First Read

The Power of an Education
Don Wilson, CEO, DRW Holdings, this week’s guest editor
Don Wilson
When it comes to donating time and financial resources, I’ve always been most interested in projects that truly have a long-term impact on improving the community where we live and work, reducing future poverty and creating sustainable opportunity. I think it’s an approach that many of us in the industry share. Nothing comes closer to that than education.

That’s why DRW decided to partner with the Noble Network of Charter Schools to open DRW College Prep (DRWCP) high school in 2012. As we approach the June celebration of the first-ever graduating class of the school, it’s a good time to reflect on the power of education, especially for kids who may not have always envisioned a future that included college.

DRWCP isn’t far from DRW’s Chicago headquarters—just six miles west—but the school is located in a neighborhood known for a high incidence of violent crime. Ninety-five percent of the students come from low-income households. Dozens are homeless or in temporary housing situations. Despite their personal circumstances, these students are making a choice every day to engage in rigorous academics, act with integrity and “chase down” college in an effort to improve their lives.

Wherever you land on the charter school debate, it’s hard to argue with the results that have been achieved at DRWCP and other Noble schools. Eighty-three percent of students graduate from high school within five years. Ninety percent of students enroll in two- or four-year colleges, and those who enroll graduate from college at three times the national average for low-income students.

All of us at DRW are proud of the students who will walk across the stage in June, and proud of the thousands of students who will follow in the coming years. We committed to helping the school get started four years ago, but it’s the commitment of these students every day—to harness the power of education—that deserves recognition.


God, Wall Street And the New Push to Save U.S. Catholic Schools
Bloomberg Business
Wall Street’s commitment to inner-city Catholic schools goes back decades. But in major population centers like Boston, New York and Chicago, the alliance has taken a leap. Donors not only demand accountability for what they’ve given but also increasingly want to help run things, too, setting off new debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic schools.

***DA: Not sure if the above comment is a backhanded slap at Wall Street ethics (or that of the church itself?). Regardless, from the firms featured in the story, plus Don’s commentary above, it is heartening to see today’s business leaders rolling up their sleeves to help solve a problem that does not seem to be going away on its own.


Programmed for Success — Finding Your Next Trader
Evan Pollock, Traders News
In a recent DealBook article, The New York Times introduces its general interest readers to a new breed of trader: a computer programmer with a quantitative and algorithmic background. In this commentary, a headhunter explains what financial firms are looking for when hiring a new trader.
***DA: Now, if only we could get the perspective from someone who runs a proprietary trading firm. Oh, yeah. We have one on staff this week.

***DRW: Isn’t this really old news?


The Myth of the Barter Economy
Ilana E. Strauss – The Atlantic
Imagine life before money. Say, you made bread but you needed meat. But what if the town butcher didn’t want your bread? You’d have to find someone who did, trading until you eventually got some meat. You can see how this gets incredibly complicated and inefficient, which is why humans invented money: to make it easier to exchange goods. Right? This historical world of barter sounds quite inconvenient. It also may be completely made up.

***DRW: Interesting idea.


Molotovs and Death Threats: Russian Debt Collectors Go Medieval
Carol Matlack and Anna Andrianova – Bloomberg
On the night of Jan. 27, a Molotov cocktail crashed through the window of a house in the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk, badly burning a toddler. Prosecutors charged a 44-year-old man with the firebombing, saying he had threatened the child’s grandfather over past-due payments on a 4,000-ruble ($51) loan. The accused, a former police officer, has denied the charges.

***DRW: No interest in doing business in Russia.


A Goldman Sachs partner sent a memo to the bank’s junior staff, and every young person on Wall Street should read it
Julia La Roche and Matt Turner – Business Insider
It is a tough time to work on Wall Street. It has been a terrible start to 2016, and it follows a brutal 2015. It seems barely a week goes by without fresh news of job cuts at a top investment bank. Morale is low, and junior bankers and traders who have just started in finance are asking themselves about the industry’s long-term prospects.

***DRW: Plenty of opportunities in the PTG space – especially for experienced risk takers.


Energy pioneer McClendon dies in Oklahoma car crash a day after indictment
Aubrey McClendon, a brash risk-taker who led Chesapeake Energy Corp to become one of the world’s biggest natural gas producers, died in a single-car crash on Wednesday, a day after being charged with breaking federal antitrust laws, police said. He was 56.
***DA: A tragic end to a success story gone sour. Our sympathies to the McClendon family.
***DRW: Very sad.


