The City of London’s Supremacy Goes Very Deep

Dec 2, 2020

First Read

$16,711/$300,000 (5.6%)

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FIA Asia-V: Asia-Pacific Exchanges Look Back and Ahead
Sarah Rudolph and Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

In the first panel at FIA’s Asia-V 2020 Expo, exchanges in the Asia-Pacific looked back at their successes during a turbulent year and ahead toward opportunities for cooperation in 2021.

During the unprecedented uncertainty of the past year, Asia-Pacific markets responded with innovation, and the exchanges are thriving, said Ian Nissen, the moderator of the panel.

Amid enormous volatility in March, widespread government actions and continuing global tensions, the exchanges remained liquid and transparent and handled rolling without issues, said Helen Lofthouse, executive general manager, derivatives and OTC markets at ASX.

To read the rest of this story, go here.

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FIA Asia-V: Top Chinese Regulator Pitches Open Mainland Markets
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

With a pedigree that includes a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and a five-year stint as an investment officer at the World Bank, it is not surprising that the vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Committee is a proponent of the opening of China’s markets.

In his position at the CSRC, Fang Xinghai oversees both China’s futures and stock markets, and also is responsible for corporate finance. Interviewed by FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken on the first day of the FIA Asia Conference, Xinghai said the pandemic, “if anything, has accelerated the development of China’s capital markets.”

To read the rest of this story, go here.

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FIA Asia-V: Adapting to the New Normal
Matt Raebel – John Lothian News

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This quote by Winston Churchill (or former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, depending on who you ask) was brought up by Stella Gan, the FIA’s head of operations for the Asia-Pacific region on the first day of FIA Asia-V, as speakers from all over the derivatives industry discussed via Zoom how the industry has adapted to the “new normal” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

To read the rest of this story, go here.

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FIA Asia-V: CCP Resilience Does Not Dissuade Industry From Self Assessment
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

Jackie Mesa, who is FIA’s COO and Senior VP of Global Policy, moderated Asia-V’s panel, “The CCP Perspective on the Asia-Pacific Clearing Environment.” Her panelists were Kate Birchall from LCH, Agnes Koh, from Singapore Exchange, Vikram Kothari from NSE Clearing Limited, Daisuke Miyauchi of the Japan Securities Clearing Corporation, Hamish Treleaven from ASX and Simon Walker from Morgan Stanley.

The panelists echoed many of the themes about industry resilience during the March markets meltdown that have become familiar. The panelists agreed that while they were not expecting the volatility, they were nonetheless pretty much prepared for it. There were some hiccoughs early on but those were more closely associated with adapting to work from home than financial issues.

To read the rest of this story, go here.

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Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Lynne Marek has exited Crain’s Chicago Business. The longtime Crain’s senior reporter covered the financial services and higher education sectors for the publication, but had covered media in the past too. Her stories, carried in JLN, were often the most highly read stories of the day. We wish her well with her next endeavors.

Crain’s Senior Reporter Steve Daniels, who has been with the publication for 25 years, will take over the financial services beat until a long-term plan is
executed. Daniels currently covers banking, insurance and utilities. Daniels can be reached at
sdaniels@crain.com. His Twitter handle is @stevedaniels27.

The Wall Street Journal has a video titled “Options Trading Is More Popular Than Ever Despite the Risks.” Does this mean the options trading boom is over?

The OCC reported November 2020 total volume was up 71 percent from a year ago, which was the highest November ever and second-highest month on record.

The Facebook-Backed Libra Association has changed its name to Diem, Bloomberg reported.

