First Read

East and West: CME’s Gill Looks For Growth in Asia and Europe

Forget the doom and gloom of years past in the markets. CME Group had a great year in 2014, even with the ongoing headwinds from the Fed’s ongoing freeze on interest rates and more regulation hitting the market-base, said Phupinder Gill, CME’s CEO, at the FIA Boca conference.

“We saw double digit growth in fourth quarter across all six of the asset classes,” Gill said, adding that the exchange ended up handling about 13.7 million contracts per day for the year. “I’m very pleased to see that momentum from the fourth quarter continue into the first quarter of this year.”
Watch the video »

Apps and Widgets Come to the Trading World
Sarah Rudolph, Managing Editor – JLN

Apps – short for software applications, of course, but also conveniently one syllable of the word “apple” – are a part of just about everyone’s life these days, and available from a variety of different places beyond just the Apple App Store.

They are also being utilized in the trading space, although so far only a couple of companies are offering them. One is OptionsCity, which on Wednesday launched the newest version of its Metro NOW platform, which among other things offers customizable widgets (a simple type of app) that customers can design themselves. Metro Now also has an app store called CityStore from which they can download off-the-shelf widgets.

According to Hazem Dawani, OptionsCity’s CEO, using these widgets “doesn’t require the customer to reinvent the wheel and rebuild all the core system functionality. Customers can quickly build the widgets that communicate with the market and analyze information, and they can build them within days rather than months or years.”

He said sophisticated users such as market makers have been building their own widgets from scratch, but now they are abandoning that model and looking for a hybrid way to build only the components they care about.

Read the rest of the column at


Travel Schedule
By John Lothian, JLN
Doug Ashburn and I will be headed to New York on April 8 and 9th. Jim Kharouf is headed to Austin, TX for vacation and some interviews on April 16. Doug heads to Montreal for the ISDA General Conference on April 23. Jim heads to São Paulo on May 4th to 6th for the World Federation of Exchanges conference. Sarah Rudolph and I are headed to Miami for the Options Industry Conference on May 6th. Finally, we have IDX June 9 to 10 in London, where I will be joined by Jim, Doug, and Doug’s son Colin, who will be working for us as a production intern this summer. If you will be at any of those places and would like to schedule a meeting, please email me at


FIA Issues Guide on the Development and Operation of Automated Trading Systems
FIA Americas
FIA released a comprehensive guide to the development and operation of automated trading systems. The Guide to the Development and Operation of Automated Trading Systems presents a comprehensive overview of the approaches that should be considered when building, managing, and reviewing automated trading systems.

***** What is with the FIA’s offices days? They came back from Boca with their motors running.


House panel focuses on international market issues in reauthorizing CFTC
A House Agriculture subcommittee continued a series of hearings in advance of writing legislation to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which lapsed in September 2013, focusing today on complex rules for international markets. Noting that derivatives markets have changed over the past five years in response to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, “the further into implementation we get, the more cross-border jurisdictional issues that seem to arise,” said Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., the chair of Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee.

***DA: The clearing equivalence issue is going down to the wire – June 15. Terry Duffy was quite animated in his display of impatience, and rightly so.


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New Energy: Nasdaq’s Greifeld Looks To Shake Up Energy Space

Nasdaq’s CEO Robert Greifeld shook things up at the FIA Boca Conference with the announcement it plans to launch a new futures exchange that will focus on energies, bringing new competition to the Intercontinental Exchange and CME Group. Greifeld spoke with John Lothian News editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about the new pricing and clearing model, as well as his views on regulation, technology and how Nasdaq is positioned going forward.

“The statement of the problem is this, we do not have a single customer who says “I would prefer to be in a vertical monopoly, I prefer to be in a situation where my open interest is trapped in a clearing house and locked into the trading,’ ” he said. “That’s the fundamental problem we’re trying to solve.”
Watch the video »

Lead Stories

Liquidity storm could throw UK into chaos, Bank of England warns
By Szu Ping Chan, The Telegraph
Bank of England warns that liquidity has become “more fragile”, as it says threat of Greek default poses “significant risks” to the UK
The Bank of England has warned that a global liquidity storm could endanger financial stability if investors suddenly demanded their money back, adding that the threat of a Greek default posed “significant risks” to the UK.

