Nasdaq OMX wants more customers, even if it has to lose money to get them. European banks find themselves answering to the law in the USA over global transactions and business practices that run afoul of regulations. Nikkei index trading in Osaka is suspended for technical problems, the first time since the trading platform came online in early 2011.
Knee Surgery Slows Shiny Headed Publisher
I will be taking a six week leave of absence from John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. and its various enterprises right after I return from next week’s FIA Boca Raton International Conference.
On March 18, I will be having double knee replacement surgery.
In my absence, John Lothian News President and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kharouf will be managing the day to day operations of the news and production sides of the company. Please direct all editorial, sponsorship and business development issues to him during this time.
John J. Lothian Managed Futures LLC trading launch date will be delayed until after the six weeks have passed and I am back in the office.
During my absence, we will be having a cast of guest editors for the John Lothian Newsletter. Those zippy comments readers love so much under the top news stories will be coming from a collection of selected industry players who will each take a week during my absence. We are still working on this list, so details are pending.
My expectation is to be able to return to work at the beginning of May.
I appreciate your patience and support during my recovery.
~John J. Lothian
ISE Reports it is the Largest Equity Options Exchange in February 2013
The International Securities Exchange (ISE) today reported average daily volume of 2.7 million contracts in February 2013. This represents an increase of 1.3% compared to February 2012. Total options volume for the month was 51.5 million contracts. ISE was the largest U.S. equity options exchange in February with market share of 18.1%.
***** As someone who is a newsletter publisher of unusual size, I appreciate others with magnitude as well.
**** I always wanted to be the BTO, or Biggest Technology Officer.
MarketAxess hires new Europe chief
Tim Cave – Financial News
MarketAxess, the Nasdaq-listed operator of electronic bond trading platforms, has ended a six-month search for a new European chief executive by appointing former Deutsche Börse director, Robert Urtheil, to the role.
***** Interesting things going on at MarketAxess.
Fidessa Wins Best Buy-Side OMS At Markets Media Awards
Fidessa group plc has today announced that its buy-side order management system (OMS), has been named as the best in its category at the inaugural Markets’ Choice Awards for excellence in the U.S. financial markets, presented by Markets Media.
***** If Steve Grob were a guest editor of JLN, he would have to come up with something to say here, without saying anything at all. It is a challenge.
Chicago futures veteran to stop consulting deal with CME Group
A former chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange will end a formal consulting arrangement with the exchange’s parent company at the end of the year, according to a regulatory filing. The Mercantile Exchange, which merged with the Chicago Board of Trade to form CME Group Inc in 2007, agreed in 2005 to pay ex-Chairman Jack Sandner $200,000 a year as a consultant as long as he sits on the company’s board of directors.
***** The end of an era is right.
Electronic trading is not a silver bullet
Michael Mackenzie – FT.com
A shake-up beckons for corporate bond trading in the US, led by two pronounced trends that have investors, banks and technology vendors scrambling to implement solutions. Tougher capital regulations have compelled banks to lower their inventory holdings of bonds sharply, reducing liquidity in the secondary market for bond investors and money managers, known collectively as the buyside.
***** What does electronic trading of bonds have to do with vampires? Really? A silver bullet?
New York Fed Agreed to Testify for Bank of America
GRETCHEN MORGENSON – NYTimes.com
TWO weeks ago, I wrote a column about a secret agreement struck in July 2012 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank of America. The existence of the confidential deal was disclosed recently in court filings, which showed the New York Fed releasing Bank of America from all fraud claims on mortgage securities the Fed had bought as part of the government’s rescue of the American International Group in 2008.
Brokers charge cash for access to CEOs
Steve Johnson – FT.com
Investment banks are charging asset managers up to $20,000 an hour to meet the chief executives of their corporate clients – often without the chief executives having any idea that their time is being sold.
***** Do they wear a wild hat and a drive a tricked up Caddy too?
A Smart Investor Would Skip the M.B.A.
DALE STEPHENS – WSJ.com
Imagine that you have been accepted to Harvard Business School. The ivy-covered buildings and high-powered faculty whisper that all you need to do is listen to your teachers, get good grades and work well with your peers. After two years, you’ll emerge ready to take the business world by storm. Once you have that degree, you’ll have it made.
***** Interesting concept. I never did the MBA thing and now think maybe that was OK.
An impact study is needed to remove the regulatory blindfold
Michelle Price – Financial News
Two weeks ago, the European Union’s official economists delivered yet more bad news for the beleaguered region: the eurozone economy will shrink for the second year in a row in 2013.
