New trading venue Aquis Exchange plans an unusual fee structure as part of its strategy to compete in Europe. An outage at clearing house LCH.Clearnet late last year turned out to be a lot more than that, as the Bank of England reveals significant risk to UK payment systems. The contentious European financial transaction tax appears to be under heavy water pressure, and early speculation suggests that the final product, if any, will be significantly diluted. Andy Yemma of Intermarket Communications debuts as this week’s JLN guest editor.
Everyone needs an editor
It’s nice to be an editor again. I started out as a newsboy, edited my high school newspaper, wrote for the sports pages (Austin American-Statesman) in college and edited The Daily Texan (which had one of the larger circulations in Texas, still does). Reported and edited for United Press International (which was then still a mighty wire service) and edited the business section of the Chicago Sun-Times. Then went into PR, working for the CME (known better as the Merc in those days) and the NYSE (soon to be ICED) before joining Intermarket Communications in NY 15 years ago. So my interest in journalism and financial markets runs deep. When JLN asked me to be a guest editor this week, I said “let’s roll.”
SEC’s Walter urges “maximum” reliance on foreign swaps rules
By Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters via Yahoo! News
The top securities regulator is urging international market regulators to find a compromise as they struggle to agree on how to apply new rules for cross border over-the-counter derivatives trades.
***AY: Herding cats?
Trading Clamps Spur Lobby Effort
JENNY STRASBURG AND SCOTT PATTERSON – WSJ.com
High-speed trading firms and exchanges are being forced into the lobbying game by taxes on trades in Europe, proposals for similar levies in the U.S. and beefed-up regulatory scrutiny.
***AY: Lots and lots of cats
GFI Group ready to start operating in Mexico
GFI Group Inc. is pleased to announce that GFI Group’s Mexican affiliate GFI Grupo Mexico, S.A. de C.V. is fully compliant with all pertinent Mexican regulations. The Group may now officially commence operations.
*** AY: More proof that Mexico is a hot market.
*** AY: The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) will hold its annual conference in Mexico City this autumn. (shameless promotion by AY for WFE)
MGEX Announces Record AJC Volume and Open Interest
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), today announces record daily Apple Juice Concentrate (AJC) volume for yesterday’s trading session. Open interest for the AJC contract has also reached a record.
*** AY: Apple juice futures? Who knew?
CME Group says reduced grain cycle not “perfect” for all clients
Tom Polansek – Reuters
CME Group Inc said its plan to reduce grain trading hours is not the “perfect answer” for all its customers and for the first time detailed a clash over the proposed new schedule.
Commodity booms, busts and bubbles
Gregory Meyer in Washington – FT.com
Commodity markets are prone to bubbles, but like the ones in bathtubs, they don’t last. So concluded one of several interesting papers on commodity price fluctuations discussed at an International Monetary Fund seminar last week.
*** AY: I question this metaphor. So the bubbles in the bath don’t pop? Really?
Niki Beattie joins Aquis as inaugural chairperson
Michelle Price and Tim Cave – Financial News
Niki Beattie, one of Financial News’ top 100 most influential women in European financial markets last year, has been appointed as the first chairperson of the proposed pan-European equities trading venue Aquis Exchange, the company said this morning.
LSE membership resignations hit five-year high
Tim Cave – Financial News
Stockbrokers and trading firms have been resigning from the London Stock Exchange at the fastest rate for five years, as investors lose their appetite for UK equities.
*** AY: The Pack(inghams) will be back!
Fund Directors Are Feeling the Heat
JEAN EAGLESHAM AND KIRSTEN GRIND – WSJ.com
They met 14 times in three months. They received daily updates on the value of five mutual funds they oversaw. They even peppered an auditor with questions about subprime bonds. Still, six former directors of Morgan Keegan Inc. mutual funds “abdicated” their responsibilities, says the Securities and Exchange Commission.
