First Read

Sweet Home Chicago
Doug Ashburn, JLN

After a whirlwind trip through Asia, I am finally back home, just in time for the second annual Fintech Exchange Chicago, sponsored by Barchart. John Lothian News will be there to film the event; look for some of the highlights in the days to come. Or, better yet, come on over to Venue Six10 on Michigan Avenue. Last I heard, there were still a few tickets available. Check out the content box below for more information and to register. Hope to see you there.

If you have been tuning into the newsletter each day, you have seen a bit of my travelogue, which included the FOW Derivatives World Asia conference in Hong Kong, where I moderated a panel on blockchain (and if you want a primer on blockchain, see Jeff Bergstrom’s fabulous summary http://goo.gl/8HBluD|HERE). Earlier this week, I moderated a panel on trade reporting at the WFE IOMA conference in Malaysia. My fellow panelists really stepped up to offer a thoughtful exchange on the state of global harmonization, systemic risk monitoring and the possibilities for implementation of new technologies, namely, you guessed it, blockchain.

In his address to the conference, Ranjit Singh of the Securities Commission of Malaysia and vice chairman of IOSCO reminded us that the trade reporting infrastructure is running well ahead of that of other aspects of the global transparency framework such as clearing, margin and capital rules. Now, that does not mean the trade reporting story is passe, but rather it afforded us an opportunity to use reporting as a leading indicator for how these other aspects of a transparent, globally harmonized framework may progress.

Among the main points agreed by the panel, we are making strides toward a safer marketplace, but we have still a long way to go before the framework established by the G-20 heads in 2009 comes to fruition. And standardization is a good thing that everybody seems to want, but since everyone has their own system, everyone wants the rest of the world to conform to their standard. More compromise is needed.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the panel, which included Cinnober chairman Nils-Robert Persson, HKEx director of risk (and former CME Group risk guy) Ketan Patel, Flavia Kobashi from BM&FBOVESPA, and a late entry, who really helped add perspective to the panel, former CFTC director of clearing and risk Ananda Radhakrishnan, now a partner at Norton, Rose, Fullbright LLP. Thanks again for giving the delegation a few points to ponder.

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Sponsored Content
Fintech Exchange 2016 is Today! – Limited Tickets Available – Register Today

Join us Today in Chicago for the 2nd annual FinTech Exchange hosted by Barchart.

This one-of-a-kind event will showcase concise and engaging on-stage presentations from financial technology leaders like Google Cloud, Tally Capital, Amazon Web Services, Trading Technologies, Rival Systems, CME Group, CBOE Livevol, Quandl, Cantor Exchange, Narrative Science, Nadex, Neurensic, Alpaca and many more as they cover topics such as trading software, cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin and Blockchain, binary options, market data APIs, R&D tax credits and much more. Last year’s event was a sold-out show and space is limited, so be sure to register today.

To view the event program, register, or to learn more, please visit www.fintechchicago.com

Fintech Exchange 2016

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Mike Forrester reflects on 50 years of trading at the CBOT
JohnLothianNews.com

For the better part of the Chicago Board of Trade’s history, the exchange was built on the backs of grains traders. Mike Forrester, who started at the CBOT in 1963, has seen the best and worst of corn, wheat and soybean markets during his time on the floor. John Lothian News sat down with Forrester and spoke with him about a career that lasted more than 50 years.

Watch the video »
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Craft Brewers Won’t Play By Germany’s 500-Year-Old Rules
Stefan Nicola – Bloomberg Pursuits
On the law’s anniversary, some brewers question its relevance; The Reinheitsgebot is ‘a limitation that should be abolished’
Bavarian brewer Tilman Ludwig has long adhered to Germany’s “Reinheitsgebot,” a rule that allows only four ingredients in beer: water, malt, hops and yeast. As the 500th anniversary of the rule approaches this month, he’s celebrating by breaking the law.
goo.gl/HhMxTY

***** I can see that law breaker Mary Ann Burns doing the same thing.

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Harriet Tubman Ousts Andrew Jackson in Change for a $20
By JACKIE CALMES – NYTimes
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Wednesday announced the most sweeping and historically symbolic makeover of American currency in a century, proposing to replace the slaveholding Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the former slave and abolitionist, and to add women and civil rights leaders to the $5 and $10 notes.
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***** Stephen Colbert said last night that with the gender differential, the $20 was now worth $17.