***** Do you at least get a smoke with your blindfold?
Swiss back executive pay curbs in referendum
Reuters via Yahoo! News
ZURICH – Swiss citizens voted on Sunday to impose some of the world’s strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation. The government said 67.9 percent of voters had backed allowing shareholders to veto executive pa
y proposals as well as banning big rewards for new and departing managers
***** Shareholders having a say in the company they own? It’s revolutionary!
Mandates of the Week: SAUL, Lothian, Cancer Research
The L3bn Lothian Pension Fund, a local-authority scheme run by the City of Edinburgh council on behalf of councils in eastern Scotland, named four fund managers to a “framework agreement” for £200m in emerging-markets equity investments.
***** I should see if my CTA can get an allocation.
Nils-Robert Persson Talks About Cinnober and the Growth of Real-time Risk Management
There are some firms who are ahead of the curve and profit from it. Cinnober Financial Technology, the Swedish-based provider of electronic trading platforms was certainly one of them when it began pushing real-time risk management technology for trading and clearing platforms long before the 2008 financial crisis. Now its an integral part of the marketplace.
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
35,933,760 pages viewed, 7,421 articles, 155,524 edits
Nasdaq executing trades at a loss
Arash Massoudi in New York – FT.com
Nasdaq OMX, the transatlantic exchange operator, is executing some US stock trades at an operating loss in what analysts are calling an aggressive act to regain market share. The US’s second-largest exchange said it had been employing the classic loss-leader strategy since February and is expanding the scheme this month, betting that the knock-on effect will bolster its overall transaction levels.
US regulators become the world’s money sheriffs
Matthew Attwood – Financial News
European banks are becoming uncomfortably familiar with the American legal process. HSBC, Standard Chartered and RBS have all entered into deferred prosecution agreements with US watchdogs in recent months, admitting criminal liability for activities relating to money laundering, trade sanctions breaches and Libor-rigging.
System Error Halts Nikkei 225 Derivatives Traded in Osaka
Trading of Nikkei 225 Stock Average options and futures in Osaka was halted due to a system error, the first for the J-Gate derivatives-trading platform since the city’s bourse adopted it in February 2011.
Block trades hit record as markets open for exits
Shanny Basar in New York – Financial News
Global block trades and accelerated share sales by financial sponsors got off to a record start this year.
Russell Indexes to Reclassify Greece as Emerging Market
Nina Mehta – Bloomberg
Russell Investments, which advises funds with $2.4 trillion in assets, will reclassify Greece to an emerging from a developed market, an unprecedented step taken after a recession reduced the nation’s economy by 20 percent.
Default Fears Hit Argentina
KEN PARKS AND KATY BURNE – WSJ.com
Worries that Argentina is inching closer to default sent the cost of insuring the country’s government bonds to their highest level since November and pushed shares in its benchmark index lower.
Doubts cast on Icelandic crisis model
Richard Milne in Reykjavik – FT.com
To many outsiders, Iceland stands for the idea of dealing with a dramatic financial crisis by letting banks fail and then devaluing the currency. It even managed to convince the International Monetary Fund of the benefits of capital controls. But increasingly Icelandic policy makers say much of that view of an “Icelandic model” for handling a financial collapse is a myth – even as it is invoked as a possible template for Cyprus’ international rescue.
SEC Seeks Information to Assess Standards of Conduct and Other Obligations of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers
The Securities and Exchange Commission today published a request for data and other information to assist the agency in considering whether to make new rules about the standards of conduct and regulatory obligations for broker-dealers and investment advisers when they provide personalized investment advice about securities to retail customers.
Steven Harris and Jay Hanson Reappointed to PCAOB
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Public Company Accounting Oversight Board members Steven B. Harris and Jay D. Hanson have been reappointed for five-year terms.
FOA Launches Netting Analyser – New Legal Opinions Library Helps Firms Satisfy Prudential Regulatory Capital Requirements
The Futures and Options Association has launched its new legal opinions library – Netting Analyser – which will help subscribing firms to satisfy certain prudential regulatory requirements and reduce the increasing cost of regulatory capital.
SIFMA Statement On SEC’s Request For Information On Fiduciary Duty
ASIC releases guidance on conflicted remuneration ban
[ASIC] MoneySmart releases new reverse mortgage calculator
[Japan] FSA publishes Weekly Review No.35
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
The Options Industry Council Announces February Options Volume Down 8 Percent
The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that 320,943,312 total options contracts were traded in February, which represents an 8.16 percent decline compared to last year when 349,463,168 contracts were traded.
