First Read

John’s Back (but no, he’s not back yet)
Sarah Rudolph
John had his back surgery yesterday and it went well. The surgery actually took about two hours. Amazing what they can do these days. At some point he was even well enough to send us all a grumpy email, and Jon Matte thinks he may have been sending over some press releases during the surgery.

As of the latest update from John’s wife Cheryl, he was recovering in a room in the ICU and was comfortable and mostly dozing. He’s scheduled to be moved into a regular room some time today.

Will post further updates as soon as we hear more.


Derivatives trading in Europe remains two-horse race
Deutsche Boerse’s Eurex and U.S. rival IntercontinentalExchange will withstand challenges from rival bourses and be the dominant forces in on-exchange derivatives trading in Europe, a Eurex official said on Tuesday.

***JM: In today’s “Could you say anything else” department…


Financial Futures and Environmental Markets pioneer Dr. Richard Sandor receives Chicago-China Award of Excellence
The China Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, which supports programs linking Chicago with the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Shenyang, recognized economist and financial innovator Dr. Richard Sandor for his work as a world leader in market-based solutions to climate change and for helping create China’s first emissions exchange, the Tianjin Climate Exchange. The “Chicago-China Award of Excellence” was presented at the Committee’s annual Lantern Festival gala event.

****SR: Congratulations to Dr. Sandor for winning yet another award. He deserves it. He also looks great in that Indiana Jones hat.


The SEC Record of Small and Big Bucks
Francesco Guerrera – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Follow the money. That piece of advice—typically offered to rookie detectives and journalists—also can be a useful policy to assess the effectiveness of financial regulators.

***JM: Discussing whether a fine is cost-effective for investors kind of misses the point of why you fine. As Andrew Ceresney says, “The most important thing about penalties is that they deter and punish.” Now. Here’s the thorny question: Do those penalties actually, effectively deter and punish? I’d suggest that anybody who immediately says, “Of course they do,” is a victim of blind assumption.


And then there were 2: Deutsche exit renews scrutiny of silver fix
Deutsche Bank‘s exit from the London precious metal fixes will leave just two banks running a century-old system that sets the global silver price, likely stirring the debate about regulation of one of the most volatile commodity markets.

***JM: Well, to be fair, there are lots of other index and fixing systems that had lots more participants and still ended up corrupt; fewer fixers and more attention may make for a better process


Carnegie Mellon University Joins Trading Technologies’ University Program
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT) today announced that Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences has joined TT’s University Program. The software will be used by students working towards Carnegie Mellon’s Bachelor of Science in Computational Finance, a joint degree offered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Tepper School of Business.

****SR: Go STEM!


Credit Suisse’s Jain Says Life Would Go on Without Dark Pools
Sam Mamudi – Bloomberg
Ridding the U.S. stock market of dark pools would be the wrong move, though it wouldn’t be disastrous, said Bob Jain, Credit Suisse Group AG’s global head of asset management.

***JM: That’s a relief.


New Group Aims to Increase Number of Women in Management
A group of about two dozen chief executives and corporate leaders of major companies, along with the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, are joining together to push American companies to voluntarily bolster the number of women in company management, especially senior leadership.

****SR: If you push, is it really voluntary? Seriously, though, it sounds like a well thought-out and worthy initiative.


Pimco equity chief plans hires as expansion picks up
Pimco’s new global equity chief plans a first batch of new hires that could see her investment team grow by half as the U.S. bond powerhouse boosts its stock offering – and one of those running money will be her.

****SR: Good. Maybe some of those new hires will be women? There’s already one in management.


Diamonds to Oil Bring Gold Rush Dreams to Melting Arctic
Isaac Arnsdorf – Bloomberg
Hugh Short wants you to invest in an emerging economy with few people, fewer buildings, and which is melting at the fastest pace in millennia. He’s talking about the Arctic, which Scott Minerd, the chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners LLC, calls “not just the best opportunity of our generation, but of the last 12,000 years.”

***JM: It used to be “beachfront property” that folks were selling…


Following K.K.R. on Twitter
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the oldest of the giant private equity firms, is dipping a toe into social media. K.K.R. is sprucing up its long-dormant Twitter account for a debut on Thursday, when it is expected to post its first-ever tweet. The bite-size dispatch will coincide with the 38th anniversary of K.K.R.’s founding.

***JM: “We’ll use it to share news about our firm and perspectives on key issues impacting investing around the world.” And you know that when the PR team is strained and constrained even before they start, you can be sure that the Twitter feed will be positively bursting every day with jolly and engaging tidbits!



MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Anthony Belchambers

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Rod Banus; Christopher Fix; Anthony Belchambers; Gary DeWaal

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Nomura International Plc; MiFID Connect


48,600,857 pages viewed, 7,943 articles, 182,347 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

UK loses legal challenge to EU financial transaction tax
Alex Barker in Brussels –
Britain has suffered an early defeat in its legal campaign to rein in eurozone plans for a so-called “Robin Hood tax” on financial transactions. A eurozone vanguard, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, wants to press ahead with a levy on financial trades – a tax the UK vetoed at EU level and fears would still hurt London if implemented within the euro area.

CME mulls price fluctuation limits for gold, silver futures
U.S. futures exchange CME Group Inc is considering the introduction of daily limits on price moves in gold and silver futures in a bid to rein in wild volatility that has spooked investors in recent years, a CME official said on Tuesday.

NYSE Computer Error Prompts Cancellation of Almost 20,000 Trades
Callie Bost, Sam Mamudi and Eric Lam – Bloomberg
A computer malfunction at IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. (ICE)’s two U.S. options exchanges yesterday caused almost 20,000 erroneous trades that were later canceled.

U.S. SEC chair to Congress: ‘The markets are not rigged’
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White flatly rejected claims that retail investors are being fleeced by high-frequency traders who can use their speed to jump ahead with buy and sell orders that fetch better prices.

PR Newswire agrees to curb early access for high frequency traders
PR Newswire will require customers that receive direct feeds of its market-moving releases to certify they will not engage in high-frequency trading on the information, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said late Tuesday.

Lines Get Blurred in the FX Probe
Chiara Albanese – MoneyBeat – WSJ
At least 30 traders (and one salesperson) have been suspended or fired over the last year, since authorities around the world, starting with the U.K., started looking into whether something is rotten at the core of the currencies market. And yet, here’s the latest pronouncement from the U.K.’s financial watchdog: “We are some way away from saying there was actually misconduct at all.” Come again?

ISDA swaps body appoints ICE to run ISDAFIX benchmark
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said on Wednesday it has selected ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) to run its ISDAFIX benchmark, which is being investigated over alleged rigging.

Two Giant Banks, Seen as Immune, Become Targets
Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world’s biggest banks, according to lawyers briefed on the matter, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades.

Apollo’s Rowan Sees ‘Danger Signs’ of Crisis in Debt Markets
Devin Banerjee and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Apollo Global Management LLC (APO) co-founder Marc Rowan said he sees many signs of a bubble in the credit markets that could lead to another financial crisis.

Traders Join Exodus as Forex Probes Add Pressure on Costs
Edward Evans and Andrea Wong – Bloomberg
The ranks of foreign-exchange traders are rapidly thinning as a probe into alleged manipulation of benchmark rates widens and pressure mounts on the industry to reduce costs.


House Votes To Give Banks a Volcker Rule Exception
Ryan Tracy – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The U.S. House passed a bill that would exempt some debt securities from the Volcker Rule, signaling that regulators would have support if they grant banks a similar exception.

Esma’s Maijoor: Frontloading rule due in weeks
Matt Cameron, Fiona Maxwell –
Frontloading causes “uncertainty” for market participants, says Esma chairman, Steven Maijoor – but he declines to comment on the substance of its forthcoming rule

Statement On WKSI Waivers, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority: Survey Shows Investors Look Forward To Easy-To-Follow IPO Offer Documents

SIFMA Statement On House Passage Of H.R. 4167, Which Adjusts The Volcker Rule To Prevent Disruptions In CLO Market

Randy Snook SIFMA Executive Vice President, Business Policies & Practices – 2014 Operations Conference & Exhibition Opening Remarks

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

IntercontinentalExchange Completes Successful Transition Of ICE Endex Dutch And Belgian Spot Markets To The ICE Trading Platform
IntercontinentalExchange Group (NYSE:ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that it has completed the transition of the ICE Endex Dutch and Belgian natural gas spot markets and the Dutch gas storage market to the ICE trading platform.

CBOE Holdings Declares Second Quarter 2014 Dividend
CBOE Holdings, Inc. announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share of common stock payable on June 20, 2014 to the unrestricted common stockholders of record on May 30, 2014.

WFE Focus April 2014 issue

Euronext strengthens delivery process for flagship milling wheat contract
Euronext, a wholly owned subsidiary of IntercontinentalExchange Group, today announced the signature of a tripartite agreement with grain storage specialist Sénalia and LCH.Clearnet SA.