*** AY: Always amazing how when faced with multiple opportunities to do the right thing, people do the wrong thing.
London retains financial services crown
James Pickford, London and Southeast Correspondent – FT.com
London remains at the top of the league of global financial centres but overseas hubs are closing the gap, research has found. In a survey of 2,300 finance professionals, London was judged the most competitive financial centre, followed in the ranking by New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
*** AY: What about it Chicago? Huh-huh? Da Bears!
***JM: (towel-snapping sound)
U.S. Loses On Global Opportunity Index
Clarke Camper – Inside the Beltway
Where is the best place in the world to invest? According to the Milken Institute’s latest report, Hong Kong retains the top spot in the world for attracting new foreign investment. Rounding out the top five are Singapore, Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom – countries with high levels of human capital, vibrant financial centers, strong oversight of financial institutions, sound legal systems, and regulations that encourage trade and investment flows, according to the study.
Performance hurdles sharply divide opinion
Alec Macfarlane – Financial News
The issue of the “hurdle rate” of a private equity fund – the rate of return a fund manager needs to hit before it can claim its 20% share of profits – sparked a flurry of debate at this year’s SuperReturn International Conference in Berlin.
If banks want to gamble they shouldn’t use your money
Once we got past the pot-kettle irony of Congress lecturing a big bank’s top executives on bad management, the recent hearings on banking regulation provided some valuable insights into the problem and the solution.
Noahpinion: Markets in almost nothing
ne of the first things I noticed when I started studying economics was that goods that can’t be bought and sold are basically ignored. That might be fine for determining prices of stuff (especially if people have quasilinear utility), but when you have massively incomplete markets, the basic big results of first-year microeconomics – the welfare theorems – go totally out the window.
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Aquis to shake up equity trading model
Philip Stafford in London – FT.com
A new European equities trading venue is planning to revive competition in the region by offering a mobile-phone style “pay for what you consume” data fee for traders.
LCH.Clearnet in ‘major’ year-end IT outage
Philip Stafford – FT.com
A “major” IT failure in December at LCH.Clearnet, the world’s largest clearer of interest rate swaps, affected the clearing house’s contingency plans and threatened UK payment systems, the Bank of England said on Monday.
Cracks appear in early FTT talks
Michelle Price and Richard Partington – Financial News
Tensions are building among the 11 European Union member states signed up to introduce a sweeping new tax on financial transactions, with many public affairs experts already predicting a dramatic watering down of the proposal.
Stock-pickers retain their crown as investors’ best long-term bet
Harriet Agnew – Financial News
Fundamental equity managers, who employ the strategy on which the European hedge fund industry was built, dominate new rankings of the most successful hedge fund managers in Europe, compiled by multi-manager firm LCH Investments.
Cyprus to Chop Banking System to Win Aid, Avoid Default
Cyprus dodged a disorderly default and unprecedented exit from the euro currency by bowing to demands to shrink its banking system in exchange for a 10 billion-euro bailout.
Senate Republicans Push to Slow Financial Rule-Writing
BEN PROTESS – NYTimes.com
Congress cut a deal to keep the lights on in Washington. But new measures in the Senate may cut the power of financial regulators to curb Wall Street risk-taking.
JPMorgan Silent Partner Revealed in Whale Fiasco
Jonathan Weil – Bloomberg
One of the best parts about last week’s Senate hearing on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s London Whale trades is that we finally got a clear picture of whose side the regulators were on during the early days while the bank’s executives tried to contain the unfolding debacle.
Pension Funds Wary as Bankrupt City Goes to Trial
By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH – NY Times
In Stockton, Calif., bondholders and insurers want the pain of the city’s bankruptcy to be evenly distributed. Calpers, the country’s largest pension system, prefers to protect its retirees.
Spain Brings the Pain to Bank Investors
JONATHAN HOUSE And CHRISTOPHER BJORK – WSJ.com
The Spanish government will impose heavy losses on investors at nationalized banks and hire external advisers to help it manage these banks’ assets, its latest efforts to overhaul a financial sector battered by the collapse of a decadelong housing boom.
Europe: 0 Days Without A Banking Accident
Morgan Stanley credit strategist — in addition to being a brilliant analyst — also makes great market comics. Here’s a gem from his latest note.
