Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange round the corner toward the merger finish line, as shareholders signal approval for the deal. Aquis Exchange, a new venue in Europe slated to open for business around the middle of next year, has hired its first directors. LCH.Clearnet looks to establish a hold in Asia as it discusses currency derivatives clearing with Singapore Exchange.
Stock Exchanges Get Closer Inspection
SCOTT PATTERSON AND JEAN EAGLESHAM – WSJ.com
Federal securities regulators are stepping up oversight of stock exchanges as they scramble to catch up to trading advantages that some say have developed for sophisticated clients at the expense of ordinary investors. That effort has led the Securities and Exchange Commission to expand an enforcement probe into a broader look at how exchanges develop new products, communicate with investors and provide incentives to trade, according to people familiar with the probe.
**** Greater clarity, even for the regulators, would be a good thing.
A Step Back for Derivatives Regulation
New York Times
On the campaign trail, President Obama took credit for imposing tough rules on Wall Street. But, last week, the administration moved to weaken new rules on derivatives. Late Friday afternoon, the Treasury Department announced that it was exempting certain foreign exchange derivatives from rules under the Dodd-Frank reform law that are intended to reduce risk and increase transparency.
***** Of the problems in FX, the plumbing is not at the top of this list.
Thomson Reuters offers traders storm defences
Michelle Price – Financial News
Data giant Thomson Reuters has this week launched a tool that allows commodities traders to map the impact of natural disasters and political events on commodity supply chains.
***** Timely product offering.
Market Quality Is Best Served by Maintaining Strong Competition between Trading on Lit and Dark Venues, Says New Study
As larger volumes of equity-market transactions take place away from public exchanges, and concerns about transparency, investor access, and competition with traditional exchanges have been raised, a new study by CFA Institute concludes that markets best serve investors when there is strong competition between trading on lit and dark venues.
***** Competition is good, even if you can’t see it?
|Restoring Customer Confidence||More ideas»|
Regulatory Changes: A Pretty Picture For Gross Margining
The Dodd-Frank Act has addressed numerous risks in the financial markets. Ron Filler, a Professor at New York Law School, says one provision, called gross margining, could alleviate segregated customer account risk, starting in January 2013.
About the Restoring Customer Confidence video series
The Restoring Customer Confidence video series answers that question by exploring potential solutions using expert interviews and simple animations.
John Lothian News interviewed more than a dozen professionals in the industry to get their ideas and solutions. As these ideas become practice, or as new concepts are adopted by the industry, we will continue to add them to the site.
Visit the video series page on MarketsWiki.tv over the next several weeks for new ideas and solutions.
Former Fidelity executive seeks repeal of an SEC stock trading rule
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
A former Fidelity Investments vice president who ran the firm’s Nasdaq trading department has called for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to roll back one of its rules on stock trading. In a paper, Leslie Seff, who ran trading departments that provided liquidity for specific stocks, said the current market structure impeded initial public offerings and relied too heavily on high-frequency trading.
**** Thoughtful ideas in order to improve the equity markets and bring more IPOs to the market.
Only Leadership Will Restore Trust on Wall Street
The public’s opinion of Wall Street and the financial services industry is at an all-time low. Reputations have been tarnished by repeated scandals, bankruptcies, bailouts and bad executive behavior. This perception will not change with more government regulation because the problem is not one of process, it’s one of leadership.
***** That leadership starts with each of you.
Analysis: A good time to be an ISV
Galen Stops – FOW
Regulatory uncertainty has translated into uncertainty in the markets and this environment has lead to firms being less willing to commit investment. This uncertainty, combined with the global economic slowdown, has contributed to the diminished volumes amongst a number of the established exchanges in Europe and the US.
**** Buy it first, then build it later.
Mixed Results for S.E.C. in Financial Crisis Cases
PETER J. HENNING – NYTimes.com
Last week was a study in contrasts in how the Securities and Exchange Commission has been able to pursue cases from the financial crisis. The regulator has been successful in extracting large settlements from banks that were are the heart of the meltdown in the mortgage market, but it has not done as well in proving any significant wrongdoing by individuals.
***** Where is a Ferdinand Pecora when you need one?
Why fresh investing ideas go stale fast
Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch
If someone tells you they have come up with an investing system or methodology that delivers a predictable edge over ordinary stock-market returns, they may be right. They just won’t be right for the long.
**** Skynet will figure it out.
Regulators Take a Look at Patent Firms’ Impact
BRENT KENDALL AND ASHBY JONES – WSJ.com
U.S. antitrust authorities are examining whether specialized patent-holding firms—or “trolls” to their detractors—are disrupting competition in high-tech markets, opening a new front in a long-standing Silicon Valley battle.
