Bridging the Newsletters
It is a great honor to be serving as Guest Editor this week of the John Lothian newsletter. I think most in the industry have come to rely on this newsletter as the gold standard of the top day’s news regarding financial services; certainly I have!
I have also enjoyed the barbs thrown my way last week by Alun Green and the gang at Lothian. Let me say, Alun, it was very nice of you personally to carry the Lothian throne of editorship over to my apartment in New York City over the weekend – I hope as a result you won’t require back surgery as did John. John, sorry, I am not sure I will actually give back the throne at the end of this week even though I know you are ready to return – and we all want you back too! It just looks too good in my throne room.
Actually, it’s great following Alun, a great technology guru, as guest editor here. I am an old timer in this business, relatively (actually too). So does anyone else remember the promise in the 1980’s that technology would help lower costs in our business? I guess that was like the Federal government promising to run a balanced budget.
Actually, speaking of history, I still remember in 1982 when Richard Fielding, a former general counsel of the Commodity Exchange, Inc. joined Richard Nixon’s former law firm in New York City where I was then a sparkling new associate, and discussed with me futures contracts – where folks potentially could make money whether markets went up or down. I was so distressed that I had studied economics, business administration and law at various universities yet had no idea that there was another exchange in New York other than the NYSE and AMEX, let alone that there were financial instruments other than securities, that I joined the CFTC within just a few months. I haven’t looked back since, and have enjoyed my time supporting this business in my various roles. This is a great industry with many colorful personalities and I appreciate the opportunity to help folks better understand what we do and our markets through my involvement with FIA, IFM, as well as my “Bridging the Week” weekly blogs, now sponsored by my new employer, Katten Muchin Rosenman (sign up to receive it at: garydewaalandassociates.com/Subscribe).
Ok, enough about me; let’s have a fun shortened week.
Eurex to Launch New Interest Rate, FX Contracts
John Lothian News
We hung up the phone from a Eurex conference call this morning, just a few minutes before hitting the send button on today’s JLN. We will follow up with the full story but here are the highlights:
Eurex plans to launch two new interest rate products in September that will round out its product mix to reflect current trends – futurization of swaps and alternative short term funding benchmarks. On September 1, Eurex will launch physically delivered Euro-Swap Futures. On September 10, the exchange will launch One-month EUR Secured Funding Futures, based on the STOXX GC Pooling family of indexes.
Eurex is set to launch its suite of futures and options contracts on six currency pairs – EUR/USD, CHF/USD, EUR/CHF, EUR/GBP, GBP/USD and GBP/CHF. These contracts will be physically settled through CLS. Recall these contracts were set to launch last fall but there was a problem with the third-party bank providing settlement through CLS. Good to go now.
SEC Set to Spur Exchange Trading
Andrew Ackerman and Bradley Hope – WSJ
Top U.S. securities regulators are embracing a plan designed to shift more stock trading onto exchanges and away from private trading venues operated by banks and other firms, according to people familiar with the discussions.
***GDW: Is this like the Dutch boy who tried to stop leaking in the dyke by using his fingers to plug one or two holes only to see new holes open up?
Federal Reserve Lacks Official to Oversee Regulatory Efforts
Victoria McGrane – WSJ
The Federal Reserve has aimed a seemingly nonstop spate of rules at the nation’s biggest banks as it tries to wring risk out of the U.S. financial system in the wake of the financial crisis. Yet the central bank still lacks a Senate-confirmed official to formally oversee its continuing regulatory efforts.
***GDW: Risk doesn’t disappear. It just gets transferred. If the Fed is successful, who is the lucky recipient?
A Tale of Two Issues: Zach Ziliak Breaks Down the HFT Debate
Today’s financial markets can be summed up in three words – global, fast, and complex. But as the market structure evolves, so must the regulatory structure that oversees it. John Lothian News has spoken with several industry experts to create this series on the evolution of financial market structure.