CBOE Holdings Reports February 2013 Trading Volume – VIX Futures Set Second Consecutive Monthly Volume Record
CBOE Holdings, Inc. reported today that February trading volume for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange and C2 Options Exchange and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange totaled 83.14 million contracts. Average daily volume in February was 4.38 million contracts, up three percent from 4.24 million contracts in January 2013 and down 15 percent from 5.14 million contracts in February 2012.
BATS GLOBAL MARKETS U.S. OPTIONS BUSINESS REPORTS SECOND-BEST MARKET SHARE MONTH
BATS Global Markets (BATS), a leading operator of securities markets in the U.S. and Europe, today reported the second-best month for its U.S. equity options business with 3.9% market share in January vs. 3.0% one year ago and 3.5% in December 2012.
BATS CHI-X Europe SETS Monthly Spanish Market Share Record – U.S. Options Business Reports Best Month To Date – Overall European Market Share 23.5% – U.S. Equities 11.1%
Average daily volume of 9.0 million contracts at Eurex Group in February
In February 2013, the international derivatives markets of Eurex Group recorded an average daily volume of 9.0 million contracts (Feb 2012: 8.7 million). Of those, 6.3 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (Feb 2012: 6.0 million), and 2.7 million contracts were traded at the U.S.-based International Securities Exchange (ISE) (Feb 2012: 2.7 million). In total, 177.6 million contracts were traded, thereof 126.1 million at Eurex Exchange and 51.5 million at the ISE.
Turnover at Deutsche Börse’s cash markets at 93.0 billion euros in February
Order book turnover on Xetra, the Xetra Frankfurt Specialist trading and Tradegate stood at E93.0 billion in February (February 2012: E105.8 billion). Of the E93.0 billion, E85.2 billion were attributable to Xetra (February 2012: E96.4 billion). E4.5 billion were attributable to the Xetra Frankfurt Specialist trading (February 2012: E5.6 billion). Order book turnover on Tradegate Exchange* totalled approximately E3.3 billion in February (February 2012: E3.7 billion).
OneChicago Announces February Security Futures Volume Rise 219% from February 2012
OneChicago, LLC (OCX), an equity finance exchange, today announced February 2013 volume of 755,732. Open interest stood at 703,831 contracts on the equity finance exchange at the end of February 2013, up 79% from February 2012.
MGEX AJC and HRSW Contracts See Continued Growth
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), today reports February 2013 volume and open interest. Total volume came in at 130,802 contracts traded, a 35 percent increase from January 2013 and a 11.9 percent increase from February 2012. February 2013 was the best volume month at MGEX since August 2012.
Key figures SIX Swiss Exchange and Scoach Switzerland: February 2013
In February 2013, daily turnover on SIX Swiss Exchange averaged CHF 4.2 billion, with 135,548 trades being conducted each day. This meant that the previous month’s levels were not quite reached – turnover decreased by 2.6%, and the number of transactions was down by 3.4%.
The Spanish Stock Exchange Traded E42.37 Billion In February On 3.5 Million Trades
Weighing Credit-Default Swap Futures
Katy Burne – Dow Jones
CME Group Inc. is looking to introduce futures tied to credit-default swap indexes, people familiar with the talks said, a move that would put the Chicago exchange operator in direct competition with rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc.
CME Group Executives to Present at Raymond James Conference, March 5 – Mar 1, 2013
[CBOE] Trader E-News
EPEX SPOT SE: Czech Market Operator OTE Joins The Price Coupling Of Regions Initiative 4 March 2013
The project partners of the Price Coupling of Regions (PCR) today welcome the Czech Market Operator OTE as a partner to the PCR Initiative. OTE is the seventh member of PCR, an initiative to facilitate the pan-European coupling of day-ahead power markets. OTE’s participation in the PCR Initiative is a clear signal of OTE´s commitment in European Integration activities.
Moscow Exchange Held A Conference For Securities Issuers
On February 28, 2013 Moscow Exchange hosted the conference “Russia”s stock market: a step forward” that attracted nearly 150 representatives of Russian companies – securities issuers.
TSX Block List Leaders by Volume and by Values – February 2013
TMX Group CEO Tom Kloet to Speak at the Toronto Region Board of Trade
NASDAQ OMX Commodities Welcomes Dynamic Energy ApS
Moscow Exchange: Final Settlement Prices Determined For Power Futures Contracts
TOM MTF Statistics Week 9 2013
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
A Citi Hedge Fund Business Prepares for Life on Its Own
New York Times
One of Citigroup’s internal hedge fund units is spinning off, free from its corporate parent and the restrictions that have come with new banking regulations.
Einhorn drops lawsuit against Apple, ends high-profile challenge
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital has dropped its lawsuit against Apple Inc after winning a battle to stop the iPhone maker from a shareholder vote on a proposal to abolish its ability to issue preferred shares at its discretion.