Wednesday Tops
The click leader yesterday was the WSJ story with the clickbaity title The Real Reason ICE Covets the London Stock Exchange. Coming in second, from MarketWatch, was
Whistleblower award for NYSE fine goes to HFT critic Eric Hunsader. Matt Leising’s story,
Intercontinental Builds Out Asset Pricing With Two Acquisitions, came in third. truth be told, the most clicks went not to a story, but rather a link to Don Wilson’s plug for the premier freshwater America’s Cup event


MarketsWiki Spotlight
The World Federation of Exchanges

The World Federation of Exchanges represents 64 regulated exchanges across the world, and acts on behalf of a total of 99 organizations including affiliate members and clearinghouses.


Since its foundation 54 years ago, the WFE has organized committees, meetings, general assemblies, conferences, and workshops for its members to transfer knowledge and share expertise. As an industry trade organisation, the WFE has discussed virtually every aspect of the capital market: the technical, the commercial, the legal and the economic. In the past four decades we have published studies and reports on issues such as self-regulation, cross border trading, HFT, cyber security and many others besides. For more on the WFE, visit its page in MarketsWiki HERE

“Company Spotlight”
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Lead Stories

Why Chicago’s CME would want London Stock Exchange Group
Crain’s Chicago Business
A potential CME Group bid for the London Stock Exchange Group probably isn’t about the futures exchange operator getting into equities but rather extending its reach in its mainstay derivatives business. In addition to its stock exchange, the London group owns LCH Clearnet, which guarantees international trades in swaps through its European base. The group also owns the FTSE Russell indexes, which like other indexes are often linked to exchange-traded contracts (similar to CME contracts tied to U.S. indexes).

ICE move for LSE could include spin-off of Borsa Italiana
Philip Stafford,
A potential bid by Intercontinental Exchange for the London Stock Exchange Group could include spinning off the UK company’s Italian business and French clearing arm, say two people familiar with the matter.

***DA: Aren’t we getting a little ahead of ourselves here?

FX settlements face uphill legal battle
Euromoney magazine
Law firms might be licking their lips at the prospect of fat FX settlements in Europe, but the ongoing European Commission investigation and lack of clarity around the UK’s new regime for competition litigation make it difficult to predict their strategy – or their chances of success.

A new study confirms your worst suspicions: Financial firms prey on “unsophisticated” consumers
If you were furious after watching The Big Short, you had good reason. A new study looking at a decade’s worth of data on financial advisers in the United States found evidence that financial firms really do take advantage of people.

Deutsche Boerse CEO touts benefits of LSE merger, Berlin cool
Carsten Kengeter, the chief executive of Deutsche Boerse, (DB1Gn.DE) lauded the benefits for the Frankfurt exchange and its customers on Wednesday of a proposed deal to merge the German exchange operator with the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L).
The talks are being closely watched by the government in Berlin, whose backing Kengeter needs to win support for the merger.

Ex-Chesapeake chief Aubrey McClendon dies day after indictment
Aubrey McClendon, one of the leading figures in the US shale gas boom, was killed in a car crash on Wednesday, the day after being indicted on charges of rigging bids for drilling rights. McClendon’s car hit the concrete a bridge in Oklahoma City about 9am local time, travelling at high speed, police said. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 56.

***DA: Also see, from Reuters, McClendon remembered as energy ‘visionary’ despite controversy

LSE, Deutsche Börse eye French spin-off as part of deal
The London Stock Exchange is considering spinning off the French division of its clearing house to help smooth a potential £20bn takeover by Deutsche Börse, according to three people familiar with the matter.he UK bourse is also looking at shifting control of a London-based interest rate derivatives business at LCH.Clearnet to Eurex, a clearing operation run by its German counterpart.

Fed’s Williams says ‘gradual’ is key message on rate hikes
San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said Wednesday that the key message from the U.S. central bank is that interest-rate hikes will be “gradual.” If at some point the Fed does need to ease policy, he said, he would rather use tried and true monetary policy tools like quantitative easing rather than negative interest rates which could carry more costs than benefits.

US life insurers shaken by rock-bottom rates
Life insurers are supposed to be bedrocks of financial stability, dependable institutions whose long-term business models set them apart from scandal-hit banks. Yet shares in the leading US insurers, which help millions of Americans through retirement, have been anything but stable in recent weeks. Titans of the industry have been hit almost as hard as lenders in this year’s stock market rout.