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Brexit: The View from the Windy City
Carl Gilmore via John Lothian News
On June 23 of this year, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum to decide whether to exit the European Union. The vote has all of the hallmarks of a decisive, or potentially divisive, event. As students of history may know, on June 23, 1532 (which incidentally was also a leap year) Henry VIII, the King of England, entered into a secret agreement with the King of France, Francis I, to the detriment of Charles V, the ruler of the Spanish and Holy Roman Empires. The underlying reason for the secret pact was apparently concern that Charles V was attempting to create a universal monarchy and thus a European hegemony. One can’t help but wonder, almost 500 years later, if the same undercurrents are still present today.
goo.gl/tveks5

***** In case you missed Carl Gilmore’s latest contribution.

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Wednesday’s Top Three
If you don’t like the oaky background of a Chardonnay then be glad for the guy in our top story yesterday, A Wine Mogul Says Fidelity Cheated Him Out of Millions (Australian Chardonnay is aged in stainless steel casks since oak casks would be too expensive to import). The second most read story yesterday was Death of Controversial NYSE Rule Improved Trading, Broker Says. Third once again sees a fintech story in the top three: Fidessa defines a new approach to fintech innovation. Note that FinTech Exchange 2016 is happening today in Chicago. See the ad above for details.

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Lead Stories

U.S. SEC panel proposes stock exchange fee-cutting experiment
BY JOHN MCCRANK – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should mandate an experiment in cutting stock exchange fees and rebates, a move that could illuminate flaws in a pricing model that critics say creates conflicts of interest, a sub-committee of the regulator has recommended.
goo.gl/p0X4Zg

Fed should better safeguard economic data, internal watchdog says
BY ANN SAPHIR – Reuters
The Federal Reserve should beef up its controls over embargoed economic information given to news outlets, the U.S central bank’s internal watchdog said on Wednesday in a 38-page report dated April 15 and released publicly on Wednesday.
goo.gl/tqFGO6

Blythe Masters Sees Tech Answer to Banks’ Existential Woes
John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
Blockchain could cut post-trade costs by as much as 50%; Masters says time needed for blockchain to replace old systems
Blythe Masters, chief executive officer of financial-technology startup Digital Asset Holdings, said increased regulation and weakening performance may give banks little choice but to embrace new technologies such as blockchain.
goo.gl/2XX4Ov

The US Giant limbering up to scupper Germans’ bid for the London Stock Exchange
By ALEX BRUMMER IN NEW YORK FOR THE DAILY MAIL
The 40th floor of a mid-town, shining Manhattan tower block is not necessarily the place you would expect to smell the rich aromas of coffee beans and cocoa pods being sifted and tested.
goo.gl/WMHhU8

Queen and the City of London stand test of time
Jonathan Guthrie – FT
The Queen, who was born 90 years ago today, is celebrated as a symbol of continuity in a rapidly changing world. In her lifetime, for example, split-second trading in securities by computers has replaced open outcry dealing by the bowler-hatted. But it is surprising how much a modern City worker would recognise if taken back in time.
goo.gl/nm4PzC

Will big data mining prove a top sleuth for investors?
Robin Wigglesworth in New York – FT
Fraud is a word to strike fear into the hearts of any investor, who tend to take a company’s financial figures at face value. But time after time they find themselves burnt when overly aggressive or even fraudulent accounting leads to calamity.
goo.gl/z6Qu41

Andrew Lo Study Says Twitter Can Help You Trade Fed Meetings
Joseph Ciolli – Bloomberg
It looked at sentiment `polarity’ in days before the FOMC met; Researchers found a predictable enhancement of returns
In the social media cacophony, some of the noise rises to the level of stock market signal.
goo.gl/NONADB