Here’s a feel-good story by Austin Krumpfes he told on his late father’s 83 birthday:

The attached photo is Harlan Krumpfes’ trading jacket from the CBOT, where he was a member for 45 years (grain room). Unbeknownst to Austin and the rest of Harlan’s family, this jacket had been hanging in the coat room ever since his last day on the floor (November 24, 2014, according to the order time-stamps in his pockets). Apparently Harlan hung his jacket up there that afternoon just like he did every day for decades, not knowing at the time that it was to be his last day on the floor. When Harlan passed away earlier this year, the news apparently made its way back to the coat room. Somebody there remembered him, and knew that his jacket was still hanging there in case he ever returned to the floor. Upon hearing the news, that person called Member Services, who gathered up the jacket and a few other items that they found of his, tracked down the Krumpfes family, and then insisted upon hand-delivering them to their home. It totally blew them away when that “time capsule” of his jacket and other mementos showed up. That is a class move by the Member Services staff.

There were no new donations to our JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Help us preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign. We have had donations of $16,711 so far.

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

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International cooperation was the watchword from Loh Boon Chye, CEO of the Singapore Exchange, a keynote speaker at FIA Asia-V, who said that a month after the U.S. presidential election there is renewed commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation, and a sense of optimism in the air. The recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between Asia-Pacific nations, puts Asia in a prime position for a new normal, he said.

There are more than 40 countries in Asia, which is “now more than just about competition between China and the U.S.,” he said. “Dynamics and nuances between Asian countries will become more important in a post-COVID, RCEP world.”

The exchange’s SGX FTSE Taiwan Index Futures contract is “among the most successful product launches” and adds to the exchange’s index partnership with FTSE Russell, the fastest liquidity builder of any contract, he said. (Trading in that contract exceeded US$1.5 billion during launch week.) He also touted the SGX Nikkei 225 futures, launched together with the CME, as one of the earliest exchange linkages.

“The challenges of our time require us to come together as a community with a common objective,” he said. One of those challenges is the environment, where there has been a “global awakening.” Asia’s weight in the global economy today can make a decisive impact on climate issues, he said. “Singapore has been one of the few countries to introduce a broad-based carbon tax, and is working on a long term carbon strategy that will define Singapore as an international center. China too has made climate change a priority.”

Many challenges remain, such as standardization, he said, but “where there’s a will there’s a way. Together we can create real impact. Only then can we look back at this moment as Asia’s opportunity to define the decade.” ~SR

The OCC’s cleared volume for November was 677,190,590 contracts, its second-highest month ever. I wonder if someone at the OCC has started ringing a little bell every time they beat their own record? It’s happened a lot this year. ~MR

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David Prosperi – A Career in Politics, Government, Futures Trading, Insurance and Clearinghouse Public Relations
JohnLothianNews.com

David Prosperi has had a long career in public relations in the markets and politics. John Lothian interviewed Prosperi over Zoom about his career and the events that saw him move from national politics to the White House and to jobs at the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. He was later recruited to join the CBOT to work with CBOT CEO Tom Donovan and entered the world of markets, where he remained the rest of his career. He worked for the four biggest and most important financial giants in Chicago: the Chicago Board of Trade, the CME Group, Aon and the OCC. The interview includes stories of being with President Reagan the day he was shot, working with a soccer club in the Premier League to tell their business story, and helping turn the OCC into an industry thought leader. Here is our interview with David Prosperi.

Watch the video »

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OCC November 2020 Total Volume Up 71 Percent from a Year Ago; Highest November ever and second-highest month on record
OCC
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that November 2020 total cleared contract volume was 677,190,590 contracts, up 71 percent from November 2019. This marks the highest November ever and the second-highest month on record. Year-to-date average daily cleared contract volume through November was 29,295,206 contracts, up 48.4 percent from November 2019.
/jlne.ws/36sYkZs

*****71% is a big number!~JJL

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The Future of Finance Is in Wealth Management and Retail Trading; A look at the data shows where the industry’s money is being made.
Jennifer Surane, Sridhar Natarajan, and Larry R Tabb – Bloomberg
Banks have faced a challenging decade, with disruptive financial technology startups and low interest rates around the world placing pressure on many of their key businesses. But many have found ways to thrive, often by creating services to move or manage money. Here you’ll find a look at some of the areas that have seen the biggest change in the past decade, as well as a glimpse at what might come next.
/jlne.ws/37wj8yB