***** One man’s troll is another man’s savvy inventor/investor.
Five Minutes with Ryoichi Seki, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development at TOCOM
Last month exchange leaders and market participants from around the world travelled to Chicago for the FIA Expo. Ryoichi Seki, senior vice president, global business development at the Tokyo Commodity Exchange flew in from Japan and sat down with JLN Metals editor Sarah Rudolph to talk about TOCOM’s newest developments, strategies for growth, challenges to the metals industry, and regulatory changes in Japan.
Q: TOCOM announced that it would add a suite of agricultural products from the Tokyo Grain Exchange to its lineup and launch an agricultural market in February of 2013. Which products will you add when you take over the Tokyo Grain Exchange?
A: We will be adding soybeans, azuki beans, corn and raw sugar. The other listed product at TGE, the rice contract, will be going to the KANEX (Kansai Commodities Exchange).
When we launch this agricultural market next year, the contract specifications will be almost the same as at the current Tokyo Grain Exchange, except the trading hours will be extended until 4 a.m. Both the metals and energy contracts end at 4 a.m., so our agricultural products will be aligned with those markets. Only the rubber market is an exception – it ends at 7 p.m.
Those four agricultural products are actually already traded on TOCOM’s platform, the Nasdaq OMX CLICK XT, which we have been using since May of 2009. TGE migrated to our trading platform in January of 2011, and now the ownership of the market will change from TGE to TOCOM.
For the rest of the interview, visit the JLN Metals blog at jlne.ws/SJML09
MarketsWiki Page of the Day
Richard H. Redding
MarketsWiki Recent Updates
Companies, Organizations and Groups
30,919,250 pages viewed, 7,224 articles, 150,098 edits
Japan Exchange Clears Last Hurdle as Shareholders OK Deal
Shareholders of Osaka Securities Exchange Co. and Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. approved a $1.6 billion merger of Japan’s biggest bourses in a bid to reinvigorate the country’s securities markets.
Aquis Exchange appoints first directors
Tim Cave – Financial News
A new European stock exchange being established by the former Chi-X Europe chief executive Alasdair Haynes has appointed the first directors to its board, as it gears up for launch in the middle of next year.
LCH in Singapore FX clearing talks
Tom Osborn – Financial News
LCH.Clearnet, the world’s largest over-the-counter derivatives clearing house, is in talks with Singapore Exchange to develop a partnership for currency derivatives clearing, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Shadow banking hangover still to come: James Saft
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Like a hangover that starts before you even go to bed, the fact that the shadow banking system has expanded since the crisis bodes poorly for what comes in the morning.
Credit Suisse Revamps, Forms New Wealth Management Unit
ANITA GREIL – WSJ.com
Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX -2.50% said Tuesday that it will combine the Swiss bank’s asset management unit with its private bank, but stopped short of announcing the more drastic revamp analysts expected after crosstown rival UBS AG UBSN.VX -1.52% decided to fire 10,000 bankers.
Moody’s Cuts France’s Rating From Triple-A
WILLIAM HOROBIN – WSJ.com
Moody’s Investors Service stripped France of its triple-A rating Monday, following in the footsteps of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, and delivering a stinging critique of President François Hollande’s attempts to turn the economy around amid the euro-zone crisis.
Deutsche Bank CEO says bank sector too dependent on ECB cash
Reuters via Yahoo! News
FRANKFURT – Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen said Europe’s banking sector remains too dependent on extraordinary support measures taken by the European Central Bank.
Kweku Adoboli found guilty of one charge of fraud
Vivek Ahuja and Richard Partington – Financial News
Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli was today found guilty of one count of fraud in connection with the $2.3bn trading loss incurred by UBS in September 2011. However, the jury has yet to reach a verdict on the other five counts.
Turner Says Regulators Can Only Reduce Frequency of Bank Crises
U.K. Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner said tougher regulations aimed at strengthening the banking system can only reduce the frequency of financial crises and taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Dr. Kay Swinburne MEP Keynote Speech To Mondo Visione Exchange Forum 2012 – MiFID II And HFT
Remarks At The 2012 SEC Government-Business Forum On Small Business Capital Formation By Commissioner Elisse B. Walter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C.
[Japan] FSA publishes Weekly Review No.21
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Cut the Glitches, Russia Market Watchdog Tells Bourse After Halt
The Moscow Exchange must put an end to frequent trading stoppages that are hurting Russia’s goal of becoming a global financial hub, the country’s market service chief said.
