John Lothian Newsletter: Swap Traders Seeking Help in Exiting Positions Under Dodd-Frank; Bloomberg LP Weighs CFTC Lawsuit Over Swap Collateral Rules; Singapore Exchange tightens grip on Asian derivatives market

Mar 13, 2013

Investors faced with Dodd-Frank clearinghouse rules are finding it increasingly complicated to get out of some derivatives trades. Bloomberg LP says that if the CFTC doesn’t reverse course on setting higher collateral for swaps than futures, they’re taking the regulator to court. Singapore Exchange announces a series of alliances and product offerings, as it hopes to take the “best exchange in the region” crown.

First Read

CBOE Holdings And S&P Dow Jones Indices Extend Licensing Agreement Through 2033
CBOE Holdings, Inc. and S&P Dow Jones Indices announced today that they have finalized an amendment to their license agreement that extends Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) exclusive rights to list security options contracts based on certain indices calculated and published by S&P Dow Jones Indices through 2032, and non-exclusive rights through 2033.
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***JK: Related tidbits:
2013 is the 30th Year since CBOE first introduced the OEX, or S&P 100 and the S&P 500 options.
The S&P 500 options contract was the most traded index option w almost 700,000 contacts traded daily.
S&P-based index options accounted for 16% of CBOE total options volume in 2012.
Terms of the deal are not public but CBOE said that if the new fee structure was applied to 2012 volume, the royalty fees for 2012 would have been 10% higher.

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Greetings from the FIA Conference at Boca Raton – Day One
Chuck Mackie – Maven Wave Partners
The first day of Boca is a little bit like the first day back at school: everyone gets introduced and not a lot of work gets done in the sessions. Following the same format as last year, the days panels featured presentations from exchanges and a general uber-panel to finish off the day.
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***JM: Hat tip to Chuck Mackie for an excellent overview. If you’re not in Boca, this is a great read for keeping up.

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Boca Beat: Futures industry peers through rules
Philip Stafford in Boca Raton – FT.com
In the warmth of Florida, it was easy for many delegates at the annual Futures Industry Association conference to be optimistic about their future prospects. Perhaps it was because they were basking in blue skies and warm weather while colleagues were stuck at desks in freezing London, Chicago and New York. Others were kept back to oversee any teething troubles as the first wave of market participants – mainly swap dealers – had to comply with mandatory clearing.
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Letter from Boca Raton: futures industry faces stark choices
Nicolas Breteau – Financial News
Florida may be the Sunshine State but the outlook for delegates at the 38th annual International Futures Industry Conference, to be held in Boca Raton over the next few days, is decidedly mixed.
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Eurex Group and Bombay Stock Exchange announce technology alliance
Eurex Group and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) announced today that they have agreed to deepen their strategic partnership through a long-term technology alliance under which BSE will join the Eurex technology roadmap and deploy Deutsche Börse Group’s trading architecture in a first step.
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Australian study shows messaging tax hurts liquidity
Automated Trader
A study by the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC) found that one of the world’s first implemented messaging taxes has harmed market quality as it led to a decline in quote submission, trades, volume and deteriorated liquidity.
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Knight Capital plans to keep its futures business amid sale to Getco
Bloomberg News
Knight Capital Group Inc., the market maker that’s being acquired by Getco LLC, plans to keep its futures broking business. The unit will continue to provide futures execution, clearing and custody services, according to a March 6 letter to clients from Thomas M. Joyce, Knight’s chairman and chief executive officer, and Carl Gilmore, who heads the futures group.
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Contango Markets adds derivatives operations and IT unit
Specialist derivatives consultancy, Contango Markets, is launching a new unit, ‘Contango Operations’, to help tackle many of the pre- and post-trade issues affecting market participants as the implementation phase resulting from years of discussion over regulatory change is set to hit the financial markets.
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SEC Looking to Hand Out Punishments that Fit the Crime
Reuters
The Securities and Exchange Commission is testing punishments that more closely fit the wrongdoing at issue in a bid to become more aggressive. Criticized for its traditional practice of a broad ban on wrongdoers breaking securities law again, the SEC is testing injunctions that specifically bar certain behavior, such as giving advice to pension funds or profiting from presenting investment seminars.
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Swap futures margins may be underestimating risk exposures
Risk.net
A senior market participant has warned against the ‘futurisation’ of swaps in the over-the-counter derivative markets, saying the lower margin requirements for these futures versus traditional swaps may not accurately represent their risk.
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The LEI experiment begins
Allan D. Grody – FOW
A grand experiment is set to begin globally between regulators and sovereign governments to organize a “Bar code for financial market participants”. However, past financial industry innovators may hold this Internet-based financial network of legal entity identifiers from their hoped for success.
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Altegris Launches “Edutainment” Video Series
Altegris, provider of premier alternative investments, has launched a series of animated videos that address many of the key questions on the minds of investors relating to alternative investments. Popular investor questions addressed in these videos include demystifying the common myths about alternatives, the importance of diversification, and performance dispersion among managers of alternatives strategies.
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Twitter, Facebook Ads Need to Fine Print, FTC Says
DANNY YADRON and SHIRA OVIDE – WSJ.com
Short-form ads on Twitter and Facebook need to include some fine print, federal regulators said Tuesday. Whether it is including the average ef
fectiveness of a weight-loss shake or noting that a celebrity was paid to push a product in a Twitter post, marketing company need to apply the same standards to online ads as they long have to older media, according to guidelines released Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission.
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Google Admits Street View Project Violated Privacy
DAVID STREITFELD – NYTimes.com
Google on Tuesday acknowledged to state officials that it had violated people’s privacy during its Street View mapping project when it casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users.
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MarketsWiki.tv