Einhorn’s Greenlight hedge fund up 0.3 percent in February: sources
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – David Einhorn’s more than $8 billion hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, gained 0.3 percent in February, according to sources familiar with the matter. The fund has gained 3.6 percent for the year. Einhorn’s February results come as the outspoken manager has been pushing technology company Apple Inc to return some of its cash stockpile to investors in a form of preferred stock
BlueSpruce Fund Draws Pritzker, Crown money
Crain’s Chicago Business
BlueSpruce Investments L.P., a new hedge fund started by two former Madison Dearborn professionals, already has attracted investments from some of Chicago’s wealthiest families.
KKR rejigs European dealmaking team
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Private Equity Correspondent – FT.com
KKR, the New York-based private equity group, is rejuvenating its team of European dealmakers as it seeks a fresh start before raising a new fund in the region for the first time since the financial crisis.
Vanguard mutual fund inflow caps
Katy Burne – Dow Jones
Vanguard said on Thursday that it was limiting certain new investments in its $68bn Vanguard Wellington Fund and $39bn Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund, a move designed to protect returns for existing investors as yields in the broader market remain low.
Fresh valuation rise shows buyout groups weathering the storm
Paul Hodkinson – Financial News
The top private equity firms achieved double-digit growth in the value of their portfolios last year, putting them well ahead of the 6% achieved by the FTSE All Share Index, according to latest fund valuation figures.
Berkshire Profit Advances 49% on Buffett’s Derivatives
Net income rose to $4.6 billion, or $2,757 a share, from $3.05 billion, or $1,846, a year earlier, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said today in a statement. Gains on derivatives surged to $1.4 billion from $163 million.
Marshall Wace and GaveKal go their separate ways
Mike Foster – Financial News
Hedge fund manager Marshall Wace has parted company with GaveKal Holdings, the Asian finance group co-founded by economic commentator Anatole Kaletsky.
Views from the top: What’s hot and what’s not
Gill Wadsworth – Financial News
Amid continued economic uncertainty and market volatility, Financial News asks Europe’s leading investment specialists for their views on what 2013 holds for pension funds.
Kingsman Launches New Outright Price Assessments For Raw And White Sugar – Now One-Stop Source For Outright Physical Assessments And Futures Differentials
Spanish Midcaps Meet Over 30 Institutional Investors In New York – Second Edition Of The Spanish Small & Midcaps Conference In New York, Hosted By BME And JB Capital Markets
New Sponsored Funds Trading Segment On SIX Swiss Exchange
CFTC Commitments Of Traders Reports Update
Banks & Brokers
Morgan Stanley puts European wealth arm up for sale
Mike Foster – Financial News
Morgan Stanley is seeking buyers for the bulk of its wealth management business in Europe.
Goldman Sachs trims risk-taking to lowest level in 7 years
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Goldman Sachs Group Inc reduced its risk-taking for a third straight year, with potential losses from trading positions dropping to the lowest level in seven years. The Wall Street bank’s average daily value at risk last year was $86 million, down 24 percent from the preceding year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Goldman Has Fewest Trading-Day Losses Since at Least 2004
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. , which generated 53 percent of revenue from sales and trading last year, recorded losses from that business on 16 days in 2012, the fewest since the bank started reporting the figure in 2004.
Citigroup Says Credit-Card Abuse Probes Fuel $266 Million Cost
Citigroup Inc. , the world’s biggest credit-card lender, is facing rising costs from the misselling of so-called add-on card products in the U.K. and U.S.
UBS lays off 35 senior bankers in the Americas
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – UBS AG cut roughly a third of its Americas investment banking and capital markets group this week, including 35 senior managing directors, three sources close to the matter said.
Hank Greenberg says AIG’s collapse not his fault
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Four-and-a-half years after insurance giant AIG collapsed, leading to the biggest bailout of the financial crisis, former CEO Hank Greenberg has one message: Don’t blame me.
HSBC hands CEO Gulliver 7.4 million pounds 2012 pay package
Reuters via Yahoo! News
LONDON – HSBC handed a 7.4 million pound pay package to Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver for 2012, the bank said in its annual report. Europe’s biggest bank said its five best-paid employees earned a total of 27.8 million pounds in 2012, including 21.5 million pounds in bonuses. Its highest paid banker who is not a director was paid 7 million pounds.
Thomson Reuters Signs Three-Year Eikon Deal With The European Central Bank
Agreement Sees The European Central Bank (ECB) And 18 Participating National Central Banks Across Europe Roll Out Thomson Reuters Flagship Financial Markets Desktop Thomson Reuters Eikon To Their Staff
Monte Paschi wants damages from former executives, banks
Reuters via Yahoo! News
MILAN – Troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is seeking damages from two former executives and investment banks Nomura and Deutsche Bank over derivatives trades losses.