MiFID II ‘a game-changer’ for ETFs; MiFID II is set to be a game-changer for ETFs, and will see them used in a wide variety of ways from securities lending to collateral.
By Jon Watkins – The Trade
ETFs will be used in a greater capacity for securities lending and as collateral in the coming years due to developments in the European market, according to a panel.
goo.gl/ivNER3

Euronext signs data deal to tap Chinese investors; First major agreement since signing cooperation pact with Shanghai Stock Exchange will see Euronext data made available via Chinese vendors.
By John Bakie
Euronext is to begin distributing its market data to China, after signing agreements with a number of major vendors in the country.
goo.gl/q2jiad

Hedge Funds Bleed Cash as Returns Disappoint Investors: Chart
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Assets managed by hedge funds dropped to $2.86 trillion from $2.9 trillion during the first quarter as managers posted losses and investors withdrew a net $15.1 billion, the most since the second quarter of 2009, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.
goo.gl/vO7mVy

Regulatory

CFTC and Three Canadian Authorities Sign Counterparts to MOU to Enhance Supervision of Cross-Border Regulated Entities
CFTC
The CFTC and Canadian Authorities expressed their willingness to cooperate pursuant to the MOU, originally executed on March 25, 2014, in the interest of fulfilling their respective regulatory mandates. The scope of the MOU includes markets and organized trading platforms, central counterparties, trade repositories, and intermediaries, dealers, and other market participants.
1.usa.gov/1r1ENHZ

Senate’s Warren Rips SEC for Letting Steven Cohen Start New Firm
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Lawmaker calls Stamford Harbor a `mockery’ of SEC’s mission; Massachusetts Democrat requests briefing from regulator
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is taking the Securities and Exchange Commission to task for allowing Steven Cohen back in the hedge fund game just months after the billionaire settled allegations that he failed to supervise a convicted insider trader.
goo.gl/FqRDRT

BlackRock’s Novick calls for two-tier ETF regulation; Vanilla and exotic products should be treated differently, BlackRock co-founder argues
Louie Woodall – Risk.net
A co-founder of BlackRock has called for a two-tier regulatory regime for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that discriminates between simple and complex varieties. Barbara Novick, a vice-chairman at BlackRock, said a custom-made package of rules for ETFs should allow for the speedy approval of plain vanilla products, while a more rigorous approach is reserved for more exotic products. “The vanilla category could have a ‘speed pass’ and we could take everyone’s resources and focus them on the riskier…
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SIFMA Statement on EMSAC Recommendations on Trading Venue Regulations and Access Fee Pilot
SIFMA
SIFMA today issued the following statement from Randy Snook, SIFMA executive vice president of business policies and practices, on the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee’s (EMSAC) subcommittee recommendations relating to trading venues regulation and framework for a potential access fee pilot.
goo.gl/ddGO8b

Financing Infrastructure: Why Public-Private Partnerships Matter
By: Michael Decker – SIFMA
After decades of underinvestment, we face an extreme infrastructure deficit in the United States. In order to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century and support a growing economy, we need to invest more in essential projects including highways, water and sewer systems, bridges, airports and more.
goo.gl/K2xOMc

ESMA ANNOUNCES OPEN HEARING ON MAR GUIDELINES
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will hold an open hearing on its Consultation Paper published on 30 March 2016 on draft Guidelines to be issued by ESMA under the remit of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on market abuse (MAR).
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FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors Marks First Year, With $1.3 Million Returned to Investors
FINRA
Through FINRA Oversight, Seniors Have Obtained Voluntary Reimbursements From Firms
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today marks the one-year anniversary of the FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors 1-844-57-HELPS (1-844-574-3577). To date, the helpline has fielded more than 4,200 calls, recovering over $1.3 million in voluntary reimbursements from firms since its launch in April 2015. “Financial fraud is a problem, and seniors are the most vulnerable. Victims of fraud sometimes feel they have nowhere to go, or are embarrassed to reach out,” said Susan Axelrod, FINRA Executive Vice President, Regulatory Operations. “We are very pleased that investors are using our free helpline and encourage seniors, or those caring for seniors, with investment-related questions to give us a call.”
goo.gl/MXHd2u

