Retail investors drive sharp rise in share trading before Wall Street’s opening bell

Apr 25, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

This is not a “good news Monday.”

The unprovoked Russian war against Ukraine and the World War II-esque destruction of Mariupol just became a lot more personal for many of us in the futures industry with what was described by FIA’s Walt Lukken on LinkedIn as a “heartbreaking personal story from a native Ukrainian about the devastation that is unfolding in Mariupol.”

That heartbreaking story was told by his former CFTC colleague and economist Andrei Kirilenko in an opinion piece published in The Globe and Mail on April 20, 2022. Kirilenko was raised in Mariupol and his 88-year-old immobile mother was there before the Russians invaded. Kirilenko was last there in 2019.

He tells the story about where the remaining Ukrainian fighters are in Mariupol, inside a maze of industrial structures that are part of a vast steel works where Kirilenko worked as a cooling systems repairman the summer before his senior year of high school.

His older coworkers gave him lasting advice, some he learned from watching and listening to them and some they explicitly told him, including to study hard, finish high school, go to a good college and don’t come back.

The title of his commentary is “The destruction of my hometown of Mariupol is something I can never forgive,” but that just scratches the surface of the hurt he feels. It is a must read. And just to add to the pain, Andrei offered an update on Twitter yesterday that he made contact with a neighbor who was caring for his mother. The son of the neighbor found Andrei’s mother dead on March 11, then dragged her body to a garage and left it there. He was unable to bury her or go back. You can read the tweet HERE.

Andrei, you have my deepest condolences and respect.

This is not a good day, as I have more unhappy news to share. Longtime Chicago Mercantile Exchange member and former CME Group board member Ron Pankau has passed away from complications from an auto accident. Services are this Saturday in Galva, Ill. at the Rux Funeral Home, with visitation from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a lunch following at 11. Interesting side note: Galva, Ill. is part of land that is called the Central Military Tract that was given to veterans of the war of 1812.

In recent years Ron and his wife Teri ran J.H. Best & Sons, Inc. in Galva, a firm founded in 1892 that originally produced advertising racks, including for buggy whips.

Ron was a friend of my brother Scott’s whom we played basketball with in a church league in Glenview, Ill. when we were in our twenties. Ron was a terrific athlete and a great shooter. Ron also had family members that belong to my church in Elmhurst and has roots in the Geneva Lake, Wis. area, including a brother who runs the Water Safety Patrol. Ron’s late father, for whom he was named, was a pharmacist and a member of the organizing committee to build Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.

I asked CME Chairman & CEO Terry Duffy, who has roots on Geneva Lake himself, for a comment about former CME Group board member Pankau. Duffy said:

“Ron was one of the most dedicated members of our industry. He truly thrived and loved to preach the benefits of futures and CME. He was a great blend of history and present that has benefited many market participants. May he Rest In Peace and may the dear lord look over his family.”

Condolences to Ron’s wife Teri (This is a picture Teri shared on Facebook of Ron and her at a black tie event. It looks like a wedding) and the whole Pankau family, his friends and colleagues. Ron was such a class act.

Also, for the last four years, Leslie Sutphen has been helping her mother navigate cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Constance Marie Sutphen died on Good Friday and Leslie shared the tribute she wrote about her mother, her obituary, on LinkedIn. Condolences to Leslie and her family on the passing of her mother.

Congratulations to Nick Garrow, who is joining Trading Technologies as an executive vice president in a new position covering multi-asset trading and buy-side traders.

Happy anniversary to the Eurex Micro Futures on DAX®, EURO STOXX 50® and SMI®.

Did you miss the April 21 Eurex Focus Day: Digital Assets and Crypto Derivatives, including the keynote address by former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo? Not to to worry, you can watch it HERE on this webcast replay.

Eventus is hiring and looking for a sales manager for EMEA to work remotely from the United Kingdom.

It is good to know that Sunil Cutinho is just like the rest of us and puts some things off for a while. On February 17 he was promoted to chief information officer of the CME Group. Over the weekend he finally updated his title on his LinkedIn page to reflect his new job.

April 23 marks the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s trading floor.

Congratulations to Audrey Ashburn, who graduated from Florida State University with a masters degree over the weekend. She is the daughter of JLN’s Nancy Ashburn and former JLN COO Doug Ashburn

The election in France proves once and for all that Le Pen is not mightier than a long vowel mark.

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


Cboe To Launch New Equity Index Products; FIA hits record volumes; SEC Kicks Off Scholars Program Applications

“Alex Perry’s Optionstopia” takes a look at this week’s options news highlights: Cboe Europe’s New Equity Index Products; FIA hits record volumes; SEC Kicks Off Scholars Program Applications

John’s Take – Cboe Empowers Scholarships Surprise Ceremony Gets a Closer Look

TERM OF THE WEEK: This week’s Term of the Week presented by Euronext Knowledge Centre is Intrinsic Value of Cash Settled Options.

Watch the video »


Trading Technologies taps Nick Garrow as EVP Multi-Asset & Buy Side; London-based industry veteran brings 20+ years of capital markets, prime brokerage, fintech experience to key new leadership team role
Trading Technologies International, Inc.
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, announced that London-based industry veteran Nick Garrow has joined the firm today in the new position of EVP Multi-Asset & Buy Side. Garrow has more than 20 years of senior management experience in capital markets and prime brokerage, leading significant global technological and operational transformation of businesses ranging from a tier-1 bank, to brokerage and clearing firms, to an exchange and fintech company.

