First Read

2016 Exchange CEO Series: SGX’s Boon Chye Expanding With New Products, New Platform in 2016

Loh Boon Chye took over the Singapore Exchange CEO post in July 2015 with a focus on growing the overall business in derivatives, clearing and equities. But he faces headwinds across the asset classes as China’s economy slows. Boon Chye, however, believes the exchange is well positioned to move forward in 2016.

SGX has made a name for itself by introducing equity index futures with the Nikkei 225 futures, among others. The exchange now is broadening its China product suite with the introduction of a series of equity derivatives based on MSCI indexes including the MSCI China Free Index. The new product follows the FTSE China A50 futures contract, which ranked 18th among global futures exchange in 2015, and traded 95.8 million contracts last year, up 131 percent from 41.3 million contracts a year earlier, according to the Futures Industry Association annual survey. Watch the video »

A Word From Gary Katz of ISE On Autism Speaks
At this year’s Options Industry Conference, attendees will be participating in a 5K charity event to benefit Autism Speaks, a charity near and dear to my heart. I have pledged to match all individual donations, dollar for dollar. I invite you to support this event either by participating or donating (any donation amount will be appreciated).

**Apologies for the bad link last week on this charity drive. Gary topped $35k over the weekend.


Bats Public Offering Could Value Company at $2.1 Billion
John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
Company is selling stock in a range of $17 to $19 per share; Bats is selling 11.2 million shares in the exchange operator
Bats Global Markets Inc.’s public offering could value the second-largest U.S. stock exchange operator at as much as $2.1 billion.

***** Nothing like a good baseball success story on Opening Day.


Xavier Rolet: tie-up between LSE and Deutsche Boerse is best deal on the table
James Quinn – The Telegraph
Although he may look every part the FTSE 100 chief executive – smart red tie, pocket handkerchief, discreet but expensive grey suit – Xavier Rolet is playing the role of evangelical preacher.

***** I believe there is only one deal on the table.


Jim Rogers: ‘I am the world’s worst short-term trader’
James Williams – FT
I meet Jim Rogers, the world-renowned investor of Quantum fund fame, midway through changing hotel rooms in Grosvenor Square. He is the ultimate multitasker, responding to emails, packing his suitcase, batting away phone calls, all while responding thoughtfully to my questions.

****** Now who am I going to fade?


School of hard knocks no barrier for billionaires
Murad Ahmed in London – FT
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard after two years to found Microsoft
The world’s top self-made billionaires do not just have more money than everyone else; they often have less top-level education than the managers and accountants running their companies.

***** The best advice I was ever given about trading from Bill Mallers, Sr. was to think for myself. It has had great value outside of trading as well.


Did You Know?
As we rework pages within MarketsWiki, some interesting facts are worth noting. Today’s “Did You Know?” is about the Thailand Futures Exchange.

Some of the new exchanges have shined, in terms of volume. The Thailand Futures Exchange’s volumes have grown from 3 million contracts in 2009, to more than 48.5 million contracts traded last year. It’s 2015 volume, according to the recent FIA Annual Survey, was up 34.8 percent last year.

Volumes in the past four years at TFEX are:
2015 48.5 million
2014 36.0 million
2013 16.1 million
2012 10.4 million

“Did You Know?”
is brought to you by:


Broadway hit ‘Hamilton’ has good life advice
by Heather Long – CNN
The hit musical “Hamilton” is Broadway’s equivalent of The Beatles.

***** Among the good life advice is “don’t pay scalpers’ prices for tickets to the show.”


One Step Ahead: Can Silicon Valley Help, Compliance?
Jim Kharouf, John Lothian News
If you are chief compliance officer at a firm – brokerage or fund – what if you could tell if the customer or one of your traders was about to do something bad, wrong or illegal? The operative words are “about to.”


A Most Interesting Charity Challenge Without Cold Water
John Lothian
I have a challenge for the readers of the John Lothian Newsletter that does not involve cold water, but does include a donation to the Futures For Kids charity. The week before the FIA Boca Raton International Conference news broke that Dos Equis spokesman Jonathan Goldsmith, known as “The Most Interesting Man in the World” was being replaced by the beer maker with a younger replacement. In fact, Goldsmiths character is being sent to Mars. You could be the next MIMITW.