Negative Rates + QE = Less Liquidity in Government Bond Markets
Add negative interest rates to the list of monetary-policy tools hampering liquidity in sovereign-bond markets.
One measure of market liquidity in Europe has fallen by more than half since late 2014, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The aberration may worsen as the European Central Bank contemplates pushing rates further into record-low levels. The ECB, whose quantitative easing already removed 595 billion euros ($645 billion) of public and private debt from the market, is forecast to cut its deposit rate further below zero on March 10.


Clearing must be looked at ahead of any LSE deal
Deutsche Börse is no stranger to the game of exchange consolidation. The German group’s bid approach for London Stock Exchange is just the latest in a series of such moves over the past two decades. Regulators have crawled over its past proposals and often had reason to reject them. The UK’s Competition Commission objected to its 2004 tilt at the LSE over concerns about its effect on equity trading. A few years later, Brussels blocked its proposed tie-up with NYSE Euronext, citing similar worries about its effect on the derivatives markets.

US regulator hits out at new securitisation requirements
A senior US regulator has slammed incoming rules that will require managers of bonds backed by mortgages and other loans to retain 5 per cent of the credit risk of new deals, calling for an investigation into the impact the requirements are having on the securitisation industry.
***DRW: Wasn’t “skin in the game” the idea behind this?

EC approves clearing mandate for single-name CDS contracts
The Trade News
The European Commission has mandated certain single-name credit default swaps (CDS) contracts for central clearing. The mandate will cover CDS derivatives that are denominated in euros covering certain European corporations.

FSB seeks to estimate collateral reuse as part of broader shadow-banking effort
Neil Roland, MLex (Subscription Required)
Global authorities trying to curb shadow-banking risks are proposing ways to measure collateral reuse, which contributed to market panic after the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Energy suppliers forced to open customer databases to rivals
Energy suppliers will be forced to open up their customer databases so that rivals can write to offer better deals, according to a plan that will be announced next Thursday. The measure is part of a package of proposals that will be unveiled next week after an 18-month investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into whether households are being overcharged for their gas and electricity.

Trudeau’s Message to World: Let Government Spending Do the Work
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging global leaders to rely more on government spending and less on monetary policy to spur growth as he prepares a budget that will push his country into deficit.

Sebi rule delays QIP-bound govt banks
Business Standard News
A three-month-old circular from the Securities and Exchange board of India (Sebi) has come in the way of several public sector banks (PSBs) going to the market with plans to raise capital through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP).

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Tradeweb Markets LLC Acquires CodeStreet LLC
Tradeweb Markets, a leading builder and operator of global fixed income and derivatives marketplaces, announced today that it has acquired CodeStreet LLC, a leader in data-driven trade identification and workflow management software development.

Volatility drives high trading volumes in Europe
The Trade News
European equity trading volumes were high in February as market volatility prompted by global economic concerns continued to fuel activity. Euronext, which operates venues in France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium saw a record month once again in February with average daily double counted trades of 2.28 million, up from its previous record of 2.21 million in January 2016.

Saxo Bank and CME Group Sign Content Sharing Agreement
Press Release
Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, and CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today signed a content-sharing agreement rendering CME Group’s educational materials available to Saxo Bank’s global client base.

SIX Securities Launches CO:RE Repo Trading Platform
Waters Technology
Swiss post-trade services provider Six Securities Services has launched CO:RE, its new repo trading platform. Replacing its legacy system, the CO:RE trading facility will provide single-point access for over 160 Swiss domestic and international clients to the multi-currency Swiss repo market. The platform provides real-time trading and collateral monitoring, and functionality for regulatory requirement compliance.

Summary of February 2016 Activities at TOCOM
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange announced today that average daily volume for February 2016 was 133,704 contracts, up 3.7% from January. The Gold Standard contract was up 42.9% to
46,410 contracts and Gold Rolling Spot (formerly called “Gold Daily”) was up 40.6% to 17,247 contracts. The Gold Rolling Spot contract recorded both highest monthly volume and the highest daily average volume in February. Strong trading in gold made up for slower trading in other contracts including TOCOM Dubai Crude Oil, which was down 7.5% to 34,253 contracts.

News and events
Moscow Exchange
In February, Moscow Exchange saw a record number of active client accounts on its markets, with 50,873 for the Derivatives Market and 17,955 for the FX Market. Open interest for certain derivatives also hit an all-time high in February.


De Blasio Says Clinton Need Not Disclose Her Wall Street Talks
Bloomberg Politics
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to release transcripts of speeches she gave to employees of Wall Street firms such as the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for which she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.

