A proposed rule to help protect customer funds could create fundamental and undesirable changes in the futures industry, according to the head of CME Group. Clearing house LCH.Clearnet loses its head, and must search for a new leader. India’s financial regulator gets new powers, though possibly not super powers, that should enable it to take on securities fraud more effectively in that country.

First Read

Two Words
By Tim Lothian
As summer rolls along and I realize that July 18 is a whole lot closer to college move-in day than graduation, I have to prepare myself for the next stage in my life. But before I do that, I have to say something important to this community of readers. I must say, thank you.

Two simple words, yet they can pack a punch of meaning in the right context. It’s a thank you for the countless boxes of popcorn bought that supported my scouting career. Because of you, I’ve been to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, Washington, D.C., the National Scout Jamboree, and so many campouts that they just kind of meld together now. I’ve presented the colors at a Chicago Wolves hockey game, and I have so many Walmart gift cards that I still haven’t used some of them. So thanks, I hope you enjoyed the popcorn.

This is a thank you for the wonderful experiences the derivatives industry has given me. Going to London for IDX in 2011 was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to see a side of derivatives that most people don’t get to see, I met some incredible and interesting people, and I toured London (that is one old tower). Oh, and I had my first beer. So that was cool.

Thank you for helping me raise money for various charities in the Chicago area. As a kid that up until this summer had most of his income coming from mowing lawns and shoveling snow, being able to tap into this community to help people in need makes me feel really good. You’ve raised money for Bridge Communities, sheltering the homeless and helping them get back on their feet, and for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, getting food to those who need it the most. This isn’t just me thanking you, but the people who have been helped by these wonderful organizations.

This last thank you is one that I am aware of daily, and is incredibly sincere. Thanks for all the free stuff. As the oldest son of a man who wears size 3XL shirts, I get a lot of the free swag that doesn’t fit him. Which is all of it. Whether it’s my shirts from Eurex (I have like, four of those), Advantage Futures, CME Group, The Tokyo Financial Exchange, and the Philadelphia Exchange, or my boxers from the Boston Options Exchange, or my Fidessa wallet, or my pens and USB drives from every exchange ever, or my backpack from NASDAQ OMX, or my– okay I’ll stop, if I try to get everything I’ll have to write a novel. The point is that I’m reminded of the derivatives community’s presence in my life every single day, I have nice stuff, and it didn’t cost me anything. Seriously, thank you.

Starting in less than a month (wait… just a single month!?), I will be moving in at the University of Missouri, or as those who know it call it, Mizzou. I’ll be studying journalism, and thanks to a very nice 32 on my ACT, I’ve been directly admitted to the j-school. I’m incredibly excited, and plan on pursuing broadcast journalism. Look out for me on the TV in the future. It’s been a pleasure growing up around John J. Lothian & Co. and the derivatives world, and again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

***** Publisher’s note: This outstanding young man’s father goes to a lot of conferences around the world that give out some very nice swag. His new neighbors in Columbia, MO are going to get a good solid dose of derivatives industry marketing. I will have a further update on Tim in the coming weeks. You can wish him well by emailing him at timothy.lothian@johnlothian.com.


Summer Intern Series Continues Today
Today is the second session of our summer Intern Education Series. The session is at the CME Building at 20 South Wacker Dr. We were able to move the session to the CME Auditorium today, which gives us some more room. If there are any late interest in attending, email me at johnlothian@johnlothian.com. We also have some room at a couple of the subsequent sessions, but not all of them. Today’s sessions feature our own Doug Ashburn talking about regulation and the opportunities it presents. We also have Gerard Pannekoek from IPXI, Steve Borsand from Trading Technologies, Neal Brady of Eris Exchange, Ray McKenzie of ICE and Mike Persico of Anova Technologies. Our thanks to the CME Group for providing the space and refreshments and to The IFM for giving us Series 3 classes and study material to give away.


