First Read

Bits & Pieces
By John Lothian
TGIF. This has been a long week. My kids and wife were away at a Wisconsin waterpark and Jon Matte took the first three days of the week off, which gave me the opportunity to build the newsletter on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There is nothing like getting back into the saddle and having to drink from a firehose. There is nothing like using two metaphors in one sentence.

I will be doing a long more of this newsletter building for the rest of April as Jon Matte will be working on some special software development for us to help us deliver the news more efficiently. Of course the rest of the team will be helping as well because they should help this increasingly decrepit old man.

In the meantime, since I am not in Norway, I will be getting up at 4 AM Chicago time to help get you the news.

At the CTA, we continue to publish the signals, which will continue until July 1. Starting then, I will being to trade Maple Sugar with a proprietary account in order to re-establish a real money track record.

I have struggled with what is the best way to start up actual trading. I have been given some good advice from a number of trusted colleagues. So July 1 it is.

One of the struggles I have had is that I know that I am going to have to stop trading when I have my back surgery later this month. That means, I am starting, then stopping. But more importantly, it means having to figure out when to stop. As I approach the surgery, I am sure there will be anxiety that could color my mood and influence my trading, even though it is very rules based. I have seen too many people make this mistake before, so I know this is a risk I need to avoid.

It will be good to be back editing the newsletter myself. There is a rush that comes with the firehose.

In other news, Hope Jarkowski has joined as a partner at Delta Strategy Group, the government affairs firm founded by former CFTC chairman Jim Newsome and former CFTC COO Scott Parsons, Jarkowski has spent the last 12 years as a regulator and policy maker, as senior counsel to Sen. Mike Crapo and as counsel to SEC commissioner Troy Paredes.

Katten Muchin Rosenman issued an advisory yesterday on bitcoin and other “digital assets.” The IRS ruled recently that bitcoins are considered property rather than currency, a ruling which has implications for bitcoin investors, users, miners and businesses who accept bitcoin as payment. Read the advisory here:


Exchange CEO Series – New Neighbors: Alan Gandelman says ATS Brasil spells trouble for BM&F Bovespa
When it comes to competition in the exchange space,Alan Gandelman is at the front line.

As the CEO of Americas Trading System Brasil (ATS Brasil), a joint-venture between Americas Trading Group (ATG) and NYSE Euronext, plans to launch a competitive equity exchange in Brazil early next year. Gandelman’s effort will offer a new alternative to the BM&F Bovespa exchange, the monopoly bourse for equities and derivatives.

Gandelman, who took the reins in June 2013, said his exchange will offer investors a new model, using technology from NYSE Technologies, now owned by ICE Group.

“It’s very hard for us to talk about competition in Brazil because basically it doesn’t exist,” he said to John Lothian News’ Jim Kharouf at the FIA Boca Conference last month. “We are coming into this marketplace to introduce competition again into Brazil. We believe competition is the healthier way to have markets be where they should be.”

Watch the video »


MF Global Inc. Trustee Announces Final 100% Distribution to Customers
Gary DeWaal and Associates LLC
MF Global Inc. will finally return 100% of the funds of its former customers beginning April 4. This morning an announcement was made regarding this distribution by James Giddens, Trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Trustee Act liquidation of MFGI.

***** It is nice to see what we expected to see at the beginning finally happen. Congratulations to all who worked hard for the return of these customer funds, especially James Koutoulas and John Roe of the Commodity Customer Coalition.


NYSE Liffe challenges Eurex with German govt bond futures
Joe Parsons & Jonathan Watkins – FOW
NYSE Liffe is set to launch German government bond futures as a direct challenge to Eurex‘s market-dominating Bund, Bobl and Schatz contracts. In the biggest move yet from Liffe’s new owners, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), the group will aim to wrestle market share away from its arch rival’s established and super-liquid suite of Bund, Bobl and Schatz futures.

