John Lothian Newsletter: EU Lawmakers Back Deal on Clearing Rules for OTC Derivatives; Hong Kong Bourse Plans $380 Million Upgrade to Technology; Brazil to rally BRICS against rich countries

Mar 29, 2012

The EU parliament votes in favor of new OTC derivatives regulations. The Hong Kong Exchange announces nearly $400 million in technology upgrades over the next three years to improve speed and attract business. Brazil leads the BRIC pack in scolding primary nations for economic disturbance and unfair monetary practices. Unsurprisingly, there were only two answers to questions from MF Global execs under questioning: “I don’t know,” and, “I’m not even going to tell you ‘I don’t know.'” In today’s top box, an interview from MarketsWiki with Tom Kloet of TMX Group on the future plans of that company; and William Birdthistle of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law appears in a video interview, discussing a variety of regulatory topics.

Observations – Statistics – Commentary

At MF Hearing, Sounds of Silence
I don’t know. Those three words dominated a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday where lawmakers pushed MF Global Holdings Ltd. executives to explain how $1.6 billion went missing from customer accounts as the securities firm collapsed.


Bank of China Seeks to Join World’s Biggest Metals Exchange

Bank of China Ltd. became the first Chinese company to apply for membership on the London Metal Exchange, the world’s biggest metals bourse.


Study questions conflict over trade execution
By Telis Demos in New York – Financial Times
Brokers and their clients may have opposite economic interests when it comes to the execution of stock trades, according to a new study. Such concerns have given rise to a burgeoning industry, known as “execution consulting”, as traditional investors have become more sophisticated about how they trade, forcing banks and brokerages to invest more in trading tools.


Five Minutes with Tom Kloet, CEO, TMX Group

Tom Kloet has seen his share of exchanges, having worked at the CME Group and served as CEO of SGX in Singapore and now as CEO of TMX Group. He spoke with JLN editor-at-large Doug Ashburn about his exchange experiences, the next step in TMX’s M&A plans and the regulatory picture for Canada.

Q: Can you compare and contrast the Canadian and Singapore markets to your days at CME?

A: I look back on my time on the CME board as a great experience because I was there from the period where we determined that we wanted to change the institution and go through the demutualization. That was an incredibly exciting time to be at the forefront of some pretty significant changes. I vice-chaired the strategic planning committee and I was chair of the clearinghouse at the same time. We set the foundation for what is now a great institution.

Q: And the foundation for the business model that has since been widely adopted.

A: I don’t think any of us foresaw, to be frank, the success that would come – both the financial success and the marketplace success. I remember the day we found out we were not going to get the Dow Jones futures contract – how bummed we were. A bunch of people stayed up late over some pizza and beer, and came up with taking the S&P 500 and creating the e-Mini contract. What that proved was that the CME had both the ability to reinvent itself, and execution excellence. Those are things that stayed with me when I went to Singapore. Those are things we worked on when we merged the Stock Exchange of Singapore with the SIMEX and created what is now SGX. With an exchange of that size, the idea of building its own technology was not where we needed to be. So, we outsourced the technology and made it easier for people to hook up with us.

And again, in Toronto, there was the combining of the country’s derivative exchange with the Toronto Stock Exchange. I believe we are sixth in the world in terms of equity capital raised and sixth or seventh in terms of global market cap. We had a chance to build a derivatives exchange that had a good foundation but needed new products, needed to extend its distribution and needed to build out its equity derivatives platform. Last year, our volume was up 40 percent, open interest was up a similar amount, and this year we are experiencing great growth as well. We are excited about what we are developing in the equity derivatives space. Plus, we own 54 percent of BOX. We are in the process of obtaining our SRO license, which is currently out for public comment. BOX’ market share has climbed steadily, and I think we are competing very well in a very competitive market. So, TMX is doing well.

We also have an M&A thing we are going through. The Canadian banks, pension funds and an insurance company decided, when we were talking about merging with LSE, that maybe they would rather buy the company, for about a 25 percent premium over the then stock price. We got a majority of shareholders to approve, but not enough to put us over the edge on that deal. So, we took a second look at a proposal from the Maple Group, and we are working with the regulators, both the Ontario Securities Commission and the Competition Bureau on getting approval.