FCA wins case in the Supreme Court
UK FCA
In a judgment issued today, the Supreme Court confirmed that Asset Land had been operating an unauthorised collective investment scheme (CIS) in the course of operating a land bank which involved the selling of small plots of land to investors at hugely inflated prices.
goo.gl/CZiL3t

Banks back ASIC overhaul, funding
THE AUSTRALIAN
Battlelines have been drawn across the financial services industry over how to divide up a new regulatory bill of more than $400 million, after the government moved to silence calls for a royal commission with an overhaul of the corporate regulator.
goo.gl/8lTmM7

Watchdog probes potential Wall Street link to Panama Papers
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
New York’s top bank watchdog on Wednesday opened an inquiry into the Panama Papers and any potential connection with some of Wall Street’s heaviest hitters, The Post has learned.
goo.gl/CBwBOU

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

    • BOX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Extend the Pilot Program for the Listing and Trading of Options Settling to the RealVol SPY Index (Index) (Release No. 34-77660; File No. SR-BOX-2016-19)

 

    • CBOE: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees Schedule (Release No. 34-77659; File No. SR-CBOE-2016-037); see also Exhibit 3, Exhibit 5

 

    • NASDAQ: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Options Pricing at Chapter XV, Section 2 (Release No. 34-77661; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2016-055); see also Exhibit 5

 

    • NYSEMKT: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule (Release No. 34-77658; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-45); see also Exhibit 5

/goo.gl/h0yuDn

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Trading commences on XBTR, a bilateral trading platform for structured products
SIX
On April 15 trading commenced on XBTR, the bilateral trading platform for structured products from SIX Swiss Exchange. The two participants of the platform, Leonteq and Credit Suisse became the first ones to also profit in OTC trading of structured products from the benefits of the infrastructure of SIX
goo.gl/AtvqIx

Bats Global Markets, Inc. Announces Closing of Initial Public Offering and Full Exercise of Option to Purchase Additional Shares
BATS
Bats Global Markets, Inc. (BATS: BATS), a leading global operator of exchanges and services for financial markets, today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 15,295,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $19.00 per share. The total includes 1,995,000 additional shares of common stock sold upon the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares.
goo.gl/UD2HMp

New screen for market data
MOEX
Moscow Exchange switches to a new screen displaying online market data and end-of-day results to finalise the transfer to domain name moex.com. To view the new screen, please visit http://moex.com/en/marketdata/. The services for subscribers will be provided as usual.
goo.gl/LISSBD

Liquidnet’s European revenues hit record
By Tim Cave – Financial News
Liquidnet’s European revenues increased to nearly £50 million in 2015, a record for the buyside-only exchange operator, although a rise in costs hit net profits.
goo.gl/bFxVLU

NSE to lower transaction charges for derivatives on Nifty IT; The move is expected to bring more liquidity in the index
Business Standard
To encourage participation, National Stock Exchange (NSE) has introduced discounts of up to 35% in transaction charges for trading in its derivatives contracts of Nifty IT segment.
goo.gl/9YfHFZ

Euronext to Start Distributing Market Data in China via Major Chinese Vendors; Euronext signs an agreement that facilitates access into the pan-European markets for Chinese investors
Euronext
Euronext, the leading pan-European marketplace, announced the signing of market data agreements with Chinese data vendors East Money, Shanghai DZH Limited and Shanghai Wind Information , which will allow them to distribute Euronext’s market data in mainland China. As of today, up to 100 million Chinese retail and institutional investors have the opportunity to follow Euronext markets in the Chinese language.
/goo.gl/Dd5Gb0

