stop HFT”, it’s up to the exchanges – says panel;Aquis Exchange’s Alasdair Haynes said controlling HFTs is a difficult task for regulators.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Regulators cannot stop the ‘manipulative’ behaviour of HFTs and it is up to exchanges to ban them, according to panellists at The Trade’s MiFID II event in Frankfurt earlier this week. Chief executive officer at Aquis exchange, Alasdair Haynes, explained that Aquis had banned HFTs earlier this year as it “damaged liquidity” and “hurt the asset manager in the long-term.”

Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Invitation For Public Comments Regarding The “Working Group On Financial Markets”
On April 19, the Financial System Council was inquired to discuss various issues, taking account of the changes in circumstances surrounding Japanese markets and exchanges including the development of information technology etc., so as to support the sustainable growth of the economy and stable wealth formation of the nation. Today, the first discussion of the “Working Group on Financial Markets” was held on the basis of the above-mentioned inquiry.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Changes to the Executive Board of Eurex
The Board of Directors of Eurex Zürich AG and the Supervisory Board of Eurex Frankfurt AG have appointed Dr. Randolf Roth as a new member of the Eurex Executive Board. Roth will be responsible for the newly created Market Design department. His responsibilities include oversight of the evolution of Eurex’s market model, regulatory and functional design as well as the development of the rules and regulations of Eurex.

2016 Global Investment Hong Kong Program- a successful event hosted by Eurex and KOFIA
Markus Georgi, Head of Hong Kong Representative Office of Eurex
Every year, the Korean Financial Investment Association (KOFIA), a non-profit, self-regulatory organization (SRO) in South Korea, organizes a number of training and education events with the objective to foster and enhance the overseas fund management capacity of its members. This year, KOFIA together with the Eurex Hong Kong office co-hosted the “2016 Global Investment Hong Kong” Program (GIHK) from 25 to 27 April.

Euronext Releases Its New Strategic Plan: “Agility for Growth”
Today Euronext announces its strategic plan “Agility for Growth”. Following the delivery of its IPO objectives a year in advance, Euronext has defined its growth ambitions to 2019. Under this plan, Euronext will enhance its agility in order to strengthen the resilience of its core business, to capture strategic opportunities and to grow in selected segments. The driver of this plan is to fulfil Euronext’s core mission: power pan-European capital markets to finance the real economy, while delivering value to shareholders.

Euronext to fund growth with EUR150m war chest; Acquisitions will form key part of exchange operator’s growth plans for next three years.
By John Bakie – The Trade
Euronext has put aside EUR150 million to fund its growth, which is likely to include bolt on acquisitions, it outlined today.

A walk-through of Euronext’s strategy 2.1
By Anna Irrera – Financial News
More cost cutting, “very disciplined” M&A and a new index business are just some of the targets laid out by Euronext in its new strategic plan. Financial News walks you through what you need to know.

BRIEF-Dual HQs are important part of Deutsche Boerse-LSE merger – Boerse CEO
CEO says proximity to Bundesbank and ECB is what London needs

Nasdaq Stockholm Orders Mavshack To Pay A Fine Corresponding To Four Times The Company’s Annual Fee
The Disciplinary Committee of Nasdaq Stockholm (“the Exchange”) has ruled that Mavshack AB (“Mavshack”) has breached Nasdaq Stockholm First North’s regulations (“the Rule Book”) and has therefore ordered Mavshack to pay a fine of SEK 293.304, corresponding to four times the company’s annual fee.

Bats off to strong start in non-stop auctions
By Tim Cave – Financial News
Bats Europe, the region’s largest stock exchange, has shown some early promise with a novel order book it launched in October 2015 to run auction-style trading throughout the day.

Launch date for NZ milk price futures and options
NZX Limited
NZX is pleased to announce that the launch of milk price futures contracts will occur on 27 May 2016. The launch of the related milk price options contracts will be announced in June following the futures contracts launch. These contracts are designed to address growing demand from producers and purchasers of milk products wishing to manage risk relating to price fluctuations. For example, both contracts can help New Zealand dairy farmers to mitigate the financial risks associated with a variable milk price.