Equity Options Exercise Totals BRL 2.59 Billion On BM&FBOVESPA
NYSE Euronext to Present at the KBW Securities Brokerage & Market Structure Conference
[CBOE] Solicitation for Stock Routing Firms
[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (DTG)
[CBOE] Activation of “Splitting” Feature for Stock-Option Strategy Orders Priced at the Market
New York Stock Exchange to Suspend Trading of the Common Stock of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. and commence delisting proceedings
Direct Edge Regulatory Notice #12-06: Revised And New FINRA CRD Fees Effective January 2, 2013
BM&FBOVESPA: Black Consciousness Day
Tuesday (November 20) is semi-national public holiday in Brazil and there will be no trading on BM&FBOVESPA.
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Thomson Reuters Launches Interactive Map on Eikon to Track Impact of Storms, Natural Disasters and Political Events on Global Commodities Supply Chain
Thomson Reuters today announced that it has added an interactive map for monitoring the impact of weather, natural disasters and political events on commodity production and freight to its flagship desktop, Thomson Reuters Eikon. Interactive Map allows commodity markets professionals to use innovative visualization tools to track the global movement and production of key commodities in real-time and forecast the influence of important impact factors upon supply and demand and, ultimately, market prices.
Bonds switch signals end of cult of equity
David Oakley, Investment Correspondent – FT.com
It is a once in a generation moment. For the first time in more than 50 years UK pension funds are holding more bonds than equities. Some fund managers have called it the death of the “cult of equity” and say it is part of the most significant market allocation trend since the 1950s. The shift to bonds has huge implications for the performance of pension funds and those that manage money for them.
Norwegian fund to step up lobbying efforts
Mark Cobley – Financial News
Europe’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund, is set to take more active role in public policy and lobbying on behalf of other institutional investors, as efforts get underway to strengthen the buyside’s voice in regulatory affairs.
Private Equity and Hostess Stumbling Together
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN – NYTimes.com
“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor.” That was Richard Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s main union federation, on the collapse of the maker of Twinkies last week. While Bain has nothing to do with Hostess, another private equity firm does: Ripplewood Holdings.
With Italian Fund, Qatar Again Aids Europe
MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED – NYTimes.com
The cash-rich nation of Qatar again sees opportunity in helping revive the European economy. Qatar said on Monday that it had teamed up with Italy to create a fund of up to 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), called IQ Made in Italy Venture, to invest in Italian companies.
N.Y. Fed Backs Argentina in Case Involving Debt-Service Payments
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has backed Argentina’s position in a case before a U.S. federal court, arguing that injunctions shouldn’t be issued against intermediary banks processing debt-service payments to Argentine creditors.
Argentina Has The Money To Pay It’s Debts, But Here’s Why It Would Rather Drop Dead First
Here’s what you have to understand: Argentina isn’t refusing to pay angry hedge fund managers like Elliott Capital’s Paul Singer because they don’t have the money. They do.
Contrasting Results For Hedge Fund Strategies – Latest Performance Update Of The EDHEC-Risk Alternative Indexes
In October, stocks experienced a setback (S&P 500: -1.85%), with implied volatility increasing slightly (VIX: 18.6%). High-grade bonds were nearly flat (Lehman Global: -0.17%, Lehman US: -0.06%), risky credit remained strong (credit-spread index: 1.00%) extending its winning streak to 5 months whereas the convertible bonds’ rally was interrupted by a (-0.56%) loss. Commodities fell significantly (-4.20%) while the US dollar bounced back marginally (0.60%).
Hedge Fund Tiger Global Management Acquires 9.9% Stake In Groupon
Hedge fund Tiger Global Management LLC said Monday that it has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in struggling daily deal website Groupon Inc. (GRPN).
Hedge Fund Returns With Mutual Fund Fees! How One Global Equity Master Does It
Rupal Bhansali is the portfolio manager for Ariel Investment?s international and global strategies. Prior to joining Ariel, Bhansali was a senior managing director and head of international equities at MacKay Shields, where she routinely outperformed benchmark indices and delivered outstanding long-term results. Recently, I sat down with Bhansali to talk about where she’s investing around the …
Commodities ‘Super Cycle’ Is Over, Citigroup’s Morse Says
Prices won’t move “sharply” higher even as stimulus measures from global central banks lift growth and demand rebounds by the end of 2013, analysts led by New York-based Edward L. Morse, the bank’s global head of commodities research, said today in an e-mailed report.
Banks & Brokers
Irish Central Bank Fines RBS’s Ulster Bank on Capital Rules
The Irish central bank Monday said it reprimanded and fined Ulster Bank Ltd., a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, 1.9 million euros for failing to apply haircuts, or discounts, correctly to some deposits and therefore mis-reporting its level of capital holdings.