‘Too Big to Fail’ Critics Go Too Far on Banks
“Too big to fail” is the postcrisis obsession that refuses to go away. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has built his campaign on the claim that big banks are a menace to society and should be broken up. Two weeks ago he found an ally in Neel Kashkari , a Republican who ran George W. Bush’s bailout program and recently became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

US foreign policy experts round on Donald Trump
Several dozen Republican foreign policy experts have accused Donald Trump of being “fundamentally dishonest” and “unfit” to be president, as the property developer closes in on the party’s nomination.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Best Practices for a CTA’s back office (part 2)
Dana Comolli, DMAXX
Trading can be hazardous, but not being on top of your business and accounting can be even worse. As we noted in the last blog good performance is great, but good performance with a stable, efficient and reliable back office is what investors want. What exactly does that mean to the CTA?

Generating Alpha Using IPO and Secondary Issue Data
Deltix | Advanced Quantitative Strategies
Our Quantitative Research Team sought to determine if there are opportunities to generate alpha in US equities, using Triad data as a basis for market movement prediction after IPO events or after secondaries pricing.
We loaded Triad data and associated market data into Deltix TimeBase and then developed, tested and refined candidate trading strategies in Deltix QuantOffice. The strategies were back-tested on in-sample data for the years 2008-2014, while 2015 data was included for out-of-sample testing.
Back-testing showed that the two strategies (the first for IPOs, the second for Secondaries) had Sharpe Ratios of 2.11 and 2.73 with average profits per share of $0.20 and $0.09 respectively for the eight years of 2008 to 2015.

Two top grain traders at BTG Pactual have left – sources
Two top grain traders at BTG Pactual have left the company, sources familiar with the matter and traders said on Wednesday. Larry Greenhall, who had been the head of grains, oilseeds and sugar trading for BTG Pactual in New York, left late in February, two traders and two other sources said.

Pimco Says It’s Time to Buy Junk Bonds
Bloomberg Business
Pacific Investment Management Co. says it’s time to buy U.S. junk bonds. And the money manager is not alone.
Investors have sunk record levels of cash into the largest high-yield-debt exchange-traded fund in recent days. Prices for the bonds have been rising since mid-February.

Banks & Brokers

China grains giant eyes CBH move
The Australian
China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation is believed to be considering a move on West Australian grain company CBH, rivalling an existing offer backed by GrainCorp. Archer Daniels Midland, which made a failed bid to buy GrainCorp in 2013, has been suggested as a possible party sizing up the situation and determining whether a counter-approach is advantageous.

Why Banks Big and Small Will Fear Brexit
Simple and focused is better in banking—at least for now. Virgin Money, one of the U.K.’s smaller so-called challenger banks, pleased investors on Wednesday as it reported a big leap in profits and a bigger dividend than expected. It follows Lloyds Banking Group in giving investors good-looking cash flow and payouts from a simpler business model, which at Virgin Money is focused on mortgage lending and credit cards.

Deutsche Bank CEO aims for universal bank with German roots
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is firmly focused on being a top international corporate and capital markets player with strong roots in Germany, its Chief Executive John Cryan said on Wednesday. “We are a universal bank,” said Cryan, who has been criticized for not making his strategy clear since taking over the running of Germany’s largest bank last year.

Goldman Sachs’s Eric Dobkin, Father of Modern I.P.O., to Retire
The New York Times
Few spend 49 years working for the same company. And fewer still do so at an investment bank. But Eric Dobkin, among the longest-serving partners at Goldman Sachs, achieved that distinction, as the company announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Citigroup Hires Equities Duo from Goldman Sachs
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Citigroup has hired a duo from Goldman Sachs Group as it continues its build-out into equities trading. Quentin Andre is joining as head of global structured sales, and Dirk Keijer is joining as head of derivatives sales for Europe, the Middle-East & Africa, according to an internal memo seen by WSJ City.

In deal boom, more firms ask: Is my banker conflicted?
Perrigo Co last summer dropped JP Morgan as an adviser on its battle against an unwanted takeover bid from Mylan. The reason, according to people familiar with the episode: Perrigo learned JP Morgan was simultaneously advising on another deal that would undermine the drug maker’s defense against Mylan.
The episode highlights the pitfalls for merger bankers in the current deal boom, which has been marked by complicated, quickly shifting takeover battles.

