Singapore Exchange indicates that contributions to its clearing fund are rising as it prepares to evaluate the fund against international standards. Also in Singapore, banking and wealth management are on the rise compared to Switzerland, but the Swiss aren’t particularly worried. NYSE Euronext is overhauling its New York disaster plans to make it easier on brokers to adjust in the event of an emergency.

First Read

Appeal to the masses
Jim Kharouf
In the wake of our two financial center special reports – London: On a Pedestal and Turkey: Setting the Bar High – we are coming down the home stretch on the last in the series, on Asia. We appreciate the sponsorship support we’ve received on the first two from GH Financials, IFM and Cinnober.

We are seeking sponsors for the final piece on Asia, which will feature interviews with key sources from FIA Asia, SGX, Japan Exchange Group, Newedge, Trading Technologies and others. These reports feature exclusive interviews, original graphics and crisply written pieces that provide viewers with some insights into what is happening in the region.

All support for original content such as this is greatly appreciated!


Contango digs into technology
Jim Kharouf
Talk to enough people in the technology space you’ll find there is no sweet spot for technology. It’s a continuous matching of new ideas and technologies with client and regulatory demands, each with limited shelf life.

Finding the right technologies that meet trading demands, risk and collateral management plus regulatory requirements in today’s market isn’t easy. Against this backdrop which is sometimes exciting and other times distracting, one firm is looking to establish a niche in the industry. Contango Markets, a suburban London-based consulting firm founded in 1999 by Clive Furness, sees an opportunity. The firm recently launched a separate division called Contango Operations which is focused on the technology implementation for firms.


CME Group looks to uncoil its spring
Jeremy Grant in Singapore –
For as long as interest rates have been at historic lows CME Group, operator of one of the world’s biggest futures exchanges, has been “like a coiled spring”, in the words of chief executive Phupinder Gill. With the bulk of its financial futures products tied to market expectations of movements in the interest rate cycle, CME has for years seen less than stellar activity in its flagship eurodollar contract while central bank rates have stayed low.

***** Interest rates stayed below 3 percent for the 25 years before I was born. They were coiled up for a long time.

***JK: Also see JLN’s Interview: CME’s European Home: A Conversation with CME’s Phupinder Gill, Lee Betsill and William Knottenbelt


DTCC To Acquire Full Ownership of Omgeo
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire full ownership of Omgeo, combining Thomson Reuters’ 50 percent stake in the company with DTCC’s existing 50 percent ownership.


Turquoise chief quits amid derivatives drop-off
Philip Stafford –
Natan Tiefenbrun is to leave as chief executive of Turquoise less than a year into the role as the pan-European trading venue struggles to combat declining volumes for derivatives trading based on Russian stocks.

***** When you quit a job like this do you get the blues?


CFTC Enforcers Bypassed Commission Votes on Probes, O’Malia Says
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Enforcement lawyers at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have circumvented formal agency votes to begin investigations unilaterally, according to Scott O’Malia, Republican member of the commission.

***** A staff-initiated investigation? What is next? CFTC Commissioners spending most of their time in Arkansas?


CME Group Announces New Gold Options Open Interest Records
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it reached a new open interest record for its Gold options contract yesterday, July 22, 2013. Open interest in Gold options reached 1,808,693 compared to July 19, 2013, the last record day, when open interest reached 1,797,679 contracts.

***** You would think Y2K was back with all the open interest in gold options.


MarketAxess Reports Second Quarter 2013 Record Revenues of $65.6 Million, Record Pre-Tax Income of $31.5 Million and Diluted EPS of $0.51
Record revenues of $65.6 million, up 34.3%
Record pre-tax income of $31.5 million, up 48.6%
Record total trading volume of $187.7 billion, up 29.6%
Record estimated U.S. high grade market share of 14.1%

***** Talk about un-coiling?


CBOE’s Brodsky named chairman of Navy Pier
Crain’s Chicago Business
William Brodsky, executive chairman of CBOE Holdings Inc., was named chairman today of the organization that runs Navy Pier.

***** Bill Brodsky is a very civic minded gentlemen, the kind which helped make the Chicago markets great. He is following in a tradition of serving the city and its people that goes back to the very early days of the city and the Chicago Board of Trade, but doing it as a volunteer, not a politician. He is one good guy.