In part 6, quant -turned-attorney, Zach Ziliak points out that Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys, like any good novel, gets broken down into good vs. evil, and HFT has become an easy target. He says it is important to separate the debate in two – automated systems’ day to day activities, and issues related to the flash crash and other system failures.
Search for new head of TMX Group underway as CEO prepares for retirement
Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press
With his retirement looming at the end of August, the head of TMX Group, the operator of the country’s largest stock market, says his successor will have to look for growth beyond Canada’s borders.
***GDW: I used to work with Tom Kloet at Fimat. He’s a great guy and I am sure he will be missed as much at TMX as he was a Fimat and later Newedge.
Who Wants to Trade With High-Frequency Traders?
Wall Street & Technology
No sane individual wants to take on a professional wrestler like The Rock. Similarly, no sane fund manager wants to trade on an exchange with an HFT fund.
***GDW: Actually, according to the Internet Wrestling Database, The Rock lost almost 38% of his WWE and WWF matches.
The Deal’s Done. But Not the Fees.
GRETCHEN MORGENSON – NY Times
Private equity firms say they are completely transparent in their fee disclosures. But that is not the view of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is taking an increasing interest in private equity — and especially in their fees.
***GDW: There has to be a better prioritization process in Washington, DC. Just because more disclosure is always better, doesn’t meet that government resources should be spent on helping purchasers of private equity deals who typically are quite sophisticated and able to fend for themselves.
Money Managers Look for New Ways to Profit from Social-Media Monitoring
Geoffrey Rogow – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The opportunities presented by social media continue to grow for money managers, who are in a race to find ways to profit from troves of new data and its potential influence.
***GDW: Who isn’t looking at my social media? And I thought I elected the “Friends Only” option. Little did I know my friends included Fidelity and Vanguard.
Bridging the Week: (MiFID, Gold Fixing, Broker-Dealer CCO Sued; Gambling Troubles)
There was no one theme last week in regulatory initiatives or enforcement matters involving the financial services industry worldwide. From a regulator’s assessment of reforms related to dark venue trading in Australia, to enforcement matters in the UK involving the London gold fixing (not to mention ESMA in Paris beginning its consultation process for the implementation of MiFID II and MiFIR), and to another regulator’s help for certain end users in the United States, the issues addressed were diverse and wide. However one matter stood out: an SEC enforcement action in the US that named a chief compliance officer for allegedly supporting his employer’s non-compliance with certain rules and for concealing violations from the regulator.
***GDW: Heh I know this author. Is he wearing a vest today?
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
49,243,624 pages viewed, 7,958 articles, 183,160 edits
IntercontinentalExchange Announces Plans to Float Euronext
CHAD BRAY – Dealbook – NY Times
IntercontinentalExchange Group, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, said on Tuesday that it plans to spin off Euronext in an initial public offering later this year.
ICE Plans Euronext IPO Before Summer After Partial Sale
Nandini Sukumar and Maud van Gaal – Bloomberg
IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. (ICE) said it plans an initial public offering for Euronext NV in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels in the second quarter after it sells part of the exchange to a group of European financial institutions.
Hong Kong exchange vows to fight new metals lawsuit
Josh Noble in Hong Kong – Financial Times
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, owner of the London Metal Exchange, has vowed to fight a fresh legal challenge over its warehouses, this time related to the impact long queues have had on zinc prices.
EEX Seeks Bigger Share of Italian Power Trading as Market Booms
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
European Energy Exchange AG, continental Europe’s biggest power bourse, aims to raise its share of Italian electricity trading as the market expands at the fastest pace in the region. The exchange handles almost a third of electricity trading in its German home market and wants to achieve the same in Italy, Chief Operating Officer Steffen Koehler said in an interview on May 23.
Hedge Funds’ Investing Prowess Doesn’t Live Up to Billing
Justin Lahart – WSJ
Hedge funds haven’t done much for investors lately. And “lately” in this context starts years ago. The past couple of months have been less than kind for many hedge-fund managers.