Jill Sommers

Jill Sommers Reflects on the CFTC, Dodd-Frank, and Her Future
MarketsWiki.tv

Jill Sommers, Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is stepping down after the first quarter of this year. Sommers spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about the progress of Dodd-Frank, position limits, and what the future holds for the CFTC after her resignation.

Sommers discussed how the CFTC has changed over the last five years — including their increased budget and staff, moving from principles-based to rules-based rulemaking and their greatly increased public profile.

She also reflected on the Dodd-Frank rulemaking process, saying she wished the CFTC had defined swap-related terms first and delayed compliance with any rules until the rulemaking process was completed.

Sommers was sworn in as a CFTC commissioner on August 8, 2007 and served until April 13, 2009. President Barack Obama nominated her on July 20, 2009 to serve a five-year second term. Before becoming a CFTC commissioner, Sommers worked on several over-the-counter derivatives issues as policy director and head of government affairs for ISDA, as well as working closely with congressional staff drafting the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

Watch the video »

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Lead Stories

Swap Traders Seeking Help in Exiting Positions Under Dodd-Frank
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
New rules mandating that swaps be backed by clearinghouses and executed on regulated systems are complicating investors’ ability to exit the derivatives trades, according to money manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP.
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Bloomberg LP Weighs CFTC Lawsuit Over Swap Collateral Rules
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Bloomberg LP threatened to sue the top U.S. derivatives regulator unless it halts regulations setting higher collateral standards for swaps than comparable futures. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, said the collateral rules are arbitrary and harm its plans to operate a swap-execution facility, according to a news release and letter yesterday from Eugene Scalia, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
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Singapore Exchange tightens grip on Asian derivatives market
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Singapore Exchange Ltd has announced two new tie-ups with other Asian bourses and disclosed plans for a number of new trading products as it tries to strengthen its position as the region’s top exchange for derivatives.
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ICE Talks With Regulators on Euronext Spinoff Near End, CEO Says
Nina Mehta & Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s talks with regulators about spinning off European bourses owned by NYSE Euronext (NYX) are nearing completion, according to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sprecher.
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New Rules to Boost Costs as LME Builds Clearinghouse
Dow Jones
This week’s arrival of a ramped-up European regulatory regime is set to make derivatives trading more costly for exchanges and their customers, though it isn’t clear by how much, the chief of the London Metal Exchange’s under- construction clearing group said.
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ICE head calls for exchange consolidation
Neil Munshi in Boca Raton – FT.com
Jeff Sprecher, chief executive of IntercontinentalExchange, has called for more consolidation in Europe as he prepares to buy NYSE Euronext and float most of its continental assets.
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Exchange Mergers May Concentrate Risk, Australia’s Medcraft Says
Bloomberg
Mergers between exchange companies around the world may increase risks for investors as fewer companies handle derivatives trading and clearing, said the head of Australia’s securities regulator.
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Shanghai Futures Exchange executive held
Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing – FT.com
A senior executive at the Shanghai Futures Exchange has been detained on suspicion of accepting bribes, one of the highest-ranking officials to face censure since regulators vowed to root out corruption in China’s capital markets nearly two years ago.
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Greenberg Forges Ahead With Lawsuit Over A.I.G. Bailout
MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED – NYTimes.com
The American International Group’s former chief executive is moving ahead with a lawsuit against the federal government over its $182 billion rescue of the insurer — even without the backing of the company itself.
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Bankrupt countries are coming after investors
Matthew Lynn – MarketWatch
These are difficult times to be a tax manager at a major multinational. Everywhere you go you are assailed for not paying enough tax.
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Britain’s perilous austerity bunker
Martin Wolf – FT.com
David Cameron’s “there is no alternative” speech last week on the UK economy has aroused much criticism. This is justified.The British prime minister’s arguments for sticking to the government’s programme of fiscal austerity were overwhelmingly wrong-headed.
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Regulatory