JPMorgan names retail finance executive Lake as new CFO
Reuters via Yahoo! News
JPMorgan Chase & Co named little-known executive Marianne Lake as its chief financial officer on Monday, making her one of the most powerful women on Wall Street and the top ambassador to investors for the largest U.S. bank.
Citigroup’s Head of Equity Sales in Russia Ian Colville Leaves
Citigroup Inc. ’s head of equity sales for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Ian Colville, said he left the bank after two years in the position.
Nordic equities markets braced for more broker competition
Tim Cave – Financial News
In much the same way that Scandinavian TV dramas such as The Bridge, Borgen and The Killing have developed a cult following among foreign viewers, Nordic buyside trading desks acould soon hold a similar appeal for foreign brokers.
Revenues per banker at credit crisis low
Giles Turner – Financial News
Bankers within equities trading and origination and advisory at the major investment banks are now generating less revenue per banker than during the credit crisis, according to research.
Assaf and JP Morgan take top honours at FN awards
Matt Turner – Financial News
Samir Assaf, chief executive of HSBC’s global banking and markets business, was named European investment banker of the year by his peers at Financial News’s annual Awards for Excellence in Investment Banking last night, while JP Morgan retained its title as the top investment bank for a fifth consecutive year.
Video: Goldman Sachs CEO on avoiding the fiscal cliff
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman of Goldman Sachs, spoke with Scott Pelley on his ideas to reduce the federal budget deficit and how to increase the country’s revenue through raising taxes on higher income earners.
Multiple Wins for Tullett Prebon in FX Week Best Banks Awards
Marketwire via Yahoo! Finance
Tullett Prebon has today been named Best Broker for Forwards FX for the 12th year running and Best Broker for Currency Options for a second consecutive year in the annual FX Week Best Banks Awards.
E*TRADE Financial Corporation Announces Upcoming Speaking Engagement
TD Ameritrade CFO to Speak at the KBW Securities Brokerage & Market Structure Conference
Clearing & Settlement
CME Strengthens Clearinghouse’s Finances Ahead of New Swaps Rules
JACOB BUNGE – WSJ.com
One of the world’s largest derivatives clearinghouses has bolstered its firewall against any client’s collapse, raising its credit line by two-thirds to $5 billion as new regulations push more business its way.
DTCC Opens New CICI Operations Facility – Member Of European Parliament, Dr. Kay Swinburne, Unveils Commemorative Plaque
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) on Friday 16 November marked the opening of a new operations facility adjacent to the facility of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Avox Limited, with a ceremony led by Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Dr. Kay Swinburne.
Dion Achieves Omgeo Accreditation
Leading Middle & Back Office Solution, NOVA, Provides Seamless Access To Central Matching Capabilities Of Omgeo CTM
CME Group Clearing Advisory: NYMEX Options Expiration Operational Procedures for the Trading Floor and Clearing Members (PAO, PO) Effective Tuesday, November 20, 2012
KDPW_CCP Made Available For Testing The KDPW_OTC System
Indexes & Products
Managers’ smart indices catch on with pension funds
Mark Cobley – Financial News
Fund managers’ latest hot product – semi-passive funds that track non-standard indices – looks to have caught on with pension fund investors, with 43% of a group surveyed considering putting money in during 2013.
Borsa Italiana Reaches 800 Listed Instruments On ETFplus
More than 800 Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) are now listed on ETFplus, Borsa Italiana’s dedicated market for the trading of ETFs, ETCs and ETNs. The important milestone was reached as two new ETFs were listed on the market.
S&P Dow Jones Indices, TMX Group Launch Preferred Share Laddered And Equal Weight Sector Indices – Indices Licensed To BMO Asset Management For The Development Of ETFs
Semi-Annual Changes To The NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index
Warsaw Stock Exchange Starts Calculation Of WIG20TR Index
CIMB Leverages Fidessa For Expansion Across Asia – Uses Fidessa Trading Platform For New Markets Including Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea And India
Fidessa group plc, provider of high-performance trading, investment management and information solutions for the world’s financial community, today announced that it is deepening its business ties with CIMB Securities (CIMB) to enable their regional growth plans.
SL Private Equity Fund Administration Services Selects SunGard’s Investran for all Private Equity Third Party Fund Administration Services
Activ Appoints Will Kennedy Executive Vice President, Global Strategy And Business Development
Activ, a global provider of real-time, multi-asset financial market data and solutions, today announced that Will Kennedy has been appointed executive vice president, global strategy and business development.
Numerix Ranked Number 304 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2012 Technology Fast 500
Numerix today announced it ranked No. 304 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Numerix grew 251 percent during this period.