***** Haven’t I seen this batte before? Is there some regulatory arbitrage at play here?


Australia Model Curbs Speed as CEO Says U.S. Too Far Gone
Adam Haigh and Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
In Australia, where high-frequency trading firms are half as pervasive as in the U.S., the head of the biggest stock exchange has a message for Americans who would rein them in: forget it.

***** The Michael Lewis answer. A monopoly.


Fierce competition forces ‘flash’ HFT firms into new markets
Arash Massoudi and Philip Stafford –
Fierce competition for market share among HFT firms has been driving many into new markets, geographies and asset classes. This move into new territory is the result of a sharp decline in profits from trading US stocks.

***** One thing that is missing from this story about the HFT versus the buyside, is the HFT versus HFT battle. If you are too slow as an HFT, you will get picked apart by the competition. So if you are going to use this strategy, you better be pretty good at it, or find some markets without as many sharks in the same tank.


Schwab Statement on High-Frequency Trading: High-frequency trading is a growing cancer that needs to be addressed
Press Release
Schwab serves millions of investors and has been observing the development of high-frequency trading practices over the last few years with great concern. As we noted in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal last summer, high-frequency trading has run amok and is corrupting our capital market system by creating an unleveled playing field for individual investors and driving the wrong incentives for our commodity and equities exchanges.

***** Three questions for Mr. Schwab from a reader. 1. Why did you sell Schwab Capital Markets to UBS in 2004? 2. What is Schwab’s history in payment for order flow mechanics, and participation in exchange rebates? Which market makers did you direct order flow to, and most importantly, why? What were the criteria? What are the criteria today? 3. If a customer came to you with a question, 5 simple words, “what happens to my order,” what would you say?


LAUNCHTALKS: Growth Companies – What Does It Take to Launch a New Brand?
Monday, April 21, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)
TechSpace Union Square, 41 East 11th Street (Between University and Broadway), New York, NY

Industry experts discuss how to successfully bring new products to market and how to grow a brand. Join our dynamic panelists Kevin Lupowitz, CIO of Clear, Jay Harkins, CEO of BlackHeath Beverage, and Mark Pfister, CEO of Integral Board Group for an engaging panel discussion. We will have a special cocktail tasting and hors d’ouevres. It’s sure to be an interesting event with great networking opportunities.

To RSVP/register and for more information, visit:


Exchange CEO Series – Big Crowd: ISE’s Gary Katz says crowded options field to get larger
In the derivatives space, there has been a consolidation or a proliferation of exchanges, depending on how you see it.

While the number of futures exchanges in the US has shrunk to two major players, International Securities Exchange president and CEO Gary Katz has seen the opposite happen in the US options marketplace. And there is good reason for it.

Watch the video »



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Lead Stories

CFTC Chief Says High-Speed Traders Aren’t Rigging Futures
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reviewing futures markets to ensure high-speed trading isn’t violating the law, acting CFTC Chairman Mark P. Wetjen told reporters in Washington today.

LSE’s Turquoise aims to grow block market
Anish Puaar – Financial News
The London Stock Exchange is looking at ways to boost block trading volumes on the anonymous market operated by its Turquoise subsidiary, becoming the latest firm to seek new ways for investors to trade on so-called “dark pools” ahead of new regulations.

Senate panel to vote on CFTC chairman Tuesday
A U.S. Senate committee will vote on three candidates for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Tuesday, after the trio met little resistance from lawmakers in a confirmation hearing last month.

Euronext to close NYSE Arca Europe next month
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Euronext, the European exchange group owned by IntercontinentalExchange, has said it will close its alternative equity market NYSE Arca Europe from next month.

Bats Chi-X bids to win back Europe market share
Philip Stafford –
Bats Chi-X Europe, the region’s most popular trading venue for high frequency trading, has begun tiered pricing in an effort to win back market share lost to the London Stock Exchange Group and NYSE Euronext.