Friday’s Top Three
An emerging trend in newsletter clicks was certainly on display Friday – scan JLN for the day’s news, but click to be entertained. The top story, which garnered more than twice the clicks of the second place finisher, was April Fools Day: 2016’s best pranks (and worst jokes) around the web. Occasionally, links to pages in MarketsWiki are among the most popular. Second place went to the bio page for tech startup Neurensic, which was featured in Jim Kharouf’s story on artificial intelligence in the compliance space. Third place went to John McCrank’s story in Reuters about Nasdaq’s plan, announced at Thursday’s investor day, to host a number of dark pools within its data center.

Lead Stories

LSE chief dismisses American suitor as ‘slash and burn interloper’
James Quinn – The Telegraph
The boss of the London Stock Exchange has dismissed the owner of the New York Stock Exchange as a “slash and burn” organisation which would throw parts of the British bourse “in the bin”.

***** I don’t think reverse psychology works on Jeff Sprecher.

Sovereign wealth funds push for higher hedge fund standards
Chris Flood – FT
The International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds has signed an agreement with a large hedge fund association to push for better governance standards in the alternative investment industry.

CME Group Appoints Paul Houston as Global Head of FX
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the appointment of Paul Houston as Executive Director, Global Head of FX.

After a Disastrous Year, These Bond Traders Become World-Beaters
Susanne Walker Barton – Bloomberg
Loomis Sayles is tops among total return funds with 5.3% gain; Russell, Eaton Vance also recover from dismal ’15 to lead pack
At least for one quarter, Scott Service and his colleagues at Loomis Sayles & Co. can call themselves world-beaters.

Wisdom wanes for ‘don’t fight the Fed’
Roger Blitz and Robin Wigglesworth – FT
For generations, “Don’t fight the Fed” was a mantra beaten into market neophytes by Wall Street’s grizzled veterans. Now the tables seem to have turned.

ICAP To Become Official Title Sponsor Of L’Etape London By Le Tour De France – Esteemed Cycle Sportive Teams Up With Leading Financial Service Provider
Human Race, the UK’s leading event organiser, announces that ICAP, a leading markets operator and provider of post-trade risk mitigation and information services, is to become Official Title Sponsor of L’Etape London by Le Tour de France. One of the UK’s foremost cycle sportives, ICAP L’Etape London by Le Tour de France will take place on Sunday 25 September 2016, starting and finishing at the Lee Valley VeloPark, home of the 2012 Olympic Games.

LSE ‘merger of equals’ takes a battering as those involved begin to realise the flaws
Eight years have passed since the great financial panic and the impact is still being felt. Among Europe’s once robust investment banks Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are struggling for air.

Bloomberg: Deutsche Boerse clearing plan eases banks’ capital worries
The exchange operator’s Eurex unit will let big European investors, such as insurers and pension funds, have a direct relationship with its Clearing House from this summer. By doing so it has found a new way for the world’s largest banks to minimize the impact of capital requirements put in place after the financial crisis.

The Syrian Pound’s Black Market Moves are a Futures Contract on Bashar Al Assad; The Syrian currency’s short term gyrations reflect the political outlook for Syria’s president
It’s difficult to tell how tight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power really is. Want a clue? Check the market.

The Swiss franc may face another jolt
Chris Newlands – FT
Little more than a year ago, while European Central Bank president Mario Draghi was busy fulfilling his promise to do “whatever it takes” to revitalise the eurozone economy, the Swiss National Bank was doing whatever it could to protect its own.

New fronts open up in rekindled currency wars
Madison Marriage – FT
In 2010 Guido Mantega, then Brazil’s finance minister, accused the United States and fellow powerful economies of deliberately weakening their currencies in order to take a greater slice of global trade — what he called a “currency war”.

Fed’s New Bank Critic Keeps Heat On; Neel Kashkari is unlikely threat to nation’s biggest banks
Neel Kashkari, the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is positioning himself as an unlikely regulatory threat to the nation’s biggest banks.