CFTC Announces Procedures for Submission of Risk Exposure Reports and Chief Compliance Officer Annual Reports by Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the procedures to be used by swap dealers and major swap participants for submitting Risk Exposure Reports and Chief Compliance Officer Annual Reports.
FCA business plan and risk outlook published
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published the business plan and risk outlook for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for 2013/14. The FSA will be replaced by the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on 1 April 2013.
Buyside left waiting for directions
Dan Barnes – Financial News
New derivatives trading rules will require faster and more secure collateral management processes for the buyside, but custodians’ solutions are not yet ready or affordable, according to fund managers. At least one large investment house is being forced to service clients’ collateral needs in-house.
Fund managers face second European threat
Financial News reporters
Fund managers, already fighting a cap on bonuses, are facing a second threat from the European Parliament, according to lobbyists.
ASIC and the French AMF update MOU on assistance and mutual cooperation
[Japan] FSA publishes Weekly Review No.38
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Moscow Exchange Introduces Major Upgrade To Settlement Of Russian Securities
Moscow Exchange begins settlement of securities on the T+2 basis, bringing its procedures in line with international best practices. As with other recent reforms, the move makes trading on Russia”s main exchange more attractive to both international and Russian market participants.
Relocation Of NASDAQ OMX Headquarters In Oslo
On Tuesday 2 April, 2013, NASDAQ OMX’s Norwegian Head Office is relocating its headquarters. The Commodities business units (NASDAQ OMX Oslo ASA and NASDAQ OMX Oslo NUF) along with NASDAQ OMX Equities Norway and NOS Clearing will be moving into the same building in Skøyen, Oslo.
CBOE Trader E-News
Data Fee for CBOE BBO Data Feed
NYSE Euronext welcomes NYSE-listed Eli Lilly and Company to its European market
Cyprus Stock Exchange: No Sessions On March 25 And 29 And April 1
TOM MTF Statistics Week 12
Information Regarding Easter In The Production And The CDS Environments For Millennium Exchange On Oslo BÃ¸rs
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Japan Hedge Funds Get Second Look From Investors as Stocks Soar
The rally in Japanese stocks since new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to jump-start growth is starting to stir investor interest in hedge funds that invest in Asia’s second-largest economy.
Korean Teachers Union to Have Record Alternative Assets Abroad
Korean Teachers’ Credit Union, with about $19 billion in assets, will boost real estate and other alternative investments abroad to a record this year to benefit from a U.S. economic recovery and lower prices in Europe.
Norway Becomes Petro-State as Investors Balk at Hidden AAA Risks
Norway, home to the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, is betting it can afford to ignore investor outrage. After shocking global credit markets in 2011 by pulling support from the once AAA and now junk-rated lender Eksportfinans ASA, the government unveiled plans in January to cut tariffs on gas transport by 90 percent, sapping income for those funding the venture by as much as $7 billion.
Schroders Agrees to Buy Cazenove Capital for 424 Million Pounds
Schroders Plc , Europe’s biggest publicly traded money manager, agreed to buy Cazenove Capital Holdings Ltd. for 424 million pounds to expand its private-banking operations.
TCI hedge fund stops payments to linked children’s charity
Harriet Agnew – Financial News
The Children’s Investment Fund, the hedge fund run by activist investor Chris Hohn, has stopped giving a portion of its fees to the children’s charity run by Hohn’s wife Jamie, according to two people familiar with the situation.
BlackRock Hires Stewart as Co-Head of Alternatives Unit
BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, hired Credit Suisse Group AG’s Andy Stewart to co-head the unit that runs real estate, hedge fund and private equity fund-of-funds investments along with Matthew Botein, according to a memo sent to employees.
BlackRock’s Thorne to Leave as Firm Exits Direct Buyouts
BlackRock Inc. , the world’s biggest money manager, plans to exit the business of investing directly in private-equity deals as it focuses on its fund-of-funds business.
Curtain up for Shareholder Spring: the sequel
Sarah Krouse – Financial News
After bruising clashes last year with shareholders over pay, companies have been readily engaging in a dialogue with investors to avert a repeat performance.