Broker-Dealer Compliance Tips for an Ambiguous Enforcement Climate
Many regulatory policies set by the SEC and FINRA are broadly construed, posing problems for broker-dealers trying their best to follow the rules. Compliance itself is often defined as having “reasonable” safeguards, leaving broker-dealer’s open to qualitative interpretation by regulators. “Reasonable” is a particular sticking point. Many regulations are qualified by this term. But what is the definition of “reasonable”?

***** Reasonable is something that works when nothing is happening.


Five questions raised by the transatlantic HFT clampdown
Tim Cave – Financial News
US and UK regulators joined forces earlier this week to penalise a high-frequency trading firm for alleged manipulative t
rading on commodities markets, in the first example of a UK financial watchdog handing a fine to a member of the HFT community. As regulators globally become increasingly concerned about potential market abuse from HFTs – in which traders use superfast computers to trade across markets in fractions of a second – Financial News answers five questions raised by the fine.

***** Why did the first firm they whacked for spoofing in HFT have to be named for a cat? Panther? Did they look for firms related to “Cheetahs?”


Software providers helped by red tape
Becky Pritchard – Financial News
Red tape may be much maligned by the private equity industry, but for some outsourcers and fund administrators it has been a boon to business. Alongside regulation, an increasing demand for detailed reporting by investors has led many private equity firms to improve their dated IT systems or hand the function to third-party administrators.


Analysis: Wall Street’s commodities trading under fire, rivals creep in
Jeanine Prezioso | Reuters
Just as Wall Street’s commodity titans face intensifying pressure over their trading operations, nimble rivals are stepping up efforts to chip away at their bedrock business of financing the world’s raw materials industry.


Perseus Opens Throttle On Award Winning New York To Brazil Exchange Network
Perseus Telecom, a leading global provider of ultra-low latency, high capacity networks from market-to-market, today announced it has made the company’s industry leading network between Nasdaq OMX in New York and BM&FBovespa in Sao Paulo, 2.5 milliseconds faster than the already fastest recognized connection by the Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award in 2012.

***** I will call your 2.5 milliseconds and raise you 5 microseconds.


Thomson Reuters Expands Access To Futures Markets Liquidity Over Its Global FIX Order Routing Network
Thomson Reuters today announced that it has expanded access to liquidity across its global order routing network by adding additional connections to US futures markets through an agreement with CQG, a leading Direct Market Access (DMA) platform for the global futures markets.


Sorry, commodities are a poor diversification tool
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville
An interesting paper has just landed on the BIS working paper site, in which the myth that commodities provide a solid diversification tool for investment portfolios has been beautifully debunked. The grounds for this are mostly due to too much correlation, and volatility.

***** Tell that to the family farmers who have taken on that risk and managed it for a very long time.



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Lead Stories

SGX clearing fund in focus as tough new rules put to the test
Philip Stafford –
SGX, the Singapore exchange, said the contribution to its derivatives clearing fund had risen by more than a fifth in the past three months, as the bourse prepares for an assessment over whether it meets tougher new international standards.

Singapore loosens Switzerland’s grip on wealth management
Jeremy Grant –
A few weeks ago, a small group of Swiss bankers and diplomats gathered in the ground floor restaurant of a high-rise office tower in Singapore’s central business district. They had come to mark an unusual event: the opening of Swiss National Bank’s first overseas branch.

Swiss bankers shrug off Singapore’s rise
James Shotter in Zürich –
If Swiss bankers are worried about the rise of Singapore as a centre for offshore wealth, they are hiding it pretty well. “Singapore may be the Switzerland of Asia. But Switzerland is the Switzerland of the world,” says one senior Swiss banker.

NYSE proposes new emergency backup plan
NYSE Euronext has revised its back-up plan for trading if an emergency closed the New York Stock Exchange and its trading floor, with a proposal that would make it easier for broker-dealers to adjust their computer systems.

Prosecutors Preparing to Charge SAC
Federal prosecutors are preparing to announce criminal charges as early as this week against SAC Capital Advisors LP, the hedge-fund giant that has been the target of a multiyear investigation into alleged insider trading, according to people familiar with the matter.

Dark pool call to transform corporate bond trading
Anish Puaar – Financial News
European buyside traders have called for a fresh approach to corporate bond trading to ease the problems of liquidity the market is expected to face when new regulations come in for fixed income next year.