Melamed Tells Interns Competition is Key to Success
Dan Collins | Dan Collins Report
CME Group Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed stressed the importance of competition for success in addressing an audience of mostly college interns at the Marketswiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series, as well as providing some fascinating and amusing anecdotes from the salad days of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). As is usually the case with Melamed, he just returned from a trip to China where continues to attempt to plant the CME Group flag in that emerged economy and emerging global leader.

***** Dan Collins, former Futures Magazine Editor and an admitted CBOT guy, comments on the presentation by Leo Melamed at our MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series.


Rolet’s diversification play pays off for LSE Group
Anish Puaar – Financial News
Recent acquisitions made by the London Stock Exchange Group helped to boost revenues in the last quarter, as the exchange group’s efforts to diversify begins to bear fruit.

***** The only time diversification does not work well is with matrimony. One is done is the best strategy there.


The 2013 Tech 50: Tyler Moeller
Institutional Investor
Broadway Technology was virtually unknown until 2011, when Goldman Sachs Group bought a minority stake in the New York trading systems upstart. But Broadway had been in business since 2003, building high-performance platforms for Goldman and other elite players.

***** Broadway Technology is cool.


Ted Leveroni

Collateral Update from Ted Leveroni of Omgeo

Ted Leveroni is the Executive Director of Derivatives Strategy and External Relations for Omgeo, a financial services company specializing in post-trade operations such as trade allocation, confirmation and settlement for investment managers, broker/dealers and custodians. In a follow-up to a May 2012 interview in which we discussed innovation in collateral efficiency, John Lothian News Editor-at-Large Doug Ashburn asked Leveroni about collateral shortages, futurization, and post-trade efficiency. He also discussed the results from a recent survey conducted by Omgeo and Celent on maximizing collateral advantage.

Watch the video »


EBA’s Question-and-Answer Tool Irks Investors
A chat tool on the European Banking Authority‘s website is stirring up bond markets. Since the beginning of the month, the EBA and European Commission officials have been answering crucial questions about newly minted bank regulations on a live question-and-answer feature that was launched with little fanfare, catching some investors off guard.

**** LOL. LMAO. PIR.


Horizon Hires Matt Boice as Vice President and Credit Analyst
News Release
Mr. Boice works closely with the portfolio management team and chief investment officer and is responsible for portfolio credit research. In this capacity, he seeks to identify both opportunities and potential trouble spots in the fixed income marketplace before they become industry knowledge. This ‘early detection’ analysis provides great value to Horizon’s portfolio managers and clients.

***DA: Horizon manages the cash portfolios of funds and institutional investors – you know, people who seek to identify opportunities and trouble spots before they become industry knowledge.


Hedge Fund Trading Changes to Withstand Greater Scrutiny and Tougher Markets, Says TABB
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
According to the eighth annual benchmark study from TABB Group, “US Hedge Fund Equity Trading 2013: Better Practices for the Age of Transparency,” regulatory scrutiny by the SEC and the brutal dogfight for scarce alpha are pushing US hedge funds to implement a more rigorous and formalized trading process. At the same time, hedge funds are working with their sell side counterparts to bring additional cost-efficiency to an industry seeing revenues fall for the fourth straight year. The industry needs head traders to continually act as evangelizers for better practices.


Correction: MarketAxess has Filed an Application to become a Swap Execution Facility
John Lothian Newsletter
In yesterday’s newsletter, we ran an item that mistakenly referred to MarketAxess, operator of an electronic trading platform for bonds and other fixed-income securities, as a provisional swap dealer. In actuality, MarketAxess filed an application last Friday with the CFTC to become a swap execution facility.

***DA: Since it would be in poor taste to publicly humiliate the person at fault, we will not mention Editor-at-Large Doug Ashburn’s name.


CME Group Webinar July 18: U.S. T-Bond Delivery Basket – Bridging the 5-Year Gap
Remember the 5-year period during the early 2000s when the Treasury Department suspended issuance of 30-year bonds? We may soon see a dearth of bonds available to deliver. Although the current front-month has multiple short-dated issues for cheapest-to-deliver (CTD), the short-dated deliverable bonds will diminish over the next two years. What will this mean? Tune in July 18 at 10am CST; 4pm BST to find out.