U.S. futures regulator CFTC probing speed traders
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating high-frequency traders to see if they were breaching the derivatives regulator’s rules, its chief said on Thursday.

MF Global Customers to Be Paid Back in Full
Ever since the collapse of MF Global, the search for $1 billion of the brokerage firm’s customer money evoked one ominous metaphor after another, including “uphill battle” and “magical mystery tour.” But on Thursday, the search ended with a different saying: “Checks are going in the mail.”

Big Asset Managers Could Pose Risk to Stability, BOE Official Warns
Big asset managers could pose a risk to the stability of the financial system, a senior Bank of England official warned Friday.

This Preet Bharara Speech Should Scare All Big Banks, Especially Citi
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is tired of Wall Street’s Chicken Little routine. In a speech on Monday, Bharara talked about the future of big-ticket white collar criminal actions. It’s a speech that every corporate counsel is likely paying attention to, particularly the lawyers of Wall Street’s largest firms.

A Vacant Chair for Blythe Masters
Blythe Masters’s exit from JPMorgan Chase with the sale of its physical commodities business could solve Glencore’s longstanding search for a chairman.

Commodities Summit: Lessons from Lausanne
FT Commodities team –
A dozen things we learnt at the FT’s Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne this week.

‘Flash Boys’ – Fallout and Discussion

BATS Forced to Correct Statements by President O’Brien on How Its Exchanges Work
Scott Patterson – MoneyBeat – WSJ
BATS Global Markets Inc., under pressure from the New York Attorney General’s office, corrected statements made by a senior executive during a televised interview this week about how its exchanges work.

‘Flash Boys’, by Michael Lewis
Review by John Gapper –
Michael Lewis has a spellbinding talent for finding emotional dramas in complex, highly technical subjects. He did it for the role of left tackle in American football in The Blind Side (2006), and for the science of picking baseball players in Moneyball (2003). In Flash Boys, he turns his gaze on high-frequency computerised trading in US stock markets.

Vanguard Says Minority of High-Speed Traders May Abuse
Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
Vanguard Group Inc., the world’s largest mutual-fund company, said only a minority of high-frequency traders may be hurting other investors. Regulators should seek ways to prevent abuses without blocking high-speed firms that may actually benefit investors by providing liquidity to the markets,

Michael Lewis’ high-frequency bull
Charles Gasparino | New York Post
It’s easy to bash Wall Street as the root cause of all financial problems (and some non-financial ones), which is why Michael Lewis is getting away with blowing so much smoke about the latest supposed ripoff of the “little guy.” Easy, but completely and utterly disingenuous.

M Stanley hits back over Flash Boys row
Tom Braithwaite, Tracy Alloway and Arash Massoudi in New York –
Morgan Stanley has disputed the suggestion that improvements in its equities business have been driven by controversial high-frequency trading, after questions were raised by a rival about why it has been so successful.

Comment: Old news, flash boys
Seth Merrin –
The debate on high-frequency trading (HFT) has gone somewhat mainstream thanks to Michael Lewis’s latest book ‘Flash Boys’. The book is undoubtedly acting as a catalyst for a broader discussion on the role that HFT plays in today’s markets, which is a good thing, but to think that these issues have taken institutional investors by surprise would be misguided and naive.

The Market’s Rigged, You Say? When Wasn’t It?
David Weidner – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Take a millisecond or two and consider the following: The markets are rigged, and… The markets are faster, efficient and more fair than they’ve ever been. Are these mutually exclusive ideas? Not at all.

Lewis Superhero Fighting Robots Can’t Foil Robot Rally
Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
A funny thing happened after author Michael Lewis released a book portraying high-frequency traders as a bunch of crooks: the stock of the one publicly listed speed trader has rallied. Shares of exchange companies painted as co-conspirators are up, too.