For the rest of the interview, visit MarketsWiki at


William Birdthistle

William Birdthistle of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Discusses Dodd-Frank, Say-On-Pay & Corporate Governance
William Birdthistle is an associate professor of law at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he specializes in investment funds, corporate governance and executive compensation. Birdthistle sat down with JLN editor/producer Nicole V. Rohr and discussed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission‘s (SEC) timeline for Dodd-Frank, how issues like corporate organizational structure and say-on-pay rules will progress in 2012, and how MF Global changed the landscape of corporate governance.

Watch the video >


Böcker to head SGX listings business
By Philip Stafford – Financial Times
SGX, the Singapore exchange, said on Wednesday it was overhauling its business structure in a move that will see Magnus Böcker, chief executive, take direct responsibility for the group’s listings business. The reshaping will also see long-serving executive Gan Seow Ann depart.


Saudi Arabia will act to lower soaring oil prices
By Ali Naimi – Financial Times
High international oil prices are bad news. Bad for Europe, bad for the US, bad for emerging economies and bad for the world’s poorest nations. A period of prolonged high prices is bad for all oil producing nations, including Saudi Arabia, and they are bad news for the energy industry more widely.


It Takes a Village to Battle a Bank
The movement to use local government funds as a battering ram against big banks has gained momentum since the start of the year. Some examples:


Board Changes At BATS And Goldman Sachs Not Nearly Enough
Corporate governance experts praise the decisions at Goldman Sachs and BATS Global Markets to alter their governance structures, but they say the changes won’t help either firm solve the deeper problems they face right now.

***JM: Interesting article once the writer stops implying that BATS had a software failure because Joe Ratterman was both CEO and Chairman…


JLN Options Newsletter

Volatility ETFs Thumped on VIX Multiyear Low, Contango
ETF Trends by John Spence
April may be the cruelest month, but March has been pretty bad for volatility exchange traded products designed to track VIX futures contracts. First, these volatility-linked funds have dropped sharply this month along with the CBOE Volatility Index, which touched its lowest levels since the summer of 2007. Second, the exchange traded funds and notes have been hit by so-called contango in the VIX futures market.

U.S. Stock Options With Biggest Changes in Implied Volatility
By Bloomberg News
The following are the U.S. stock options that had the biggest percentage changes in implied volatility from the previous trading day as of 11:30 a.m. in New York.

How The VIX ETN Lost 50% In 48 Hours
Seeking Alpha
As the ETF industry has rapidly expanded, so too have the options investors have for slicing and dicing markets. One of the most popular innovations in recent years has been the ability to access volatility through the exchange-traded structure; there are now multiple ETPs for gaining exposure to VIX contracts, including a number of inverse and leveraged notes and funds. The past week has seen some bizarre developments in one of the most popular VIX ETNs, offering a lesson in the potential dangers in dabbling in exchange-traded products whose “creation mechanism” has been temporarily switched off.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Commodity Floor Brokers and Traders Association


MarketsWiki Recent Updates

William Birdthistle; Nicole V. Rohr; Michael Bodson; Joe Ratterman

Companies, Organizations and Groups
MICEX-RTS Group; Russian Trading System Stock Exchange; Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange; Commodity Floor Brokers and Traders Association; BATS Global Markets; Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc.

Five Minutes with Tom Kloet, CEO, TMX Group

21,142,503 pages viewed, 6,761 articles, 138,499 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

EU Lawmakers Back Deal on Clearing Rules for OTC Derivatives
By Jim Brunsden – Bloomberg
European Union lawmakers voted to approve a deal on legislation to force trading of some over-the- counter derivatives through clearinghouses to safeguard financial markets.

Hong Kong Bourse Plans $380 Million Upgrade to Technology
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. (388) will spend HK$3 billion ($386 million) on technology upgrades over three years to boost trading speeds and expand its derivatives business amid increased competition from regional exchanges, the bourse operator announced today.