**** There is nothing like taking a basket full of T-Bonds on a picket on a hot summer day.



Tracy Wills-Zapata

Tracy Wills-Zapata Talks About Campbell & Co.’s Methods and Mutual Funds

Baltimore-based Campbell & Co. has grown into one of the top managed futures firms in the world over the past 40-plus years. Tracy Wills-Zapata, managing director, business development at Campbell spoke with Jim Kharouf, JLN editor-in-chief about how the firm approaches the markets, how it attracts clients and its recent entry into the managed futures mutual fund space.

Watch the video »


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Richard Cordray

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


George Hanley; Richard Cordray; Wiet Pot; Raj Mahajan

Companies, Organizations and Groups

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.; INTL FCStone Inc.; INTL Hanley, LLC; IMC Financial Markets


41,843,170 pages viewed, 7,588 articles, 162,126 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

CME’s Duffy Warns Senate That Proposed CFTC Rule to Hurt Brokers
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
A proposed U.S. rule meant to protect futures customers’ money in a collapse like MF Global Holdings Ltd. could “fundamentally change” how the market functions, according to Terrence Duffy, executive chairman of CME Group (CME) Inc.

Ian Axe quits LCH.Clearnet
Adam Jones – FT.com
The London Stock Exchange is looking for a new chief executive of LCH.Clearnet, the clearing house it controls, after announcing the departure of Ian Axe, the unit’s current leader.

India toughens up on insider trading
James Crabtree in Mumbai – FT.com
India’s main financial market regulator has been handed new powers to investigate insider trading, a decision hailed as a significant step forward in the country’s battle against securities fraud.

Derivatives and the Danger Myth
Matthew C. Klein – Bloomberg
There is a myth that derivatives trading is more dangerous than bank lending. For the most part, these products are benign. Mostly they allow people to recreate the same risks they would take by lending money without actually extending credit. Derivatives can, however, create problems insofar as they let financial firms increase leverage more than they otherwise should. But what matters in all cases is capital and short-term funding.

Currency to Oil Rates Targeted for Tougher Rules After Libor
Jim Brunsden – Bloomberg
Benchmarks underpinning markets from oil to currencies face tougher oversight under plans by global regulators to prevent any repeat of Libor-style fraud. Rates should be based as much as possible on real transaction data, rather than estimates, and banks should tackle conflicts of interest, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, a Madrid-based group that harmonizes global market rules, said in guidelines published today.

In Tourre Trial, S.E.C. Wages Battle Against Its Own Witness
The Securities and Exchange Commission had hoped to use Paolo Pellegrini, a chief architect of one of the most lucrative hedge fund bets in history, to support its case against Fabrice P. Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs trader charged with defrauding investors in a complex mortgage security

Levanon quits as head of Tel Aviv exchange
John Reed in Jerusalem – FT.com
Ester Levanon said she was stepping down as chief executive of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, after presiding over a decline in trading volumes and failing to secure support for the bourse’s board on a recovery plan. Ms Levanon, who joined the stock exchange in 1986 and became its CEO in 2006, said she would quit by the end of this year.

Greece Approves New Austerity Measures
Following two days of intense debate, Greece’s Parliament narrowly approved a barrage of new austerity measures early Thursday, including a contentious plan for thousands of layoffs and wage cuts for civil service workers.

More Action Sought to Fight ‘Too Big to Fail’
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said some U.S. banks remain “too big to fail” five years after the financial crisis, opening the door to even more aggressive regulation if current efforts fail to address the problem.


Global regulators at odds with CFTC chief over rates reform
Brooke Masters, Chief Regulation Correspondent – FT.com
Global regulators have pushed back against US watchdog Gary Gensler’s campaign to get rid of survey-based interest rate benchmarks after the Libor rate fixing scandal and adopted global standards that explicitly say indices do not have to be based on transactions.