*****Yes, that is Larry Tabb, head of market structure for Bloomberg LLP, in the byline.~JJL

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Women outpace men in signing up to investment platforms; Companies report a rush of interest from women this year
Madison Darbyshire – FT
Women are signing up to investment platforms at faster rates than men, as investors flock to trading to take advantage of market volatility and lower prices.
/jlne.ws/33CsqrA

*****Money for nothing and women trade for free.~JJL

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Nasdaq CEO Pushes Corporate Boards to Diversify; Adena Friedman discusses the exchange operator’s diversity plan with The Wall Street Journal.
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Nasdaq Inc. on Tuesday proposed new rules that would require the boards of its listed companies to meet certain minimum diversity requirements, or explain in a public disclosure why they aren’t doing so. Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman discussed the exchange operator’s diversity plan with The Wall Street Journal. This interview has been edited for clarity.
/jlne.ws/39Bh8rs

*****Here is the press release from Nasdaq that speaks to the new initiative.~JJL

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CDC Panel Recommends Giving First Covid-19 Vaccines to Health Workers, Nursing Homes; A decision could come Wednesday, as drug makers await word in coming weeks of emergency-use authorization of two vaccines
Peter Loftus, Jared S. Hopkins and Betsy McKay – WSJ
A federal vaccine advisory panel recommended that health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive any Covid-19 vaccine doses from the limited supply that will be available initially.
/jlne.ws/2KRY2Tq

*****So much for the Eurodollar options pit getting the vaccine first.~JJL

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Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Salon’s New Kelly Loeffler ad claims multimillionaire knows what “it feels like waiting on that paycheck.” Second was Yahoo Life’s It Only Takes This Long to Get COVID in a Room With Someone Who Has It. Third was The New York Times’ 1918 Germany Has a Warning for America.

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Lead Stories

The City of London’s Supremacy Goes Very Deep; The risk for Europe’s post-Brexit trading infrastructure is that liquidity is dispersed in several small national pools rather than matching London’s depth.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Nerves are fraying about what happens to the financial services industry once the dust clears from Brexit. No one really knows whether there will be some form of equivalence between the City of London and the European Union on securities trading, even if common rules on derivatives clearing have been extended until mid-2022.
/jlne.ws/2Vv5zcM

Nasdaq Joins Goldman in Corporate Push for More Diverse Boards
Lananh Nguyen and Jeff Green – Bloomberg
Will mandate at least one woman, one underrepresented minority; Exchange will also make issuers publish board diversity data
Nasdaq Inc. plans to require more diversity on boards of directors, the latest push by corporate America to encourage change as regulatory requirements remain unlikely in a gridlocked Washington.
/jlne.ws/3mvT78L

China Has a Lesson for Robinhood Traders in the U.S. A rising share of retail investors would be a good thing for Wall Street. No one knows that better than mainland traders.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
Covid-19 has awoken an army of retail investors. They now account for a fifth of the U.S. stock market’s volume, doubling their presence from a decade earlier. Day traders are even dabbling in exotic products, from thematic exchange-traded funds to short-dated call options on Big Tech stocks.
/jlne.ws/3odfEHO

Big Companies Urge Biden, Congress to Address Climate Change; Amazon, Citigroup, Ford and others support a U.S. return to Paris accord from which Trump withdrew
Timothy Puko – WSJ
A broad cross section of big U.S. corporations including Amazon.com Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Ford Motor Co. are calling on Congress to work closely with President-elect Joe Biden to address the threat of climate change.
/jlne.ws/3qos1mu

While OPEC+ Fights, Mexico Wins Over $2 Billion With Oil Hedge
Nacha Cattan and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
Country receiving a payout of around $2.5 billion, people said; Lopez Obrador left output-cut deal to seek production boost
Mexico will cash in its oil price insurance policy this year for the fourth time only in the last two decades, receiving a payout of about $2.5 billion from its 2020 sovereign oil hedge, people familiar with the transaction said.
/jlne.ws/37ri4Mi