TT gets $16m as court finds against CQG in patent trial
Futures & Options World
A US court has awarded Trading Technologies almost $16 million after finding in favour of the tech firm in its long-running patent infringement battle with rival CQG, marking a victory for the firm as it works through various legal actions. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois upheld on March 18 TT’s two claims of infringement on two of its patents but ruled against TT in its claims that CQG had induced others to infringe on its patents and that CQG’s own infringement had been wilful.

London Stock Exchange shares slide as Borse Dubai sells 17% stake
Arash Massoudi in London and Simeon Kerr in Dubai, FT
Shares in the London Stock Exchange Group fell by 9 per cent on Thursday after Borse Dubai sold its 17.4 per cent stake.

Investment in financial technology groups triples to $12bn in year
Martin Arnold, Banking Editor, FT
Investment in financial technology companies trebled last year, providing a hint of the scale of digital disruption banks face, according to research from Accenture.
The total amount invested in the global fintech sector rose from just over $4bn in 2013 to more than $12bn last year, as record amounts were poured into companies developing technologies that promise to turn the financial sector on its head.

First New York Fined Again by Finra Over Illegal Short Sales
by Matthew Robinson, Bloomberg
First New York Securities LLC manipulated company stocks with illegal short sales less than two years after having been fined for similar misconduct, the brokerage industry’s self-regulator said.

Ponzi schemer stole $60M from independent film king
By Lia Eustachewich, NY Post
A multimillion-dollar investment gone bad became a real-life “Little Shop of Horrors” for B-movie king Roger Corman.

High-frequency trading firms face tougher oversight
Philip Stafford in London, Nicole Bullock in New York and Barney Jopson in Washington, FT
US regulators have moved to close a loophole that allows some high-frequency trading firms that trade equities away from regulated exchanges to operate with light supervision.

Liquidnet finds that HFT and liquidity still spook Asia
The Trade News
Asian buy-side traders are highly concerned about high-frequency trading and their ability to source local liquidity, according to a survey conducted by Liquidnet, which asked 115 buy-side traders around the world, including Asia, about the issues that currently pre-occupy them.

Christopher Giancarlo Calls for Swaps Rules Rethink
Institutional Investor
The CFTC commissioner, who previously worked at an interdealer brokerage firm, want the agency to allow more trading flexibility.

SEC Adopts Rules to Facilitate Smaller Companies’ Access to Capital
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted final rules to facilitate smaller companies’ access to capital. The new rules provide investors with more investment choices.

SEC Proposes Rule to Require Broker-Dealers Active in Off-Exchange Market to Become Members of National Securities Association; Amendments Would Enhance Regulatory Oversight of Active Proprietary Trading Firms
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed rule amendments to require that broker-dealers trading in off-exchange venues become members of a national securities association. The amendments would enhance regulatory oversight of active proprietary trading firms, such as high frequency traders.

Plato runs ‘beauty parade’ for tech provider
Philip Stafford, FT
A new not-for-profit European share trading venue is underscoring its transparent and mutual ethos by holding an unusual public “beauty parade” to help decide its trading technology provider.

Lawmaker Proposes Bipartisan Insider-Trading Ban; Currently when prosecutors bring insider-trading charges, they rely on their general anti-fraud authority and court precedents
By Andrew Ackerman And Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ
A House lawmaker whose Connecticut district is home to one of the highest concentrations of hedge funds introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would ban insider trading, taking aim at a financial crime that has tripped up some of his own constituents.

The Ludicrous Idea Of Trying To Abolish Cash
Tim Worstall, Forbes
Ken Rogoff is an extremely fine economist. It’s also possible that Ken Rogoff is wrong this time: for he’s suggesting that it might be time to try and abolish cash from the economy. He’s got two major reasons for trying this and I’m vaguely sympathetic to one of them and vehemently against the second line of reasoning. But my really big point about this proposal is that it simply wouldn’t work. For while we do often say that a government provides value to a fiat currency by insisting that tax is paid in it, this isn’t, really, what provides value to money. It might support it in some manner, but the true definition of money is whatever it is that people will accept as money. And if government stops providing people with something that can be used as physical money then they will simply turn to something else. It might be something worse, less convenient, riskier, but as sure as eggs is eggs there will be something or other used.