FINRA Commences Market Surveillance Of Direct Edge Exchanges
This Regulatory Notice serves to inform Members of EDGA Exchange, Inc. and EDGX Exchange, Inc. that beginning on Monday, July 1, 2013, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. assumed responsibility for performing market surveillance services on behalf of Direct Edge. During a two to three month transition period, Members may receive surveillance inquiries from the International Securities Exchange LLC, Direct Edge’s previous provider of market surveillance services, as well as FINRA.

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin At The The Exchequer Club Luncheon, Washington, D.C. – Beyond Capital: The Case For A Harmonized Response To Asset Bubbles

SIFMA President Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. Testifies On CEA Reauthorization

ASIC review of debt consolidation sector highlights weaknesses in industry practice and risks for consumers

ASIC releases new information sheets on dispute resolution and misconduct

25 new Ville de Montréal contracts now covered under Integrity in Public Contracts Act

CSA Requirements To Improve Disclosure For Investors Are Now In Effect

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Deutsche Börse and Liquidnet announce cooperation to make block trading of German equities more efficient
Deutsche Börse will launch a new block trading service on Xetra MidPoint on 29 July and named Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network as the Block Agent for this new service. This new block trading model provides a platform where more than 240 Xetra members will have the opportunity to trade directly with Liquidnet’s network of more than 700 of the world’s leading asset management firms safely and efficiently with minimal market impact and maximum price improvement.

MarketAxess to Host Conference Call Announcing 2013 Second Quarter Results
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. , the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for U.S. and European high-grade corporate bonds, emerging markets bonds and other types of fixed-income securities, will announce its 2013 second quarter results on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 before the financial markets open.

London Stock Exchange Group – Interim Management Statement For The Period To 17 July 2013, Including Revenues And KPIs For The Three Months Ended 30 June 2013 (Q1)

ASX finalises Code of Practice and membership of Forum
ASX today released the Code of Practice for Clearing and Settlement of Cash Equities in Australia (the Code), which will be effective from 9 August 2013.

Board Of Directors Approves BM&FBOVESPA’s Sustainability Policy
BM&FBOVESPA’s Board of Directors has approved the company’s Sustainability Policy. The Policy is structured into four pillars for action – Market, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance – covering both internal management and relations with the company’s various stakeholder groups.

NASDAQ OMX Group Conducts Annual Election For Subsidiary Board Directors

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

[Video] Who’s Really Delivering Alpha?
Paul Vigna – MoneyBeat – WSJ
With the hedgies gathering in New York for their big confab, we take a look at who’s really delivering alpha. MarketWatch’s William Watts stopped by the MoneyBeat set to talk about how Leon Cooperman, Carl Icahn and the rest of the boys are doing this year.

Former Soros Employee Starts Hong Kong-Based Hedge Fund Company
Zhang Xinliang, a former employee of billionaire investor George Soros’s family office, started his own Hong Kong-based hedge-fund company, Magnolia Capital Management Ltd.

Why we should not marvel at these superheroes too much
Mike Foster – Financial News
Cheap money manufactured by the central banks has saved the global economy. Or so we fervently pray. But safety will always come first among investors shell-shocked by the credit crisis. Investment-grade bonds, shares in blue chips and prime real estate are in demand but entrepreneurs are struggling to raise finance.

Absolute return duo departs RWC
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
Peter Allwright and Stuart Frost, portfolio managers hired by RWC Partners in 2010 to bolster its absolute return business, have left.

Paulson says his funds’ fortunes are up; bullish on buying homes
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson wants the world to know he is having a good year. After two years of losses in his once enormous Advantage Funds, Paulson has something to brag about in 2013 with his Recovery fund up 25.22 percent and his Paulson Enhanced fund up 15.63 percent. The Paulson Credit Opportunities fund is up 11.2 percent, even after some losses in June.

New EU rules may attract hedge funds – regulator
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
DUBLIN – One of Europe’s top regulators has some good news for the hedge fund industry; pay curbs are not on the agenda. While they will avoid the caps on bonuses facing bankers, Europe’s hedge fund managers can still expect restrictions on the manner and timing of their pay under new regulations coming into force on Monday.