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil to rally BRICS against rich countries
Brian Winter – Reuters
Brazil will push for its large emerging-market peers including China to denounce what it sees as unfair monetary policies by Europe and the United States, raising the stakes in a global confrontation over economic imbalances.

Rousseff attacks west’s response to financial crisis
By James Fontanella-Khan in New Delhi – Financial Times
Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, has accused western countries of causing a “monetary tsunami” by adopting aggressive expansionist policies such as low interest rates, which are making emerging economies less competitive globally.

Bond traders switch to electronic processing
By Telis Demos in New York – Financial Times
Electronic processing of bond and other fixed-income trades is surging globally as traders seek to reduce the risk that their counterparties will go bust. The jump is taking place as banks prepare for a series of new rules demanding transparency for the formerly opaque market.

For Portugal, Moment of Truth Nears
Politicians in Lisbon and policy makers in Brussels insist that Portugal isn’t like Greece. This spring, the country will have to prove it.

German central banker: ECB loans only buy time
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
The head of Germany’s national central bank has warned about the risks of the European Central Bank’s massive loans to the financial system, saying they have only bought the eurozone time to fix the real causes of its debt crisis.

OECD Sees Europe, U.S. Drifting Apart
The economies of Europe and North America will diverge in the first half of this year, with European budget cuts dragging on demand while the U.S. economic recovery picking up steam, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report published Thursday.

Is Dodd-Frank being rolled back while no one is looking?
Washington Post
It’s par for the course for the GOP-controlled House to pass bills that few people notice and that ultimately go nowhere. But it’s rare for legislators to join hands across the aisle to roll back parts of President Obama’s signature legislative achievements. That’s what happened on Monday, when the House passed two little-noticed bills that changed the derivatives rules under the Dodd-Frank Act …

Mishap at BATS Stock Exchange Is Indicative of Market
New York Times
The breakdown on the BATS Global Markets exchange was stunning, but market disruptions have been common enough to rattle some investors’ confidence.

JPMorgan: We Asked Corzine If The Money Was Really His To Transfer
JPMorgan says it never received written confirmation that $200 million transfer from MF Global actually belonged to the firm or its customers.

MF Global top executive pleads fifth
By Tracy Alloway in New York and Shahien Nasiripour in Washington – Financial Times
A former assistant treasurer at MF Global, who emerged as a key witness in determining what happened in the collapse of the broker-dealer, has refused to give evidence to a congressional inquiry.

Environmental Trading News

GreenX To Launch Emission Reduction Unit (ERU) Futures And Options Contracts
Press Release
Effective Sunday, April 29, 2012 for trade date Monday, April 30, 2012, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, GreenX will list the Emission Reduction Unit (ERU) Futures and Options contracts for trading on CME Globex and for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort.

More government intervention in carbon markets
Commodities Now
Carbon Market Survey: For the first time since it was carried out in 2005, the results of Thomson Reuters Point Carbon’s annual carbon market survey provides a convincing argument for those inclined towards market intervention in the EU ETS. Unlike in previous years, respondents to the survey – Carbon 2012 – said that emitters within the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) view the cost of carbon as less decisive in investment decisions, and fewer report that the EU ETS has caused emission reductions. Fewer respondents saw the EU ETS as a cost-effective way to reduce emissions this year than last and the share of respondents who think the EU ETS is mature was flat, putting an end to an upward trend seen since 2007.

New technologies: Carbon capture dogged by volatile history
If there was a prize for false starts, dashed hopes and failed promises, the carbon capture and storage industry would be a strong contender.

**JK – A good look at the CCS mirage.

For more environmental trading news, subscribe to the Environmental Markets version of the John Lothian Newsletter edited by Jim Kharouf.
Visit http://www.jlnenvironmental.comto subscribe.

Exchange & ECN News

London Stock Exchange Group and Bucharest Stock Exchange sign collaboration agreement
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) today announce that they have signed an exclusive “Letter of Intent” (LoI) to collaborate across five key business areas.