Goldman Wins, Credit Suisse Loses in Lewis’s League Table
Nick Baker – Bloomberg
Just as Wall Street league tables rank firms by the size of their deals, author Michael Lewis provides his own hierarchy in the way his latest book describes banks’ stock-trading divisions.

Lawmakers Spurred by Lewis Book Try to Slow Flash Traders
Derek Wallbank – Bloomberg
Democrats in Congress today will renew a long-stalled push to levy fees on high-frequency trading in an effort to generate hundreds of billions of dollars — or tax the practice out of existence.

Op-Ed: The Need For Speed Is Costing Billions – Op-Ed Published In The New York Daily News By New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
This week, Michael Lewis, the author of the new book “Flash Boys,” told “60 Minutes” that “the stock market is rigged” by exchanges and high-frequency traders that use superfast computers, lightning-quick data networks and complex algorithms to execute enormous volumes of stock trades in milliseconds. Now that high-frequency trading is finally getting the attention it deserves, the response has quickly devolved into a spin war that benefits neither the industry nor investors.

Schneiderman: Face the facts – technology is here to stay
PJ Di Giammarino – TabbFORUM
Once we start to regulate the commercial provision of information services, we begin to head down a dangerous path. While the New York Attorney General may have noble intentions – trying to eliminate unfair advantages – the truth is that all commercial information providers could be seen to offer some form of unfair advantage.

TD Bank’s Ed Clark Is No Fan of High-Frequency Trading
Alistair MacDonald – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Ed Clark, who heads Canada’s largest bank, said he is no fan of high-frequency trading, wading into a debate that continues to split opinion across financial markets.


SEC Seeks Comment on Investor Advisory Committee Recommendation Regarding Target Date Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it is seeking comment on a recommendation by its Investor Advisory Committee regarding disclosure by target date mutual funds.

Canadian Regulators enter into agreement with CFTC to enhance cross-border supervision
Canadian Regulators enter into agreement with CFTC to enhance cross-border supervision Calgary – The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) aimed at enhancing the cross-border supervision of firms that operate in both countries.

Energy firms beg CFTC for clarity on commodity options
Alexander Osipovich –
On April 3, officials with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) got an earful from energy firms upset about a much-criticised CFTC rule that has sown confusion and disarray among natural gas and power traders.

NFA Notice to Members I-14-09
FinCEN Issues an Advisory on the FATF-Identified Jurisdictions with AML/CFT Deficiencies

Customers of MF Global Inc. to Begin Receiving Final Restitution Payments from MF Global to Satisfy More Than $1 Billion in Customer Losses as Ordered by Federal Court in CFTC Action
Press Release
Pursuant to a federal court consent Order obtained by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against MF Global Inc. (MF Global), the Trustee for MF Global has announced that the company will now begin making final distributions to its customers to satisfy its obligation of full restitution for $1.212 billion in losses sustained by customers of MF Global when the company failed in 2011.

Esma set to neuter Emir frontloading rule
Matt Cameron, Fiona Maxwell –
Esma expected to write to EC, outlining plans to set maturity threshold so high that no trades will be caught by controversial provisions

Experts urge U.S. watchdog to adopt major changes to audit reports
Some accounting experts are urging U.S. regulators to embrace a proposal to improve how auditors communicate their opinions on corporate financial statements to investors, saying such changes are long overdue.

Statement Of Acting CFTC Chairman Mark Wetjen At Roundtable On Dodd-Frank End-User Issues

Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia On Public Roundtable Regarding End-User Issues

Remarks Before The SEC/Academy Of Finance Shadowing Program, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2014

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Update – 4 April 2014 – New Era For New Zealand Financial Markets – FMC Act Comes Into Effect

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Metals warehousers to tread warily despite UK court ruling
Big warehouse owners, under regulatory scrutiny for tying up huge amounts of aluminium in profitable storage, are unlikely to risk seeking a fresh influx of metal even though a UK court ruling last week set back attempts to rein them in.