Cerberus launches Seibu tender offer
Henny Sender in Hong Kong – FT.com
Cerberus Capital Management has launched a tender offer to raise its stake in Japan’s Seibu Holdings, in a bid pitting the New York-based alternative investment fund against the railway, hotel and property group’s management.
The Secret to SAC’s Returns? Call It Weirdness
The Wall Street Journal’s look into SAC Capital’s trading is somewhat shallower than its length suggests. This isn’t the fault of the Journal reporters, who clearly did a lot of work digging through public filings to unearth unusual trading patterns and well-timed trades. Yet it’s hard to tell exactly what it is that SAC does to consistently beat the market, because not much is revealed about how it trades.
CalPERS Announces First Partnership Under Multi-Asset Class Partners Program – Standard Life Investments Will Manage $500 Million In New Fund
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is investing $500M with Edinburgh, Scotland-based Standard Life Investments as part of its Multi-Asset Class (MAC) Partners Program. Standard Life is the first of four external managers selected to partner with CalPERS in the MAC program.
CalPERS Board Member Henry Jones Appointed To Pacific Pension Institute Board
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced that Board Member Henry Jones has joined the Board of the Pacific Pension Institute (PPI). Jones began his two-year term on February 27 and will replace Joe Dear, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer, on the PPI Board.
Hedge Funds Most Bearish Ever on Copper, Favor Gold: Commodities
Hedge funds are making the biggest bet against copper on record as global inventories expand to a nine-year high, while concern that Europe’s debt crisis will spread spurred the biggest gain in gold bets since 2008.
Falcone Follows Michael Jackson Path Taking Fortress Loan
Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone, beset by declining assets, federal securities regulators and the bankruptcy of his largest investment, is borrowing money against personal real estate he bought during better days.
Banks & Brokers
UBS Plans Istanbul Hires as Turkey Growth Trumps Global Cuts
Sibel Akbay – Bloomberg
UBS AG (UBSN), the Swiss bank cutting about 10,000 jobs, is planning to expand in Turkey as the nation’s economic growth boosts demand for assets.
JPMorgan board “strongly endorses” dual role for Dimon
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The board of directors of JPMorgan Chase %26 Co said on Friday it “strongly endorses” keeping Jamie Dimon as both their chairman and chief executive of the company.
BofA’s Moynihan to hold stock longer in new pay policy
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan will need to hold shares likely worth millions of dollars for at least a year after he retires, under a new compensation policy that the bank instituted following investor pressure.
Switzerland denies banking deal in principle reached with U.S.
Reuters via Yahoo! News
ZURICH – The Swiss government on Sunday denied a newspaper report that the country had reached a deal in principle with the United States over undeclared funds hidden by wealthy Americans in Swiss offshore bank accounts.
Deutsche Bank co-CEO asked for two million euro pay cut: paper
Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain requested a pay cut of almost 2 million euro ($2.60 million) to draw level with the 2012 compensation package of fellow top executive Juergen Fitschen, a German newspaper reported.
Ex-Cazenove bankers group at new firms
Matt Turner – Financial News
Former JP Morgan Cazenove bankers have gathered at two firms owned by former senior figures at merchant bank Robert Fleming %26 Co, Financial News can reveal.
Clearing & Settlement
Europe’s clearers reach a crunch point
Tim Cave – Financial News
If at first you don’t succeed… the notion that persistence can pay off has held true for two of Europe’s largest clearing houses. EuroCCP – part of US group the Depository Trust %26 Clearing Corporation – and the European Multilateral Clearing Facility, majority-owned by Dutch bank ABN Amro.
Unblocking the flow of collateral
Sophie Baker – Financial News
Global custodians have a big job on their hands. Regulations are forcing most over-the-counter derivatives trades to be centrally cleared through a central counterparty while liquidity requirements under Basel III will leave banks having to hold more higher-quality assets on their books to withstand financial shocks.
World’s Largest High-Rise Data Center Opens in Downtown New York City
Greg MacSweeney – Wall Street %26 Technology
It’s no secret that most of the New York tri-state area’s compute capacity is scattered in the suburbs of New Jersey and upstate New York. However, the multi-tenant data center that just opened in lower Manhattan is not only the newest, it is also one of the largest.