SEC nominee White: No bank is too-big-to-charge
Market Watch
Mary Jo White, the Obama administration’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Tuesday that no bank is too-big-to-charge, rebutting concerns that large financial institutions can act with impunity because they only receive insignificant fines for wrongdoing.
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Elizabeth Warren Skewered The SEC’s Record For The Past Two Years
Business Insider via Yahoo! Finance
And explained how she wants the new head to look at the job differently.
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Wirehouses Back Finra Bonus Disclosure Proposal
CORRIE DRIEBUSCH – WSJ.com
When Wall Street’s self-regulator announced last fall a proposal that would mandate brokers disclose bonuses they receive when they switch firms, some industry observers predicted strong opposition from brokerage heavyweights. But it appears the firms most directly affected–the biggest U.S. retail brokerages often referred to as the wirehouses–have mostly accepted that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s bonus disclosure will become reality.
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UK’s Serious Fraud Office: Autonomy
As has been widely reported, allegations have been made to the SFO about the circumstances of the sale in 2011 of Autonomy to Hewlett Packard. The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has decided to open an investigation into those allegations, with a view to using its powers of investigation to allow them to be tested.
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Updated “NFA Regulatory Requirements for FCMs, IBs, CPOs and CTAs”
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BCSC issues warning about Profitable Sunrise
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Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Group Announces Open Interest Record in Benchmark Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) Futures
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced it reached a record in open interest for its global benchmark NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures contracts yesterday, March 11, 2013. Open interest for NYMEX WTI reached 1,725,525 contracts, compared to 1,719,599 on March 7, 2013, the last record for this contract.
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BATS Options Offers Free Trading For U.S. Mini Options, Launching March 18th
BATS Options, a U.S. equity options market operated by BATS Global Markets (BATS), will list Mini Options on five high-priced and actively traded securities on March 18 with no charge for members to trade.
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Singapore Exchange Not Planning to Relaunch ASX Bid
Dow Jones
The top executive of Singapore Exchange Ltd. said Tuesday that planned financial reforms in Australia wouldn’t prompt a revival of its aborted takeover of the country’s largest exchange operator.
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CFTC Certifies Futures Contracts on the MICEX Index, the Hang Seng Index, the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index, and the BSE Sensitive Index Submitted by the Bolsa de Valores, Mercadorias e Futuros (BVMF-Brazil)
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ASX releases final Guidance Note on continuous disclosure
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Athens Exchange Monthly Statistical Bulletin February 2013
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EEX: Third Flemish Auction Clears At 3.66 Euro
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Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