Barclays Manipulated Gold as Soon as It Stopped Manipulating Libor
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
If you were writing a paranoid fantasy of gold price manipulation you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more on the nose than the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s order against Barclays. It has everything; it is the benchmark of manipulation by which all future manipulation will be measured. Well, this or Libor. Delightfully, this manipulation occurred on June 28, 2012, the day after Barclays was fined 290 million pounds for manipulating Libor. They just really wanted to perfect their manipulating technique.
Is the London Gold Fix Broken?
Francesca Freeman – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The future for London’s historic gold fix is looking less certain by the day. The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority slapped Barclays PLC with a GBP26 million ($43.7 million) fine Friday after one of its traders allegedlly manipulated the benchmark at the expense of a client.
Piketty defends best-selling book from criticism
Vanessa Houlder – Financial Times
Thomas Piketty, the French economist who wrote a best-selling book on inequality, has defended his work against criticism by the Financial Times of shortcomings in his data.
High-speed traders face slowing effects of regulatory hurdles
Tim Cave and Anish Puaar – Financial News
Buried halfway through a 240-page European Commission working document are proposals that would mean, if implemented, a major shake-up for high-frequency trading in Europe.
ASIC warns over poor disclosure
Leo Shanahan – The Australian
ANALYSTS research reports and investor briefings will be the target of more intense Australian Securities and Investments Commission scrutiny in a bid to stop the leaking of confidential information prior to market-sensitive corporate deals.
CFTC eases Dodd-Frank burden on energy companies
Alexander Osipovich – Risk.net
In the wake of industry criticism, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is taking steps to relax position limits and accommodate the concerns of public utilities in its implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act
EU regulators concerned by CFTC’s foreign CCP rules
Lukas Becker – Risk.net
UK’s Financial Conduct Authority warns outlined Commodity Futures Trading Commission regime may not pass equivalence test, potentially leaving US central counterparties out in the cold
***GDW: Foreign regulators are not the only ones concerned. The CFTC has administered a highly successful process for years to allow US customers access to non-US exchanges. However, they are not applying this process for swaps settled through international clearinghouses. They should!
UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Calls On Insurance Intermediaries To Better Manage Conflicts Of Interest When Dealing With Small Business Clients
New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: New FMC Act Factsheets
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Might Xavier Rolet hold on to Russell’s fund management arm?
Ben Wright – Financial News
Last week, the London Stock Exchange entered exclusive talks to buy Russell Investments, the Seattle-based stock index and asset management business. Most people assume that Xavier Rolet, the LSE’s chief executive, wants to get his hands on Russell’s US indices and will, if the deal goes through, flip the asset manager on to another buyer. That would certainly be the most logical outcome.
Nasdaq Still in the Running for Alibaba IPO
Charlie Gasparino – Fox Business
Top officials at both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq met earlier this week with executives from Alibaba in a final attempt to win the coveted listing rights as the big Chinese Internet company prepares for its initial public offering.
Nikhil Rathi Joins London Stock Exchange Group As Head Of International Development And Chief Of Staff
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Nikhil Rathi as Head of International Development and Chief of Staff. He will also be a member of the LSEG Executive Committee.
Euronext’s UK exchange bolsters board
Tim Cave – Financial News
A former deputy chief executive of Renaissance Capital and an ex-chairman at Lyxor Asset Management are among four new board at appointments at Euronext’s London stock exchange market, according to UK Companies House filings.
NYSE Overhauls Non-Display Data Fees
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
NYSE Euronext has informed clients of changes to its non-display policy for all real-time US proprietary market data products, which includes price increases of up to 100 percent for some products, in a move to bring its fees into line with those of its competitors.
TMX Group Announces Election Of Directors
TMX Group today announced that the nominees listed in the management proxy circular for the 2014 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders were elected as directors of TMX Group Limited. Detailed results of the vote for the election of directors held at the Annual and Special Meeting on Friday, May 23, 2014 in Toronto are set out below.
TMX Group CEO Plans To Exercise Options And Sell Common Shares
TMX Group Limited (TSX-X) announced today that Tom Kloet, Chief Executive Officer, intends to exercise stock options and sell the underlying common shares subject to market conditions.