Specialist hubs spring up around London
James Pickford, London and Southeast Correspondent – FT.com
High-tech business incubators are springing up away from London’s digital hotspots of Shoreditch and Clerkenwell as the capital’s entrepreneurial breeding grounds become increasingly specialised.
Hedge-Fund Manager Said by SEC to Steer Bloated Fee to Belesis
A Houston hedge-fund manager is facing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he defrauded investors in raising $30 million and steered bloated fees to John Thomas Financial Inc. founder Thomas Belesis.
NFA levies a total of $750,000 in fines against California firm First Quadrant LP and Kent Charles Roberts II, a former principal and associated person of the firm
National Futures Association (NFA) has levied a $500,000 fine against Kent Charles Roberts II (Roberts), a former associated person (AP) and principal of First Quadrant LP, an NFA Member commodity trading advisor and commodity pool operator located in Pasadena, California. NFA has also levied a $250,000 fine against First Quadrant.
Ex-Deutsche Bank Accountant Parse Gets 42 Months for Tax Fraud
David Parse, a former Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) accountant, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his role in what prosecutors claim is the biggest criminal tax-fraud prosecution in history.
Public warned about scams impersonating ASIC and Sydney Credit Union
BCSC Investor Alert: Watch out for high-yield investment programs
Environmental & Energy
Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years
The Senate on Saturday narrowly passed its first federal budget in four years, a move that will usher in a relative lull in Washington’s fiscal wars until an anticipated summer showdown over raising the debt ceiling.
**RKB – Among notable climate-focused amendments, the Senate signaled strong support for approval of the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline and came out against imposing taxes on industrial carbon emissions.
Analysis: Obama’s climate agenda may face setbacks in federal court
President Barack Obama’s plan to use federal agencies, and the Environmental Protection Agency in particular, to drive his second-term climate change agenda might be in peril if he cannot fill vacant seats on the federal court that has jurisdiction over major national regulations, legal experts say.
Russia and China in Major Natural-Gas Supply Pact
The Wall Street Journal
After more than a decade of talks, Russia has agreed to supply China with natural gas, a deal that could see China surpass Germany as the largest importer of Russian gas.
Dalian Commodity Exchange: Notice Of Coking Coal Futures Contract Flotation Benchmark Price And Transaction Fee
Osaka Securities Exchange: SPAN Parameter Updated – April 01, 2013 To April 05, 2013
Dalian Commodity Exchange: Notice Of Membership Fee Collection of 2013
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Releases Consultation Conclusions On Regulation Of Electronic Trading
HKEx Announces Details Of Temporary Holiday Risk Management Arrangements
Thailand’s SET Index Down 3.3 Percent
The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s (SET) main stock index (SET Index) closed at 1,478.97 points, down 3.30 percent or 50.55 points, today. The Index fell for the fifth consecutive day due mainly to profit-taking of investors after the SET index had surged by 50 percent in the last 14 months (January 2012-February 2013), driven by the strong fundamentals of Thailand’s economy and upbeat earnings of Thai listed companies, said SET President Charamporn Jotikasthira.
HKEx Publishes Results Of Stock Exchange Review Of Disclosure In Issuers’ Annual Reports
ADX Discusses Cooperation With Qatar Exchange
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) received today a high level delegation from Qatar. The delegation was headed by the CEO of Qatar Exchange H.E. Rashed Al Mansouri. The delegation was received by Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi CEO of ADX as well as senior ADX staff.
Cash settlement in BSE’s stock F%26O contracts from Apr 26
Premier bourse BSE today said it has decided to change the settlement mechanism from delivery-based settlement mode to cash-settlement in stock futures %26 options (F%26O) contracts in its equity derivatives segment.
Sun yet to shine on Africa deals
Private equity investor and activist Sir Bob Geldof threw down the gauntlet to the industry last month about investing in Africa.
Nigerian Stock Exchange Market Report For The Week Ended 22-03-2013
Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report- 22nd March, 2013