Just Floored: Who Says Jeff Sprecher hates open outcry?
Jim Kharouf – John Lothian News
Open outcry is still alive and well in New York.
The New York Stock Exchange opened a new trading floor for the NYSE Amex options market this week, a completely renovated space that also houses: NYSE’s US cash equities, ICE Futures US members, NYSE Arca’s customer service and the NYSE/ICE’s national operations center.
The 7,000-square-foot space, with 22-foot ceilings, has been renamed “The Buttonwood Room,” a tip of the cap to the origins of the NYSE, and a shift away from the room’s less than flattering name of “The Garage,” as it was called when it originally opened in 1922. It’s also a new home for AMEX, which had been relegated to a low-ceilinged area called the Blue Room, off to the side after the NYSE purchased AMEX. The space now has 352 positions and features five specialist firms, 12 floor market maker firms and eight floor brokerage firms.
Kill Cheating by Pulling Trades Out of Shadows, BlackRock Says
By John Detrixhe, Bloomberg
The best way to fix currency and other markets dogged with allegations of cheating by banks is to shift trading out of the darkest corners and onto centralized venues such as exchanges, according to BlackRock Inc. (BLK)
***** Bingo, Bango, Bongo. Get markets out of the shadows.
***Key Blackrock quote from the story: “The key is to restore confidence and credibility in the critical benchmarks through reform while encouraging the development of alternative benchmarks.”
CFTC Official Tied to Wall Street Profits From Merger Fight
By Robert Schmidt
In moving from the private sector to government, the newest Republican member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has acquired potential conflicts that ethics lawyers say could force him to stay away from matters involving major companies regulated by the agency. J. Christopher Giancarlo joined the CFTC in June after working at a derivatives brokerage and serving as chairman of an industry lobbying group. Six weeks later CME (CME) Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, made an offer to buy Giancarlo’s former employer. In short order, his old firm’s stock price surged, adding an extra windfall to Giancarlo’s multimillion dollar severance as he divested his holdings.
***** I am sure Chris Giancarlo will deal with this with the utmost integrity. There are worse problems to have.
Investors Wanting to Stay Anonymous Hide in Asian ‘Dark Pools’
By Eduard Gismatullin, Bloomberg
When Kent Rossiter seeks to place large orders to trade Asian stocks — a common scenario given his employer, Allianz Global Investors, is among the biggest asset managers — he finds computers are his allies.
****** It is hard to stay truly anonymous in a digitally connected world.
Winklevoss Twins Aim to Take Bitcoin Mainstream
By Nathaniel Popper and Sydney Ember, NY Times
Bitcoin, the virtual currency that was once the talk of the financial world, has been taking a beating over the last year with the price tumbling downward. Now two of the biggest boosters of the virtual currency, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, are trying to firm up support by creating the first regulated Bitcoin exchange for American customers — what they are calling the Nasdaq of Bitcoin.
***** The NASDAQ of Bitcoin? Does that mean we get 2 Bob Greifelds?
Firms are Revising Client Rules to Guard Against Next “Swiss Shock”
By Zachary Tracer and Silla Brush, Bloomberg
Financial firms stung by last week’s surge in the Swiss franc are changing client rules and trading practices to weather future currency swings.
***** I had an episode of Swiss shock when I went to buy a watch in Zurich.
Focused: What The Industry Knows About Transparency (Part 3)
Back in November, the industry gathered for the annual FIA Expo event in Chicago. There, John Lothian News used an exhibitor booth (Thanks Cinnober!) as its studio to ask industry participants key questions about transparency issues in today’s markets.
Part 3: How will futures and options markets look in the future, in terms of transparency?
Watch the video »
U.S. CFTC grants SGX U.S. futures clients direct access
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday granted the Singapore Exchange Ltd the right to provide clients located in the United States direct access to its derivatives trading platform.
***** The door is opened for SGX, which I expect to hear a lot about in Boca Raton in March.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
European Central Bank
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
57,629,752 pages viewed, 8,136 articles, 188,936 edits
US considers delay to OTC swap rules
Jeremy Grant, FT
The US is studying whether to give banks more time to adhere to rules that would require them to set aside margin for swaps that cannot be processed through clearing houses, the country’s top derivatives regulator said on Friday.
Judge Vacates Guilty Pleas of Men Charged With Insider Trading in I.B.M. Stock
A federal judge on Thursday, citing the appeals court ruling, vacated the guilty pleas of four men charged with trading on inside information about I.B.M. Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. of the Federal District Court in Manhattan did not yet decide whether to dismiss the charges altogether.