***GDW: After the nice things I said about you earlier, Tom, now I know who’s paying for our next dinner!
70 Companies And 200 Investors Meet At Spanish Exchange For The 10th. MedCap Forum
70 Small and Medium Capitalisation companies listed on the Spanish stock exchange and more than 200 institutional investors will participate during two days in the 10th MEDCAP Forum of Small and Medium Capitalisation companies, which BME will host in the Madrid Stock Exchange, starting tomorrow, 27 May.
Oslo Børs: Rush Of Savings Banks To Nordic ABM
TOM MTF statistics week 21, 2014
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Private Equity Returns to Australia
Ross Kelly and Cynthia Koons – MoneyBeat – WSJ
When it comes to investing in Australia, private-equity firms are back. After a lull in activity Down Under in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, global firms such as KKR & Co. and TPG Group are on the hunt again, having recently raised large amounts of capital to deploy in the Asia-Pacific region.
Reynolds Aims to Oust Fidelity in Push to Gain 401(k)s
Margaret Collins and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
Robert Reynolds, who built the industry’s biggest 401(k) business while at Fidelity Investments, is seeking a reprise. The 62-year-old chief executive officer of Great-West Lifeco U.S. Inc. catapulted his firm to the No. 2 spot among 401(k) providers with last month’s acquisition of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s recordkeeping business. Reynolds said his goal is to go after the top spot, occupied by his former employer Fidelity, where he was once chief operating officer.
Exclusive hedge funds crack open door to Main Street
As a $14.8 billion hedge fund with a reputation for savvy mortgage trades and a record of double-digit returns, Pine River Capital Management has long signed up multi-billion-dollar pension and sovereign wealth funds as investors.
Up to $70 Billion Available for Hedge Funds Looking to Asia, Survey Says
Mia Lamar – MoneyBeat – WSJ
As much as US$70 billion is up for grabs for global hedge funds looking to raise money in Asia over the next few years, according to a Barclays survey.
Blackstone pays up but wins big on new SFR bond
Joy Wiltermuth – Reuters
The Blackstone Group is poised for a healthy 17% return on its new single-family rental (SFR) bond, even though it had to pay more than expected to get the nearly US$1bn deal over the line.
Banks & Brokers
Young people open to alternative banking
Tom Braithwaite in New York – Financial Times
A Google or Walmart bank would be attractive to a large slice of young consumers, according to a survey that also shows almost four in 10 people aged between 18-34 would switch to a bank without a physical branch network.
***GDW: When parents constantly give money to their kids, is that alternative banking? I wish the government would enact rules cracking down on that!
Lloyds Announces I.P.O. of Its TSB Branch Network
CHAD BRAY – Dealbook – NY Times
Lloyds Banking Group said on Tuesday that it will launch an initial public offering of its TSB Banking Group unit on the London Stock Exchange next month.
BofA Error Confirmed by a Devil in the Detail
Michael Rapoport and Christina Rexrode – WSJ
A change in wording on Federal Reserve forms earlier this year helped Bank of America Corp. verify that it had made a $4 billion error in calculating its capital, according to a person familiar with the matter, jeopardizing its plans for a long-awaited stock buyback and dividend increase.
Banks’ FX cash cow runs out of milk
Farah Khalique – Euromoney Magazine
Market rigging lawsuits, trader suspensions and a move to swap execution facility trading are hurting banks’ ability to make money in foreign exchange, warn analysts.
UBS Reshuffles Australia Management
Enda Curran – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The decision by star UBS AG banker, Sydney-based Matthew Grounds, to step back from the Swiss lender’s number one investment banking role in the Asia Pacific region has led to a reshuffle in its Australian operations.
RBS expands transaction services team
Royal Bank of Scotland has expanded its global transaction services team with five new hires in London, showing it can still attract experienced bankers – particularly to a business that is core to its restructured banking operations.