BlueCrest Said to Plan Hiring Equity Traders
Bloomberg
March 12 — BlueCrest Capital Management, the $35 billion hedge fund founded by Michael Platt, plans a return to stocks after scaling back amid losses before the financial crisis, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
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Fund administrator lays down gauntlet to banks
Paul Hodkinson and Sophie Baker – Financial News
Fund administrator Augentius has launched a depositary service ahead of incoming regulation that is expected to prompt a battle between administrators and banks for private equity clients.
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Former FrontPoint Manager Monaco Plans Financials Hedge Fund
Bloomberg
Thomas Monaco, who helped manage FrontPoint Partners LLC’s financial services investments, is seeking to start a hedge fund focused on Asian financial stocks, said four people with knowledge of the matter.
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Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Paulson Considers Move to Puerto Rico to Lower Taxes
Accounting Today
John Paulson, a lifelong New Yorker, is exploring a move to Puerto Rico, where a new law would eliminate taxes on gains from the $9.5 billion he has invested in his own hedge funds, according to four people who have spoken to him about a possible relocation.
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Prescient Ridge Management Goes Live on New Connamara Systems Made-to-Measure Trading Infrastructure
Prescient Ridge Management, LLC (PRM), a managed futures fund specializing in short-duration, systematic trading strategies and Connamara Systems, LLC (Connamara), a provider of services to exchanges, swap execution facilities, CTAs and Hedge Funds announced today that PRM’s new trading infrastructure, using Connamara’s Made-to-Measure, customizable components is now live.
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KERIUS Finance boosts risk management and hedging advisory services with Numerix Analytics
Numerix, the provider of cross-asset analytics for derivatives valuations and risk management, has announced that KERIUS Finance, an independent service and advisory company specializing in financial risk management and hedging, will integrate Numerix CrossAsset into its proprietary platform for risk analysis, customized reporting and hedge advisory – including proposals and structuring of hedging, financing and investment strategies.
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Finnish institutional investors’ international real estate fund of funds launched
A real estate fund of funds set up by Pohjola Property Management Ltd called Real Estate Debt and Secondaries Ky (REDS) has accumulated EUR 100 million at the first closing.
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Banks & Brokers

GFI Group and CIB agree to stream bank live prices
GFI Group Inc., a leading provider of wholesale brokerage, electronic execution and trading support products for global financial markets, and Crédit Agricole CIB, the Corporate and Investment Banking arm of the Crédit Agricole Group, the world’s sixth-largest bank by total assets, announced the launch of their Live Price Streaming initiative catering to the Asian Forwards market.
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ADM Investor Services Announces European Appointment
ADM Investor Services Inc (ADMIS), a subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has announced the appointment of Fabian Somerville-Cotton as Managing Director of ADM Investor Services International Limited (ADMISI) with effect from March 2013. Fabian Somerville-Cotton will manage the London based operation, which specialises in broking expertise in the Exchange Traded Futures and Options markets, particularly in the Commodities sector, along with Securities and Foreign Exchange broking. He succeeds Mark Fox-Andrews who is stepping down after almost 20 years in the position.
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Concept Capital Markets, LLC Hires Charlie Fisher, Opens Office in the Greater Atlanta, GA Area.
Concept Capital Markets, LLC is pleased to announce that Charlie Fisher has joined the firm as a Managing Director in our Prime Brokerage Services group. Mr. Fisher brings to Concept more than thirty years of experience in the investment business, including a great deal of expertise in providing prime brokerage services to fund managers. Mr. Fisher will be based in the firm’s newly established office in greater Atlanta, GA.
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BGC Partners’ Daniel Lavecchia Honored By The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation
BGC Partners, Inc. (“BGC”) announced today that Executive Managing Director, North America and Global Head of FX Products Daniel M. LaVecchia, has been inducted into the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
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Goldman’s Blankfein on trader talent hunt at Morgan Stanley
New York Post
Lloyd Blankfein smells blood in the water. The Goldman Sachs CEO is taking dead aim at Morgan Stanley’s most prized assets — its best and brightest employees — after his rival decided to defer pay for senior bankers.
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JPMorgan Chase cutting its Florence office workforce by 550
Charleston Regional Business Journal
About 550 workers are being laid off at JPMorgan Chase’s office in Florence. They’ll be joining 300 workers who lost their jobs in January. Affected workers will work at the office for 90 days, a spokeswoman said.
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UBS Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Banca Intermobiliare
Bloomberg
Talks on the transaction with owner Veneto Banca Scpa are ongoing, said the person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.
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UBS settles long-running HSH Nordbank $500 million CDS case
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
FRANKFURT/ZURICH – UBS has settled a long-running fraud case pursued by Germany’s HSH Nordbank AG over a $500 million (335.9 million pounds) mortgage investment that turned sour, the Swiss bank said on Tuesday.
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Deutsche Bank to Strengthen Domestic Bank in Germany
FOX Business
Deutsche Bank AG said Tuesday it aims to strengthen its domestic bank in Germany to align the coverage structure for small and medium-sized corporate clients as well as private clients.
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Deutsche Bank Top Tax Manager Said to Be Suspect in CO2 Probe
Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG ’s head of tax for continental Europe is among the suspects in Frankfurt prosecutors’ investigation of carbon-emission certificate trades, two people familiar with the matter said.
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Clearing & Settlement