US SEC proposes rules to beef up oversight of high-speed traders
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to put forth a plan that will require high-speed proprietary trading firms to register with Wall Street’s self-funded regulator.

U.S. SEC adopts new rules for Regulation A’ public stock deals
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt a rule set designed to help small businesses raise capital through smaller and medium-sized public stock offerings known as “Regulation A.”


Regulators cast shadow on US-EU recognition hopes
By James Rundle, Financial News
The ongoing dispute between the US and EU over recognising one another’s regulatory regimes for derivatives trading will not be easily solved, European regulators have said, amid urgent calls from the industry to fix the problem.

Broker took Red Bank woman’s money for himself
Michael L. Diamond,
A broker has been barred from selling securities in part for using the investment of a Red Bank resident for meals at restaurants, health insurance premiums and travel, a regulatory agency has ruled.

Washington > Scott holds Hearing to examine Reauthorization of the CFTC
Congressman Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee, held a hearing to examine the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the challenges end-users face as they use these markets.

Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Scott, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify here today. I am President of National Futures Association. For those new to the subcommittee, NFA is the industrywide self-regulatory organization for the derivatives industry. Our membership includes Swap Dealers, Futures Commission Merchants (FCM), Commodity Pool Operators (CPO), Commodity Trading Advisors (CTA), Introducing Brokers and all of the Associated Persons in the futures industry. NFA’s responsibilities include registration of all industry professionals on behalf of the CFTC, passing rules to ensure fair dealing with customers, monitoring Members for compliance with those rules and taking enforcement actions against those Members that violate our rules.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans
BOX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Clarify Certain Statements Made in SR-BOX-2015-03, a Proposed Rule Change Filed by the Exchange on January 9, 2015 (Release No. 34-74576; File No. SR-BOX-2015-16)
CBOE: Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rules 6.41 and 24.8 (Release No. 34-74551; File No. SR-CBOE-2015-010; March 20, 2015)
ICEEU: Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Collateral and Haircut Policy (Release No. 34-74579; File No. SR-ICEEU-2015-007)
ICEEU: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to FATCA Requirements (Release No. 34-74577; File No. SR-ICEEU-2015-006)
NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Rule 5950 (Release No. 34-74580; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2015-025); see also Exhibit 5

FCA consults on 2015/16 fees for regulated firms
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on fees for regulated firms for the 2015/16 financial year. These fees are used to cover the cost of the FCA’s regulatory activities, with fees for individual firms based on the areas of business they undertake.
The FCA’s annual funding requirement is £481.6m, up 8.4% from £446.4m in 2015/16. We will use this to deliver the programme of work set out in our 2015/16 business plan (including market studies on pensions, our work on pensions, market study into competition in investment banking and implementing the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standard’s recommendations on accountability), the development of our information systems and the continuing need to invest in our people.

FCA to ask firms for their views on MiFID II implementation
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking early views from firms, trade bodies and consumer groups on how it might implement certain aspects of the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, known as MiFID II.
One of the aims of MiFID II is to reinforce investor protection standards by strengthening conduct of business and organisational requirements. The FCA has policy choices to make in some areas on how MiFID II is implemented in the UK and is asking for views before it consults more extensively on rule changes at the end of the year, once MiFID II’s implementing measures are finalised.

Developing our approach to implementing MiFID II conduct of business and organisational requirements
We are launching a discussion on certain aspects of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) ahead of formal consultation later in 2015.

CFTC Announces Agenda for the Upcoming Public Meeting of the Market Risk Advisory Committee
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) announced today the full agenda for the upcoming CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) public meeting. The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at the Commission’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information regarding the meeting, view CFTC Press Release 7135-15.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

NZX To Launch Exchange Traded Options
NZX is pleased to announce that following approval by the Financial Markets Authority, NZX equity options are expected to launch on 24 April 2015.