Eurex and Korea Exchange extend cooperation
Eurex
Introduction of new index futures
Eurex, one of the world’s leading derivatives exchanges and part of Deutsche Börse Group, and Korea Exchange (KRX) today signed a contract in KRX’s Seoul Office to extend their cooperation by listing Mini KOSPI 200 index futures during Eurex trading hours. In addition, EURO STOXX 50 futures will be traded and cleared in Korean Won on KRX during Korean trading hours.
goo.gl/lcQIWO

Technology

6 Reasons Why Fintech And The New Fiduciary Rule Are Good For Boomers
Forbes
You can argue until you’re blue in the face about which force is making personal finance and preparing for retirement better: new technology or more consumer-friendly regulation. The reality is that each is having a huge impact. And recent progress has been especially encouraging on both fronts.
goo.gl/a2LCWN

Loans for Weddings: Fintech Learns to Focus
WSJ
Silicon Valley once threw money at startups that aimed to disrupt broad swaths of finance. Now it is rewarding those that have sharpened their focus.
While overall venture funding into lending startups is slowing, some platforms still are raising money by taking aim at narrower or less-traditional borrowing niches than the first generation of financial-technology firms.
goo.gl/z09AsQ

Fintech’s Tipping Point is Imminent, New Report Says
Coin Telegraph
A new report by Capgemini, one of the world’s largest consulting firms with a yearly global revenue of more than $13 billion, announced an imminent tipping point for Fintech, an umbrella term used to describe the provision of novel financial services through the use of technology with Bitcoin a prominent example. The report, based on a comprehensive survey of 16,000 customers in 32 countries and interviews with 140 industry experts found that nearly two-thirds of customers are using a fintech service or product with the greatest adoption in emerging economies.
goo.gl/SrqTzn

Fintech Market Size: A Breakdown of the Basics
Investingnews.com
If you listen to the buzz surrounding today’s tech market, fintech is the hot area to invest. However, in a market this new and disruptive, it’s difficult to get concrete information on the fintech market size or rate of growth. In this article, the Investing News Network breaks down the essentials of today’s fintech market, educating investors about the basics that they need to know to invest wisely.
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Liontrust Implements Eze Software’s Full Investment Suite
Eze
Liontrust Asset Management, a U.K.-based specialist investment management company, has gone live on Eze OMS and Eze Portfolio Accounting, implementing a front-to-back office workflow to replace its in-house systems. This represents a significant investment by Liontrust and is designed to strengthen and support the company’s activities across its front and middle office, with Eze Software Investment Suite being chosen after a rigorous and lengthy selection process involving a number of vendors.
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For Robo-Advisers, the Next Bear Market Is Make or Break; It’s going to be a big test.
Julie Verhage, Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
Robo-advisers might have more reasons to be worried about the next bear market than investors do.
goo.gl/vQPyrW

Uber Overtakes Rental Cars Among Business Travelers; Uber accounted for 43 percent of ground transportation business transactions last quarter on Certify, the second-largest provider of expense software in North America.
Olivia Zaleski – Bloomberg
Taxis aren’t the only ones that may be stressing out about Uber Technologies Inc. Transactions from the ride-hailing startup have surpassed rental cars among American professionals, according to Certify, the second-largest provider of travel and expense management software in North America.
goo.gl/iBJqQz

SWIFT And Accenture Outline Path To Distributed Ledger Technology Adoption Within Financial Services – New Paper Analyses The Opportunities And Challenges Of Distributed Ledger Technology In Financial Services; Identifies Key Factors For Success
Mondovisione
SWIFT announces today the availability of a new paper investigating how Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) could be used in financial services. Published in collaboration with Accenture, the paper is based on an in-depth technology assessment by SWIFT of DLT usage across financial institutions, highlighting the opportunities as well as the challenges for industry wide adoption.
goo.gl/OBvPj5

Politics

Sen. Warren demands answers from U.S. regulators over Cohen firme
Reuters
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a firebrand of strong financial regulation, wants to know why securities regulators approved Steve Cohen’s new firm as an investment adviser after barring the billionaire from managing other people’s money until 2018.
goo.gl/230CK2