NZX Shareholder Newsletter – May 2016
NZX today released its first shareholder update. These updates are designed to keep our shareholders informed about the progress of NZX’s portfolio of businesses and enhance their understanding of our businesses, products and services.

ISEFundHub Adds Three New Investment Managers
The Irish Stock Exchange’s (ISE) web-based fund information portal, ISEFundHub, has added data from three new investment managers – Edinburgh Partners, Man AHL and Odey Asset Management. Over 50 investment managers are now live on the portal.

Borsa Istanbul Hosts DevOpsDays In Turkey For The First Time
After being organized in Belgium for the first time in 2009, DevOpsDays spread to the world in a short time. Now, DevOpsDays will be hosted by Borsa Istanbul for the first time in Turkey on June 3-4, 2016. DevOps Days activities were realized in three continents, 11 countries, 22 cities in 2015, and this year, it will be organized in 24 cities including Istanbul.

Exchange Reports on its Review of Listed Issuers’ Corporate Governance Practice Disclosure
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) reported the findings of its latest review of listed issuers’ (issuers) corporate governance practices.


Second bank hit by potential cyber heist; Security experts believe attack may be linked to Sony data breach in 2014
by: Martin Arnold in London – FT
A fresh cyber attack of the kind that resulted in one of the biggest robberies in history has been identified by Swift, the banking transaction system, potentially linking the recent theft from the Bangladesh central bank to the data breach at Sony in 2014.

The fintech mirage is losing its shine
Have investors in fintech startup companies been drinking way too much Kool-Aid? Mark, Tluszcz, CEO of Mangrove Capital Partners, detects a sour after-taste.

The technology-driven transformation of wealth management
In today’s digital world, everyday functions such as making dinner reservations or hailing a taxi are done at the touch of a button. Similarly, other, more complex and esoteric functions, such as wealth management, are also moving toward automation.

Singapore among innovator nations as tech brings disruptions to work, life
As financial markets swing and economies around the world stumble, technology could offer a way out of what seems to be a dark time, experts said, by creating new business models and developing new markets.


Hedge Fund Cash Flows To GOP Lawmakers Seeking To Loosen Government Grip on Fannie and Freddie
Private shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have waged an intense lobbying campaign in an effort to drum up support for releasing the companies from government control and in the process restore some value to their shares.

Clinton Wants Bankers Off Regional Fed Boards; ‘Commonsense reforms’ at the Fed ‘are long overdue,’ campaign says
By Michael S. Derby – WSJ
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the fray Thursday in the debate over how the nation’s central bank operates, saying banking industry insiders need to be removed from the Federal Reserve System.

Trump and the Treasurys Taboo: Can He Really Take That Back?; Heard on the Street podcast: Trump’s comments spark a scare and the dangers for disruptors
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made comments last week suggesting he might reduce the national debt by renegotiating with creditors to convince them to accept less than full payment. Mr. Trump walked those comments back this week, saying the U.S. could just print money if it ever needed to. But his earlier words still hang in the air for global investors.

American Capitalism’s Great Crisis
Rana Foroohar TIME assistant managing editor in charge of economics and business.
How Wall Street is choking our economy and how to fix it
A couple of weeks ago, a poll conducted by the Harvard Institute of Politics found something startling: only 19% of Americans ages 18 to 29 identified themselves as “capitalists.” In the richest and most market-oriented country in the world, only 42% of that group said they “supported capitalism.” The numbers were higher among older people; still, only 26% considered themselves capitalists. A little over half supported the system as a whole.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Center for Commodities Launches Applied Research Digest
Business School News
The J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities at the CU Denver Business School will be the home to the Global Commodities Applied Research Digest (GCARD), a new journal that is launching to deliver summaries of top research via the JPMCC’s website. For commodity practitioners, there has not been an accessible source of concise information about current commodities research, either in specific fields or across industries, the GCARD aims to solve this issue.