*****Former Patsystems executive Nick Garrow joins TT as EVP. I think this is the first time TT has tapped a former Pats executive for a senior position. Excellent choice.~JJL


Commodities Titan Cargill Plans to Deploy Green Ships by 2030; Zero-carbon fueled vessels likely will be among the largest; Shipping industry’s decarbonization progress remains limited
Jack Wittels – Bloomberg
Commodities trading giant Cargill Inc. expects some of its freight vessels to be powered by clean marine fuel before the end of this decade. In 2020, Cargill shipped almost 200 million tons of iron ore, grains and other goods around the world. It has as many as 700 vessels on the water at a time, and most of them are leased. All those carriers currently are powered by oil — as is the majority of the world’s merchant shipping fleet, which spews more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than Germany and the Netherlands combined.

***** The first ship is to be christened as “Shrek,” the second as “Shrek 2” and the third as “Shrek the Third.”~JJL


Workers Are Winning the Return-to-Office War Because They’re Right; The deepening clash between knowledge workers and companies is more than just a struggle over commuting and convenience. It is a clash over the meaning of work.
Adrian Wooldridge – Bloomberg
The masks are coming off. Restaurants are filling up. International travel is resuming. But one thing is missing from this picture of returning normality: the rows of office workers bent over their desks. Just over two months ago, I wrote that returning to the office was the great class struggle of our time. I’m happy to report that, so far at least, the workers are winning. In the U.S., office occupancy rates seem to have flatlined at about 43% according to Kastle Systems, which collects figures on the number of workers who are working at their desks in America’s ten largest business districts by measuring key swipes. Occupancy rates fell to 42.8% on April 13, having risen to 43.1% on April 6. Across the Atlantic, London’s occupancy peaked at 42% last month.

***** The restaurant industry in the downtown areas is having a hard time. Landlords are going to have to adjust rents to keep them in business.


Crypto industry’s Super Bowl ad blitz comes up short; Star-studded marketing push fails to jump-start sluggish trading volumes as uncertainty prevails
Gary Silverman – FT
This year’s Super Bowl was more than an American football game. It became a chapter in financial history as the cryptocurrency industry splashed out millions of dollars on star-studded television advertisements that played on fears of missing out on the next big thing in investing. “Fortune favours the brave,” said a commercial for, an exchange based in Singapore, which featured basketball’s LeBron James counselling a computer-generated version of himself as a teenager that “if you want to make history, you got to call your own shots”.

****** Sales are down, but the egos hit all-time highs.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was Crypto Billionaire Rankles Wall Street Titans With Derivatives Plan, about Sam Bankman-Fried, who was also the MarketsWiki Page of the Day. Second was a story about another billionaire, Ken Griffin Goes ‘All In’ to Make Mayor of Key Trading Hub the Governor of Illinois. Third was the John Lothian News story, Institutional Trading, Options Growth Among Q1 2022 Trends, Say FIA Webinar Participants, by Sarah Rudolph.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,821 pages; 238,309 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Retail investors drive sharp rise in share trading before Wall Street’s opening bell; Transaction volumes outside main session increase as traders react to corporate news more rapidly
Ian Johnston and Philip Stafford – FT
Buying and selling of shares before Wall Street’s opening bell has surged over the past three years, in a sign that investors are extending the traditional trading day as they assess company news in real time. In 2019, about 384mn shares changed hands every day outside of the US’s standard 9.30am-4pm opening hours. Such deals are usually done on electronic marketplaces, often owned by the biggest US exchanges, that run either side of main session hours.

Crypto Industry Can’t Hire Enough Lawyers; Crypto exchanges and companies are poaching attorneys to help them navigate an evolving regulatory landscape and to cut down legal costs
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
The cryptocurrency industry is ramping up efforts to recruit more legal talent as it faces increased regulatory pressure while looking to be accepted by and become part of mainstream finance. Crypto exchanges and companies are poaching attorneys left and right, from both law firms and other crypto companies, bringing them in-house to help navigate an evolving regulatory landscape while helping to curb outside legal expenses, industry participants said. Law firms, which are sometimes losing their partners to in-house positions, are also building up their crypto practices to maintain that valuable expertise.

London Metal Exchange Abandons Attempt to Crack Gold Market; Bourse’s gold and silver futures expected to stop on July 11; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were among banks involved
Eddie Spence – Bloomberg
The London Metal Exchange will abandon its attempt to break into precious-metal trading after just five years. The LME — the world’s biggest exchange for industrial metals — partnered with banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley in 2017 to launch the contracts. London is one of the two major centers of precious-metals trading, where trillions of dollars in gold, silver and associated derivatives change hands each year. It’s an almost entirely over-the-counter business, dominated by top bullion banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings.

CFTC names new director of market oversight amid leadership reshuffle; New director of market oversight division has been with the CFTC for 25 years after also serving for 11 years in private practice.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has appointed a new director of its market oversight division as part of a leadership reshuffle. Vincent McGonagle has been appointed director of market oversight after spending the last 25 years at the CFTC, most recently as its principal director of the division of enforcement, also serving as the acting director of the division since October 2020.

Trading Technologies appoints industry veteran as EVP multi-asset and buy-side; Incoming appointment brings over 20 years’ experience in capital markets, prime brokerage and fintechs to the firm.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Trading software and SaaS provider Trading Technologies (TT) has appointed industry veteran Nick Garrow to the newly created role of EVP multi-asset and buy-side. Garrow brings over 20 years’ experience in senior management in capital markets and prime brokerage, having led the global technological and operational transformation of businesses ranging from a tier-1 bank, to brokerage and clearing firms, to an exchange and fintech company.

Investors Crank Up Pressure on Companies With Record Climate, Race Proxy Proposals; McDonald’s and Meta are being pressed on societal concerns, while banks face growing criticisms about their funding of fossil-fuel companies.
Saijel Kishan, Mathieu Benhamou and Jeff Green – Bloomberg
McDonald’s Corp. is facing questions about animal welfare. Meta Platforms Inc. is being confronted by concerns that its metaverse is causing psychological damage. And the biggest U.S. banks are being held to account for their contributions to climate change. These are just some of the issues that shareholders will decide at upcoming annual meetings in what’s shaping up to be a contentious year, with a record of more than 200 environmental and social resolutions submitted to corporations across America. The world’s largest money managers led by BlackRock Inc. have thrown unprecedented support behind such proposals, putting even more demands on companies to act.