Barclays Loses More Executives In Asia
Barclays PLC is set to lose another two senior executives in its Asian investment-banking operations, according to a person familiar with the matter, adding to a wave of bankers that have left the British lender in recent weeks. Helge Weiner-Trapness, head of the financial-institutions group for the Asian-Pacific region, and Johan Leven, head of corporate finance for the region are leaving, the person said.
HSBC CEO Rules Out Changes to Investment Banking
HSBC Holdings PLC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver Friday ruled out any major changes to the group’s investment bank, as the lender suffered a shareholder protest vote over pay.
Clearing & Settlement
Clearing house rule changes rile brokers
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Banks and brokers are becoming increasingly concerned at Bank of England-led changes to UK clearing rules that could see them bear the brunt of losses from clearing house investments.
Jonathan Eliot Appointed to the LCH.Clearnet Ltd Board of Directors
LCH.Clearnet Group today announced that Jonathan Eliot will join the Board of Directors of LCH.Clearnet Ltd, the Group’s UK Central Counterparty, as a Non-Executive Director, effective immediately.
LCH.Clearnet S.A. Receives EMIR Authorisation
LCH.Clearnet S.A., LCH.Clearnet Group’s French central counterparty, today announced that it is now authorised under the European Market Infrastructure (EMIR). L’Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, as LCH.Clearnet S.A.’s national competent authority, granted the authorisation on May 22 and also approved the interoperability arrangement with the Italian central counterparty CC&G.
Clearstream Issues Monitoring Report To Help Depositary Banks Comply With AIFMD As 22 July Deadline Looms
CME cuts margins for agricultural products
Indexes & Products
‘Closet indexers’ face legal action from investors
Madison Marriage – Financial Times
Investors in the US and Europe are considering taking legal action against fund groups that have sold expensive active funds that do little more than track market performance.
MTS spans Atlantic with ETF initiative
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
London Stock Exchange Group’s European electronic fixed income trading platform is bringing an exchange-traded fund initiative across the Atlantic.
Smart beta is the overnight success that took decades to arrive
Mike Foster and Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Today’s alternative indices or “smart beta” strategies are a far cry from Charles Dow’s humble Dow Jones Industrial Average index.
Warning on smart beta: ‘If it isn’t simple, walk away’
Mike Foster and Joe McGrath – Financial News
Three pioneers in the fast-growing field of smart beta have warned of complicated, expensive and opaque imitation smart beta strategies that could lead to heavy losses for investors and damage the sector’s reputation.
ATHEX Index Series Review
Athens Stock Exchange Chooses Multi-Asset Surveillance Technology From Cinnober
The Hellenic Exchanges — Athens Stock Exchange Group, has selected Cinnober as technology partner for the implementation of its new surveillance system. The multi-asset solution will strengthen the exchanges’ existing technological infrastructure in order to cope with the new European regulatory environment and requirements.
A Case for Quality Assurance in Financial Technology Testing
Eugene Efimov – Wall Street & Technology
Quality assurance testing in a project’s early stages is sometimes viewed as an unnecessary cost, but a proper strategy and collaboration can still save money and reputation.
***GDW: Making sure it works and won’t blow up seems like common sense.
Inside the NYC FinTech Startup Scene
Wall Street & Technology
The financial services entrepreneur scene in New York is growing rapidly. Here is one of the many startup shared offices in midtown Manhattan.
Trade Talk: Innovation Spurs More Innovation
Last week Informatica hosted its annual customer conference, aptly named Informatica World 2014, where TT was recognized as an Innovation Award Finalist. I was lucky enough to attend the conference and accept the award on behalf of TT. Although these types of awards are typically just marketing exercises for all involved, this was a different experience in my opinion.
Enyx Partners With Options To provide FPGA-Based Market Data Distribution From Key Centres
Options Customers Will Be Able To Access Enyx’s nxFeed Ultra-Low Latency Market Data Distribution System Via The Options Velocity Platform
Volta Data Centres Partners With Venus Business Communications To Offer Enhanced Hybrid Colocation Solutions Via AWS Direct Connect
Daedalus Capital founder Stephen Coleman with fraud
Becky Yerak – Chicago Tribune
Illinois regulators have charged Daedalus Capital LLC founder and chief investment officer Stephen Messiah Coleman with fraud, claiming in a civil action that the money manager sold improper investments and acted as an unlicensed adviser.