Bond Traders Dare to Bet on a Fiscal Bridge to Vaccine; Treasuries indicate hope that Congress will address the current strains on the U.S. economy.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spent so much time in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday talking about bridges, you’d be forgiven for thinking that “Infrastructure Week” had arrived at last.
/jlne.ws/33BitdW

Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Leave Silicon Valley for Texas; Tech giant, which traces its roots to the origins of Silicon Valley, is latest company to move away from area long considered hub of innovation
Heather Somerville and Maria Armental – WSJ
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. HPE 1.45% —a descendant of the firm that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard famously started in a Palo Alto, Calif., garage—is moving its headquarters to the Houston area, the latest sign of how the pandemic is reshaping the way Silicon Valley companies operate.
/jlne.ws/39H6LSG

Top ECB Official Privately Called Investors, Banks After Key Policy Decisions; Calls from Chief Economist Philip Lane to the likes of Goldman, JPMorgan, BlackRock began in March when President Christine Lagarde flummoxed traders
Tom Fairless and Paul J. Davies – WSJ
The European Central Bank’s chief economist made dozens of private calls to banks and investors after policy meetings this year, breaking with the central bank’s usual practice of delivering information to everyone at the same time in an effort to clarify its sometimes-puzzling public pronouncements, according to three people with whom he spoke and a review of his schedule.
/jlne.ws/3ogUit0

Federal Judge Strikes Down Trump’s H-1B Visa Rules on Highly Skilled Foreign Workers; Chamber of Commerce and others challenged administration’s visa rules issued in October
Michelle Hackman – WSJ
A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday set aside two Trump administration policies that required employers to pay foreign workers on H-1B visas significantly higher wages and narrowed eligibility for the program valued by U.S. tech firms and other employers.
/jlne.ws/3oe7GhE

SoftBank abandons its ‘Nasdaq whale’ bets; Japanese group will let its options on tech stocks expire after strategy questioned by investors
Kana Inagaki and Leo Lewis, and Robert Smith – FT
SoftBank has decided to unwind its large US equity options trades, pulling back from a controversial strategy that has cost the group $2.7bn in derivatives losses and earned it the nickname “Nasdaq whale”.
/jlne.ws/2Jw4xuN

Acuiti: Investment In Derivatives Post-Trade Set To Soar – Experience During The Covid Volatility Has Accelerated Plans For The Sell-Side To Invest In Back-Office Operations
Mondovisione
95% of tier 1 and 2 banks plan to invest more in derivatives post-trade operations over the next three years than in the last three, a major study by Acuiti has found.
/jlne.ws/36uTIlk

Coronavirus

Swedish Government Loses Support as Fears Grow Over Covid Policy
Rafaela Lindeberg – Bloomberg
Sweden’s main ruling party, the Social Democrats, saw a significant decline in support in a fresh poll, adding to signs that voters are worried about the nation’s Covid strategy.
/jlne.ws/2JGeK7B

Sweden’s Top Epidemiologist Says Herd Immunity Is a Mystery
Niclas Rolander – Bloomberg
The man behind Sweden’s coronavirus strategy, best known for the absence of a lockdown, says key questions remain about how immunity works. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, says it’s still not clear to what extent transmission rates are reduced when more people have been exposed to the virus.
/jlne.ws/3my9XDN

U.K. Clears Pfizer Covid Vaccine for First Shots Next Week
James Paton, Naomi Kresge, and Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
Government says 800,000 doses ready for delivery from Belgium; U.K. becomes first Western country to approve a Covid shot
The U.K. became the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with its regulator clearing Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s shot ahead of decisions in the U.S. and European Union.
/jlne.ws/3mzTbUQ