Wind Power’s ‘Colossal Market Failure’ Threatens Climate Fight; Turbine makers reel from soaring costs, changes in subsidies; Chinese companies could grab more of market as rivals stumble
Will Mathis, Ryan Beene, and Josh Saul – Bloomberg
Optimism abounds about the future of wind power, with a clean-energy boom powering robust growth in an industry that businesses and governments agree is key to slowing climate change. But a nagging problem could keep the sector from fulfilling that promise: Turbine makers are still struggling to translate soaring demand into profit. Wind power heavyweights Vestas Wind Systems A/S, General Electric Co. and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA are reeling from high raw material and logistics costs, changes in key clean-power subsidies, years of pressure on turbine prices and an expensive arms race to build ever-bigger machines. “What I’m seeing is a colossal market failure,” said Ben Backwell, chief executive officer of trade group Global Wind Energy Council, noting a mismatch between government targets for new wind power and what’s happening on the ground. “The risk is we’re not on track for net zero [emissions] — and the other risk is the supply chain contracts, instead of expanding.”

A Would-Be Crypto Baron Plies His Trade in the Taliban’s Shadow; Timori says his firm is Afghanistan’s biggest crypto brokerage; Fears persist about whether Taliban regime will ban crypto
Eltaf Najafizada – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrency booms are often fueled by dreams of life-changing riches. In Afghanistan, buyers are instead snapping up digital coins in hopes of preserving what wealth they have — and keeping it out of the Taliban’s reach. In a white-walled office beside a open-air foreign exchange market, Habibullah Timori and his four employees are making trades for customers, using their Samsung phones. Chinese-made security cameras surveil. A sign on the wall says: “Kindly refrain from demanding a loan.”

Commodity Traders Can’t Go ‘Unregulated’ Anymore; A new era of regulation is coming for the “opaque” and “unregulated” commodity-trading industry.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
For the first time in many years, the commodity-trading industry has caught the eye of policy makers and regulators. They’re not pleased. In a series of recent reports, letters and confidential memos from major central banks and global financial regulators, a couple of words creep out: “opaque” and “unregulated.”

Russia’s War Is Turbocharging the World’s Addiction to Coal
Will Wade and Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
In Germany and Italy, coal-fired power plants that were once decommissioned are now being considered for a second life. In South Africa, more coal-laden ships are embarking on what’s typically a quiet route around the Cape of Good Hope toward Europe. Coal burning in the U.S. is in the midst of its biggest revival in a decade, while China is reopening shuttered mines and planning new ones.

The Coming Russian Struggle for New Markets for Its Oil; Diverting crude from Europe to Asia will need big discounts and a lot more ships
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
Russia can increase domestic energy consumption and boost exports to new markets after some “unfriendly” countries have rejected Russian oil. So says President Vladimir Putin. It sounds simple, but it’s going to be a lot tougher in practice once the next wave of restrictions on Moscow’s oil trade kicks in. So far, there has been little obvious impact on the volume of crude flowing from Russia’s export terminals. While seaborne shipments drifted lower during the first weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there was no sudden collapse. And the rate of exports surged in the first week of April, due in part to the easing of storms in the Black Sea, which had led to a backlog of ships waiting to load at a key port.

Numbers game: Beijing closer to a deal on audits of Chinese companies listed on US exchanges
South China Morning Post
As Washington and Beijing clash on fronts ranging from defence and human rights to trade and diplomacy, they might be making headway in one area: accounting. Over the past several weeks, Beijing has signalled a willingness to compromise in an audit dispute that has threatened Chinese companies with delisting from American stock exchanges unless they comply with US accounting regulations.

Crypto could give Russia several ways to sidestep sanctions — and bitcoin mining powered by embargo-hit energy is just one, the IMF says
Hamza Fareed Malik – Business Insider
Russia could use the crypto ecosystem to get around Western sanctions in several ways, the International Monetary Fund has suggested — including by using its embargo-hit energy sources to mine bitcoin.m In its recent financial stability report, the IMF laid out how sanctioned countries like Russia could use crypto to their benefit, and advised policymakers around the world to consider amending laws to take crypto assets into account.

Sri Lanka Stocks Plunge, Ending Trading 32 Minutes After Reopen
Nupur Acharya and Ashutosh Joshi – Bloomberg
Stocks in Sri Lanka plunged, triggering a trading halt for the rest of the day, lasting barely 32 minutes after the market opened for the first time in two weeks. Sri Lanka’s blue-chip index sank 12.6%, exceeding the 10% drop that resulted in an all-day suspension. Benchmark Colombo All-Share Index fell 6.7% as investors worry about the nation’s economic crisis.

It’s Not Just High Oil Prices. It’s a Full-Blown Energy Crisis.
Helen Thompson – NY Times
Americans are worrying about their gas prices. Germans are turning down their heating. Peru has seen violent protests — and a violent crackdown on them — over rising fuel costs. Nigeria’s national energy grid recently collapsed. And that’s just this spring. Focused on the future, the United Nations Intergovernmental Planet on Climate Change warned in a report on April 4 that too much investment is going into fossil fuels and too little into the energy transition that could prevent a devastating increase in global temperatures.

Ukraine Invasion

Germany’s economy is expected to contract under a Russian gas embargo
Melissa Eddy – NY Times
An embargo on Russian natural gas could cause Germany’s economic output to drop as much as 5 percent this year, the Bundesbank warned on Friday, potentially driving the country into a recession while further pushing up already high consumer prices.