Environmental & Energy
Italy’s Eni wins price cut for Russian gas
Russia’s Gazprom reached an agreement with Eni on Friday giving the Italian oil major a cut in the price it pays for Russian gas, days after Moscow clinched a groundbreaking gas deal with China.
Russia, China agree on $25 billion prepayment under supply deal: Gazprom Reuters
Russia and China have agreed on a $25 billion prepayment under a supply deal signed earlier this week, Alexander Medvedev, chief executive of Gazprom Export, said on Friday.
GE agrees to extend deadline on Alstom bid to June 23
General Electric Co has agreed to extend its $16.9 billion bid for the power arm of France’s Alstom until June 23 from June 2 at the request of the French government, the U.S. company said on Thursday.
Biggest Philippine Money Managers Brace for Stock Slump
Ian Sayson – Bloomberg
The three biggest Philippine money managers are bracing for a short-term retreat in stocks after five months of gains lifted valuations to the highest levels in more than a decade versus regional peers.
In China, Most Overseas Acquisitions Are Held by Offshore Units
MoneyBeat – WSJ
In all, the value of overseas mergers and acquisitions directly by mainland-listed companies since 2008 has totaled $17 billion—a mere 5% of the value of such deals done by Chinese companies overall during the same period, Dealogic data showed.
Japan Pension Fund Reformer Eyes Direct Stock Buying
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Ruling Liberal Democratic Lawmaker Kozo Yamamoto, who is leading the charge to reform the nation’s nearly JPY130 trillion ($1.275 trillion) public pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund, sat down with The Wall Street Journal for an interview. The veteran lawmaker talked about why reform of the fund is necessary, the likely direction of the stock market and how to get the fund to buy stocks directly.
With London ‘fix’ under fire, China seeks bigger sway in gold trade
China has approached foreign banks and gold producers to participate in a global gold exchange in Shanghai, people familiar with the matter said, as the world’s top producer and importer of the metal seeks greater influence over pricing.
Thai Bourse And Cambodia Securities Exchange Signed MoU
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) to promote development of capital market in Cambodia and Thailand. Among others, the MOU encompasses human resource training, professional training, information sharing and promoting capital market business opportunities between the two exchanges.
TOCOM Approved To Adjust Trading Hours And First Day Trade Schedule From July 2014
African sovereign sukuk to take off this year
Kanika Saigal – Euromoney Magazine
During a discussion on capital market development at the annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Rwanda, panellists argued sovereign sukuk issuance will finally take off this year in a bid to diversify sources of long-term dollar financing away from the Eurobond market.
Africa rising stars: The deals that make a market
Kanika Saigal – Euromoney Magazine
Sub-Saharan Africa’s capital markets are deepening and breakthrough deals are continuously setting the pace for change in the developing market. Here, Euromoney’s rising stars share the deals – old and new – which stand out and have played their part in transforming the capital market landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Currency Chaos in Venezuela Portends Write-Downs
Doing business in any foreign country can be risky. Then there’s Venezuela. With the highest inflation rate in the Americas and at least five currency devaluations in the past decade, the South American country is a corporate guessing game.
Thomson Reuters Hosts MENA Asset Management Conference In June
Winners Of Zawya Fund And Lipper Awards To Be Announced At The Conference
Brokerage House Securities Becomes Member Of NASDAQ Dubai To Access New Equities Opportunities
To Coincide With Inclusion Of Qatar In MSCI Emerging Markets Index – Qatar Stock Exchange Hosts International Investment Sell-Side Companies In London
JSE Honoured As Leader In Sub Saharan Africa
Cyprus Stock Exchange Monthly Bulletin – April 2014
MCX Weekly Market Report – May 16, 2014 – May 22, 2014