U.K. Authorizes Pfizer, BioNTech’s Covid-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use; Britain becomes the first Western nation to get a coronavirus shot, with earliest doses to go to the most vulnerable
Bojan Pancevski, Jenny Strasburg and Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
The U.K. became the first Western nation to grant emergency-use authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine, clearing a shot developed by Pfizer Inc. of the U.S. and BioNTech SE of Germany to be distributed in limited numbers within days.
/jlne.ws/33BeZbm

Northeast Has Worst Momentum in U.S. Covid Hospitalization Surge
Jonathan Levin and Keshia Clukey – Bloomberg
The Northeast is leading the alarming increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations across the U.S., with large jumps in New York and Pennsylvania, as holiday gatherings threaten to exacerbate the situation.
/jlne.ws/3qlaoUs

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Deutsche Börse completes Quantitative Brokers take over; The exchange operator successfully acquired a majority stake in the business in a deal previously announced in September.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
German exchange operator Deutsche Börse has successfully completed a transaction that will give it a majority stake in execution algorithm provider Quantitative Brokers.
/jlne.ws/3og8mTQ

Deutsche Börse successfully completes acquisition of a majority stake in Quantitative Brokers
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse closed the transaction announced in September to acquire a majority stake in Quantitative Brokers LLC on December 1. The two founders of Quantitative Brokers, Christian Hauff and Robert Almgren, will continue to hold a significant stake and will be active in their current functions as CEO and Chief Scientist respectively.
/jlne.ws/39HckR4

CME Group Reports November 2020 Monthly Market Statistics
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today reported November 2020 market statistics, including average daily volume (ADV) of 19.3 million contracts during the month. Market statistics are available in greater detail at https://cmegroupinc.gcs-web.com/monthly-volume.
/jlne.ws/3ogsWU1

Farmer sentiment pulls back post-election: regulation, trade, and taxes rated as top concerns
CME Group
The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dropped 16 points to a reading of 167 in November, down from its all-time high set just one month ago. The decrease in sentiment was led by farmers’ more pessimistic view towards the future of the agricultural economy with the Index of Future Expectations falling 30 points to a reading of 156 in November. The on-going rally in commodity prices and CFAP-2 payments continued to support producers’ view of current economic conditions as the Index of Current Conditions rose 9 points in November to 187, an all-time high for the index.
/jlne.ws/3oeMmbH

TSX Venture Exchange Announces Changes to Capital Pool Company Program; Key changes to the Exchange’s most popular go-public vehicle aimed at deal makers
TMX
TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) today announced changes to its Capital Pool Company (CPC) program, following extensive consultation with stakeholders across the TSXV community. The CPC program is a unique listing vehicle exclusively offered by TSXV and accounted for almost 50% of new TSXV listings in the past 10 years.
/jlne.ws/37rXZ8D

NZX Investor Day And Earnings Guidance Update
Mondovisione
NZX is today hosting an Investor Day to update analysts and investors on business activities and strategy. The full presentation is available in the Investor Centre on nzx.com.
/jlne.ws/36vjrKt

Keynote Address By Loh Boon Chye, CEO Of SGX, At The FIA Asia Derivatives Conference SGX
Good morning. First of all I wish to congratulate our friends at the FIA for putting together a strong calendar of virtual events throughout 2020 despite the immense challenges. You have brought together some 500 attendees for FIA Asia this week – very well done.
/jlne.ws/33B2PPw

Spectrum Markets On Track For Successful First Year Of Trading
Mondovisione
In November 66.7 million securitised derivatives were traded. This represents a 19% increase over the previous month and sets a record. Daily records were set on November 4 and 10. On November 4, Spectrum recorded 13,187 transactions and on November 10, more than six million securitised derivatives were traded. The share of out-of-hours trading (i.e. 1730-0900) in November was 38%.
/jlne.ws/2KRdIGu

Qatar Investment Authority Became The New Investor In Borsa Istanbul
Mondovlsione
Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) completed today the acquisition of 10% of the shares in Borsa Istanbul AS (Borsa Istanbul) by QIA following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 26 November 2020 between two parties. The transaction size of USD 200 million implied a total equity value of USD 2 billion.
/jlne.ws/3oiDxOq