Art Seized at U.S. Homes Part of Crackdown on Wealthy Russians
Christian Berthelsen, Chris Strohm and Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
A Diego Rivera painting. A pair of Prada shoes. A baseball cap. The FBI didn’t say why it seized those items and more in raids last October, but its reasons are now becoming clear: Federal authorities suspect Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has been evading U.S. sanctions.

How Europe’s Main Diesel Exchange Can Help Russia Keep Exporting
Jack Wittels and Archie Hunter – Bloomberg
Europe’s main commodities futures exchange is offering an anonymized conduit for Russian diesel to be supplied into the continent’s oil trading hub. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, a swath of companies said they were scaling back purchases from Moscow. In practice though, the nation’s oil and fuel is still flowing to export markets in large volumes.

Greenpeace blocks tanker from delivering Russian oil to Norway
Greenpeace activists sought to block a tanker on Monday from delivering Russian oil to Norway, chaining themselves to the vessel in a protest against the war in Ukraine, the advocacy group said. The Ust Luga product tanker is currently anchored outside Exxon Mobil’s Slagen oil terminal some 70 km (43 miles) south of the capital Oslo, according to vessel tracker Marine Traffic.

Ukraine’s Farmers Fight on the Front Line of Global Food Crisis
Aine Quinn and Volodymyr Verbyany – Bloomberg
Around this time of year, Yaroslav Andrushko would normally be overseeing the sowing of crops on his 1,000-hectare farm in the Vinnytsya region of central Ukraine. Instead, he swapped his workwear for fatigues, joining the army a day after Russia invaded his country. “Once a farmer always a farmer,” said Andrushko, the chief executive of a small agriculture company. “But circumstances required us to take up arms.”

India’s Russian oil purchases since Ukraine invasion more than double 2021 total
Nidhi Verma – Reuters
India has bought more than twice as much crude oil from Russia in the two months since its invasion of Ukraine as it did in the whole of 2021, according to Reuters calculations, as Indian refiners snapped up discounted oil that others have shunned. Refiners in India have placed orders for at least 40 million barrels of Russian oil since the invasion on Feb. 24, Reuters calculations based on information from crude tenders and traders show. The purchases are for loading in the June quarter.

Global Auditing Firms Struggle to Leave Russia; Some big consulting firms are out, but auditors face more complicated departures
Jean Eaglesham and Mark Maurer – WSJ
Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, global auditing and consulting firms promised to leave the country. For some, the departure is proving to be difficult and potentially embarrassing. Big consulting firms such as Accenture PLC ACN -3.57% and McKinsey & Co. have quit or stopped all client work. But the Big Four accounting firms are still there, trying to unwind complicated relationships with their Russian counterparts.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LME to scrap gold and silver futures by July due to thin activity
Reuters Staff
The London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to scrap its precious metals futures due to low levels of trading activity, it said on Friday. Last October, sources told Reuters that banks that partnered with the LME to launch gold and silver futures in 2017 were preparing to abandon the project after hoped-for volumes did not materialise.

One year of Eurex Micro Futures, and there is reason to be cheerful
They are only one year old, but our Micro Futures on DAX®, EURO STOXX 50® and SMI® have already developed very well. Launched in response to increasing interest from market participants in a smaller futures contract, these products have low daily margin rates and offer global investors cost-efficient access to the European equity index futures markets.

HKEX – Participant & Members Circulars
Mandatory Intra-day Variation Adjustment Call in respect of the day following Labour Day
All markets operated by the Hong Kong Futures Exchange will be closed for business on 2 May 2022. In order to assure that safeguards are in place against potential market risks that may arise during the aforesaid period when some of the major markets are open, the Clearing House has decided to make a mandatory intra-day variation adjustment call on Clearing Participants in the Hang Seng Index, Mini-Hang Seng Index, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, Mini-Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, Hang Seng TECH Index, MSCI China A 50 Connect (USD) Index, MSCI Japan Net Total Return (USD) Index, MSCI Taiwan Net Total Return (USD) Index, MSCI Taiwan (USD) Index, HSCEI Dividend Point Index, USD/CNH Futures and CNH/USD Futures markets on Friday, 29 April 2022.

Special Intra-day Margin Call in respect of the day following Labour Day and the day following the Birthday of the Buddha
The Traded Options Market will be closed for business on 2 May 2022 and 9 May 2022. In order to assure that safeguards are in place against potential market risk that may arise during the aforesaid period when some of the major markets are open, the Clearing House has decided to make a special intra-day margin call in respect of all open positions on Friday, 29 April 2022 and Friday, 6 May 2022.

Changes to Quotation Rules for Exchange Traded Products
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Exchange”) is pleased to announce changes to the quotation rules (the “quotation rules changes”) for Exchange Traded Products 1 (“ETP”). The quotation rules changes will go into effect alongside Hong Kong Investor Identification Regime (“HKIDR”), tentatively in Q3 – Q4 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

Exchange Publishes Information Paper On Consequential Rule Amendments To Reflect New Code Of Conduct Provisions And Housekeeping Rule Amendments
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published an information paper (Information Paper) outlining the consequential amendments to the Listing Rules which will complement the new requirements of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Code of Conduct1 regarding the conduct of issuers and intermediaries involved in bookbuilding and placing activities. New requirements resulting from the Rule changes will apply to listing applications submitted on or after 5 August 2022 (Effective Date) for specified types of placings.

Update on Inclusion of ETFs in Stock Connect
With reference to the HKSCC circular (Ref: CD/CDCO/CCASS/043/2021) dated 24 December 2021 on the inclusion arrangements of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in Stock Connect, China Connect Clearing Participants (“CCCPs”) are requested to note the following in order to assess if any system or operational changes are required at their end to better prepare for the inclusion of ETFs in Stock Connect: Trading arrangements of SSE-listed and SZSE-listed ETFs

Revision of Mainland Settlement Deposit Rate
Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (HKSCC) noted that China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited has adjusted the Mainland Settlement Deposit rate in the mainland market on 1 April 2022. HKSCC has evaluated the adjustment and determined to reduce the Mainland Settlement Deposit rate from 18% to 16% with effect from 29 April 2022.