Clearing & Settlement
OCC Announces Cleared Contract Volume Declined 8% In February
OCC announced today that total cleared contract volume in February reached 325,237,351 contracts, representing an 8 percent decrease from the February 2012 volume of 351,702,360 contracts. OCC’s year-to-date cleared contract volume is up 0.19 percent from 2012 with 690,265,229 contracts.
TriOptima compresses Irish Bank Resolution Corporation CDS trades to facilitate the post-credit event physical settlement process
March 4, 2013 TriOptima announces that it held compression cycles for both the subordinated and senior debt-related single name credit default swaps (CDS) of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited following a bankruptcy event on 7th February.
Indexes & Products
Two new Lyxor-ETFs launched in the XTF segment on Xetra
NYSE Euronext celebrates 30th anniversary of the AEX-Index
STOXX Announces Results Of Regular STOXX Eastern Europe 50 Index Semi-Annual Review And Component Changes Made In Euro STOXX 50 And STOXX Europe 50 Indices
UBS eyes Asia with first Hong Kong ETF listing
Method Investments & Advisory Ltd Selects b-next For Fixed Income Automated Market Surveillance
b-next, the specialist provider of market abuse surveillance, insider dealing and compliance software solutions has been appointed by Method Investments & Advisory Ltd (“Method”), an investment, advisory and market making firm specializing in Eurobond Fixed Income products. b-next will install the Market Abuse module of the CMC:Suite.
Former UBS Trader Seeks to Appeal Fraud Conviction
New York Times
Kweku M. Adoboli, a former UBS trader currently serving a seven-year jail sentence for a fraud that prompted a multibillion-dollar loss at the Swiss bank, has requested an appeal.
Environmental & Energy
Carbon market debate leans towards tighter pollution cap
Hours of debate on reform of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme on Friday showed support for tighter annual pollution limits, but hardly any backing for a change to an overall EU 2020 goal on carbon cutting.
At the Nymex, a Culture at Odds With Itself
The Wall Street Journal
When energy brokers returned to the CME Group Inc.-owned New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday after a weekend weighing news that confidential trade data had allegedly leaked to a competing broker, a 4-inch-by-2-inch plaque had been mounted on the front of their trading terminals.
U.S. Rules Climate Change Won’t Be a Threat to the Keystone Pipeline — and Vice Versa
The Atlantic Wire
Good news for environmentalists who might otherwise be lamenting the State Department giving initial environmental approval for the Keystone XL pipeline: The government determined that the pipeline itself won’t be damaged by climate change.
Korea Structured Notes Soar as Lehman Minibonds Bite Hong Kong
Structured-note sales in South Korea are soaring as individuals pile in, bucking the trend in Asia’s financial hubs, where losses from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse led to rules that paralyzed the industry.
KKR Strengthens Japan Team with Two New Directors
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. today announced the appointment of Hiro Shimizu and Sakae Suzuki as Directors for KKR Japan. Mr. Shimizu joined KKR Capital Markets from Goldman Sachs Japan, where he most recently served as Managing Director and Head of the Financial Institutions Group within the Financing Group.
Bank of Japan Pick Haruhiko Kuroda Pledges Action to Beat Deflation
TAKASHI NAKAMICHI And TATSUO ITO – WSJ.com
The Japanese government’s pick to head the Bank of Japan pledged to do “everything possible” to overcome deflation—including buying more government debt—echoing the calls for more action from the central bank that put Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in office and pushed down the yen.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Obtains Court Order To Freeze Assets In Misappropriation Case
Shenzhen Stock Exchange Releases 2012 Stock Market Performance Report
Billionaire Seeks Sukuk for Istanbul Finance Hub: Turkey Credit
Alaa Shahine – Bloomberg
Agaoglu Group, a Turkish company with interests in the building industry, energy and tourism, plans to raise $2 billion in Islamic debt to finance the construction of Istanbul’s financial district.
Invest In Turkey February 2013 FDI News Digest
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange Outlines Recent Developments And Announces Future Plans
Barclays Sees Middle East Fee Rebound as Region Escapes Cuts
March 4 — Barclays Plc, which is cutting 3,700 jobs as it reduces costs by $2.6 billion a year, said it plans further expansion in the Middle East and North Africa on rising demand for wealth management and investment banking services.
‘After the Music Stopped,’ by Alan S. Blinder
New York Times
A former Federal Reserve vice chairman examines the 2008 financial crisis, how it was handled and what remains to be done.