Nordic Aqua Partners admitted to trading
Euronext
The land-based salmon farming company Nordic Aqua Partners has today been admitted to trading on Euronext Growth (ticker code: NOAP).
/jlne.ws/2Jt4ksn

CME Group Reports November 2020 Monthly Market Statistics
PR Newswire
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today reported November 2020 market statistics, including average daily volume (ADV) of 19.3 million contracts during the month. Market statistics are available in greater detail at https://cmegroupinc.gcs-web.com/monthly-volume.
/jlne.ws/3oemtZJ

London determined to stay top in euro derivatives clearing, LSE says
Huw Jones – Reuters
The City of London is determined to make sure that it remains the top centre for clearing euro-denominated financial derivatives, a senior London Stock Exchange official said on Tuesday, as Britain’s finance industry steps up its lobbying for permanent access to the European Union after Brexit. Policymakers in the bloc see Britain’s full departure from the EU on Dec. 31 as a chance to shift large chunks of clearing in widely used euro derivatives from London to Eurex in Frankfurt.
/jlne.ws/2I1m6lL

Performance Bond Requirements: Energy Margins – Effective December 02, 2020
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
/jlne.ws/39zdDl3

December 2020 Stock, ETF, and Corporate Bond Update- Effective December 01, 2020
CME Group
CME Clearing accepts corporate bonds, ETFs and stocks for Base and IRS performance bond requirements. The December 2020 acceptable CUSIPs are now available on CME’s website and via CME DataMine. Please refer to CME’s previous Advisory Notice regarding the CME DataMine transition and please also refer to CME’s website for further details regarding acceptable collateral criteria, haircuts, and limits.
/jlne.ws/33ErVgK

Declaration of Regularity Renewal in Spot Call Butter, Spot Call Nonfat Dry Milk, and Spot CME Group
Applications for the declaration of regularity for the delivery and storage of Spot Call Butter, Spot Call Nonfat Dry Milk, and Spot Call Dry Whey Warehouses have been reviewed and approved by the Exchange.
/jlne.ws/37ucYie

Approved Application for Spot Call Butter Regularity
CME Group
The Exchange has approved the application of United States Cold Storage located in McClellan Park, CA to be designated as an Approved Warehouse for delivery of Spot Call Butter.
/jlne.ws/37qb81P

Reminder: Increase of the Minimum Price Fluctuation of the Palladium Futures and Micro Palladium Futures Contracts
CME Group
Effective Sunday, December 6, 2020, for trade date Monday, December 7, 2020, New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “Exchange”) will amend the Price Increments rules of the Palladium Futures and Micro Palladium Futures contracts (the “Contracts”) to increase the minimum outright price fluctuation of the Contracts for trades executed on the CME Globex electronic trading platform (“CME Globex”) and
for transactions submitted for clearing on CME ClearPort as set forth in the table below
/jlne.ws/33DObqO

OTC IRS & FX New Release Advisory – DMS UI Update
CME Group
CME will launch a new consolidated DMS UI for OTC IRS and OTC FX in the New Release testing environment on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020. All existing user roles and functions will be migrated to the new UI. The new interface migrates existing functionality and incorporates enhancement summarized.
/jlne.ws/3odP4yk

Fintech

SDIC Essence Futures Provides Connectivity to Chinese Derivatives Markets via CQG Infrastructure and Software
SDIC
SDIC Essence Futures, a leading China-based futures broker, today announced that the firm will support global customers in trading Chinese international derivatives markets through a newly strengthened strategic cooperation with U.S.-based CQG, a leading global provider of high-performance technology solutions for traders, brokers, commercial hedgers, and exchanges. This strategic partnership will enable SDIC to provide access for international clients to trade the international futures products listed on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), and Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) via CQG.
/jlne.ws/3ocrguL