Scheduled Dates for Annual General Shareholders Meetings of TSE-listed Companies whose Fiscal Year Ended March 2022
Every year, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) conducts an Annual General Shareholders Meeting Survey of TSE-listed companies whose fiscal year ends in March. Based on the responses, it then makes available on the Japan Exchange Group (JPX) website a list of scheduled dates for said companies’ annual general shareholders’ meetings and other related information.

Withdrawal of the LMEprecious service
Following discussions with market participants, and in light of the low levels of trading activity within the LMEprecious market, the LME and LME Clear (“LME Group”) announce the intended withdrawal of the LMEprecious Service. The LME Group is working towards an effective date on or around 11 July 2022 for completion of the service withdrawal.

On the circulation of depository receipts for shares of Russian companies on the Moscow Exchange
The Moscow Exchange draws attention to the fact that depositary receipts for shares of Russian companies , the circulation of which may be restricted after the entry into force of Federal Law 114-FZ , are available on the Moscow Exchange only for repo transactions and are not admitted to the main trading mode (purchase / sale transactions) .

Moscow Exchange expands opportunities for participants to work on the OTC bond market
On April 25, 2022, a new service became available to professional participants in the securities market and their clients for concluding OTC transactions in bonds and Eurobonds – bilateral transactions with a central counterparty (CC).

European Wind-Energy Sector Hit in Wave of Hacks; Three Germany-based wind-energy companies have been the targets of cyberattacks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; hacks come as governments move to transition away from Russian fuel
Catherine Stupp – WSJ
Cyberattacks on three European wind-energy companies since the start of the war in Ukraine have raised alarm that hackers sympathetic to Russia are trying to cause mayhem in a sector set to benefit from efforts to lessen reliance on Russian oil and gas. The companies attacked haven’t publicly attributed the hacks to a particular criminal group or country and Russia has consistently denied that it launches cyberattacks.


Graphic chip price drop raises questions on whether end of shortage is in sight
Jane Lanhee Lee, Chavi Mehta and Noel Randewich – Reuters
A sharp drop in graphic chip prices could presage an unexpectedly quick ending to a global chip crunch that has crippled manufacturing from smartphones to cars, and the issue will be a central one for companies reporting results this week. As Intel, Qualcomm and others report, investors will weigh how dampened consumer spending from inflation, China’s COVID lockdown and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine balance out supply chain blockages for microchips.

Twitter Eyes Deal With Musk as Soon as Monday; Tesla’s billionaire founder lining up partners for acquisition; Musk discussing potential takeover offer of $54.20 per share
Liana Baker and Michelle F Davis – Bloomberg
Twitter Inc. is in the final stretch of negotiations about a $43 billion sale to Elon Musk that could rank as one of the biggest-ever leveraged buyouts of a listed company, people with knowledge of the matter said. The social media company is working to hammer out terms of a transaction and could reach an agreement as soon as Monday if negotiations go smoothly, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Musk is lining up partners for the acquisition and continues to speak to potential co-investors, one of the people said.

Twitter edges closer to accepting $43bn bid from Elon Musk; Social media group’s board hold Monday meeting over finalising terms of deal with Tesla chief
James Fontanella-Khan and Antoine Gara and Tim Bradshaw – FT
Twitter is edging closer to selling the social media company to Elon Musk for $43.4bn in what could be one of the largest buyouts in history, people briefed about the matter have said. Twitter’s board was still meeting early on Monday to finalise the terms of an agreement with Musk, said one person briefed on the matter, adding that a deal could be reached the same day.

Elon Musk blazes trail for new-model investor activism; Underperforming companies are vulnerable to increasing pressure
Patrick Jenkins – FT
Shareholder activism is on the rise. And guess what? Elon Musk — loudmouth proponent of electric cars, gas-guzzling rockets and multiple other contradictions — is its new protagonist. Musk’s much-discussed bid for Twitter, the social media platform he has used for all his choice pronouncements, has superseded what briefly looked like a more normal activist investment in line with the Elliotts and Icahns of the world. On April 4, it was disclosed that the maverick entrepreneur had become Twitter’s biggest shareholder, with a 9 per cent stake. Within days he had been offered, and accepted, a seat on the board with an apparent mission to play the role of an outside agitator.


AI Poisoning Is the Next Big Risk in Cybersecurity
Tim Culpan – Bloomberg
For the past decade, artificial intelligence has been used to recognize faces, rate creditworthiness and predict the weather. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated hacks using stealthier methods have escalated. The combination of AI and cybersecurity was inevitable as both fields sought better tools and new uses for their technology. But there’s a massive problem that threatens to undermine these efforts and could allow adversaries to bypass digital defenses undetected.

Truesec Launches IoT Cybersecurity Domain – Recruits Patrik Axelsson From Telia as CEO
Yahoo Finance
IoT deployments are booming, which means more exposure to the internet for critical infrastructure, yet IoT cybersecurity is consistently set aside in favor of a quick time-to-market and launch. Truesec believes this is the next big security challenge. The company launches an IoT cybersecurity domain and recruits IoT cyber expert Patrik Axelsson as CEO from Telia’s IoT group, Division X.

Is cybersecurity talent shortage a myth?
Helga Labus – HelpNetSecurity
Talent that specializes in cybersecurity was already scarce before the Great Resignation. With threats evolving infinitely, organizations found themselves with the need to hire more talent to operate more security technology. During the pandemic, security became even more complex because most (if not all) of the protection that had been deployed, stayed in the empty offices so the workload of a security team increased dramatically. Of course, this complexity created the perfect situation for the cybercriminal.