Clearing & Settlement

Clearing must be looked at ahead of any LSE deal
Financial Times
Deutsche Börse is no stranger to the game of exchange consolidation. The German group’s bid approach for London Stock Exchange is just the latest in a series of such moves over the past two decades.
Regulators have crawled over its past proposals and often had reason to reject them. The UK’s Competition Commission objected to its 2004 tilt at the LSE over concerns about its effect on equity trading. A few years later, Brussels blocked its proposed tie-up with NYSE Euronext, citing similar worries about its effect on the derivatives markets.

Financial stability: New EU rules on central clearing for certain credit derivative contracts
Diplomatic Intelligence
Tuesday’s decision implements the clearing obligation under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (‘EMIR’). It refers to some types of credit default swaps.
The European Commission has adopted a new set of rules that requires certain over-the-counter (OTC) credit derivative contracts to be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs). Mandatory central clearing is a vital part of the response to the financial crisis; it follows commitments made by world leaders at the G-20 Pittsburgh Summit in 2009 to improve transparency and mitigate risks.

Indexes & Products

Benchmarks and the bully pulpit
FTSE Russell
Theodore Roosevelt reveled in the power of the Presidency as a persuasive force, calling it the “bully pulpit”. A century later the US Presidency is still arguably the most influential position in the world. But how much influence does the President have over the economy, and in particular, the stock market? There’s a wide body of research that explores those questions and the general consensus seems to be: perhaps some, but not much.
So the reality is, whether you’re hoping for a “Hillary” or a “Trump” victory in 2016, the outcome probably won’t affect Americans’ 401Ks. It’s more likely that intervention by the Fed, oil prices, and international events will dictate growth under the next President

FTSE China Index Series Quarterly Review
Press Release
FTSE Russell has today announced the results of the FTSE China Index Series quarterly review. Hedy Holding, Bank of Beijing and China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings were added to the FTSE China A50 Index and China Huarong Asset Management was added to the FTSE China 50 Index. As a result, Shanghai

Smart-Beta ETFs Employ Active Strategies
ETF Trends
In a difficult market environment, exchange traded fund investors may pick their battles with a disciplined smart-beta strategy that combines multiple actively managed investment styles in an index-based investment.

New York Stock Exchange Launches NYSE U.S. Pure Exposure Index Family
The New York Stock Exchange, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), today announced the launch of the NYSE U.S. Pure Exposure Index Family, a new series of nine sector indices that aims to isolate pure sector returns by hedging market risk.

Japan Exchange Group: Change To The JPX-Nikkei Index 400
Japan Exchange Group, Inc., Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. and Nikkei Inc. will make the following change to the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 constituent in accordance with the constituent selection rule.

Paddy Power, Morrisons, others to join FTSE 100
Betting firm Paddy Power Betfair PLC (PPB.DB), WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (MRW.LN), Mediclinic International PLC (MDC.LN) and media group Informa PLC (INF.LN), will be joining the FTSE 100 index later this month, according to the index’s provider FTSE Russell.


Tradesignal Becomes A Trayport Certified Software Provider
Trayport, a leading provider of energy trading solutions to traders, brokers and exchanges worldwide, announced today Tradesignal GmbH has successfully been accredited as a Trayport Certified Software Provider (CSP). Trayport’s CSP program is designed to enable third party suppliers connecting to the Trayport system to better support mutual clients. Certification aims to generate lasting and mutually beneficial working relationships between Trayport, providers and the end client.

Audacity Capital Selects Beeks Financial Cloud for High Performance Infrastructure Hosting
Business Wire
Beeks Financial Cloud, a global leader in financial cloud infrastructure with an established track record of providing high performance, low latency solutions, announced today that Audacity Capital, a Dubai-based proprietary trading firm, has selected Beeks as its connectivity and server hosting solution. Through hosting its infrastructure in Beeks’ cloud solution, Audacity will create a ‘best of both worlds’ structure, with the advantages of a co-located solution combined with the flexibility and agility of modern cloud computing.

What Will It Take for Washington State to Put a Price on Carbon?
The Stranger
A Controversial Carbon Tax Is Going on the November Ballot—But Critics Say Hard Conversations About Race and Social Justice Need to Happen First

Hedgeweek Names Broadridge Investment Management Solutions Best Risk Management Software Firm
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR) was awarded “Best Risk Management Software Firm” at the Hedgeweek Global Awards 2016, which are voted on by industry participants and recognize excellence among hedge fund managers and global service providers.