Welcome to a gentler age of investor activism
Jonathan Guthrie – FT
Gentler activism is not confined to Europe. But its chances of success are growing there
What is a “constructivist”? A revolutionary Russian artist? A bricklayer? Or an investor who buys into European companies planning to help raise their value but doesn’t like being called an “activist”? The third answer is right. Gentler activism is not confined to Europe. But its chances of success are growing here, judging from victories at Rolls-Royce, the UK jet-engine maker, and UK investment business Alliance Trust.

Top JPMorgan Treasuries Trader’s Exit Said to Draw SEC Inquiry
Hugh Son, Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Wall Street regulators are examining alleged policy breaches that prompted JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s U.S. head of government-bond trading and another employee to leave the firm this year, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Lagarde dismisses claim that Greece is being pushed to default
Jim Brunsden in Brussels and Kerin Hope in Andros – FT
Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, has hit back at Greece over claims that the IMF is seeking to push the country towards default, describing the idea as “nonsense”.


CFTC’s Bowen: Lower swap-dealer cutoff to $3 billion
Neil Roland, MLex
Sharon Bowen, a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission member, said the $8 billion swap dealer threshold should be lowered to $3 billion, which would cast a regulatory net over more derivatives trading. The Democratic commissioner’s assertion, in an interview with MLex on Friday, puts her at loggerheads with the Republican commissioner, Christopher Giancarlo, and potentially gives Chairman Timothy Massad the tie-breaking vote.

Fed gives green light on banks’ US muni bond holdings
Joe Rennison in New York – FT
US regulators have bowed to pressure from the financial industry and allowed banks to use high-quality debt issued by US municipalities to meet new safety standards, easing regional treasurers’ fears that banks would be dissuaded from buying their bonds.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today an update of its Questions and Answers (Q&A) document regarding the implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

SEC investigates ex-JPMorgan debt traders
Kara Scannell and Joe Rennison in New York – FT
The top US securities watchdog has launched an investigation into government debt trades made by two former JPMorgan Chase employees who left the bank earlier this year after a dispute over compliance procedures

ASIC releases market integrity report
ASIC has released its six-monthly report on market integrity focusing on the three areas of deterrence, standards and education, and behavioural change. In its new short form, Report 475 Market Integrity Report: July to December 2015 (REP 475), covers the work of ASIC’s Market Integrity Group. This is a group within ASIC that focuses on ensuring that Australia’s licensed markets are fair, orderly, transparent and efficient.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

    • BATS: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2, and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, to List and Trade Shares of the SPDR DoubleLine Short Duration Total Return Tactical ETF of the SSgA Active Trust (Release No. 34-77499; File No. SR-BATS-2016-04)
    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Fees under Rules 7015(b) and (g) (Release No. 34-77495; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2016-046); see also Exhibit 5


Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Trading statistics March 2016
Eurex Exchange
ADV 8.2 million contracts / ISE: ADV 2.3 million contracts
In March 2016, the international derivatives markets of Eurex, part of Deutsche Börse Group, recorded an average daily volume of 10.5 million contracts (March 2015: 9.6 million). Of those, 8.2 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (March 2015: 7.3 million), and 2.3 million contracts (March 2015: 2.3 million) were traded at the New York based International Securities Exchange (ISE). The volume traded on the spot and derivatives power markets of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) amounted to 255.8 terawatt hours. Eurex Repo recorded in all markets in March 2016 an average outstanding volume of 147.4 billion euros.

CME Group Achieved Record Average Daily Volume of 16.9 Million Contracts per Day in First-Quarter 2016, up 13 Percent from First-Quarter 2015
– March 2016 Volume Averaged 14.3 Million Contracts per Day, Up 4 Percent from March 2015
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that first-quarter 2016 volume averaged a record 16.9 million contracts per day, up 13 percent from first-quarter 2015. CME Group first-quarter 2016 options volume averaged a record 3.5 million contracts per day, up 22 percent versus first-quarter 2015, with electronic options averaging 1.8 million contracts per day, up 26 percent over the same period last year. March 2016 volume averaged 14.3 million contracts per day, up 4 percent from March 2015. Open interest at the end of March was 106 million contracts, up 16 percent from year-end 2015.