Cybersecurity expert cautions ‘Pegasus’ spyware has ignited a privacy debate
Fox News (Video)
Cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright detailed the intent and capabilities of the spyware and citizen surveillance technology “Pegasus,” calling it “worrisome” on Saturday’s “Unfiltered with Dan Bongino.”


Crypto’s Use for Humanitarian Aid Limited, U.S. Official Says; Says it’s important to be ‘realistic’ about widespread utility; Industry points to crypto donations that have aided Ukraine
Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
There are limits to how much digital assets can be used to provide humanitarian relief to countries in crisis, a U.S. Treasury official said Friday. “I personally remain skeptical that digital assets will radically change the way the overall global financial system operates or transfers funds in a crisis — at least as they stand today,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the Treasury Department.

Morgan Stanley Says Wholesale Banks Can Thrive in a More Regulated Crypto Market
Will Canny – Coindesk
Wholesale banks have been on the sidelines for the start of the “digital assets revolution,” missing out on almost all the $4 billion to $5 billion in revenue that corporate and institutional clients generated last year, Morgan Stanley said in a research report dated April 12.

Sam Bankman-Fried Described Yield Farming and Left Matt Levine Stunned
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
It’s no secret that the world of cryptocurrency has split into two very different visions, with one group of fundamentalists seeing some coins (especially Bitcoin) as unchanging static lines of code that can act as stores of value, and another group experimenting at an increasingly frenetic pace with new ways to make money in the world of decentralized finance.

Sam Bankman-Fried and Matt Levine on How to Make Money in Crypto; Tons of money is entering the space. But what’s it going to do?
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
The price of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been moving sideways for awhile. But it doesn’t seem like there’s any slowdown in terms of money entering the space. Every day, some new fund is being launched or some legacy financial institution is diving into it. But what’s all this money going to do? On this episode we speak with Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and co-founder of FTX, as well as Bloomberg Opinion columnist, Matt Levine, the money making opportunities that people are exploiting, whether it’s directional bets on coins or yield farming or arbitrage, and how much potential profit there is for the taking.

Crypto Exchange Kraken Gets License to Operate in Abu Dhabi
Omar Tamo – Bloomberg
Kraken, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, received a license to operate its virtual asset trading platform in Abu Dhabi and has set up its regional headquarters in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Grayscale makes fresh push for SEC approval to become bitcoin ETF; Crypto asset manager has focused on key legal detail in letter to regulator ahead of July deadline
Stefania Palma – FT
Grayscale has made a fresh attempt to win approval from the US securities watchdog to turn the world’s largest crypto investment vehicle into a fund that trades on major Wall Street exchanges. The asset manager has focused on a legal detail in a bid to bolster its application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to convert its $40bn Bitcoin Trust into an exchange traded fund, according to a letter sent to the regulator.


Why Midterm Election Years Are Tough for the Stock Market; These months are historically the weakest for the market in a presidential term. Aside from coincidence, there are several possible explanations.
Jeff Sommer – NY Times
The stock market’s decline and the tightening of financial conditions that have accompanied it since the start of the year are unique to 2022. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic, roaring inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are emphatically different from anything that had come before.

Macron Gets Second Chance to Show France His Vision Can Work
Ania Nussbaum and Samy Adghirni – Bloomberg
Emmanuel Macron won another crack at convincing the French public that his pro-business, pro-European vision can work for them, after beating nationalist rival Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s election. While voters rallied around to give the 44-year-old centrist a second term, many backed him to keep Le Pen out rather than because of their enthusiasm for his project. His margin of victory — 58.5% to 41.5% — was barely more than half of what it had been in 2017.

Germany has a special responsibility to stop Putin’s evil; Hesitant military support for Ukraine is exposing weaknesses in the SPD-led coalition and government structures
Constanze Stelzenmueller – FT
A merciless war is being waged in the middle of Europe — on Germany’s ruling Social Democratic party. That, at least, is what a casual observer of German politics might conclude. Rolf Mützenich, the head of the SPD’s parliamentary faction, has denounced demands by his Green and Free Democratic coalition partners for heavy weapons deliveries to Ukraine as “irresponsible”. His colleague Ralf Stegner toggles between angry tweets and accusatory Facebook screeds against critics of his party’s past policy towards Russia.

Unlike Finland, Sweden inches reluctantly towards Nato; Neutrality is part of the country’s DNA, but Stockholm is under pressure to join the military alliance
Richard Milne – FT
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looks increasingly likely to lead to Finland and Sweden applying to join Nato. But whereas Helsinki appears to be doing so with something resembling gusto, Stockholm is inching towards the western military alliance more reluctantly.

The Five Conspiracy Theories That Putin Has Weaponized
Ilya Yablokov – NY Times
Vladimir Putin’s Russia is driven by conspiracy theories. For two decades, journalists and officials, in concert with the Kremlin, have merrily spread disinformation. However far-fetched or fantastical — that the C.I.A. was plotting to oust Mr. Putin from power, for example — these tales served an obvious purpose: to bolster the regime and guarantee public support for its actions. Whatever the personal views of members of the political establishment, it seemed clear that the theories played no role in political calculations. They were stories designed to make sense of what the regime, for its own purposes, was doing.


CFTC Commissioner Pham Announces Initial Staff Appointments
CFTC Commissioner Caroline D. Pham announced today that Meghan Tente will serve as Chief of Staff and Gates S. Hurand will serve as Senior Counsel. In addition, Lily Chu will serve as interim Senior Counsel. Commissioner Pham will make additional leadership staff announcements in the coming weeks. Commissioner Pham stated: “I am thrilled to recognize these individuals and have such talented staff join my team, especially the first-ever appointments from a regional office. Their deep expertise in market structure and extensive experience with new precedents under the Commodity Exchange Act will enable progress on the many significant issues facing the CFTC at this important time.”