Trump leans toward replacing Fed chief if he wins White House
Reuters
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump would be inclined to replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen if he wins the White House despite supporting the U.S. central bank’s efforts to keep interest rates low, he told Fortune magazine.
goo.gl/XpCDc3

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

UK gives the thumbs-up to robo-advice
By Peter Davy – Financial News
Robo-advisers were given a thumbs-up by UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority in March 2016, opening up a potentially large market for European ETF providers. Barriers remain, though, before fund sponsors can be sure to see significant inflows.
goo.gl/som2vJ

Brexit means blood, toil, sweat and tears
AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD – Telegraph
William Pitt the Younger already knew the full horror of Britain’s predicament in November 1805, even as he celebrated the victory of Trafalgar in his last poignant but unyielding words to the nation.
goo.gl/kvIV1S

One Firm Getting What It Wants in Washington: BlackRock; Success reflects asset manager’s increased sway in Washington
By RYAN TRACY and SARAH KROUSE – WSJ
In 2014, BlackRock Inc. executives obtained a copy of a confidential Federal Reserve PowerPoint presentation that argued part of the giant money manager could pose the same financial-system risk as big banks.
goo.gl/J5P5FM

Blackstone’s Senfina hedge fund suffers 15% fall
Mary Childs in New York – FT
Blackstone’s new hedge fund, its crown jewel last year, has fallen more than 15 per cent in value since January, showing how some of the industry’s stars have been wrongfooted by market swings.
goo.gl/EYUiu4

Asset manager stress tests tough to implement – SEC official; Advanced risk measures such as CoVar may be too complex for some funds
Robert Mackenzie Smith – Risk.net
A Dodd-Frank Act requirement to conduct annual stress tests of large asset managers is causing some head-scratching within the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “This is really tough because a fund could be completely within compliance [of SEC rules] but also be fragile and very susceptible to run risk, so this a tough nut to crack,” said Scott Bauguess, deputy director and deputy chief economist in the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, speaking at the Buy-Side Risk USA conference…
goo.gl/TiL6uj

Citadel hires Diamondback Capital co-founder to head new equities platform
Reuters – Via Crain’s Chicago Business
Citadel, one of the biggest hedge funds, has hired industry veteran Richard Schimel to run a new equities platform as the $24 billion firm makes significant changes to its stockpicking lineup.
goo.gl/ovvJKp

Investors Boost Inflation Bets as Treasuries Tumble on Oil Gains
Susanne Walker Barton – Bloomberg
ETF inflows exceed 2015 levels as inflation expectations rise; U.S. 10-year yield rises by most since March 1 as crude surges
Inflows into inflation-indexed exchange-traded bond funds this year have already exceeded flows for all of 2015, suggesting investors are growing more bullish that inflation will climb toward the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.
goo.gl/tFUbC9

State Street says it found errors in invoices, will repay clients
Reuters
State Street Corp said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement that it told authorities it found errors in invoices, and pledged to repay clients and cooperate with regulators.
goo.gl/SIwMBs

Investors pull $15bn from hedge funds
Mary Childs and Lindsay Fortado – FT
Hedge funds have suffered their worst quarter in seven years after more than $15bn was pulled out by investors starting to fight back against the high fees being charged across the industry.
goo.gl/1BTJ2A

Banks & Brokers

EBS BrokerTec expands its successful NDF offering with launch of new instrument; One month against the fix complements existing successful one-month outright product
ICAP
EBS BrokerTec, ICAP’s market-leading electronic foreign exchange (FX) and fixed income business, announces today that in response to customer demand it has added a new non-deliverable forward (NDF) instrument – one month against the fix, to be called TOD/TOM.
goo.gl/66iGse

BNY Mellon First-Quarter Profit Rises on Cost Cuts, Higher Rates
Charles Stein – Bloomberg
Hassell’s management praised by activist investor Ed Garden; Bank shrunk real estate, streamlined technology to cut costs
Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the custody bank under pressure from activist investors to improve results, reported a 5 percent increase in first-quarter profit as it cut expenses and benefited from higher interest rates in the U.S.
goo.gl/StlpVn