Markets’ misplaced faith in central banks
Tracy Alloway, FT
ECB latest to revive cult with EUR60bn a month of bond buying, writes Tracy Alloway
Our Draghi, who art in Frankfurt, hallowed be thy name.
Mario Draghi’s EUR1.1tn of shock and awe — EUR60bn a month of bond buying until September 2016 — might yet turn out to be insufficient to kick-start a moribund eurozone, but it may just have achieved something more important for the animal spirits of markets; a revival in the cult of central banks.
Euro tumbles most in 3 years after ECB move
Claire Jones in Frankfurt, and Elaine Moore and Jamie Chisholm in London, FT
The euro tumbled the most in more than three years to fresh 11-year lows on Friday, a day after the European Central Bank unleashed a long-awaited plan to spur the economy and counter deflation, outstripping market expectations.
France seeks to revive European financial transactions tax
Alex Barker in Brussels and Philip Stafford in London, FT
France tried to revive Europe’s floundering financial transaction tax initiative on Thursday, urging 11 eurozone countries to regroup around a more expansive levy, imposed at “low rates”.
Denmark Ready to Dump Kroner on Market to Tame Hedge Funds
By Frances Schwartzkopff and Peter Levring, Bloomberg
Denmark sent hedge funds and other speculators a clear message yesterday, daring them to test the full force of its monetary arsenal at their own peril.
You Can’t Transform Bond Trading Without Dealers, Greenwich Says
By Matthew Leising and Annabelle, Bloomberg
As new trading platforms seek to change how business is done in the $7.7 trillion U.S. corporate bond market, a research firm has a warning: Don’t shun the banks that traditionally facilitated transactions.
Bond Managers Caught in Liquidity Trap, Loomis’s Fuss Says
By Daniel Kruger, Bloomberg
Central banks are creating a liquidity trap where money managers avoiding low-yielding bonds end up adding to reserves returning next to nothing, according to Daniel Fuss, vice chairman at Loomis Sayles & Co.
Casualties mount in high-speed trading arms race
Gregory Meyer in New York and Arash Massoudi and Philip Stafford in London, FT
“Lead With Speed” and “Don’t Get Picked Off” are among the slogans of vendors to the high-speed trading industry, where being a microsecond faster than rivals often determines success or failure.
U.S. banks resign themselves to lower yields for longer
By Peter Rudegeair, Reuters
U.S. banks, after spending much of the last year bracing themselves for higher bond yields, are now resigning themselves to at least another few quarters of low rates, executives and analysts said.
IronFX confirms interest in Alpari UK operations
Philip Stafford and Harriet Agnew, FT
IronFX, a Cyprus-based retail foreign exchange broker, has confirmed it is interested in bidding for the UK operations of Alpari, which went into administration after making huge losses on swings in the Swiss franc.
Fake Liquidity Prompts European Probe Into High-Speed Trading
By Eduard Gismatullin, Bloomberg
The European Union is investigating whether high frequency traders provide liquidity that benefits financial markets as a whole in the 28-nation bloc.
Glass Lewis Recommends GFI Shareholders Vote Against “Flawed and Conflicted” Merger With CME
BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC Partners,” “the Company,” or “BGC”), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the financial and real estate markets, today announced that Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”), a leading independent proxy advisory service, has recommended that shareholders of GFI Group Inc. (NYSE: GFIG) (“GFI Group” or “GFI”) vote AGAINST the merger agreement with CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) (“CME”) at the special meeting of GFI shareholders scheduled for January 27, 2015.
CFTC Issues Order of Registration for Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announced today that is has issued an Order of Registration to Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad (BMD), a Foreign Board of Trade located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Under the Order, BMD is permitted to provide its identified members or other participants located in the U.S. with direct access to its electronic order entry and trade matching system to trade agricultural commodity, interest rate and security index futures and option contracts.
CFTC Issues Order of Registration for the Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announced today that it has issued an Order of Registration to the Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited (SGX-DT), a Foreign Board of Trade located in Singapore. Under the Order, SGX-DT is permitted to provide its identified members or other participants located in the U.S. with direct access to its electronic order entry and trade matching system to trade equity index, interest rate, commodity and foreign exchange futures and options contracts.
FINRA Arbitration Data Under Fire Again
Public interest groups prod FINRA Arbitration Task Force to push for more transparency
Nine public interest groups are prodding the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s arbitration task force, which met in Washington on Thursday, to ensure that the self-regulator improves the transparency of mandatory arbitration for investors by releasing a wide range of data not now publicly available.