Chairman Behnam Announces McGonagle, Wright, Lowe to Lead Key CFTC Roles
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam today announced key staff roles at the agency by naming Vincent McGonagle as the new Director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and Ann Wright as the Director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. In addition, Gretchen Lowe, currently the Chief Counsel of the Division of Enforcement, will take over as Acting Director.

FCA announces asset retention rules for British Steel advice firms
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is using emergency powers to prevent financial advice firms, who advised members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), from disposing of assets to avoid paying compensation.

SEC fears may cement Vanguard monopoly; Patent for unique tax-efficient fund structure expires in 2023, but rivals may not be able to follow suit
Steve Johnson – FT
Fears that some investors are cross subsidising others may prevent rival fund managers from being allowed to replicate a unique tax-efficient fund structure created by Vanguard. Vanguard’s “exchange traded fund-as-a-share-class” structure allows the Pennsylvanian powerhouse to operate a mutual fund and a sister ETF as essentially the same vehicle, generating superior tax efficiency and economies of scale.

Investing and Trading

Indonesia palm oil export ban fuels global food inflation threat; Crop protectionism increases around the world as prices soar
Hudson Lockett, Oliver Telling and Emiko Terazono – FT
Palm oil prices shot higher and the Indonesian rupiah lost ground on Monday after Jakarta levied a blanket ban on exports of the edible oil in a bid to contain surging food prices as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Corporate America and investors square off over SEC proposal; ‘Beneficial ownership’ rules would change how long investors have to reveal significant stakes in companies
Nicholas Megaw and Stefania Palma – FT
Corporate America and its largest investors are at odds over new regulations meant to “modernise” the way shareholders report their holdings. The Securities and Exchange Commission in February proposed new rules to increase transparency in stock markets by halving the 10-day window investors in the US currently have to reveal when they have built a stake of more than 5 per cent in a company. The rules would also broaden the definition of an investor “group” that is required to make the additional disclosures to include instances in which firms have not explicitly agreed to work together.

Wall Street Finds New Value in Cash as Global Fears Weigh on Markets; As bond yields rise and stock prices wobble, cash is no longer trash on Wall Street
Dion Rabouin – WSJ
Worries about the war in Ukraine, China’s Covid-19 outbreak, a U.S. or European recession and surging global inflation are making a long-spurned asset increasingly popular with Wall Street’s top money managers these days: cash. As stock and bond prices have retreated from records in the tumult of headlines, more asset managers said they are looking to move funds into low-risk, cash-like assets. That marks a shift from recent years, when steadily climbing equity indexes trained investors to buy every dip and not miss out on gains by holding cash.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

China promotes coal in setback for efforts to cut emissions
Joe McDonald – AP
China is promoting coal-fired power as the ruling Communist Party tries to revive a sluggish economy, prompting warnings Beijing is setting back efforts to cut climate-changing carbon emissions from the biggest global source. Official plans call for boosting coal production capacity by 300 million tons this year, according to news reports. That is equal to 7% of last year’s output of 4.1 billion tons, which was an increase of 5.7% over 2020.

Staff Push London Banks to Steer Clear of Pride Parade on Racism Furor; Pride in London apologized, pledged overhaul after allegations; Banks often among the event’s most prominent sponsors
Eileen Gbagbo and William Shaw – Bloomberg
Staff at some City of London banks are pushing their firms to distance themselves from this year’s Pride in London parade over concerns about allegations of racism at the organization that came to light last year. Employees at lenders including Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc have been in private, joint discussions over whether to sponsor or otherwise support the event, according to people familiar with the matter. The July parade, which supports LGBTQ+ communities, will be the first in-person event since the pandemic and marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in the U.K.


Results of annual Emerging and Developed Markets classification review for STOXX indices
Qontigo today announced the results of the annual Country Classification review for STOXX indices. As of September 19, 2022, out of the 62 countries in the STOXX index universe, 25 will be classified as developed markets, and 20 will be classified as emerging markets. A full list of countries including their classification can be found under the dedicated country classification section of the STOXX website.

Exclusive – Goldman, JPMorgan among banks left holding Russian stocks by sanctions switch
Sinead Cruise and Carolina Mandl – Reuters
A decision last month by FTSE Russell and MSCI to remove Russian stocks from their indexes has left some of the world’s largest banks inadvertently holding potentially valuable positions, several sources familiar with the trades told Reuters. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BNP Paribas and other global banks have had to move Russian stocks and related derivative positions that they had taken to support bets by institutional clients into their own books as a result, five sources, including investors and traders, said.

Plotkin Rethinks Plan on Fund Reboot, Apologizes to Holders
Katherine Burton and Joe Deaux – Bloomberg
Gabe Plotkin is pulling a hasty about-face, rethinking the restructuring of Melvin Capital Management just days after he laid out an unusual plan to reboot his beleaguered fund, according to note sent to investors Sunday. “I am sorry. I got this one wrong. I made a mistake. I apologize,” Plotkin wrote in the note. “In hindsight and despite our intentions, we recognize now that we focused on future returns and team continuity without sufficient consideration of your investment losses.”

Credit Suisse Special Audit Backed by Norway’s Wealth Fund
Joe Deaux – Bloomberg
A top Credit Suisse Group AG investor is supporting a proposal for a special audit over the collapse of a group of supply chain finance funds the bank ran with now-defunct Greensill Capital. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the largest shareholders in Credit Suisse, said it will back the call for more transparency by the Ethos Foundation and seven Swiss pension funds at the annual shareholder meeting. The bank has so far refused to publish an internal report on the funds, which had about $10 billion in assets when they were frozen more than a year ago.