Summary of March 2016 Activities at TOCOM
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange announced today that the trading volume for fiscal 2015 (April 2015 – March 2016) totaled 26,159,658 contracts, up 15.3% from the prior year. Average daily volume was 106,774 contracts, up 15.8%. The market was active as price volatility increased with turmoil in emerging economies, including China. Other causes include a slump in crude oil and other commodities and a negative interest rate stance adopted by global central banks, such as BOJ.

Rich Repetto Talks Exchanges, Market Structure, ETFs
By John D’Antona, Senior Editor · MarketsMedia
While the equities market has been rife with talk over the recent Investors Exchange application process, there’s a lot more happening in the space.

Are There Limits to Fair Access? Exchanges Should Define the Customer Experience
Ray Tierney, Gary Stone – Bloomberg Trading Solutions
The approval of two news rules on the BATS Exchange that give it the power to police disruptive quoting and trading on the exchange – including the power to deny direct access to offending trader – has deep policy and market structure implications, and opens the door for exchanges to potentially compete on the basis of the customer experience rather than simply on price, speed and market data.

Boerse Stuttgart Reports March Turnover In Region Of EUR 6.9 Billion – Trading Volume On A Par With Previous Month – Figures Show Increased Trading In Equities And Bonds
Based on the order book statistics, turnover at Boerse Stuttgart in March 2016 was around EUR 6.9 billion, roughly on a par with the total for February.

SGX welcomes Aspial Treasury second retail bond offering
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed the listing of Aspial Treasury Pte Ltd.’s four-year retail bonds with a coupon rate of 5.30% per annum, payable half-yearly, on the Mainboard under the stock code “BRQZ”.

DGCX Breaks Several Records in the First Quarter of 2016
First quarter volumes on the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) grew 37% from the same period last year, trading more than 4.5 million contracts – the highest quarterly volumes in the history of the Exchange.

Investors shun ICE’s world futures contracts
Gregory Meyer in New York – FT
The cotton market may be global, but international commodity merchants are showing a preference for cotton futures contracts that are local.


Uncertain Economics Influence ‘Brexit’ Talk
Britain is one of Europe’s strongest economic performers, having emerged from the financial crisis of the last decade faster and less burdened by debt than competitors like France, Italy and Spain. Unemployment is at a 10-year low of 5.1 percent. London, vibrant and second only to New York as a global financial hub, hums a siren song to the young and ambitious across Europe.

Brexit risks taking multi-trillion euro trading from London
By John O’Donnell, Huw Jones and John Geddie – Reuters
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – If Britons vote to leave the EU, London’s financial centre faces losing one of its top money spinners – the trade in trillions of euros in derivatives – and the European Central Bank will be pushing hard for the business to move onto its patch.

Sterling fears mount as Britain nears vote on EU
Dan McCrum, Roger Blitz and Elaine Moore – FT
The cost of buying protection against a plunge in the value of sterling after the EU referendum has soared to levels higher than those seen during the 2008 financial crisis, as fears of Brexit mount in financial markets.

Barron’s endorses Kasich for president
Calling him “the best hope for investors who want a Republican in the White House,” Barron’s announced its support for Ohio Governor John Kasich for president with a front-page editorial in its latest hard-copy edition.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

‘There are going to be lots of dead unicorns’
Attracta Mooney – FT
Unicorns, as billion-dollar start-ups have been dubbed, were one of the hottest topics of 2015.

Whatever you read about alternative investing is true
Amin Rajan – FT
Hedge funds and private equity defy bad news, says Amin Rajan of Create Research
Whatever you read about alternative investing is true — and so is the opposite.
First, the bad news: in 2015, hedge funds had their second-worst year in terms of investment performance since the global financial crisis in 2008.

Finland’s state pension scheme to boost hedge fund assets
Lea Huhtala – FT
Finland’s state pension scheme plans to invest another $500m in hedge funds this year despite persistent concerns over performance and high fees within the sector.