Financial News: NYSE Opts For LCH.Clearnet For Cash-Clearing
By Michelle Price Of FINANCIAL NEWS
NYSE Euronext (NYX) has said that it plans to continue using LCH.Clearnet as the clearer to its European cash markets, putting an end to nearly two years of uncertainty regarding its clearing plans.


London Stock Exchange Group plc statement re NYSE Euronext’s European clearing strategy and long term continuation of cash equity clearing with LCH.Clearnet

Excellent creditworthiness at Deutsche Börse Commodities
The independent rating agency Hoppenstedt gave Deutsche Börse Commodities GmbH a rating of “excellent creditworthiness”. The rating agency awarded the company a score of 1.7 points on a scale of 1 to 6. The score reflects factors such as equity ratio, debt structure and operating margin.

Strategic Planning Committee for SMEs holds first meeting
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is pleased to announce the priorities identified by members of its Strategic Planning Committee for SMEs at their first meeting, held 23 March 2012 in Paris, as well as the agenda the Committee has set itself. At this first session, it also reviewed the results of a survey of small and mid-caps conducted by TNS Sofres.

Nodal Exchange and LCH.Clearnet Introduce
Nodal Exchange, LLC and LCH.Clearnet Limited (LCH.Clearnet) today introduced new power contracts for energy plus congestion for over 50 locations in PJM. Offered in direct response to requests from the trading community, these contracts will settle against the Day Ahead Energy plus Congestion prices published by PJM. These contracts will be available for current month plus 48 months forward.

BM&FBOVESPA broadens the Socio-Environmental Investment Exchange’s scope with the listing of Millennium Goal projects
BM&FBOVESPA announced today that it is broadening the scope of the Socio-Environmental Investment Exchange (BVSA) – a financing program for Brazilian NGO projects that provides an advanced donations platform at the portal, with differentiation in security and transparency. From now on, the BVSA will include projects that focus on the eight Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations (UN).

Euroclear Bank And NSD To Advance Russian Financial Centre
Press Release
Euroclear Bank and National Settlement Depository (NSD) announce today their plans to provide highly efficient cross-border services for all classes of Russian domestic securities.

BM&FBovespa Ordered to Pay $4.62 Billion by Brazil Low Court
The exchange said it’s being accused of causing losses for the public coffers, according to a regulatory filing late yesterday. The Sao Paulo-based company denied wrongdoing and said it will appeal the decision.

New ASX Chairman
The ASX Board has elected Mr Roderic (Rick) Holliday-Smith to succeed Mr David Gonski as Chairman of Directors. Mr Gonski is resigning as a director of ASX effective today and will take up his appointment as Chair of the Future Fund Board of Guardians on 3 April 2012.

ASX’s 25th Anniversary

Sydney Hosts 30th AOSEF General Assembly

[CBOE] Voluntary Professional and Professional Transaction Fees Eligible Contracts for Volume Incentive Program

[CBOE] James R. Kipp Golf Classic

NYSE Euronext welcomes DBV Technologies to its European market

Ibercom To Start Trading On Mab On Friday – It Is The Twentieth Company To List On The MAB’s Growth Segment

Banks, Brokers & Dark Pools

Exclusive: Goldman’s European derivatives revenue soars
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s first-quarter earnings are expected to benefit from the increased use of derivatives by European clients seeking ways to hedge risk, according to an internal report seen by Reuters.

Goldman Sachs Board Meeting in Laggard India Closes BRIC Cycle
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) directors converge on India this week for their first meeting in the nation, where economic growth is headed for a three-year-low and the pace of reforms has disappointed the firm’s analysts.

Jefferies Said to Hire Epstein From BNP to Expand in ETF Trading
By Matthew Leising and Lisa Abramowicz
Jared Epstein, the former head of flow credit trading at BNP Paribas SA, has been hired by Jefferies Group Inc. to trade fixed-income exchange-traded funds, according to people familiar with the decision.

Jefferies CEO’s Compensation Falls Sharply
Jefferies Group Inc. Chief Executive Richard Handler was awarded $1.2 million in annual compensation in 2011, down sharply from $47.3 million, a year ago, according to a regulatory filing.