Environmental & Energy

Green Venture Seeks to Turn Back Clock on Carbon Emissions
A project backed by Bill Gates and a Canadian oil baron is attempting to turn back the clock on greenhouse gas emissions by snatching carbon dioxide particles out of thin air. The initiative, by Calgary, Alberta,-based Carbon Engineering Ltd., holds the prospect of powering vehicles using fuel reconstituted from tailpipe emissions, while helping to reduce greenhouse gases.

What Will It Take for Washington State to Put a Price on Carbon?
The Stranger
A Controversial Carbon Tax Is Going on the November Ballot—But Critics Say Hard Conversations About Race and Social Justice Need to Happen First

More than half a million could die as climate change impacts diet – report
The Guardian
Climate change could kill more than 500,000 people a year globally by 2050 by making their diets less healthy, according to new research published in the Lancet. The research is the first to assess how the impacts of global warming could affect the quality of the diets available to people and found fewer fruit and vegetables would be available as a result of climatic changes.

Offshore wind projects in US see renewed interest
The offshore wind industry has high hopes for establishing a permanent beachhead in the U.S. after years of disappointment.

OPEC is ‘central bank of oil’ not a cartel
Business Insider
OPEC, the intergovernmental organization made up of 13-oil producing members, is technically a cartel. But given some of its recent actions, one economist argues that that label may no longer be applicable.

Natural-gas futures sink to 17-year low
Natural-gas futures dropped to their lowest level in 17 years on Wednesday with warmer-than-normal weather expected to contribute to a below-average fall in weekly U.S. supplies of the heating fuel.

Oil and Gas Drillers in the U.S. Ready to Party Like It’s 1859
Bloomberg Business
The energy business in the U.S. is about to travel 150 years back in time. Oil and gas companies have cut so much spending amid the biggest price crash in a generation that there are only 502 drilling rigs still active in the country, according to Baker Hughes Inc. In the next few weeks, that could fall below 488, the lowest level in records dating back to 1948, according to Paul Hornsell, head of commodities research for Standard Chartered Bank.


Chinese financial players shake up Hong Kong office market
Mainland Chinese financial institutions have expanded their physical footprint in Hong Kong’s prime business district at their fastest pace in five years, driving up rents and underscoring how Beijing’s policies are reshaping the city. While international firms are consolidating and re-locating offices to save money, Beijing is pushing on with plans to draw the former British colony into a Pearl River Delta mega-economy – and China’s financial institutions are leading the way.

Chinese financial players shake up Hong Kong office market
Mainland Chinese financial institutions have expanded their physical footprint in Hong Kong’s prime business district at their fastest pace in five years, driving up rents and underscoring how Beijing’s policies are reshaping the city.

Japanese stock upturn reflects stabilizing financial markets- Nikkei Asian Review
Nikkei Asian Review
The stock market logged its second straight up day here on Wednesday, posting the third-biggest gain of the year and signaling that the stormy global financial markets are heading toward calmer waters.

Hong Kong must embrace fintech or risk losing its status as a major global financial services hub, says expert
Hong Kong must embrace the revolution in financial technology or risk losing its status as one of foremost centres for financial services in the world, an expert has said.

Thomson Reuters Links with Hong Kong Fintech Accelerator SuperCharger – Crowdfund Insider
Thomson Reuters, a leading source of global news and information for professional markets, announced its partnership with FinTech accelerator SuperCharger to bring technology and market data access to FinTech firms undergoing its Hong Kong based program.

Frontier Markets

Goldman likely to drop bid on Russian bond deal
Financial News
Goldman Sachs is likely to withdraw a bid on a $3 billion Russian bond deal after the US government last week cautioned Wall Street firms against pursuing the business, people familiar with the matter said.

Frontier Markets: Angola’s Challenges and Obstacles
Peter Kohli,
Why is it that when I write about one country in Africa, I always hear from someone requesting that I research another? I am not sure whether they want me to highlight the positives of that country or just be an impartial judge. It was the same today. I got an email with a link to an article in The Wall Street Journal on Angola. I have to admit that any country I have not written about interests me and so, I followed the link.

Frontier Stocks Score Rare Big Win Over More-Developed Markets
Bloomberg Business
Frontier stocks outperformed the worldwide equities market last month by the most in almost two years. The MSCI Frontier Markets Index rose 3.5 percent in February, besting the MSCI All-World Index of both emerging- and developed-country stocks by 4.4 percentage points, the most since April 2014. The gauge has beat the rest of the world by more than that on only 11 occasions in the past decade.

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