Why the Big Banks Can’t Imagine Their Own Demises
BY DAN DAVIES – The New Yorker
One of the signal, but formerly obscure, achievements of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in the wake of the financial crisis, was the requirement that big banks write “living wills” in preparation for their eventual deaths.
goo.gl/J5f9zK

Exclusive: U.S. regulators query banks on their ‘Brexit’ contingency plans – sources
BY ANJULI DAVIES AND RACHEL ARMSTRONG – Reuters
U.S. financial regulators are demanding regular updates from Wall Street banks about their contingency plans should Britain vote to leave the European Union, banking and regulatory sources told Reuters.
goo.gl/FkRR7z

Clearing & Settlement

Deutsche Börse and LSE plan to link clearing houses
Philip Stafford in London – FT
Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange Group are planning to link their clearing houses at the heart of their EUR20bn merger by creating a framework to oversee bank defaults.
goo.gl/toQLiy

Derivatives Alerter: Clearing obligations and margining of uncleared swaps under EMIR – time to determine your status
Lexology
In Europe, we now have what are expected to be the final rules for the margining of uncleared swaps under EMIR as well as the rules for the mandatory clearing of certain OTC derivatives. These are each contained in separate Regulatory Technical Standards or RTS.
goo.gl/qMKqtO

European Securities and Markets Authority Opines on Exemptions from the Clearing Obligation for Pension Schemes
Shearman & Sterling LLP – JDSupra
The European Securities and Markets Authority published Opinions, dated April 7, 2016, on certain Denmark-based pension schemes that are to be exempted from the clearing obligation under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.
goo.gl/e0gg4s

Indexes & Products

Korea’s MSCI upgrade unlikely in two years: analyst
The Korea Herald
Korea may need to wait at least two years to get the Korea Exchange included in MSCI’s developed market index, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities said Thursday.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy, an emerging market according to MSCI, was taken off the review list for a potential upgrade to developed market in 2014, with MSCI citing the “absence of any significant improvements in key areas negatively affecting accessibility.”
goo.gl/6eQ02W

S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes to the S&P/TSX Canadian Indices
CNW
S&P Dow Jones Canadian Index Services will make the following changes in the S&P/TSX Canadian Indices:
Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) has announced that it will redeem for $CDN25.00 cash per share all of its outstanding Non-Cumulative Preferred Shares, Series 14 (TSX:BNS.PR.L) on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The preferred shares will be removed from the S&P/TSX Preferred Share Index after the close of trading on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
goo.gl/Ed00SY

New ETF Gets Comprehensive With Emerging Markets Exposure
Todd Shriber, ETF Professor , Benzinga Staff Writer
Why have exposure to just one investment factor when three, four or more can be more potent? It is a question that has been pondered and answered by plenty of exchange-traded funds issuers and applied to developed and emerging markets stocks.
The latest entrant to the multi-factor emerging markets ETF competition is the Deutsche X-trackers FTSE Emerging Comprehensive Factor ETF (DBX ETF Trust
DEMG), which debuted Tuesday.
goo.gl/wWdBYy

Enforcement

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Bans Andrew Chow Ho Cheung For Life
Mondovisione
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has prohibited Mr Andrew Chow Ho Cheung from re-entering the industry for life following his conviction for offences of fraud and theft under the Theft Ordinance. Chow was sentenced to two years imprisonment by the District Court on 19 May 2015 (Notes 1 & 2).
goo.gl/tuEpVF

Environmental & Energy

U.S. Can Meet Paris Climate Goals (With or Without Supreme Court)
By Michael R. Bloomberg via Bloomberg
As world leaders gather in New York on Friday to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, some have expressed concern that as they implement their commitments, the U.S. Supreme Court has put on hold the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Their concern is understandable, but it’s important to recognize: The federal government is not the primary force in the U.S. fight against climate change, and even if the court ultimately strikes down certain parts of the plan, the U.S. will meet and probably exceed its commitment to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Here’s why.
goo.gl/KXXvwE

The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia’s Economy Off Oil; Eight unprecedented hours with “Mr. Everything,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Peter Waldman – Bloomberg
Early last year, at a royal encampment in the oasis of Rawdat Khuraim, Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia visited his uncle, King Abdullah, in the monarch’s final days before entering a hospital.