Nomura’s M&A Team Said to Win Top Recruits for Global Advisory
Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) , Japan’s largest brokerage, plans to post as many as 15 top recruits to its mergers and acquisitions team in April to meet cross-border deal demand, two people familiar with the plan said.

BNY Asks to Toss U.S. Fraud Case Over Currency Trading
Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custody bank, contested claims by the U.S. that it defrauded clients in foreign-exchange transactions and asked a court to dismiss the government’s lawsuit.

Citi names a head of US commercial banking
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Citigroup on Wednesday named William Howle as its head of commercial banking for the United States. Rates Scottrade with Best Overall Client Experience
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Investing services company Scottrade, Inc. earned an overall five-star rating, while being recognized as Best Overall in Client Experience, in the 2012 online broker review.

Bank of America CEO gets big raise
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
Bank of America gave its CEO a pay package worth $7.5 million last year, six times as large as the year before. It happened while the company’s stock lost more than half its value and the bank lost its claim as the biggest in the country.

Agenda For The Annual General Meeting Of UBS AG On 3 May 2012

Direct Edge Trading Notice #12-14: Transaction Pricing Changes On EDGA And EDGX Effective Monday, April 2, 2012

Regulatory News

The SEC News Digest
The SEC News Digest provides daily information on recent Commission actions, including enforcement proceedings, rule filings, policy statements, and upcoming Commission meetings.

SEC Registration Captures More Hedge Fund Advisers
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will oversee hundreds more private advisers at hedge funds and private equity firms than it first predicted, expanding the reach of one of the most controversial requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

SEC Said to Review Credit Suisse VIX Note
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are reviewing a Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) exchange-traded note that became unhinged from its benchmark and whipsawed investors, a person familiar with the matter said.

Testimony of Daniel J. Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Futures Association, Before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler Remarks On The Dodd-Frank Act At The 6th Annual Capital Markets Summit Hosted By The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce,

FSA review into anti-bribery and corruption systems and controls in investment banks and proposed new guidance for all firms
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) today publishes the findings of its thematic review into anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls in investment banks.

UK’s Financial Services Authority Publishes Six-Monthly Firm Complaints Data For The Second Half Of 2011

CFTC Seeks To Revoke The Registrations Of Illinois Resident Joseph A. Dawson And His Company, Strategic Research LLC

NFA fines California firm Option Investments, Inc.; sanctions its principals and several associated persons

ASIC’s challenges in the years ahead

ASIC releases first enforcement report

ASIC releases exchange traded funds report

[AMF Canada] Money-services businesses – New regulatory framework effective April 1, 2012

B.C. Securities Commission and Nanaimo RCMP arrest Nanaimo man for fraud and theft

Lombard Verdicts Highlight Directors’ Duties, Says New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority

Investments – Indexes – Managed Futures – Managed Funds

Analysis: Hedge funds register, wait for SEC to visit
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Katya Wachtel
Hedge fund managers are increasingly nervous about getting a knock on the door from U.S. securities regulators now that a new rule requires them to register as investment advisers and provide lots of data about their inner workings as a result.

EDHEC-Risk’s Annual European ETF Survey Reveals Investor Attitudes To Risk, Replication And Asset Allocation
Press Release
EDHEC-Risk Institute has announced the results of the EDHEC European ETF Survey 2011, which represents a comprehensive survey of 174 European ETF investors. The survey was conducted as part of the Amundi ETF research chair at EDHEC-Risk Institute on “Core-Satellite and ETF Investment.”

Lessons Learned
ISDA Derivativiews
A week has passed since the auction for Greek CDS. Perhaps it’s now time to reflect on the credit event process. Toward that end we wanted to share our thoughts in a combined derivatiViews and media.comment post, and we also encourage our readers to offer their views.

Russell Survey: Investment Managers Display Moderate “Risk-On” Approach as Bullishness Increases for Equities
Business Wire via Yahoo! News
Results from the latest Investment Manager Outlook (IMO), a quarterly survey conducted by global asset manager Russell Investments, underscore that investment managers currently view the markets as a “risk-on” opportunity, a turnaround from the previous quarter’s IMO where uncertainty around risk prevailed.