Corzine seeks to dismiss trustee’s lawsuit over MF Global collapse
Jon Corzine and two of his top executives at defunct commodities brokerage MF Global sought Monday to have dismissed a lawsuit accusing them of hastening the firm’s 2011 collapse.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal S. Wolin Departing Treasury After More Than Four Years Of Service

Goldman Sachs outlines metal-warehousing practices
Market Watch
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS on Tuesday released a statement outlining its metals-warehousing practices amid increased focus on bank ownership of physical-commodity businesses. A U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday held a hearing on whether banks should be allowed to own physical-commodity assets.

Wells Fargo deposes China’s ICBC as world’s biggest bank
Fox News
The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China has lost its standing as the world’s largest bank by market capitalisation to US-based Wells Fargo, data showed Wednesday, as China’s economy slows.


Regulator turf war on access to EU bank books
Alex Barker in Brussels, Kara Scannell in New York and Philip Stafford in London –
US regulators are demanding the right to probe books, records and emails at the headquarters of Europe’s biggest financial groups, prompting deep EU unease over Washington intruding on its patch to collect highly sensitive data.

Esma takes ‘pragmatic’ stance on Emir evasion
Tom Newton –
Lawyers have welcomed what they see as a pragmatic attempt by the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) to prevent European Union (EU) entities dodging the region’s incoming clearing and reporting requirements, which are contained in the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Emir).

When it comes to regulation, US banks have a selective memory
William Wright – Financial News
Level playing fields are great, particularly when they are sloped in your favour. Jamie Dimon, the unofficial spokesman-in-chief for Wall Street, was back on fine form this month when he slammed US proposals to impose a leverage ratio of as much as 6% on big banks, double the ratio required under Basel III.

Want To Revive Glass-Steagall? Try This Wall Of Separation Instead
A debate is raging on the left, the right, and even in libertarian circles on the best way to escape from the Too-Big-To-Fail quagmire. But despite widespread agreement that the status quo is problematic, efforts to define the problem often degenerate into a clash of competing narratives designed to advance partisan agendas. How can we expect to find solutions given this state of affairs?

Denver Regional Office Director Donald Hoerl to Leave SEC After More Than 30 Years

CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee To Meet July 25, 2013
Committee To Discuss Issues Concerning The Dodd-Frank Act, Including Customer Protection And The Voice Recording Provision In 1.35, As Well As The Trading Of Ethanol/Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs)

Testimony Of CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen Before The U.S. House Committee On Agriculture Subcommittee On General Farm Commodities And Risk Management,

CFTC: Testimony Of The Honorable Scott D. O’Malia Before The Subcommittee On General Farm Commodities And Risk Management House Committee On Agriculture

[SEBI] The Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Singapore Exchange Reports $336 Million Net Profit for Financial Year Ended 30 June 2013 (FY2013)
SGX recorded revenue of $715.1 million ($647.9 million) and a net profit of $335.9 million ($291.8 million) in FY2013. Earnings per share (EPS) was 31.4 cents (27.3 cents) and return on equity (ROE) was 39% (35%). SGX’s underlying profit was $350.9 million ($303.9 million) excluding an impairment charge of $15.0 million ($11.0 million) on our investment in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

LME faces rising heat on warehousing
Suzi Ring – Financial News
The US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs will hold a hearing today to review the ownership of physical commodity assets by banks, set to place renewed focus on London Metal Exchange warehousing, according to market participants.

Liquidnet’s Strong Performance Signals Beginning Of Rotation Back To Equities
Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network, today announced strong quarterly performance in EMEA and a record first half in Asia Pacific. In addition, Liquidnet announced that for the second year in a row, it achieved the ranking of #1 Brokerage Firm in both the global and North American rankings by Abel/Noser Solutions, provider of broker-neutral pre-trade, real-time and post-trade tools for institutional investors.

Aquis Readies Market Data Feeds, Policy
Faye Kilburn – WatersTechnology
Proposed multilateral trading facility Aquis Exchange is finalizing details of its market data feeds and data policies ahead of a potential go-live date in the fourth quarter of 2013. The MTF, founded by Alasdair Haynes — former chief executive of Chi-X Europe prior to its 2011 takeover by rival MTF BATS Europe — will leverage a proprietary compact binary protocol to provide market data via a multicast data delivery mechanism, which will transmit data to multiple receivers simultaneously in a single transmission.