CFTC wants Dodd-Frank regulation for retail FX
The US regulator has taken a tough stance on retail FX following the fallout from the SNB’s currency floor removal on January 15 Regulation of the retail foreign exchange industry should be brought in line with the rules that have been established throughout the entire derivatives industry in the form of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Sharon Bowen, a commissioner at the US regulator, said in a statement on January 21 that following the..
CFTC eyes exemptions for foreign clearing firms
Timothy Massad, Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has said the commission plans to grant permanent
Keynote Address by Chairman Timothy G. Massad before the Monetary Authority of Singapore, The Future of Financial Market Regulation
I want to talk today about where we are in the process of global financial regulatory reform. I want to talk about Singapore’s role in that effort and why that effort is important to the prospects for growth here and throughout Asia. But I want to first say a few more words about my path to standing in front of you today, and how it shapes my perspective on these issues.
FCA to act even earlier to counter charges of ‘retrospective regulation’
by Laura Miller, Investmentweek
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will look to take even earlier pre-emptive action against what it believes is bad practice in a bid to counter accusations from the industry that it unfairly employs retrospective regulation.
Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans
NMS: Notice of Filing of the Eighth Amendment to the National Market System Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility by BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, In (Release No. 34-74110; File No. 4-631; January 21, 2015); see also Exhibit A
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Euronext welcomes Cnova N.V. to Paris market
Euronext, the leading exchange in the Eurozone, today announced that Cnova N.V., a global player in e-commerce, has listed in compartment A of the Euronext Paris regulated market. Cnova N.V. is one of the world’s largest global e-commerce companies.
Danone opens trading on Euronext markets, celebrating successful EUR 1.3 billion bond issue | Euronext
Euronext, the leading exchange in the Eurozone, today congratulated Danone on the success of its dual-tranche EUR 1.3 billion bond issue. Aimed at financing the group’s business and growth by extending the maturity of its debt, the bonds were admitted to trading on 14 January.
Eurex Exchange’s MSCI news – January 2015
It was a very good year, as the figures below show. We want to thank you for contributing to our growing MSCI success story.
GAGFAH S.A.: Takeover offer of Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE to the shareholders of GAGFAH S.A.
On 19 December 2014, the company Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE submitted a takeover offer to the shareholders of GAGFAH S.A. The offer period will take place from 19 December 2014 until 21 January 2015 subject to a possible extension.
ICE Endex Sets Daily Volume Record in TTF Natural Gas
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that the ICE Endex TTF Natural Gas futures and options contracts achieved a daily volume record of 58,335 contracts (42.3 TWh) on January 21, 2015. This record more than doubles the previous TTF daily volume record, which was set on November 25, 2014 with 27,569 contracts (20.1 TWh) traded.
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
A Few Savvy Investors Had Swiss Central Bank Figured Out; Quaesta Capital’s Options Trade Pays Off
By Juliet Chung, Laurence Fletcher And Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ
When Switzerland’s central bank shocked markets by scrapping a three-year-old policy limiting the value of the Swiss franc against the euro, the Swiss investment firm Quaesta Capital AG was among the few that benefited.
The firm, which oversees $3 billion in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, bought options “a considerable time” ago betting that the euro would drop below 1.20 francs, said Chief Executive Thomas Suter.
CTAs end the year with five months of positive performance
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (SG CIB) has announced the December performance data for its Newedge CTA performance indices, as well as the constituents of the indices for 2015.
Soros says these ‘hellish’ markets make him less bullish
By BarbaraKollmeyer, MarketWatch
So George Soros has been whining at Davos about the hellish lives of hedge-fund managers these days.
Assets under management rise from previous quarter, year
By Kristen Grind, MarketWatch
Janus Capital Group Inc.’s chief executive confirmed on an earnings call Thursday that new star manager Bill Gross has invested “more than $700 million” of his own money in his new mutual fund.
Zurich expands platform to include first DFMs
Laura Dew, Investment Week
Zurich has expanded its platform offering to include a discretionary fund management service for the first time.
Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Ray Dalio’s All Weather Fund Returned 8.6% In 2014
It wasn’t a fantastic year for the world’s largest hedge fund firm, but Bridgewater Associates’ key All Weather fund did finish in solid positive territory in 2014, returning 8.6% net of fees, according to an investment report reviewed by Forbes.