DTCC Proposes Steps To Move Ahead On Full Dematerialization Of Physical Securities
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) today proposed changes in security processing that will help eliminate existing physical certificates as well as end the issuance of new certificates in the U.S. Dematerialization will help to lower costs, mitigate risk and bring greater efficiency to the industry, including the individual shareholder.
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Indexes & Products

SGX deepens Asian derivatives shelf with new equity indices
Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with global index provider MSCI for 14 new regional and country indices. With this, SGX has licensed a total of 19 MSCI indices, encompassing almost all of Asia’s key capital and other growth markets.
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New Amundi ETF launched in the XTF segment on Xetra
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S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices
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S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices – A Deletion From The S&P/TSX SmallCap Index
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Environmental & Energy

European Commission outlines 2030 green energy goals
Reuters
The European Commission has outlined new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and using more green energy by 2030, according to a policy paper seen by Reuters.
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**RKB — Key numbers: The new paper puts forward the idea of a 40 percent cut in carbon emissions versus 1990 levels and a goal that renewables will supply 30 percent of all energy needs, both by 2030. It stops short of any number for a new energy savings target. That compares with three 2020 policy goals to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent, increase renewables to 20 percent and improve energy savings by 20 percent.

Carbon Capture Vital for EU as Fossil Fuels to Stay, Draft Shows
Bloomberg
The European Union will seek to promote the deployment of technology to capture carbon dioxide to attain its climate goals as fossil fuels are to remain a part of the bloc’s energy mix, according to a draft EU document.
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EU Carbon Sale Fails for First Time as Bids Miss Reserve Price
Bloomberg
The European Union canceled an auction of carbon emissions permits for the first time as bids failed to reach the bloc’s secret reserve price.
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Asia-Pacific

SGX and PSE Collaborate to Develop Philippines Derivatives Market
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate in the development of Philippines-linked derivatives products.
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SGX and KRX to collaborate on OTC clearing
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Korea Exchange (KRX) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly explore collaborations in the development of over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives clearing capabilities.
jlne.ws/16rcLGX

SGX introduces Asian currency futures in 3Q 2013
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is adding Asian foreign exchange (FX) futures to its derivatives market in the third quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approval. The proposed FX futures suite will include deliverable and non-deliverable Asian currencies cleared in currencies such as the US dollar, Japanese yen and Singapore dollar. SGX will initially offer four currency pairs: the Australian dollar/US dollar, Australian dollar/Japanese yen, Indian rupee/US dollar and US dollar/Singapore dollar.
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Thai Bourse Makes Investors Ready For Listing Of Holding Firms
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JSE Delivers Steady Financial Performance – Dividend Maintained At 250c/Share
The JSE has delivered a steady financial performance in 2012, with strong results in a number of business areas offsetting a tough year in equity trading and demonstrating the success of the Group’s strategy to offer a full range of products and services to clients
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HKEx: Listing Nominating Committee Extends Application Period For Listing Committee Candidates
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Frontier Markets

HSBC shuts out Iranian, Libyan, and Syrian clients—unless they’re seriously rich
Quartz via Yahoo! Finance
HSBC Middle East has new rules for clients of countries facing international sanctions: the bigger the bank account, the safer the client.
jlne.ws/Yrm1U4

For Greece, This Is ‘Deeply Offensive’
CNBC
Reclassifying Greece as an emerging market economy is “deeply offensive,” according to one analyst.
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Dubai Mercantile Exchange Appoints Head Of Products And Services Asia
Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, has announced the appointment of Michelle Zhang as Head of Products and Services, Asia.
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Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: Composition Of Tel-Bond Universe As Of March 17th, 2013
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Islamic Finance Task Force Launch – TheCityUK Responds
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Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: Composition Of Tel Div Index As Of March 17th, 2013
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Miscellaneous

Greenland Votes for Tougher Rules for Foreign Investors
CLEMENS BOMSDORF – WSJ.com
Voters in Greenland have elected a new ruling party that has pledged to toughen up on foreign investors looking to take advantage of the nation’s wealth of natural resources.
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