CME Group Notices
CME Group
Listing of Two (2) New Petroleum Futures Contracts 25 Mar 2015
Reporting Requirements for Good Friday – April 3, 2015 25 Mar 2015
Performance Bond Requirements: Nymex New Products – March 27, 2015 25 Mar 2015
CME SFTP Enhancements Effective April 11th

Euronext: Annual General Meeting Convening Notice
Euronext (Paris:ENX) (Amsterdam:ENX) (Brussels:ENX) today announced that its Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 2.30 p.m. CET, at Beursplein 5, 1012 JW Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Chi-X Canada Set to Launch Odd Lot Facility
Chi-X® Canada ATS Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of alternative trading venue operator Chi-X® Global Holdings LLC, today released CX2’s Odd Lot Facility pricing schedule and confirmed its launch on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
(By Email)

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Nutritionists warn diners to be wary of Warren Buffett’s ‘junk-food’ portfolio
By Barbara Goldberg, Reuters
Following Warren Buffett’s investment advice may be smart but nutritionists say that eating too many of the “junk-food” products made by companies he has invested in isn’t quite as wise.

Investors Scoop Up Companies’ Bonds
Record pace of $438 billion of new debt purchases has been set for the year through Tuesday

Does the Hedge Fund industry benefit society?
Don A. Steinbrugge, CFA, Managing Partner at Agecroft Partners
It is no secret that the hedge fund industry is viewed negatively by a large portion of the general public, but should it be? Such a perception is driven primarily by the fact that most hedge funds are not permitted to market themselves to the general public, and because the mainstream media has a negative bias toward their coverage of the industry. The average person is inundated with negative articles creating the image that: 1.) Most hedge fund managers are dishonest and frequently commit fraud or violate insider trading laws. 2.) Hedge funds are highly risky investments. 3.) Their devious actions are bad for the general public. 4.) Hedge funds generate bad performance and their fees are too high.

Banks & Brokers

Argentine minister says Citigroup bond deal is illegal
Argentina’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said on Wednesday a deal between Citigroup Inc and a U.S. judge allowing the banking giant to process two Argentine debt payments violated the South American country’s laws.

MF Global’s unsecured creditors seek $461 mln payout -trustee
By Nick Brown, Reuters
Unsecured creditors of MF Global Holdings’ failed brokerage unit may soon receive $461 million in repayment, raising recoveries to 72 percent of claims lodged when it collapsed in 2011, the firm’s trustee said on Wednesday.

UBS Fund Services Enhances its Client GP and LP Reporting Experience with SunGard’s Investran Insight
Bob’s Guide
UBS Fund Services has implemented SunGard’s Investran Insight to provide investment managers and investors with interactive reporting, advanced analytics, and data visualization across its private equity value chain. SunGard’s Investran Insight delivers a customizable and user-friendly portal experience that integrates seamlessly with the UBS client web portal, UBS Fund Services Online. Through Investran Insight, UBS clients and their limited partners (LPs) will have access to a secure, interactive reporting experience with detailed information available on investors, funds and underlying portfolio companies.

Clearing & Settlement

DTCC calls for early action on ASIC reporting
Futures & Options World
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the global trade repository, has called on financial institutions operating in Australia to act ahead of the third phase of that country’s derivatives reporting reforms. The third phase of Australia’s derivatives reporting rules are to come into force from April 13, at which point financial firms with notional outstanding in reportable trades between A$5bn and A$50bn known as 3A entities.

BAML appoints new futures, clearing head
Futures & Options World
Dean Tonkin has been promoted to head of futures, options, swaps clearing and FX prime at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, taking on some of the duties handled by Peter Johnson before he left in January. Tonkin has been promoted to head of futures, options, OTC clearing and FX prime brokerage at the US bank’s main operation in New York, according to market sources.

Congress Should Not Treat Financial Companies As Public Utilities
In layman’s terms, a systemically important FMU is a special type of financial company that federal regulators deem too big to fail. Formally, Title VIII of Dodd-Frank defines an FMU as “any person that manages or operates a multilateral system for the purpose of transferring, clearing, or settling payments, securities, or other financial transactions among financial institutions or between financial institutions and the person.”

Indexes & Products

STOXX Launches Daily Currency Hedged Version Of Key Indices – Euro STOXX 50 Daily GBP Hedged And EURO STOXX 50 Daily USD Hedged Indices Licensed To Lyxor ETF
STOXX Limited, a leading provider of innovative, tradable and global index concepts, today introduced daily currency hedged versions of the EURO STOXX 50, EURO STOXX, EURO STOXX Select Dividend 30, STOXX Europe 600 and STOXX Europe Select Dividend 30 indices. The new indices are aimed at investors seeking exposure to these well-known STOXX benchmarks, while at the same time looking to reduce the risk of currency fluctuations.