Credit Suisse Special Audit Backed by Norway’s Wealth Fund; Investor joins call for more transparency in Greensill debacle; Fund will also vote against discharge for 2020 fiscal year
Joe Deaux – Bloomberg
A top Credit Suisse Group AG investor is supporting a proposal for a special audit over the collapse of a group of supply chain finance funds the bank ran with now-defunct Greensill Capital. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the largest shareholders in Credit Suisse, said it will back the call for more transparency by the Ethos Foundation and seven Swiss pension funds at the annual shareholder meeting. The bank has so far refused to publish an internal report on the funds, which had about $10 billion in assets when they were frozen more than a year ago.

Fundraising takes Cambridge venture investor to $1bn of assets under management
CIC likens innovation and entrepreneurship in UK university city to Silicon Valley
Hannah Kuchler – FT
Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised its largest round of funding to date as the venture investor seeks to capitalise on the UK city’s growing life sciences and tech economy. CIC — which benefits from a unique contract with Cambridge university — has raised £225mn to invest in early stage start-ups operating in areas from cell therapies to quantum computing, bringing it to $1bn in assets under management.

Melvin Capital backtracks on plan to reinstate performance fees; Founder Gabe Plotkin admits he was ‘initially tone deaf’ following investor backlash
Laurence Fletcher and Brooke Masters – FT
Melvin Capital, the highest-profile hedge fund casualty from last year’s meme-stock rally, has rapidly backtracked on a controversial plan to start charging performance fees again in the face of an investor backlash. The US-based firm, which lost 53 per cent in January last year after betting against retail investor favourite GameStop, had written to investors only last week with plans to remove a so-called high-water mark, which stops a fund charging performance fees until losses have been recovered.

Major Credit Suisse Investor Norges Bank Heaps Pressure on Board; Sovereign-wealth fund will defy Credit Suisse’s board recommendation on key votes, saying it wants more accountability at the Swiss bank
Julie Steinberg, Margot Patrick – WSJ
The world’s largest sovereign-wealth fund wants a better explanation and more accountability for recent mishaps at Credit Suisse CS -2.18% Group AG. Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of the Norwegian central bank that operates the nearly $1.3 trillion fund, said Sunday it supports a shareholder proposal for a special audit into the bank’s relationship with Greensill Capital, a financing partner that went bankrupt in March 2021. It said it is also voting at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting Friday against a proposal to clear Credit Suisse’s board and senior management of legal liability.

Wellness Exchange

Shanghai to Continue Strict Covid-19 Measures Despite Drop in Cases; New action plan calls for more mass testing and quarantine beds, treatment with traditional Chinese medicine
Cao Li – WSJ
Shanghai health authorities unveiled an aggressive new Covid-19 containment plan despite continued reductions in new cases, indicating China’s financial capital is still far from declaring victory over the country’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. According to a nine-point action plan announced just before midnight on Thursday, Shanghai will add more quarantine hospital beds and transfer all Covid-19-positive patients as well as their close contacts to quarantine centers. The plan called for both Covid-19 patients and close contacts to be treated with traditional Chinese medicine, without specifying other treatments.

Shanghai installs metal barriers and fences around people’s homes to stop them from going out, in its latest brutal measure to battle Covid
Waiyee Yip – Insider
Authorities in Shanghai have installed metal barriers and high fences around people’s homes to stop residents from going out in the city’s latest brutal measure to battle Covid. The move has sparked further outrage in the city, per Reuters, where its 26 million residents are already frustrated by a harsh and indefinite lockdown.


Indonesia, the world’s top cooking-oil exporter, says it’s going to ban exports of the oil this week, and it’s sent the global prices of edible oils soaring
Huileng Tan – Business Insider
The world’s top palm-oil producer announced that it will ban exports of the commodity starting Thursday, sending the prices of edible oils soaring. Indonesia accounts for about half of the world’s supply of palm oil, the world’s most widely used vegetable oil. Palm oil is used for cooking and for the production of thousands of consumer products including biscuits, detergents, and lipsticks.

China Looks to Sell Spare LNG as Virus Lockdowns Hit Demand
Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
China, the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, is trying to sell some spare supply due to fears that demand-sapping virus lockdowns could spread from Shanghai to other parts of the country.

China Lowers Banks’ FX Reserve Ratio to Counter Yuan Weakness
Bloomberg News
China moved to limit the drop in the yuan by cutting the amount of money that banks need to have in reserve for their foreign currency holdings. The move came after the yuan dropped to the lowest level against the dollar in 17 months in reaction to a small but growing Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing. Financial institutions will need to hold 8% of their foreign exchange in reserve starting May 15, the central bank said in a statement Monday, lower than the current level of 9%.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund snaps up Paddington office estate; Owner British Land will shift investment to faster growing sectors
George Hammond – FT
British Land has sold a majority stake in the Paddington office campus it has spent the past nine years building, pulling back from the estate as uncertainty weighs on the return to work and instead investing in sectors with better prospects for growth. The FTSE 100 landlord announced on Monday that it had sold a 75 per cent stake in its Paddington Central estate for £694mn to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Russian Lender Sovcombank Cancels Interest on Perpetual Bond; It’s the first Russian borrower to opt for cancellation; Said bondholders’ claims and rights become “null and void”
Giulia Morpurgo – Bloomberg
Russian lender Sovcombank PJSC has canceled the interest accrued under one of its perpetual bonds, becoming the first Russian borrower to opt for this route as companies struggle to complete payments to creditors amid international sanctions.


How to handle a narcissist in the workplace; The behaviour of the late publishing magnate Robert Maxwell provides an object lesson in the psychology of extreme power
Michael Skapinker – FT
It is more than 30 years since Robert Maxwell’s body was found at sea, but many remain fascinated by him. A new biography, Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, by John Preston, published last year, brings the number of books about the late publishing magnate to at least 12. A three-part BBC series, House of Maxwell, was broadcast this month.

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