CME lowers WTI crude (CL) maintenance margins effective Friday

ICE Reports March And First Quarter 2014 Volumes – Record CDS Clearing Revenue

BOX Price Improvement Activity For March
In the month of March, price improved contracts on BOX Options Exchange averaged 312,692 per day.

Borsa Italiana Monthly Update – March 2014

Irish Stock Exchange: Statistics March 2014

WSE Derivatives Market In March 2014

Oslo Børs: Gear Up With New Exchange Traded Products
The range of exchange traded products listed on Oslo Børs is expanding. DNB has launched new bull and bear products that give you the opportunity of exposure to a wider range of individual shares as well as more highly leveraged exposure to the OBX Index.

Direct Edge Regulatory Notice #14-01: Amendments To Rule 12.6 Prohibiting Trading Ahead Of Customer Orders

TSX Markets: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – March 31, 2014

BATS Global Markets Clarification Regarding Market Data Usage

TMX Group Limited To Announce Financial Results For Q1 2014 On Friday, May 9, 2014

GENTICEL lists on Euronext in Paris and Brussels

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Overseer of Compliance at SAC Is Selected
Bart M. Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor who has served as an independent monitor in a number of government investigations, will be Steven A. Cohen’s minder, if a federal judge approves.

Exclusive: Top investors press Allianz to step up oversight of Pimco
Several of the biggest investors in Allianz are pressing the German insurer to step up oversight of its California asset management unit Pimco and one is considering the unusual step of going public with its concerns at a shareholder meeting in May.

Trading up to Carlyle
Jon Macaskill – Euromoney magazine
The decision by Mike Cavanagh, co-CEO of investment banking at JPMorgan, to move to private equity firm Carlyle should not be viewed as a surprise. Cavanagh has taken himself out of the running for the role of successor to JPMorgan group CEO Jamie Dimon in order to make a late entry in the stakes to follow Carlyle founders David Rubenstein and Bill Conway.

Norway oil fund should decide company exclusions, says finance minister
Norway’s wealth fund should take over responsibility for excluding companies that break its investment mandate, the finance minister said, a change that critics have said might undermine its ethical commitments.

Billionaire Robert Citrone’s Hedge Funds Hammered In March
Robert Citrone, the billionaire hedge fund manager who is known as an emerging markets specialist, had been on a pretty good run in recent years, scoring nice returns and increasing his assets under management to $15 billion. But Citrone, who works out of Norwalk, Ct., had a tough go of it in March.

Pimco’s Gross Tells Investors About His Dead Cat
Erik Holm – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bill Gross may be taking advice from Warren Buffett, who joked in a video yesterday that the best way to get the public’s attention was to write about cats. Before filling investors in Thursday about his preference for shorter-dated bonds, Mr. Gross took some time to tell readers of his monthly investment outlook about his dead cat.

High-Frequency Trading’s Fight Over Secret Code
The meeting that started the trouble took place at a monastery in Florence, Ariz. Under a gazebo’s shade, a Ukrainian physicist who aspires to be a monk met with a Milwaukee lawyer seven years ago and began planning a firm whose profits from rapid-fire stock trades would go mostly to charity.

Kravitz Puts the Edge in Hedge Funds
Rob Copeland – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The hedge-fund makeover is another step closer to completion. Lenny Kravitz, the rock star turned actor who plays a flamboyant stylist in “The Hunger Games” film series, has inked a contract to be the musical performer at the hedge-fund heavy SkyBridge Alternatives conference (SALT) in Las Vegas next month, according to people with knowledge of the deal.

St James’s Place moves £3.5bn from Invesco to Woodford
Mark Cobley – Financial News
St James’s Place, the £44 billion wealth manager, has confirmed it will move £3.5 billion of its clients’ money from Invesco and invest it with star manager Neil Woodford’s new boutique, following his decision to leave Invesco late last year.