Liquidnet Reports Strong First Quarter Performance – Record Principal Traded In Both Liquidnet APAC And EMEA

Financial Results Of The WSE Group In Q1 2014 – Robust Start To The Year For Warsaw Stock Exchange

Mainstay Medical lists on Euronext

NYSE to Suspend Trading in Energy Future Holdings Corp. Corporate Bonds and Commence Delisting Proceedings

Moscow Exchange: FX And Precious Metals Market Margin Rates For 30 April

PORR: Capital Increase On The Vienna Stock Exchange

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

JANA Nirvana fund to close to new investors; others under review
JANA Partners, the hedge fund founded by activist investor Barry Rosenstein, will stop accepting new money into its $4.7 billion Nirvana funds on May 1, and may limit capital into other portfolios, according to a letter to investors.

Russia Tensions Hit Norway Oil Fund
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global—the world’s largest sovereign-wealth fund—returned a drab 1.7% in the first quarter, stung in part by its holdings of Russian bonds and Chinese stocks. The returns were the lowest for the oil fund since the second quarter of last year, it said in a report Wednesday.

ADM returns cocoa business to profit as sale plans scrapped
Archer Daniels Midland said on Tuesday its cocoa business returned to a profit in the first quarter, the latest sign of a turnaround at a niche division just weeks after the U.S. food and farming giant said it dropped plans to sell its cocoa operations.

Archer Daniels Midland’s Profit Slips
Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported a narrow decline in first-quarter earnings as the company’s grain-trading division struggled against bad weather and slow selling of crops by farmers. Continued challenges in the unit offset stronger results in ADM’s soybean processing and its ethanol division, where profits climbed thanks to an increased supply of U.S. corn, executives said Tuesday.

Europe coffee, cocoa warehouses seek to temper new exchange rules
European coffee and cocoa warehouse companies want NYSE Liffe to temper strict new warehousing rules designed to prevent logjams, the industry association said on Tuesday.

Banks & Brokers

ICAP Cuts Brokers in Move Toward Electronic Trading
ICAP PLC is cutting brokers who manually handle certain interest-rate trades as it pushes more transactions toward electronic platforms, reflecting a broader shift in how the brokerage giant has historically conducted business, according to people familiar with the operations.

Analysts React to Bank of America’s $4 Billion Error
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Following Bank of America Corp.’s disclosure that an error would force it return less cash to investors than previously announced, analysts have offered up a slew of opinions and recommendations about how investors should react.

BNP Paribas Says U.S. Fine Could Be Much Bigger Than It Had Expected
BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, warned that it might be hit with a fine in the United States “far in excess” of the $1.1 billion it set aside last year to cover litigation costs linked to a potential breach of American sanctions on countries including Iran.

Barclays U.S. Chief Skip McGee to Leave
Barclays PLC’s top U.S. executive resigned Tuesday following internal tensions over pay and other issues, according to people familiar with the matter, another blow to the bank’s once-grand ambitions to build a global investment bank.

Nomura’s retail business hit by crackdown on sales tactics
Ben McLannahan in Tokyo –
Nomura Holdings saw a contraction in its core domestic retail business in the fourth quarter, as weak markets combined with a regulatory crackdown on aggressive sales tactics.

Morgan Stanley plans consumer banking push
Tom Braithwaite in New York –
Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank locked in an often uncomfortable 18-year marriage with retail finance, is to make a fresh push into consumer banking.

Results Of The April 2014 Euro Area Bank Lending Survey

Clearing & Settlement

MarkitSERV helps industry begin clearing OTC equity derivatives at OCC
Markit, a leading global diversified provider of financial information services, today announced that MarkitSERV, its electronic trade processing service for over-the-counter derivatives, is providing trade affirmation, connectivity and trade status messaging services to support clearing of OTC equity derivatives by OCC, the first clearinghouse in the US to clear these types of transactions.

NASDAQ OMX Enhances Clearing Offering Following EMIR Approval
NASDAQ OMX Clearing AB announced today that following the EMIR approval and the relating streamlining of processes, lower clearing fees will be implemented and the collateral list will be extended to include additional assets.

Indexes & Products

GMEX Group Subsidiary Global Derivatives Indices Announces Strategic Partnership With Tullett Prebon Information
Global Derivatives Indices (“GDI”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Markets Exchange Group International LLP (“GMEX Group”), today announced a strategic collaboration with Tullett Prebon Information (TPI), part of Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s leading inter-dealer brokers. The deal allows GDI the rights to use TPI’s high quality, independent over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives data as part of its accurate and reliable index benchmarks.