Alphabet’s Market Cap Tops Apple’s, Takes Mantle of Largest Company
The torch has been passed, though it’s almost certain the hand that gave it up wants it back.

Hedge fund managers give stock picks in Vegas at SALT conference
Hedge fund managers on Thursday named some of their recent investments, including a bet that shares of American Airlines Group (AAL.O) would fall and shares of both Chinese Internet company Tencent (0700.HK) and chipmaker Xilinx (XLNX.O) would rise, in addresses at one of the industry’s most prominent conferences.

Most large-cap funds give negative returns over 1 year; But outperform benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty
Chandan Kishore Kant – Business Standard
Indices have shown a downtick over a year; as a result, large-cap mutual funds are feeling the heat. Returns for two out of three large-cap equity schemes in the past year are negative. Large cap is used to refer to companies with a large market capitalisation value. Market capitalisation is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s shares by its stock price per share.

Big Insurers Send a Wake-Up Call to Hedge Fund Investors
Like many sophisticated investors, the nation’s largest insurers drank the hedge fund Kool-Aid, pouring billions into the high-fee investment funds and helping drive hedge fund assets to over $3 trillion.

Brexit roulette — a guide for the average investor; How to position your portfolio for an ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote
by: Naomi Rovnick and David Stevenson – FT
Rising uncertainty over whether the UK will leave the EU is putting your wealth at risk. With little over a month to go until Britons decides whether to back a Brexit or remain in the union, the polls are close, sterling has taken a pummelling and the UK economy appears to have paused for breath.

Banks & Brokers

Citadel Securities to open in Dublin
By Tim Cave – Financial News
Citadel Securities is planning to open an office in Dublin in 2017 as part an expansion of its European market-making business, joining a cluster of trading firms operating in the Irish capital.

People: SocGen promotes Garnier to head of Apac global markets; Garnier replaces Drouet, who became global markets head; Agne leaves Goldmans; new governor for Bank Negara Malaysia
Yann Garnier –
Societe Generale has appointed Yann Garnier as head of global markets for the Asia-Pacific region, following the promotion of his predecessor Frank Drouet as the group’s head of global markets in April.

‘I don’t run [UBS wealth management] for good media coverage’; Jürg Zeltner on the Swiss group being the posterchild for bank restructuring
Laura Noonan – FT
UBS wealth management boss Jürg Zeltner is 20 minutes late. He has apologies at the ready and the perennial good excuse of a banker: he was with a client.

Interactive Brokers Group To Offer NextSharesTM Exchange-Traded Managed Funds
Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.
Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR), an automated global electronic broker and market maker, today announced plans to offer NextSharesTM exchange-traded managed funds (NextShares) to retail investors and financial professionals through its investing and trading platforms.

Clearing & Settlement

Facing merger of rivals, Euronext on lookout for tie-ups
Antitrust regulators at the European Commission in Brussels could yet demand such sales in return for allowing the merger to go through. Were the derivatives clearing arm of the LSE, LCH Clearnet, to be spun off, that would offer Euronext a possible foothold in the lucrative multi-trillion dollar global derivatives market.

CCPs, loss absorption and yen Libor
Alexander Campbell –
Disagreements continued this week over how to handle two aspects of central counterparty (CCP) exposure. Banks are split over whether to take credit valuation adjustment (CVA) charges on their CCP exposure; some argue CCPs should be treated like any other counterparty, others that their inherent safety makes CVA unnecessary. Many quants also argue their structure means that, at least, they should not be modelled the same way as other credit risks, as some rating agencies have begun to do.

DTCC turns to banks and asset managers for repo rescue plan
Financial News
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, an industry utility that operates much of the plumbing for Wall Street’s trading, is seeking pledges to help cover an expected cash shortfall if a member of its Fixed Income Clearing Corp unit defaults, said people familiar with the talks. Firms including Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, Vanguard, Fidelity Investments and BlackRock are being asked for early commitments to purchase US government bonds, these people said.