A Tale of Two Benchmarks: Reconstitution Effect
S&P Dow Jones Indices
This is the second in a series of blog posts relating to the in depth analysis of performance differential between the S&P SmallCap 600 and the Russell 2000. Numerous studies have been conducted on Russell’s annual reconstitution process in June, particularly regarding the downward price pressure placed on the Russell 2000. As winners from the Russell 2000 move up to the Russell 1000, and losers from the Russell 1000 move down to the small-cap index, small-cap fund managers are forced to sell winners and buy losers, thereby creating negative momentum.

James River Group Holdings, Ltd. to be Added to Russell 2000, Russell 3000 and Russell Microcap Indexes
CaribPR Wire
James River Group Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq:JRVR) announced that effective as of the close of the market on Monday, March 31, 2015, the Company will be added to the Russell 2000 index, the Russell 3000 index and the Russell Microcap(R) index, as part of the quarterly Initial Public Offering (IPO) update to the Russell indexes.

How Much Are You Losing to 401(k) Fees? You’d Be Surprised
Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and founder of the nationwide Garrett Planning Network, explained: “There are so many different ways that custodians and financial service companies are receiving compensation. There are explicit fees, sure, but then the list goes on and on. Most people don’t have any idea.”


News Brief: Mexico’s Actinver Leverages SunGard Technology to Launch Its Derivatives Trading and Clearing Business
Actinver, one of Mexico’s largest financial institutions, has launched a derivatives trading and clearing business utilizing SunGard’s Valdi Order Management system (OMS) and Stream Post-Trade real-time, back-office processing system for listed and cleared OTC derivatives. Sophisticated technology, ease of integration, local market knowledge and support, along with a managed services business model to help increase efficiency while reducing risk and cost, were all reasons Actinver cited for choosing SunGard as its technology provider.

As Twitter Introduces Periscope, Tech Titans Bet on Live Streaming
Tyra Banks smiled a toothy grin and chatted idly with a captive audience earlier this week, showing off her new pixie haircut. She later flipped a blond-streaked auburn lock at the crowd, asking in a half-mocking tone, “How do you like me now?”

Facebook opens Messenger to developers
Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco, FT
Facebook is betting that its growing messaging app will be its next big revenue generator, mimicking the model of Asian internet companies such as Tencent’s WeChat by integrating other apps.

Accenture: $12.2 Bln Invested in Fintech Sector in 2014
Forex Magnates
In a report from Accenture, investments into fintech firms tripled in 2014 to $12.2 billion from $4.05 billion in 2013. The report, The Future of Fintech and Banking: Digitally disrupted or reimagined, was compiled as part of Accenture’s involvement in the fintech startup space of which they operate the Fintech Innovation Lab London.

Options Secure New Multi-Million Pound Banking Facility With RBS
Bob’s Guide
Options, the leading managed services provider to the global capital markets industry, today announced that they have secured a new multi-million pound banking facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The new facility comprises a Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) from NatWest and an Asset Finance facility extension from Lombard.

Leading Turkish Broker Oyak Securities Selects CameronTec’s Catalys
Bob’s Guide
CameronTec Group, the global standard in financial messaging infrastructure and tools for the Capital Markets industry, today announced leading Turkish Broker, Oyak Securities, has selected the Catalys FIX gateway to connect to Borsa Istanbul’s markets.


PayPal to Pay $7.7 Million to U.S. Over Alleged Sanctions Violations; Under settlement, PayPal didn’t admit or deny the allegations
By Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ
The U.S. Treasury Department disclosed on Wednesday a $7.7 million settlement with eBay Inc. unit PayPal Inc. over alleged sanctions violations by the electronic payments company.

CFTC Revokes Registrations of John G. Wilkins and His Company, Altamont Global Partners LLC, Based on Federal Court’s Permanent Injunction Order and on Wilkins’s Related Criminal Conviction
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the revocation of the registrations of Altamont Global Partners LLC (AGP) of Longwood, Florida and its owner, John G. Wilkins, formerly of Chuluota, Florida. AGP was registered with the CFTC as a Commodity Pool Operator, and Wilkins was registered as an Associated Person of AGP.