Franklin Templeton hit with outflows of EUR26bn in one year
Attracta Mooney – FT
Franklin had outflows across a wide variety of products and asset classes
Franklin Templeton, one of the world’s biggest investment managers, lost at least EUR1bn a month for the past year from its European mutual funds as investors shunned its emerging markets and bond products.

Some Hedge Funds Tan, Others Burn; Two hedge fund titans had opposite results betting on affiliated power companies
In this battle of the hedge fund titans one is basking in a warm glow while another is getting scorched.

Opinion: How negative interest rates could lead to a world without cash
By Satyajit Das – MarketWatch
Several of the world’s central banks have adopted negative interest rates. But why would investors go along? There are several possible reasons:

MOU introduces a new twist to the story of London’s gold market
London, the traditional home/hub of the world’s gold trade, could be slowly losing its grip on power as more and more of the world’s physical gold moves from London’s vaults to Asia, chiefly China. This part of the story isn’t really anything new. But recent news about a memorandum of understanding provides a new option for the story to develop.

Banks & Brokers

Banks fall out of love with emerging markets
Emerging markets are fast losing their shine for the world’s biggest investment banks. Faced with falling fees from fewer deals – and bleak prospects ahead – many have put the brakes on a decade-long expansion, with some cutting jobs and shutting offices.

JPMorgan and Citigroup Were Once America’s De Facto Central Bank
Motley Fool
Before the Federal Reserve was established in 1914, the predecessor entities to JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup came together to keep U.S. banks stable in troubled times.

Japan’s biggest bank looks to expand fixed income
Leo Lewis in Tokyo and Laura Noonan in London – FT
Takashi Oyamada, President & CEO, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ©mufg
Japan’s biggest bank sees a “good chance” to expand its fixed income business as western banks scale back theirs, its new chief executive told the Financial Times.

Deutsche Bank loses top 3 slot in investment rankings
Laura Noonan, Investment Banking Correspondent – FT
Deutsche Bank has lost its position as a top three global investment bank — an accolade it has held since before the financial crisis — after the weak euro and the bank’s restructuring relegated Germany’s biggest bank into fifth place in a benchmark industry league table.

Morgan Stanley Favors Linkers as Fed Remains `Decidedly Dovish’
Wes Goodman – Bloomberg
`We continue to like being long 30-year TIPS,’ company says; MS’s view echoes BlackRock, Pimco Calls for inflation pickup
Morgan Stanley recommended Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, following inflation warnings from BlackRock Inc., Pacific Investment Management Co. and Bill Gross.

A Gay, Latino Partner Tests Goldman’s Button-Down Culture
R. Martin Chavez possesses the light-filled office of a Goldman Sachs partner, with a sweeping view of the Statue of Liberty. But what sets his office apart is the gallery of objects and books arrayed behind the desk.

ISDA Announces Annual Determinations Committees Outcome
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) today announced the outcome of an annual process to determine the composition of five regional Determinations Committees (DCs). The DCs are responsible for determining whether a credit event has occurred in the credit derivatives market by comparing publicly available information to the legal conditions set out in the ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions.

Clearing & Settlement

Keeping up in a Faster Payments world
Banking Technology
Faster payments is one of the more pervasive topics in almost any global payments conversation. And if you look at key countries like Singapore, the US, and Australia, it may seem to be more than just talking. Additionally, many countries are improving their infrastructure to clear payments in the same day or already have domestic real-time systems for high-value payments.

Cheaper and more timely trades on the cards for ASX
Financial Review
Local investors received some good news this week with the cost of share trading expected to fall after Treasurer Scott Morrison’s decision to strip the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) of its monopoly over clearing share trades from mid-2017.

Clearing For UK, Dutch And Belgian Power Spot Markets Successfully Migrated To ECC
The clearing for the power spot markets in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium has successfully been migrated from APX to European Commodity Clearing (ECC) on 31 March 2016. Thus all power spot markets operated by EPEX SPOT and its affiliates covering Central Western Europe (CWE) and the UK now benefit from one central clearing.