Banks & Brokers
State Street’s Trading Services Drive Earnings Beat; Revenue Sees Solid Growth From Both Asset Servicing and Asset Management
By Michael Calia And Angela Chen, WSJ
State Street Corp. said strength in its trading-services and foreign-exchange trading segments spurred strong earnings growth in the fourth quarter, despite unfavorable currency effects.
Barclays fights back in dark pool case
Gina Chon in Washington, FT
Barclays has stepped up its efforts to persuade a US judge to throw out a case brought by the New York attorney-general alleging the British bank misled clients about its secretive “dark pool” private trading venue.
Goldman and JPMorgan chiefs’ pay tops $20m
Eric Platt in New York, FT
Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon, his counterpart at JPMorgan Chase, respectively received $24m and $20m in salary and cash and stock bonuses in 2014.
Dimon, Blankfein Getting Bigger Cash Bonuses Even While U.S. Bank Rally Fizzles
By Dakin Campbell, Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) boosted the cash portion of their leaders’ bonuses for the first time since 2010, as a surge in U.S. bank stocks slows.
UBS avoids trading losses after Swiss franc decision
James Shotter in Vienna, FT
UBS did not suffer trading losses in the turmoil that swept through global markets after the Swiss National Bank’s decision last week to abandon its cap on the franc.
UBS Had No Loss in Turmoil After SNB Scrapped Franc Cap
By Jeffrey Vögeli, Bloomberg
UBS Group AG (UBSG), Switzerland’s biggest bank, said its trading businesses didn’t suffer a loss in the havoc that erupted when the Swiss central bank unexpectedly scrapped its limit on the franc.
BNY Mellon, State Street get profit boost from forex trading
BNY Mellon Corp and State Street Corp, the world’s two largest custody banks, said on Friday their fourth-quarter profits got a boost from a surge in volume and volatility in foreign currency markets.
Deutsche Bank’s Healy and Cannon Said to Leave Equity Unit
By Sam Mamudi and Matthew Leising, Bloomberg
Don Healy and John Cannon have left their positions as managing directors in Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s equity capital markets unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.
BGC Partners Announces Launch Of Exchange Offer For Its 5.375% Senior Notes Due 2019
“BGC”, a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the financial and real estate markets, today announced an offer to exchange up to all aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 5.375% Senior Notes due 2019 (the “Old Notes”) for an equivalent amount of its 5.375% Senior Notes due 2019 registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Exchange Notes”).
Clearing & Settlement
China’s first Internet banking service Webank to use facial recognition technology | BiometricUpdate
Earlier this week, Webank launched the “test run” of its Internet banking service, which will use facial recognition technology as a method of authorizing its clients’ identification, according to a report by Shanghai Daily.
Indexes & Products
SGX Plans China Equity-Index Options on Futures Demand
By Jonathan Burgos and Adam Haigh, Bloomberg
Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), Southeast Asia’s biggest bourse, plans to start trading Chinese equity-index options as investors seek ways to hedge risks in the world’s most volatile stock market.
Integrated Latam bourses to offer debt in 2016, sector indexes
The Latin American Integrated Market, or MILA, which comprises the bourses of Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, plans to include debt instruments in 2016 and indexes for sectors such as mining and energy, top bourse officials said on Wednesday.
Marking the inclusion of Mexico into the combined market, the officials warned, however, that they expect a slow pick-up in cross-market trading. So far, just one trade has been made by a Mexican brokerage using the platform since early December.
Google’s Wireless Efforts Are Led by a Geek’s Geek; Craig Barratt’s Role Is Critical in Plans to Make Service Competitive, Profitable
By Alistair Barr, WSJ
As the chief executive of Atheros Communications Inc. in 2010, Craig Barratt described a coming “megatrend” of mobile devices that connect to the Internet in multiple ways, and stressed the importance of local Wi-Fi access to supplement cellular networks.
Tim Cook stock rewards could exceed $500m
Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco, FT
Leading the world’s most valuable company also comes with one of the world’s richest incentive packages. Last year’s sharp rise in Apple’s share price has put Tim Cook in line to receive more than half a billion dollars’ worth of stock if he remains chief executive and hits targets over the next six years.
FCA hits first individuals with Libor fines
Caroline Binham and Philip Stafford in London, FT
The UK financial watchdog has fined and banned the former chief executive and former chief compliance officer of interdealer broker RP Martin in its first penalties for named individuals over the Libor scandal.