Senate OKs bill to promote wide variety of energy sources
The Boston Globe
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a far-reaching energy bill Wednesday that reflects significant changes in US oil and natural gas production over the past decade and boosts alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.
/goo.gl/SoMZPU

Kinder Morgan shelves $3 billion New England pipeline project
The Boston Globe
The energy giant Kinder Morgan Inc. has pulled the plug on its controversial natural gas pipeline proposed through parts of Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, after failing to sign up enough utility customers and facing stiff consumer and political opposition.
/goo.gl/L5fssp

Why Google, Ikea Say ‘The Paris Effect’ Is Boosting Business · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News
Environmental Leader
Tomorrow — on Earth Day — more than 160 countries including the US will sign the Paris climate agreement. In advance of the signing, thousands of businesses are urging governments to enact policies that support a low-carbon economy, which they say presents a multi-trillion-dollar economic opportunity.
goo.gl/jrS8Ta

Asia-Pacific

Negative Rates and Patches of Trouble for Japanese Insurers; Nippon Life President Yoshinobu Tsutsui notwithstanding, the insurer has other problems beside negative rates
By ANJANI TRIVEDI – WSJ
?The newfangled world of negative interest rates has hamstrung life insurers. That ?is, by now, a well-established fact.
goo.gl/J02dmx

China internet finance crackdown targets fly-by-night operators
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
China’s central bank is leading a wide-ranging clean-up of the country’s unruly internet finance sector, including a suspension on registering new companies with “finance” in their names, local media have reported.
goo.gl/qXFGeR

The apparently unstoppable Chinese search for yield
David Keohane – FT
This is what you get when you try to sidle up to some market pricing alongside a giant ball of money.
goo.gl/VTvWBy

Frontier Markets

How did Argentina pull off a $16.5bn bond sale?
Eric Platt and Elaine Moore – FT
After more than a decade in limbo, Argentina and its new, reforming president Mauricio Macri have been given the red carpet treatment by global bond investors.
goo.gl/6wGUdM

Argentina Bond Sale Just Too Good to Pass Up, Defaults Be Damned
Carolina Millan, Katia Porzecanski – Bloomberg
Country sold an emerging-market record $16.5 billion of debt; Sale marks turnaround as country leaves behind pariah status
The most surprising thing about Argentina’s record bond sale isn’t that it issued $16.5 billion of debt while still in default. It’s that the country could have sold even more.
goo.gl/vK3wEc

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Frontier Markets
Wisebread
For many years, investors were able to capitalize in the accelerated growth of emerging markets, such as Brazil and China. However, the economic problems in Greece and China have demonstrated that some emerging market economies are experiencing a slower rate of growth and, in some cases, facing substantial economic roadblocks.
goo.gl/prCSR6

Fundamentals Return To Emerging Markets
Seeking Alpha
This past quarter has been one of more twists and turns in macro factors than we can, perhaps, remember. Commodities went from being some of the worst-performing and under-held assets in January to the complete opposite in February and March. The Federal Reserve has “walked back” from its previous more hawkish interest rate projections, and as a result, the U.S. dollar declined dramatically. This has taken the pressure off some of the weaker emerging markets currencies, which have seen impressive rallies. It appears many emerging markets investors have rushed to sell popular investments in India and China to return to more globally cyclical-driven markets, companies that have benefited from the rebound in commodities, and higher-beta currencies. This caused significant performance idiosyncrasies among countries in the emerging markets complex in the first quarter.
goo.gl/n6h1i2

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