The Rube Goldberg Approach to Integrating CCPs: A Recipe for Disaster
The Streetwise Professor
As noted in earlier posts (and by others commenting on the proposed Eurex-LSE merger) the main potential benefit to exchange customers* is the capital and margin savings from netting efficiencies between Eurex futures and LCH swaps. However, regulators and others have expressed concerns that the downside is the creation of an bigger too big to fail clearing entity. A couple of weeks back Silla Brush and John Detrixhe reported that the merger partners are trying to square that circle by cross-margining, but not merging the CCPs:

IOSCO Updates Information Repository for OTC Derivatives
Commodities Now
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today released an update of its information repository for central clearing requirements for OTC derivatives, which provides regulators and market participants with consolidated information on the clearing requirements of different jurisdictions.

Indexes & Products

FTSE Russell launches China A-H 50 Index
Money Management
Global index provider, FTSE Russell, will launch a new index representing the 50 largest companies listed of the Chinese and Hong Kong stock exchanges. The FTSE China A-H 50 Index has been licenced by Deutsche Bank for exchange traded funds (ETFs) listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Borse AG.

Swedroe: Indexes Top Europe Managers
Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published their S&P Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) Europe Scorecard, which compares the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmark. The year-end 2015 scorecard is the first to provide 10-year data. While not surprising to those familiar with the U.S. scorecard, the results should be depressing for investors who believe that active strategies are likely to outperform.

Who’s Really Using Smart Beta Funds
There’s no doubt that smart beta has captured investors’ hearts and minds. Last year, smart-beta ETFs accrued an astounding $52 billion in fresh net assets—or roughly 30% of all inflows into U.S. ETFs, according to FactSet. And in a recent survey of financial advisors, 99% said they planned to maintain or increase their smart-beta ETF exposure in 2016. But when it comes to asset flows, sometimes popularity can be an illusion. So we decided to take a closer look at who’s using smart-beta funds – and why.


How about Bitcoin as a protocol?; A new book on genomics, robotics and other industries of the future argues that Bitcoin may have the potential to transform the financial services sector
Alec Ross’ book, The Industries Of The Future: How The Next 10 Years Of Innovation Will Transform Our Lives At Work And Home, is like a crystal ball. It looks at advances in areas like robotics, genomics, virtual money, hacking and big data and tries to predict what the future might look like—in our lifetime.

Fintech funding rebounds to record but concerns remain
By Anna Irrera – Financial News
Global venture capital investments in fintech rebounded to a record high in the first three months of 2016 despite lingering concerns over inflated valuations in later-stage deals.

Investors should ignore the hype about fintech
Mark Tluszcz
These are torrid times again for banks. Yet the picture seems altogether different for financial technology, or “fintech” as it is known.

Blockchain: why smart contracts need shrewder people
Banking Technology
Interest in the term “smart contract” has risen recently in line with interest in Bitcoin and blockchain. Blockchains are immutable distributed ledgers that can store pieces of executable code for future execution. The many potential applications range from betting contracts to digital rights management, loans, or even “smart bonds” and “smart equities”. Claims have been made that virtually all of finance can move to smart contracts when combined with an appropriate payment system, often a cryptocurrency.


Victim in Wall St. Scheme Was a Classmate of Its Accused Architect
When Andrew Caspersen sought money for an investment that federal authorities said duped investors out of tens of millions of dollars, one of the people the former Wall Street executive turned to was a college classmate at Princeton University.

Former Barclays traders stand trial in Libor case
Lindsay Fortado – FT
Five former traders from Barclays will stand trial this week in a London courtroom on charges of fraud relating to Libor.

Ex-Barclays five face Libor-rigging charges
Marion Dakers, financial services editor – The Telegraph
The criminal trial of five former Barclays bankers accused of conspiring to manipulate Libor starts this week, in the latest case in the lengthy global probe into benchmark-rigging to reach the courts.

Five Ex-Barclays Traders Plead Not Guilty to Libor Manipulation
Jeremy Hodges – Bloomberg
Third U.K. trial of bankers and brokers accused of rigging; Traders appear in court as jury selection begins in London
Five former traders at Barclays Plc pleaded not guilty to manipulating the U.S. dollar London interbank offered rate ahead of a U.K. trial.