Why John Paulson Still Believes In His Gold Bet
John Paulson was quick to mention that his firm’s struggling gold fund is only a modest 2% of his eponymous hedge fund firm’s total assets Wednesday, but even with the metal having an awful year the billionaire money manager still made the case to be bullish.

Me & My Money: Finance maven Krawcheck hates managing her own money
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Sallie Krawcheck may be one of the most powerful women in American finance, but the former head of Citigroup and Bank of America’s wealth management businesses hates doing her own financial plan. Like, really hates it.

HedgeMark Tokyo Forum Provides Key Insights into How Hedge Fund Investors and Managers Are Using Managed Accounts
Continuing its series of global hedge fund industry events, HedgeMark International, LLC (“HedgeMark”), a BNY Mellon affiliate, on Wednesday sponsored a “HedgeMark Forum” in Tokyo where nearly 100 institutional investors, consultants and hedge fund managers gathered to discuss the evolution of the hedge fund industry and the technology, research and risk management trends that are shaping the next phase in the industry’s growth and its evolving best practice standards.

Banks & Brokers

Tradition-ICAP Launches VolCall – VolCall Delivers The Benefits Of Electronic Trading With The Flexibility Of Traditional Voice Broking
Tradition-ICAP, the world’s leading voice broker and electronic platform (Volbroker) for the trading of FX currency options, today announced the imminent launch of its new VolCall service for the interdealer broker (IDB) market. VolCall is a request for quote (RFQ) service that allows market participants to request and trade over-the-counter (OTC) specific interests electronically with intelligent protection for the first time.

Cantor Fitzgerald accused of shifting assets to boost Nevada gaming business
Financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald is accused of sneaking technology out of a subsidiary to beef up its Nevada gaming business, depriving an investor in the subsidiary the chance to benefit from that technology.

Goldman Sachs Completes Sale of Majority Equity Stake in REDI
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. today announced the sale of a majority equity interest in REDI, the technology provider for the leading REDIPlus Execution Management System, to a consortium of investors including BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citadel and Lightyear Capital.

Sallie Mae Reports Second-Quarter Profit as Delinquencies Drop
SLM Corp. , the student lender known as Sallie Mae, reported a second-quarter profit of $543 million as private education delinquencies fell.

DealBook: Bank of America Reports 63% Gain in Net Income
New York Times
In the bank’s second-quarter financial report, net income rose 63 percent and while revenue rose, it received a lift from much lower expenses.

JPMorgan Nearing FERC Market-Rigging Settlement, WSJ Says
The deal, which would resolve claims that the bank manipulated power prices in California and the Midwest, could require the largest payout in the agency’s history, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the discussions.

Deutsche Bank Traders Said to Sue for Wrongful Dismissal
Deutsche Bank AG was sued for wrongful termination by four traders suspended in the bank’s probe into alleged rigging of interbank lending benchmarks such as Euribor, two people familiar with the matter said.

TradeStation Announces New Pricing Policies Designed to Deliver More Flexibility, Greater Value

Clearing & Settlement

Ian Axe to step down as chief executive of LCH.Clearnet
LCH.Clearnet, the multi-national clearing house group, today announces that Ian Axe is to step down as Chief Executive of LCH.Clearnet Group Limited and LCH.Clearnet Limited. Ian Axe has agreed to remain in his position to ensure an orderly handover and a search for a successor has already commenced.

Indexes & Products

NYSE Century Index Outperforming Other Broad-Based Indices as CEOs Gather for Second Annual Century Club Gathering
As leading CEOs from many long-established companies convene today for the second-annual NYSE Century Club summit at the New York Stock Exchange, the year-old namesake index, which measures the performance of 348 companies that have been in business for at least 100 years, has gained 14.7% year-to-date and has a one-year performance of 25%.