FINRA Fines Scottrade Over Customer Privacy Violations
By Ed Beeson, Law360
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Wednesday fined Scottrade Inc. $200,000 to settle claims that it violated privacy rules when it handed over certain customer data to firms looking to contact investors who had bought shares of a French utility named in a securities class action claim.
SEC Charges Former Executive at Tampa-Based Engineering Firm With FCPA Violations; Company to Pay $3.4 Million in Deferred Prosecution Agreement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former officer at a Tampa, Fla.-based engineering and construction firm with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by offering and authorizing bribes and employment to foreign officials to secure Qatari government contracts.
Weavering founder Magnus Peterson jailed for 13 years for fraud
Caroline Binham in London, FT
The founder of one of London’s oldest hedge funds who perpetrated a $537m fraud has been sentenced to 13 years in prison, one of the toughest punishments handed out for a high-profile fraud in the UK in recent times.
U.S. regulators sue former Capital One employees for insider trading
By Nate Raymond, Reuters
U.S. securities regulators have accused two former Capital One Financial Corp data analysts with engaging in insider trading based on sales data the credit card issuer had collected from millions of its customers.
Environmental & Energy
Death of King Unlikely to Alter Saudi Oil Policy; Kingdom Is Likely to Continue to Pump Crude in Face of Glut
By Russell Gold, Nicole Friedman and Lynn Cook, WSJ
Saudi Arabia has charted a long-term course to drive down oil prices and maintain its major share of the global market—and a change of who is on the throne in Riyadh won’t likely alter this course, energy experts said.
Political divisions hit EU carbon price
Christian Oliver in Brussels, FT
Carbon prices plunged almost 8 per cent on Thursday after a bumpy start to the EU’s attempt to fix its dysfunctional emissions market, with bitter divisions among parliamentarians creating uncertainty among traders.
Russia Presses Ahead With Plan for Gas Pipeline to Turkey
By Stanley Reed and Sebnem Arsu – The New York Times
President Vladimir V. Putin surprised the world in December when he aborted long-laid plans for a natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Europe, saying Russia would run pipes to Turkey instead.
EP committee strikes down own report on carbon fix
By Peter Teffer – EU Observer
The European Parliament’s industry committee on Thursday (22 January) rejected the early introduction of a market intervention system designed to the get the EU’s carbon trading scheme back on its feet.
Climate change inaction pushes ‘Doomsday Clock’ closest to midnight since 1984
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian
The symbolic doomsday clock moved to three minutes before midnight on Thursday because of the gathering dangers of climate change and nuclear proliferation, signalling the gravest threat to humanity since the throes of the cold war.
Chinese Chairman of Credit Suisse Venture Is Missing
by Cathy Chan and Alfred Liu, Bloomberg
Lei Jie, the chairman of China’s Founder Securities (601901) Co. and its joint venture with Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), can’t be contacted by Founder as the government questions executives at the company’s parent.
Eligible Single Hong Kong Stocks for Derivative Warrant Issuance in Current Quarter
SGX receives approval from Commodity Futures Trading Commission as registered Foreign Board Of Trade
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to receive approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a registered Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT). The FBOT registration provides legal certainty to U.S. customers with direct access to SGX’s comprehensive suite of Asian equity derivatives and commodities offerings and trading infrastructure. SGX was the first in Asia to receive the Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) status from the CFTC in 2013.
Securities and Exchange Board of India Notices
Order in the matter of acquisition of shares of Servotech Engineering Industries Limited
In the matter of Dipin Surana
In the matter of M/s KIM Infrastructure & Developers Ltd.
PR – Order against Mr. Sameer S. Joshi, a sub-broker with trade name Shreesurya Investments
Attachment proceedings against M/s Eduexel Infotainment Ltd
Silk Road suspect said ‘keep my secret’
Kara Scannell in New York, FT
Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind running a global online drug marketplace, told a college friend in early 2011 that he created and operated the Silk Road website, a jury heard on Thursday.
Ken Griffin’s $30 million summer condo buying spree
By Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune
Ken Griffin doesn’t own one condo at Waldorf Astoria. He owns two.
Billionaire Ken Griffin didn’t buy just one full-floor condo in the Waldorf Astoria Chicago building last year. He bought two, spending almost $30 million.
As the Tribune recently reported, Griffin used a company registered in Delaware to buy a 37th floor, full-floor unit for $13.3 million. That purchase closed in early August.
The Economist names first woman editor to lead the newsroom
The Economist Group on Thursday named Zanny Minton Beddoes as the editor of its eponymous newspaper.