Environmental & Energy

Even oil barons are giving up on fossil fuels
Stephen Foley – FT
Assessing climate change risk is preoccupying the investment community, says Stephen Foley
One by one, the descendants of John D Rockefeller, the Gilded Age oil baron, are repudiating the fossil fuels that made the family rich. On the heels of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 2014, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the charitable vehicle of another arm of the family, announced last month that it would be divesting its shares in coal producers and oil and gas explorers, including ExxonMobil, the modern descendent of their patriarch’s monopolistic money machine, Standard Oil.

Oenology: the heat is on for wine producers
Clive Cookson – FT
A warming climate has helped improve the quality of French wine over the past 35 years but scientists warn that streak could end if temperatures continue to rise
Wine is one of the most sensitive measures of climate change, as my colleague Jancis Robinson reminds us from time to time, and vineyard owners are very conscious of its impact. New scientific evidence comes from a long-term historical study, which shows that a warming climate has played an important role in improving French wine quality over the past 35 years.

Russian oil output highest in 30 years ahead of Doha meeting
Russia’s oil production rose 0.3 percent to 10.91 million barrels per day in March, its highest level in nearly 30 years, raising questions over Moscow’s commitment to freeze output ahead of a producers’ meeting in Doha later in April.

World’s Largest Solar Farm In California Started Its Journey, Running In Full Pace
Anatol Rahman – The Tech Journal
Now a days, we are gradually inclining to solar power. The U.S is one of the countries which is spreading the solar power technology rapidly. Lately, it’s been reported that world’s largest solar farm in California has started its journey and it’s running in full pace.


Death by overwork on rise among Japan’s vulnerable workers
Japan is witnessing a record number of compensation claims related to death from overwork, or “karoshi”, a phenomenon previously associated with the long-suffering “salary man” that is increasingly afflicting young and female employees.

As China reforms its corn market, farmers switch to growing soybeans
Wang Zhonghai, a 49-year-old farmer in China’s top corn producing province of Heilongjiang, plans to switch 80 percent of his land to cultivate soybeans this year as the government ends a near decade-old corn price support scheme.

Goldman Says Sell Asia Currencies After Best Rally Since ’08
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Predicts yen plunge to 130 per dollar, yuan at 7 in 12 months; Shorting won `best way’ to position for Asia reversal: Trivedi
It’s time to sell Asian currencies after their best monthly rally in more than seven years, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Frontier Markets

Sebi, exchanges beef up surveillance; debars 1,350 entities; Stock exchanges have suspended trading in nearly 200 securities of listed companies, moved over 150 scrips to lower price bands during the last 2 years
Business Standard
Putting to use alerts generated by its robust surveillance mechanism, regulator Sebi has debarred nearly 1,350 entities from the markets for misusing exchange platform to evade taxes and other manipulations.

Russia learns to live with the fallen rouble
Max Seddon — Moscow – FT
As Russia’s geopolitical stand-off with the West hardened in 2014, accountant Evgeny Sivkov published a children’s book titled “How The Brave Rouble Defeated The Cunning Dollar”.

Sebi spotlight on BSE, NSE ‘dark fibre’; Whistle-blower points out links that help select investors; NSE denies charges
N Sundaresha Subramanian – Business Standard
The Union finance ministry has asked market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to probe the alleged “dark fibre links” between the BSE and the NSE, and has been informed, in turn, that a “preliminary fact finding” exercise is already underway.

Govt seeks to restrain FTIL from selling assets
Business Standard
To protect the interest of investors in the nearly Rs 5,600-crore scam at NSEL, the government has moved the Supreme Court seeking a restrain on parent firm Financial Technologies to prevent possible “asset stripping”.


Ice cream prices to increase this summer on account of vanilla shortage
By Kedar Grandhi – IB Times
Ice cream lovers are in for some bad news this summer. A vanilla shortage has led to a spike in prices of most ice creams.

Claims of a Ponzi Scheme in the Collapse of a Rare-Wine Seller
From the outside, the Premier Cru wine store in Berkeley, Calif., looked like a traditional, upscale wine seller. The 29,000-square-foot store was lined with tapestries, wood shelves and a “rare wine room” stocked with trophy Bordeaux and Burgundies.

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