AIFMD warning on ‘informal’ risk management
Luke Clancy –
AIFMD is a significant expansion in the overall risk framework for hedge funds. However, it is more than just another step in the ongoing uptrend in risk regulation.

Banks & Brokers

ICAP Appoints New Group Chief Risk Officer – Wendy Phillis
ICAP a leading markets operator and provider of post trade risk mitigation and information services, announces that it has appointed Wendy Phillis as Group Chief Risk Officer.

JPMorgan Folds London Whale Office Into Another Unit
Hugh Son – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said it will merge the operation that produced a $6.2 billion trading loss in 2012 with another business unit.

Michael Lewis Book Touches on the Old Goldman-Morgan Stanley Rivalry
Justin Baer – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Even before its release this past Monday, Michael Lewis’s “Flash Boys” had upped the volume on the debate over ultra-fast trading – and that battle for the future of the stock market. Buried deep within Mr. Lewis’s latest book, though, is an anecdote about two of the oldest combatants on Wall Street — the equities divisions of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

Criminal Inquiry Said to Be Opened on Citigroup
Just as Citigroup was putting a troubled past of taxpayer bailouts and risky investments behind it, the bank now finds itself in the government’s cross hairs again.

R.B.S. Names Credit Suisse Banker as Finance Chief
The Royal Bank of Scotland has chosen a Credit Suisse investment banker as its new chief financial officer. The bank, which is partly owned by the British government, said on Friday that Ewen Stevenson, the co-head of investment banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Credit Suisse, would join R.B.S. on May 19.

Credit Suisse promotes two to replace investment bank co-head
Credit Suisse has appointed Alejandro Przygoda head of the global financial institutions group (FIG) at its investment bank and Mark Echlin as co-head of its investment bank in Europe, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

BofA in talks to pay $800m in credit card case
Camilla Hall in New York and Gina Chon in Washington –
Bank of America is in talks to pay about $800m to settle allegations it misled customers who were sold additional credit card products, in what could mark the largest settlement yet levied by the US’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Jefferies International swings to profit
Nick Kostov – Financial News
Jefferies’ European arm moved into the black in the year ended November 30, recording a net profit of £16.5 million after seeing a significant increase in its investment banking revenues.

Indexes & Products

Bloomberg Buys UBS Aussie Bond Indexes
Marina Daras – WatersTechnology
After 25 years of calculating a family of Australian bond indexes, Swiss investment bank UBS has sold the indexes – including the benchmark UBS Composite Bond Index – to data giant Bloomberg.

Nasdaq, Chaikin Ally for Alpha-Enhanced Indexes
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
Philadelphia-based investment analytics provider Chaikin Analytics has partnered with Nasdaq OMX to develop three new equal-weighted US equity indexes that are designed to outperform their respective benchmarks.

BM&FBOVESPA Announces The 1st Preview For Ibovespa And Other Indices Valid For May-August 2014


MarketPrizm Taps BT Vet Man for Asia Sales
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
Veteran data and financial network executive Richard Man joined Colt-owned trading and data infrastructure provider MarketPrizm in March as head of sales for the Asia-Pacific region.

Bloomberg Partner Program Lowers Hurdles for Vendor Connections
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
The enterprise solutions program gives third party tech providers new opportunity to connect with and use Bloomberg data. Integration helps cater to customer demands and industry shifts.


SEC Charges Transamerica Financial Advisors With Improperly Calculating Advisory Fees and Overcharging Clients
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based financial services firm for improperly calculating advisory fees and overcharging clients.

SEC Charges Two Friends With Insider Trading Ahead of Impending Acquisition
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two friends with insider trading on confidential information from an investment banker about an impending transaction between engineering and construction companies.

SEC Faces Test in Billionaires’ Trial
Two billionaire brothers used a “scheme of secrecy” to hide gains reaped from selling more than $750 million of stock in four companies in which they were board members, a government lawyer told jurors during opening statements.