Indexes & Products

Index IDEA: FTSE Russell examines low vol global stocks with minimum variance indexes
FTSE Russell
The FTSE All-World Developed Minimum Variance Index has risen 407% since September 2001, based on hypothetical historical performance, relative to a 180% rise for the FTSE All-World Developed Index for the same time periods. And the FTSE All-World Developed Minimum Variance Index, which weights stocks according to their lower relative historical return volatility, has had a stronger return than the market cap weighted FTSE All-World Developed Index for the year-to-date, one year, three year, five year and ten year periods ended 5 May 2016.

MSCI announces changes to U.S., China, emerging market indexes
U.S. index provider MSCI announced changes to a number of its index funds on Thursday, including adding four securities and removing one from its U.S. large-cap index. Additions to that group included Tyson Foods, Edwards Lifesciences and Equinix, the three largest. MSCI also added significantly to its China A Index, incorporating 30 new securities and removing 14. The three largest additions were Beijing Xinwei Telecom, SDIC Essence Holdings Co and Zhejiang Zheneng Electric.

EQDerivatives: “VSTOXX® Futures spreads garner interest as key events near”
By Rob McGlinchey – Eurex
Portfolio managers have shown increased interest in trading VSTOXX® Futures spreads in an effort to profit from the vol differential between monthly expiries. Although the EURO STOXX 50® continues to be used primarily to hedge event risk, others are finding greater value in using the VSTOXX® as a way of positioning around the E.U. referendum. Elsewhere, investors are showing greater interest in 1×2 put ratios on VSTOXX® June Futures.

Manage Market Risks with Smart-Beta ETFs
As the markets slow down from a multi-year bull rally, investors can turn to smart beta exchange traded funds to navigate uneven growth and potential hurdles ahead.

Eurozone Corporates Gets an ECB Kickstart
Indexology – S&P Dow Jones Indices
The impact of the ECB announcement on March 10, 2016, continues to play out in the bond markets. The governing council decided to establish a new program (the Corporate Sector Purchase Program, or CSPP), which will purchase investment-grade, euro-denominated bonds issued by non-bank corporations established in the eurozone. The goal of the action is to further stimulate the economy. The CSPP will be added to the existing Asset Purchase Program and will be included in the combined monthly purchases, which are to start toward the end of the second quarter of 2016.


SEC Charges Shell Factory Operators With Fraud
The SEC alleges that Imran Husain and Gregg Evan Jaclin essentially operated a shell factory enterprise by filing registration statements to form various startup companies and misleading potential investors to believe each company would be operating and profitable. The agency further alleges that their secret objective all along was merely to make money for themselves by selling the companies as empty shells rather than actually implementing business plans and following through on their representations to investors.

Former Deutsche Bank broker sentenced to 4½ years for insider trading; Martyn Dodgson receives the longest jail term imposed for offence in the UK
by: Caroline Binham, Financial Regulation Correspondent – FT
A former corporate broker at Deutsche Bank who once advised the government on its bailed-out banks has received a record prison sentence for UK insider trading, with a four-and-a-half year term.

How £14m investigation snared Deutsche Bank insider trading ring; Painstaking surveillance revealed Martyn Dodgson’s links with several financiers dealing in shares via specialist knowledge
Simon Goodley – The Guardian
Nobody would have noticed anything odd had they been walking along the rear security wall of Buckingham Palace on 23 October 2008. Yet all around there were hidden eyes and ears trained on the activities taking place in a small office located on nearby Grosvenor Place.

Ex-Barclays Trader in Libor Case Says Boss Hit Him With Bat
Jeremy Hodges – Bloomberg
Mathew describes humiliation during first day of testimony; Partially deaf trader failed regulator’s exams three times
Jonathan Mathew, one of five former Barclays Plc employees accused of manipulating Libor, told a London jury that he was routinely humiliated by his boss when he made mistakes working on the money markets desk.

Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation created to help UK businesses comply with financial sanctions
On 31 March the Government announced the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has been created within HM Treasury. The Government says that OFSI will provide a high-quality service to the private sector, working closely with law enforcement to help ensure that financial sanctions are properly understood, implemented and enforced.