Private Equity CFOs Report Focus on Preventing and Detecting Fraud
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
CFOs of private equity and venture capital firms reported a significant focus on preventing and detecting fraud within their firms and portfolio companies in a recent industry survey conducted by Corporate Resolutions, Inc., a global business investigations firm.

Calamos Global Equity Fund Receives Six Lipper Fund Awards in Europe
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
The Lipper Fund Awards 2012 has honored the Calamos Global Equity Fund (UCITS) with six European awards. The fund received accolades in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Europe for its three-year performance in the Equity Global category.

F&C Annual Responsible Investment Report 2011: Governance Issues Take Centre Stage In A Turbulent World

Legg Mason BW Global Income Opportunities Fund Raises $459 Million, Starts Trading on the NYSE

PIMCO Municipal Income Fund Reports Results for the Fiscal Quarter and Nine Months Ended January 31, 2012

Teucrium Debuts Broader Ag Commodity ETF

Technology News

Patria Investimentos Selects SunGard’s Investran for Portfolio & Partnership Accounting
PRWeb via Yahoo! News
Pátria Investimentos, one of Brazil’s largest alternative investment management and corporate advisory firms, has selected SunGard’s Investran for portfolio and partnership accounting.

Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley Live on AcadiaSoft MarginSphere
AcadiaSoft, Inc. today announced that four additional investment banks – BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley – are in production on MarginSphere, AcadiaSoft’s online community for margin automation in the OTC derivatives market. The new participants joined previously announced dealers Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and J.P. Morgan, bringing the majority of fed-14 banks onto MarginSphere.

Wolverine Execution Services Launches Best X, an Equity Algorithm Using Advanced and Time Tested Intelligence Focused on Finding the Optimal Price
Wolverine Execution Services (WEX), a leading provider of value added technology and execution services, today announced the launch of Best X, an execution algorithm for U.S. equities and futures. Best X is an advanced algorithm designed to automatically determine execution trajectory to seek optimal price. Powered by WEX’s proprietary liquidity and trend models to obtain the best possible execution, Best X monitors each security to balance liquidity and price continuously.

Calypso Technology Tops $200 Million In Revenue In 2011 – Achieves Major Milestone With Record Revenues And Growth

Misys Voted Number One in Trading Systems
PR Newswire
The leading cross-asset provider by Structured Products magazine Misys plc, the global application software and services company, has achieved four top awards in the annual Structured Products magazine technology rankings

Media News

Facebook sets private market exit
By April Dembosky in San Francisco – Financial Times
Facebook will permanently halt trades of its stock on private secondary markets at the end of this week. The move is to allow the social network to finalise its shareholder list and tighten information pathways leading up to its initial public offering, expected in May.

Reports Economic Calendar

USDA Today

CBOE Events Calendar

Economic Release Calendar
The Economic Release Calendar (PDF) is a schedule of government, academic and industry economic releases, provided as a service to CME customers.

Asia-Pacific News

Hong Kong private bankers seek less red tape
By Paul J Davies in Hong Kong – Financial Times
Hong Kong’s private banking industry is in talks with the government and regulators seeking the removal of some red tape and compliance requirements implemented after the financial crisis, to help it sell products to more of the region’s multi-millionaires.

GFI Group Inc. announced today that HPI Financial Group, a regional asset management house headquartered in Hong Kong, has licensed FENICS Professional, a trading and risk management system for foreign exchange and commodity options provided by GFI FENICS.

Clearstream supports HKEx with easy access to global post-trade services
Clearstream announced today that it will join the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) Ecosystem initiative as a founding member.

HKEx signs up 22 members for trading hub
By Robert Cookson in Hong Kong – Financial Times
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the world’s largest exchange operator by value, on Wednesday revealed it had signed up 22 brokers and trading technology providers to create a “virtual marketplace” in its new data centre.