Trading Privilege Holder Educational Session on CFE Exchange of Contract for Related Position Transactions

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

KKR Executive William Sonneborn Retiring
Ryan Dezember – MoneyBeat – WSJ
William Sonneborn, who heads KKR & Co.’s credit business, is stepping down after about five years at the New York private-equity giant.

Deal drought raises the pressure on private equity
Buyout firms have a record level of expiring funds this year, raising the prospect that many will have to ask investors for more time to do deals or not use the money at all.

Leopard Resources Raises $30 On Australian Exchange, Yes $30
WSJ Moneybeat
Leopard Resources lodged a prospectus with the Australian Securities Exchange Wednesday to raise A$30, which won’t even cover a starter at Rockpool Bar & Grill, one of the nation’s most popular restaurants.

VIX Shows Fear Has Vanished
WSJ Moneybeat
Fear has left the building. The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index dropped to its lowest level in more than three months Monday, sliding 2% to 12.29, suggesting investor concern about future stock swings is at its lowest since April 12. That reading also marked the eight-lowest close for the VIX over the past five years.

Hedge funds ‘aggressively’ buy Treasurys
Hedge funds have been snapping up U.S. government debt, with new data showing large speculators have been “aggressively” buying 10 year Treasurys in the last week.

Six Brilliant Hedge Fund Managers Played In A Secret Poker Tournament Last Night
Business Insider
Last night, six of Wall Street’s brightest hedge fund managers met at the Borgata in Atlantic City for a secret charity poker tournament sponsored by Bloomberg.

Banks & Brokers

Barclays took client’s deal ‘for its own account’, court told
Jane Croft –
Barclays “misused” confidential information for its own advantage and “took a client’s deal for its own account” when it acquired a Swedish carbon trading company, it has been alleged in a High Court trial.

BofA, Barclays Sued by Houston For Libor Manipulation
Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc. are among a group of banks sued by the city of Houston for financial damages caused by the alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.

BlackRock Exec Says No to Top R.B.S. Job
BlackRock’s top Asia executive, Mark McCombe, has turned down an approach by the Royal Bank of Scotland as it hunts for a new chief executive.

Ex-HSBC banker emerges as frontrunner for RBS top job: FT
Mark McCombe, the former head of HSBC’s Hong Kong operations, has emerged as the external frontrunner for the top job at Royal Bank of Scotland, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing three people close to the process.

Thomson Reuters Celebrates First Anniversary Of Its Most Successful Investment Banking Product Launch In Over A Decade
Over 1,600 Deal Making Professionals Worldwide Using New Tool At Over 250 Client Firms 0 Advanced Analytics For Deal Making Reduces Time Spent Gathering Data, Allowing More Time For Analysis

Accenture and Broadridge Simplify Post-Trade Processing
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking is looking forward to cutting up to 30% from their post-trade costs. On Friday, the bank said it is the first client to adopt the post-trade processing solution offered by Accenture and Broadridge Financial Solutions.

National Australia Bank Hires BofA’s Drummond as Finance Chief
National Australia Bank Ltd., the country’s largest lender by assets, hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Australia Chief Executive Craig Drummond as its group executive for finance and strategy.

JPMorgan Hires Ex-Barclays Analyst Fujimori as Technology Banker
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it hired Yuji Fujimori, a former equity research analyst at Barclays Plc , as an investment banker for the telecommunications, media and technology industry in Japan.

Goldman Sachs’s Lachlan Edwards to Join Lazard
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Australian head of corporate restructuring advisory Lachlan Edwards is leaving the Wall Street bank for Lazard Inc. , a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Bank of America’s Drummond Defects to Australia’s NAB
Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch’s top Australian executive, Craig Drummond, is leaving the Wall Street bank for National Australia Bank Ltd.

TradeKing to Acquire Assets of GAIN Capital Holdings’ Brokerage Subsidiary
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
TradeKing Group, Inc., an innovator in the online brokerage industry, announced today it has reached an agreement with GAIN Capital Securities Inc. to acquire the accounts as well as the rights to certain other assets of the Cleveland-based boutique brokerage, which is a subsidiary of GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc.