Options Names Ken Barnes as New Senior VP of Corporate Development
Options, provider of the Options PIPE Private Financial Cloud services platform for the exchange, banking, trading and investment communities, today announced that industry veteran Ken Barnes has been appointed as the firm’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development.
Australia’s Metisq Capital Upgrades to Charles River IMS Version 9
SEC fails to revive fraud claim versus Goldman’s Tourre
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The Securities and Exchange Commission cannot revive a securities fraud claim against Goldman Sachs Group Inc bond trader Fabrice Tourre over the sale of complex securities linked to subprime mortgages, a federal judge ruled on Monday.
SEC Halts Prime Bank Scheme in Georgia
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the operators of a long-running prime bank scheme with defrauding investors who were promised sky-high returns on loans to a secret European trust. It also is seeking an emergency court order to freeze the operators’ assets for the benefit of investors.
SEC Charges New York-Based Fraudster Who Spent Investor Funds on Drugs and Gambling
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a purported investment adviser in New York with defrauding investors who he convinced to invest in his start-up businesses while in reality he was spending their money on illegal drugs and gambling.
SEC Charges Ring of High School Buddies with Insider Trading in Health Care Stocks
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three health care company employees and four others in a New Jersey-based insider trading ring of various high school friends generating $1.7 million in illegal profits and kickbacks by trading in advance of 11 public announcements involving mergers, a drug approval application, and quarterly earnings of pharmaceutical companies and medical technology firms.
NFA takes emergency enforcement action against California firm KS Global Strategies, Inc. and its principal, Khaled Salama
National Futures Association (NFA) announced today that it has taken an emergency enforcement action against KS Global Strategies, Inc. (KS Global Strategies), a commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) located in Larkspur, California, and its principal, Khaled Salama.
NY Fed wins dismissal of ex-AIG CEO’s bailout lawsuit
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York won the dismissal of former American International Group Inc Chief Executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s $25 billion lawsuit accusing it of unlawfully bailing out the insurer during the 2008 financial crisis.
Environmental & Energy
California Carbon Allowances Sold Out at $10.09 in Auction
Carbon allowances for the start of California’s program to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, the largest U.S. system of the kind, sold out last week at $10.09 a metric ton, lower than the range analysts forecast.
**RKB — Price disappoints analysts but demand volume helps the overall report card for the Nov. 14 auction. Companies bid for more than three times the number of allowances up for sale to be used in the first compliance period, the state air board said.
**More coverage in Carbon section
German minister backs EU proposal to squeeze carbon market
Germany’s environment minister has come out in support of a European Commission proposal to prevent the collapse of its instrument for cutting carbon emissions by withdrawing some emission permits from the market.
Shell, Swiss Re want ‘unambiguous price on carbon’
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Over 100 corporations including Royal Dutch Shell, food and consumer products giant Unilever, and the big re-insurer Swiss Re called Monday for a “clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon emissions.”
**RKB — Group delivers joint statement to Doha delegates. More here, in the Carbon Price Communique.
HSBC in talks to sell $9.3 billion China Ping An stake
Reuters via Yahoo! News
HONG KONG – HSBC is in talks to sell its $9.3 billion stake in China’s Ping An Insurance , stepping up a program by Europe’s biggest bank to shed non-core operations to boost profitability.
Presentation By HKEx Head Of Listing Operations Roger Lee On Structured Product Regulations At A Media Workshop
Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Bans Wong Tang Chung For Three Years
Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission: Investor Education Centre Launched
Thai Listed Firms Report Growing Net Profits In 9 Months
Press Conference By Ikko Nakatsuka, Japan’s Minister For Financial Services
Osaka Securities Exchange SPAN Parameter Updated- Nov. 26, 2012 – Nov. 30, 2012
Shenzhen Stock Exchange And Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Ltd.: The First Series of Performance Indices Make their Debut, Guiding Long-term Value Investment
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) Achieves 100% In Disclosure Compliance
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) announced today that it has succeeded in achieving a compliance rate of 100% regarding the disclosure of financial statements of its listed public joint stock companies within the deadline of 45 days from the end of the third quarter period.
Tehran Stock Exchange Signs MoU With Karachi Stock Exchange
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) and Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE). The document was signed by Dr. Hassan Ghalibaf Asl, CEO of TSE, and Mr. Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director of KSE.
India Said to Consider Reworking Foreign Debt Holding Limits
India is considering raising bond- holding limits for foreign buyers in debt categories about to exhaust quotas as the government seeks to boost capital inflows, two finance ministry officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.
ADX Visits AUS
Recognizing the importance of the social interaction between government entities and academic institutions, Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), visited the American University of Sharjah (AUS).