FCA fines and bans financial adviser for insider dealing
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today fined Mark Taylor, a financial adviser, £36,285 and banned him for a period of at least two years for engaging in market abuse.

Environmental & Energy

US imposes rules on fracking emissions; Obama’s legacy on climate change likely to be decided in the courts
by: Barney Jopson in Washington – FT
The Obama administration is imposing controls on the US shale industry by unveiling rules demanding that oil and gas producers curb leaks of greenhouse gas.

US groups back renewable energy alliance
By Ed Crooks – FT
Facebook and Microsoft in new group whose aim is to add 60 gigawatts of capacity to US grid by 2025

Obama Gas Rules Set Table For Wide Emissions Cut, If Trump Loses; Clinton or Sanders would likely build on the new limits to regulate existing plants.
Eric Roston – Bloomberg
Oil-and-gas producers have a financial incentive to make sure methane isn’t leaking from wells and pipelines. Yet methane has become a well-documented problem–and once it joins the atmosphere, scientists will tell you, it becomes a potent greenhouse gas, responsible for a quarter of the Earth’s extra heat.


Hong Kong Economy Shrinks in 1Q on Global Economic Weakness
ABC News
Hong Kong’s economy contracted in the latest quarter as the weak global economy and poor local conditions weighed on the southern Chinese business hub. Sluggish demand from advanced economies for Asian exports crimped global trade flows while volatile financial markets and uncertainty over central bank policies added to pessimism, the government said.

China commodities meltdown could rock the markets – commentary
Rampant speculation in China’s commodities markets could very well be the next “black swan” event that rocks global markets and possibly the global economy. Though very little attention has been paid to this recent action, speculative excesses in China’s commodity markets have taken traders and investors on a wild ride, which may likely soon spill over to the rest of the world.

BOJ will act decisively using its ‘ample’ tools: Kuroda
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday the central bank will act “decisively” to achieve its 2 percent inflation target, stressing that it still has “ample” policy options available if it were to expand stimulus again.

Frontier Markets

Ruling signals MSCI likely to keep Peru as ’emerging market’
Peru Reports
Index-fund provider MSCI has kept the Southern Copper stock in the Peru universe, a move which indicates Peru will remain classified as an “emerging market.” Southern Copper is one of three Peruvian equities which meet MSCI’s “investable” requirements, and MSCI requires its “emerging markets” to have at least three investable stocks. If MSCI decided to move Southern Copper out of its Peru universe, Peru would be downgraded to “frontier market” because it would not have enough investable stocks.

Gordhan warns Africa on foreign capital reliance
African News -BDlive
AFRICAN countries should set their sights on creating the conditions in which they could issue more bonds in their local currencies and reduce dependence on foreign capital inflows, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.

Declining trade volumes hurting brokers; Broking revenues have dipped 8% in FY16, says Icra
Shrimi Choudhary
Dwindling volumes in the cash segment have made a dent into broking revenues, says ratings agency ICRA.

Sebi orders re-investigation on alleged insider trading in Sabero Organics; With inadequate evidence on record, concluding that only Vellayan who had passed the information may not be just and reasonable, says the order
Gireesh Babu – Business Standard
A Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) whole-time member has issued an order directing the market regulator to re-investigate the matter of alleged insider trading in the scrip of Sabero Organic Gujarat, disposing of an earlier interim order and showcause notice against Murugappa Group executive chairman A Vellayan and others.


Michael Lewis just dropped two big hints about what he’s working on next
Julia La Roche – Yahoo Finance
Financial writer Michael Lewis, the acclaimed author of “Liar’s Poker, “The Big Short” and “Flash Boys,” dropped some hints about what he’s working on right now.

Flash Boys’ Lewis Takes On Citadel Over High-Speed Traders
By Ronald Orol – The Street
Best-selling author Michael Lewis on Thursday disputed comments made by Citadel founder Ken Griffin about upstart trading venue IEX, arguing that in reality the billionaire was just “talking his book” and that his mega-hedge fund would be hurt by a new exchange that would limit high-frequency traders.

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