E*TRADE Financial Appoints Mohsen Fahmi to Board of Directors

Indexes & Products

Market turbulence revives fears over ETF structural issues
Tracy Alloway and Arash Massoudi in New York –
The global sell-off last month sparked the highest amount of settlement failures in parts of the $2tn exchange-traded fund market in nearly two years, reviving a debate over whether the popular investment vehicles suffer from structural issues that flare up in times of market stress.

STOXX Expands Global 3D Printing Index Family With Launch Of Pure Play Index


Perseus Waxes Brazil-NY Latency
New York-based low-latency network provider Perseus Telecom has optimized its infrastructure in Brazil to shave 2.5 milliseconds off the roundtrip time between Nasdaq OMX’s datacenter in Carteret, NJ and Brazilian exchange group BM&F Bovespa in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Numerix CVA and CrossAsset Server Secure Double Award Win in Waters Technology Rankings 2013
Numerix (, the leading provider of cross-asset analytics for derivatives valuations and risk management, today announced its double award win for Best Credit Risk Solution Provider and Best Risk Analytics Provider in the Waters Rankings 2013.


Texan accused over alleged Bitcoin Ponzi scheme
Kara Scannell in New York –
The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing a Texas man for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme he promoted through a Bitcoin-denominated investment strategy and issued a warning to investors about falling for traps involving virtual currencies.

Witness in Tourre Case Describes Difficulty in Knowing Deal’s Friends From Foes
A transaction named Abacus 2007-AC1 became one of the most infamous trades of the financial crisis, netting more than $1 billion for Paulson & Company, a hedge fund that successfully wagered that the housing market would crash.

Tourre trial jurors set to hear from Tourre
Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader accused of secretly helping the hedge fund of billionaire John Paulson construct a $2 billion deal it could bet against in 2007, is set to testify Wednesday in his civil fraud trial.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Fines Royal Bank Of Scotland £5.6m For Failing To Properly Report Over A Third Of Transactions
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been fined £5,620,300 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for incorrectly reporting transactions they made in wholesale markets, and in some instances, failing to report transactions at all.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Files First Market Manipulation Case In New Zealand

ASIC enforcement report – January to June 2013

[ASIC] Lender to refund consumers and pay financial penalty following interest rate errors

Environmental & Energy

Vattenfall writes down $4.6 billion in ailing energy market
Vattenfall VATN.UL, one of Europe’s biggest energy companies, has written down the value of its business by 30 billion crowns ($4.6 billion), seeing no prospect of a recovery in the region’s ailing electricity markets.

Column: A real energy revolution needs us to look beyond sound bites
The origins of Britain’s impending energy crisis go back half a century. The Beatles were in their heyday, the young Harold Wilson was a freshly elected prime minister committed to “the white heat of technology”. But British consumers experienced power cuts during the winter.

Nation warms to carbon price as execs worry
The Australian
MORE Australians are in favour of having a price on carbon than they were almost two years ago but most believe their business will remain uncertain about the issue over the next two to three years, according to two new surveys.


New South Korea Gold Exchange More Proof Of Strong Asian Demand For The Yellow Metal
With so much demand for physical gold in Asia, analysts are not surprised that South Korea is trying to get in on the action. On Monday, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission said that in the first quarter of 2014, spot gold will be traded on the country’s markets like listed stocks.

SGX Welcomes SPH REIT To Mainboard

Frontier Markets

Case for investing in EM still intact
Russ Koesterich –
The last thing most investors want to hear right now is the long-term case for emerging market equities. Even as stocks have rebounded in recent weeks after a miserable first half, investors are still shunning emerging markets funds.

Bahrain sets early price guidance for 10-yr benchmark-sized bond
The kingdom of Bahrain plans to issue a benchmark-sized U.S. dollar bond carrying a 10-year maturity, arranging banks said on Wednesday, and has set early price guidance.

Bursa Malaysia: Regulated Short Selling And Securities Borrowing And Lending To Facilitate More Efficient Price Discovery


The Power of Uselessness: The History – and Potential – of Chicago’s massive Santa Fe Grain Elevator
Sometimes something can be so spectacularly useless that it endures. And in enduring, it begs to be re-invented. Such is the case with the Santa Fe Railroad Grain Elevator. It stands on its own peninsula, jutting out into the South Branch of the Chicago River, along Damen, just north of 29th street, a tight set of 35 grain silos, 80 feet high, plus an even taller elevator

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