HKEx Announces Founding Members of the Hosting Services Ecosystem
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) is pleased to welcome the first 22 Founding Member organizations to HKEx’s Hosting Services Ecosystem, where they will setup their service offerings in advance of the official launch of Hosting Services scheduled for Q4, 2012. HKEx’s new Hosting Services are part of the broader Orion Technology Initiatives aimed at revolutionizing HKEx’s core trading platforms and further elevating Hong Kong as an international financial center.

Citi Goes Live on SMX as General Clearing Member
Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX), the first pan-Asian multi-product commodity and currency derivatives exchange, today announced that Citi has become active on SMX as a General Clearing Member.

SGX and Phillip Futures set up new Professional Traders Development Centre
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and futures broker Phillip Futures are setting up a new Professional Traders Development Centre to train and grow the talent pool of professional traders. Phillip Futures is the latest futures broker to work with SGX on its Professional Traders Development Programme which was launched in January 2012.

SGX launches Securities Market Quality Report
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today launched its inaugural Securities Market Quality Report which provides information on trading activity, liquidity, volatility and trading costs on the SGX securities market in 2011. The report considers these factors in the context of the overall securities market as well as according to sub-segments based on large, mid- and small cap stocks.

HKEx Invests US$380 Million in Technology to Fuel Growth – HKEx Orion: Leading Hong Kong’s Next Transformation

Presentation By HKEx Chief Executive Charles Li At A Media Briefing On The Launch Of HKEx’s Technology Initiatives

Thai Listed Firms’ Revenues, Net Profits Up In 2011

Thai Bourse Lists LHPF Property Fund On April 2

HKEx Selects KVH As A Hosting Services Founding Member – Offering Low-latency Infrastructure Services For The Hosting Ecosystem At HKEx’s New Data Center

Questions and Answers on the HKEx Orion Programme

Frontier Markets

Saxo Bank (Dubai) Ltd. Wins Banker Middle East Award
PR Newswire
Saxo Bank (Dubai) Ltd, the online trading and investment specialist, won the Banker Middle East’s ‘Best FX platform’ product award at a ceremony held on Tuesday evening at the Emirates Towers.

Securities Commission Malaysia: Funds Approved In Capital Market Increase 54% In 2011

Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and OSF Merchant Banking Announce Strategic Partnership
Business Wire via Yahoo! News
Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity has formed a strategic partnership with OSF Merchant Banking to pursue investment opportunities in Brazil. Based in Sao Paulo, OSF is a fund manager that offers international and local qualified investors customized alternative investment advice.

Islamic Lending Grows as Western Banks Take Breather
New York Times
In the first three months of 2012, $6 billion of sukuk were sold in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, almost as much as in the whole of 2011.

Saudi British Bank sukuk raises $400m
By Robin Wigglesworth in London and Camilla Hall in Kuwait City – Financial Times
Saudi British Bank, the local arm of HSBC, raised SR1.5bn ($400m) from a private placement of Islamic bonds on Wednesday, amid signs that the Saudi Arabian market for religiously compliant debt is picking up in the wake of a sovereign-linked sale earlier this year.

BRICS flay West over IMF reform, monetary policy
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging market nations pressed Western powers to cede more voting rights at the IMF this year and flayed the rich world’s reflationary monetary policies for putting global economic stability in jeopardy.

Pearson Skips University to Hunt for Deals in Africa
Pearson Plc (PSON) Chief Financial Officer Robin Freestone, with 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to spend on deals this year, is studying new takeover targets amid sluggish funding for publicly funded schools and universities.

Miscellaneous News

Chuck Jaffe: JOBS Act benefits financial criminals
Market Watch
If the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act becomes law, the big increase in employment most likely will come in the investment scam business, writes Chuck Jaffe.

Is Wall Street already shrinking?
Washington Post
Remember derivatives? The financial products that Warren Buffett compared to weapons of mass destruction? The ones that were at the heart of the financial crisis? Well, they’ve been doing just fine. As recently as last spring, banks were increasing their derivatives’ holdings. But that may be changing.

Global Financial Centres Index GFCI 11 Published Today – Chinese And Eurozone Centres Languish Whilst Offshore Centres Regain

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