Listing Of Three iShares ETFs On Tokyo Stock Exchange – iShares MSCI Kokusai ETF-JDR, iShares Core MSCI Emerging ETF-JDR, iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF-JDR


Broadway Technology CEO Tyler Moeller Named to Institutional Investor’s 2013 List of the Top 50 Technology Innovators …
Marketwired via Yahoo! Finance
Broadway Technology, LLC, a leader in high-performance trading solutions for top-tier global banks and hedge funds, announced today that Tyler Moeller, Chief Executive Officer, was named in Institutional Investor’s 2013 Tech 50: “Masters of a Volatile Universe,” recognizing the top 50 technology innovators in financial services.

Misys Sees Significant Take-Up In Commercial Lending Sales And Appoints Paul Spiteri As Global Sales Director For Loan IQ To Continue Momentum
Misys, the global financial services software leader, has announced the appointment of Paul Spiteri as the Global Sales Director for its commercial lending portfolio. The new role has been set up to address the increasing need for banks and financial institutions to manage their commercial lending operations more efficiently.


Lessons From the Erstwhile Hedge Fund King of Akron, Ohio
Roddy Boyd | The Exchange – Yahoo! Finance
Everyone wants to make good choices with their investment capital and there is plenty of natural appeal for a rebel who tries to shake up a buttoned-down culture like that on Wall Street. But as this report from Roddy Boyd, the founder of an investigative reporting nonprofit called The Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, shows, when we lose sight of common sense principles, ample headaches and woe await.

SEC Obtains $13.9 Million Penalty Against Rajat Gupta
The Securities and Exchange Commission today obtained a $13.9 million penalty against former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat K. Gupta for illegally tipping corporate secrets to former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. Gupta also is permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

ASIC intervenes in LM fund proceedings to end uncertainty

UBS Securities Australia Ltd pays $30,000 infringement notice penalty

Environmental & Energy

Australia Carbon Link May Spur EU Panel, Accenture Says
Linking with Australia’s carbon market may spur the European Union to set up an independent panel to help manage demand and supply in its own program, improving governance, according to Accenture Plc. (ACN).

Europe comfortable combining with Australia’s carbon market
Sydney Morning Times
The European Commission, the body overseeing Europe’s carbon market, has given an early indication of support for Australia’s plan to accelerate the move to a floating price for emissions by a year.

Carbon offset projects eyed overseas
Japan News/Yomiuri Shimbun
The government plans to apply a bilateral offset credit mechanism to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for the first time to five projects in five nations, including an energy-saving project at beer plants in Vietnam, the environment minister announced Tuesday.


Taiwan Must Ease Rules to Be Offshore Yuan Hub, SinoPac Says
Taiwan should remove restrictions on mainland China’s companies and its currency so the island can become an offshore hub for the yuan, SinoPac Financial Holdings Co. said.

Temasek Racing Exxon to Build Biggest LNG Stash: Southeast Asia
A Temasek Holdings Pte unit is up against Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in a contest to fill storage that will hold three times as much liquefied natural gas as Singapore will consume this year.

SocGen Gets New S. Korea License for Derivatives, Brokerage
Jun Yang – Businessweek
Societe Generale SA (GLE) said it won regulatory approval in South Korea to begin operations at a new local unit as it seeks to expand its derivatives and brokerage businesses in the country.

Yuan Snubbed by U.S. Firms as Rivals Embrace Currency, HSBC Says
Only 9 percent of the 102 U.S. business leaders surveyed by HSBC for a report released today said they had conducted cross-border yuan transactions. In comparison, 47 countries are using the yuan for more than 10 percent of their payments with mainland China and Hong Kong , according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

Comment By Monetary Authority Of Singapore Spokesperson On Moody’s Banking System Outlook For Singapore Published On 15 July 2013

Taiwan Futures Exchange Newsletter – July Newsletter

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Complete The 3rd Round Of Rationalization On Proceeding Of Examination, Verification And Registration

Frontier Markets

Tunisian parliament approves Islamic sukuk bond issues
Reuters via Yahoo! News
By Tarek Amara TUNIS – Tunisia’s parliament has passed a law that will allow the state to issue Islamic bonds, or sukuk, a move that could help narrow a gaping budget deficit and boost foreign currency reserves, which have fallen to critically low levels.

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