EURO STOXX 50 Index Licensed To Mirae Asset Global Investments To Underlie Exchange-Traded Fund

EGX Grants Beltone Financial Use Of EGX 30 Index To Setup ETF’s


BlueBay founder Hugh Willis joins Algomi
Peter Lee – Euromoney magazine
Algomi is growing fast by selling data-capture systems to banks that help match off-setting customer orders in the illiquid bond markets. Hugh Willis, co-founder of BlueBay Asset Management – the specialist fixed income credit manager with $62.5 billion of assets under management – and its chief executive from 2001 until the end of 2013, has just joined Algomi as a strategic adviser.

Volant Trading Expands into Ultra-Fast Order Routing for Options Traders
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
Based on its expertise in options microstructure, VOLEX is unveiling a high speed liquidity sweep capability for traders known as Take Out.

SVM Asset Management Connects To Calastone
SVM Asset Management (SVM), the boutique investment company specialising in UK, European and Global equities, has chosen Calastone, the global fund transaction network, to manage its order routing service and also to provide its electronic, interoperable re-registration solution.

ACM Gaining Traction with Compliance Solution for FCMs
Automated Compliance Management (ACM) has successfully launched an innovative compliance solutions product and is continuing to sign up futures commission merchants, broker/dealers, swaps dealers and retail FX brokers for the platform.


Federal Court Orders James C. Yadgir of Palatine, Illinois to Pay $130,000 Penalty for Violating Speculative Position Limits for Cattle Futures
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Sara L. Ellis of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a final judgment and consent Order for permanent injunction against James C. Yadgir of Palatine, Illinois, who has been registered with the CFTC as floor trader since 1993 and as floor broker since 2007

NFA Regulatory Actions: Swenson Investments and Commodities, Inc.

Ex-AIG chief Greenberg must face judge he called biased
Former AIG chief Maurice “Hank” Greenberg will have to defend himself against claims of accounting fraud in a non-jury trial conducted by a judge he tried to remove for alleged bias.

Swiss Enabler to Plead Guilty in Credit Suisse Tax Case
David Voreacos – Bloomberg
The founder of a Swiss trust company that federal prosecutors say worked with Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) to help American clients evade taxes is expected to plead guilty tomorrow in Virginia, according to court records.

FMA initiates investigation of ‘microfinance bonds’ from GetBucks Invest GmbH

Environmental & Energy

Gazprom says any further sanctions could hit business
Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom said on Tuesday that any expansion of the Western-imposed sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine could lead to adverse consequences for its business and shares.

Gazprom 2013 Net Falls to 1.14 Trillion Rubles, Below Estimates
Jake Rudnitsky Bloomberg News
OAO Gazprom, Russia’s biggest company, said profit declined 7 percent last year as tensions escalate in Ukraine, the transit route for half its natural gas deliveries to Europe.

Sanctions on Rosneft’s Sechin Muddy the Waters for Western Oil Majors
Selina Williams, The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Monday added Igor Sechin, a Putin ally and head of state-controlled oil giant Rosneft to its sanctions list, complicating the delicate dance U.S. and European energy giants have had to engage in amid the standoff between the West and Moscow.


HKEx CEO: Hong Kong-Shanghai Link to Speed Yuan Internationalization
Gregor Stuart Hunter –
A pilot program linking the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges will form a key part of China’s plans to internationalize its currency, the chief executive of Hong Kong’s stock exchange operator said on Tuesday.

UPDATE 1-HKEx: Funds from cross-border investments cannot be re-invested
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) said that funds related to cross-border stock investments between Shanghai and Hong Kong could not be used for additional investment purposes, in a bid to control risks.

China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power this year
Chris Giles, Economics Editor –
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

SGX welcomes QT Vascular to Catalist

Establishment Of The Asian Financial Partnership Center (AFPAC)

Notice On Holding The Activity Of 2014 Selection Of Dalian Commodity Exchange Outstanding Futures Products Researchers

Frontier Markets

Emerging markets await equity culture
Daniel Ben-Ami –
There is much excitement about the rise of a global middle class, yet emerging economies are still a long way from developing a mass investment culture.

Islamic Course Participants Visit Tehran Stock Exchange

MOU Of Strategic Partnership And Cooperation Between Arab Common Exchange Holding And NASDAQ OMX

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