Environmental & Energy

Germany, EU Yet to Agree on Rules on Energy Subsidies
Dow Jones Business News
There is still no agreement between Germany and the European Union over new rules on subsidies for energy-intensive industries, Germany’s economics minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said Wednesday.

***LB: Also in the story: German energy-intensive industries have applied for exemptions to the tune of EUR5.1 billion ($7.03 billion) for this year, with many arguing they otherwise cannot compete against rivals, particularly in the U.S.

Hoeven: GOP will move on Keystone in May
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
If President Obama doesn’t make a decision when the clock runs out on the State Department’s national interest review of the Keystone XL pipeline, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said Republicans will act. The GOP is pushing to attach approval of the $5.4 billion pipeline to the unemployment bill now before the Senate.

EU ‘unhappy’ climate change is off G20 agenda
The Australian
European Union officials say Australia has become completely “disengaged” on climate change since Tony Abbott was elected in September last year.

***LB: The EU’s emissions trading scheme was going to be linked to Australia’s market.


Singapore Stock-Trade Probe Seen as Test of Credibility
Jonathan Burgos, Andrea Tan and Jasmine Ng – Bloomberg
Singapore’s investigations into suspected stock-trading irregularities at three commodity companies whose shares plunged in October are seen as a test of credibility for Southeast Asia’s biggest equities market.

Japan’s Kokusai Asset fund knocked from top spot by Fidelity
A global bond fund of Japan’s Kokusai Asset Management, which has reigned as the top mutual fund in the country for more than 12 years, was knocked from the position by Fidelity’s U.S. high-yield fund as investors become more enthusiastic about chasing higher returns.

China regulator to run stress tests on banks: paper
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has said it will conduct regional and national stress tests after banks saw a spike in bad loans last year, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Friday, reflecting growing creditworthiness concerns.

China Cash Shortage Brings IOUs to Fore
Xie Daoliang’s business survives by trading almost exclusively in a virtual currency, but not by choice. Mr. Xie makes bulldozer treads and other parts for heavy machinery. These days, when he makes a sale he seldom gets paid in cash. Instead, he gets a piece of paper with a value printed on it and a promise from a bank that it will pay at an arranged point in the future.

Regulator Lets IPO Hopefuls Switch from Shenzhen to Shanghai
Caixin Online
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has allowed companies to switch their planned listing venue from Shenzhen to Shanghai, where the waiting line is shorter.

JCCH: Japanese Commodity Markets Summary for March 2014

ASEAN Exchanges Develop Unique Post Trade Solution And Appoint Deutsche Bank For Custody And Settlement Services
The 20th ASEAN Exchanges CEOs meeting held here today concluded with a milestone agreement regarding custody and settlement services on the ASEAN Trading Link.

HKEx Monthly Market Highlights – March 2014

HKEx Announces Temporary Holiday Risk Management Arrangements

HKEx: On-Floor & Off-Floor Trading Statistics

Reference Prices and Price Limits for 20-year JGB Futures

Frontier Markets

Jignesh Shah quits Indian Energy Exchange board
The Economic Times
Jignesh Shah has quit from the board of Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) amid his group grappling with multiple woes in the wake of Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis at the National Spot Exchange Ltd.

Funds find renewed admiration for emerging markets
Jonathan Wheatley –
It has been a tough few years for emerging market investors. But is the tide turning – indeed, may have already turned.

MCX Weekly Market Report – March 28, 2014 – April 03, 2014

Emerging Eurozone: UK Lagged Behind PIIGS As Most European Equity Markets Surged In Q1: Russell Indexes


Drones Join Robots in High-Tech Future for Risky Mines
Mines without miners? Not quite. Still, a technology boom in robots, drones, driverless trucks and pilotless trains is beginning to reshape one of the world’s most labor-intensive industries, portending automation of logistics, supply chains and mapping and allowing development of mines in regions once thought too dangerous or remote to exploit.

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