FINRA Sanctions First New York Securities L.L.C. $916,000 for Illegal Short Selling in Advance of 14 Public Offerings
Firm Fined $400,000 and Ordered to Pay More Than $500,000 in Disgorgement; Prohibited From Participating in Secondary Offerings for Six Months
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has sanctioned First New York Securities L.L.C. $916,000 for short selling ahead of participating in 14 public offerings of securities, in violation of Rule 105 of Regulation M, and for related supervisory violations. FINRA ordered First New York to pay disgorgement of more than $516,000, plus interest, and fined the firm $400,000. Additionally, the firm is prohibited from participating in secondary or follow-on offerings for a period of six months.

Environmental & Energy

Cost of carbon ‘should be 200% higher’
By John Conroy – Climate Spectator
The agreed level of carbon price needed to level out societal damage from climate change, $US36.70, is 200% below what is actually needed, according to a study reported in Carbon Brief.

Climate change: (Australia’s) farmers urge Coalition to restore emissions trading scheme
By Gabrielle Chan – The Guardian
A delegation of farmers has called for the Abbott government to act on climate change by restoring an emissions trading scheme, maintaining the current renewable energy target and spending on rail infrastructure to improve inland transport and reduce carbon emissions.

Why Bombing This Tiny Oil Producer Is Roiling the Energy Market
by Sharon ChoBen Sharples, Bloomberg
While Yemen contributes less than 0.2 percent of global oil output, its location puts it near the center of world energy trade.

Oil market’s small fry become big fish
Gregory Meyer in New York, FT
Like the old cartoon showing a school of small fish organised to form a big one, retail investors have become a whale in the oil market.

The World’s First Carbon-Negative Data Center Heats Up Swedish Homes In The Winter
Fast Company
Energy-guzzling data centers pump out an estimated 200 million tons of CO2 emissions every year around the world—more than 42 million cars create in the same amount of time.


HKEx to Enhance its Services for Stock Connect
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) is rolling out a significant enhancement to its Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS) on 30 March 2015 (Monday) to enable investors* to settle their trades of A shares (Northbound trades) through Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Stock Connect) similarly to the way they settle their trades of Hong Kong stocks.

HKEx Holds Listing Seminar in Shandong
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) held a seminar in Jinan, the capital city of Shandong province, today (Thursday) with the Finance Office of Shandong Province and InvestHK to explain the benefits of listing in Hong Kong.

China to open up futures market to foreign investors via free trade zones: CSRC
By Reuters
China plans to gradually open up its futures market to overseas investors through free trade zones (FTZ), but no decision has been made yet on allowing the London Metal Exchange (LME) to set up a warehouse in the country, a regulatory official said.

Frontier Markets

NSEL investors demand speedy probe in Rs 5,600-cr scam; Investors write to new Mumbai Crime Branch chief complaining shoddy investigation
Business Standard
NSEL Investors’ Action Group (NIAG) has called for swift and stringent action against conspirators in the Rs 5,600 crore payment default at National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).

India’s Illicit Moneylenders Aren’t Going Away; Greater access to banking system doesn’t resolve needs of India’s massive informal economy
By Gabriele Parussini, WSJ
Three bank branches stand across the street from Ajay Kumar Jaswal’s vegetable stand. But their loan officers shun his small business, forcing him to pay up to 20% quarterly interest to an illegal moneylender for the roughly $160 he needs as working capital.


ConAgra reports quarterly loss, lower sales
ConAgra Foods Inc, the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky, reported a quarterly loss, hurt by a $1.3 billion charge in its private brands business.

Higher volumes lift Dreyfus profits despite lower crop prices
Neil Hume, Commodities Editor, FT
Louis Dreyfus Commodities, one of the world’s largest agricultural traders, has reported a small increase in annual profits as bumper crops led to higher trading volumes but lower prices.

EU to Open Extensive E-Commerce Sector Probe; Investigation will examine whether companies like are restricting cross-border trade
By Tom Fairless, WSJ
The European Union is set to open a sweeping investigation into whether Internet commerce firms like Inc. are violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by restricting cross-border trade.

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