Eventus Systems named to global RegTech100 List for 2021; Third consecutive year trade surveillance firm earned honor
Eventus Systems
Eventus Systems, Inc., a leading global provider of multi-asset class trade surveillance and market risk solutions, announced that specialist research firm RegTech Analyst today named the company to its global 2021 RegTech100 List. The honor marks the third consecutive year Eventus earned a place on the selective list of the world’s most innovative solution providers that address the challenges of regulatory pressures within financial services.
/jlne.ws/3lv1QGZ

Salesforce’s Benioff Escalates Microsoft Rivalry With Slack Deal
Nico Grant – Bloomberg
Communications app competes directly with Microsoft’s Teams; Deal moves Salesforce toward Benioff’s $50 billion sales goal
Salesforce.com Inc.’s $27.7 billion takeover of Slack Technologies Inc. represents co-founder Marc Benioff’s most aggressive effort yet to challenge reigning software marker Microsoft Corp.
/jlne.ws/36ruyEm

Czarnikow And Swire Bulk Join Forces To Launch Freight Pricing Platform
Mondovisione
As global trade has increasingly embraced digitisation this year due to Covid-19, a new freight pricing platform has been launched to offer a one-stop-shop where users can price and execute freight in real time.
/jlne.ws/3mr73Rn

Salesforce’s Splashy Slack Deal Isn’t Worth the Risk; Acquiring the popular workplace messaging platform will help Salesforce better compete with Microsoft, but it isn’t a perfect fit.
Tae Kim – Bloomberg
Salesforce.com Inc. is betting big on the staying power of remote work by buying Slack Technologies Inc. But is the splashy takeover of the workplace messaging leader worth the risk? I don’t think so.
/jlne.ws/3o8iIVI

Score Priority Corp. Completes Acquisition of Lightspeed Financial Services Group’s Low Latency Execution Technology; Score Priority further expands into the brokerage space with the acquisition of Lightspeed Financial Services Group’s HFT assets, known as Lime
Score Priority Corp.
Score Priority Corp. (“Score Priority”), a financial technology and brokerage firm offering an institutional-grade experience to individual, professional, and institutional investors and traders, has completed its acquisition of the Lime low latency execution platform from Lightspeed Financial Services Group LLC. This technology solution allows Score Priority to leverage the platform’s stability, reliability, and scalability in its existing brokerage service. FINRA approved the acquisition at the end of November.
/jlne.ws/33CdRnJ

Itiviti plans large scale staff expansion for 2021; Hiring driven by investment in global FX and Fixed Income trading capabilities
Itiviti Group AB
Itiviti, a leading trading technology and service provider to financial institutions worldwide, today announced a large-scale, multi-year hiring plan to support the company’s growth and continued investment into its FX and Fixed Income trading technology across markets in Europe, North America and Asia.
/jlne.ws/37pZrZ7

Cryptocurrencies

CEO of World’s Largest Asset Manager Says Bitcoin Can Possibly ‘Evolve’ Into Global Asset
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
The head of the world’s largest asset manager has provided a somewhat bullish take on the world’s first cryptocurrency.
/jlne.ws/3fXc1TD

A New Visa Credit Card Offers Bitcoin Rewards Instead of Miles or Cash
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Visa Inc. is partnering with cryptocurrency startup BlockFi to offer a credit card that rewards purchases with Bitcoin rather than airline miles or cash.
/jlne.ws/3mxEjGz

China’s Digital Currency Could Reshape Macau’s Gambling Industry
Bloomberg News
Casino operators approached by regulator on potential move; Fearing the prospect, junkets are shifting out of Macau
Macau saw revenue plummet by $27 billion this year as pandemic travel curbs kept lucrative Chinese gamblers away. While visitors are slowly returning, a potentially bigger threat is unnerving operators in the world’s biggest casino hub: the prospect China’s central bank-backed cryptocurrency, the digital yuan, will be introduced to the enclave.
/jlne.ws/33zMTgL

Libra cryptocurrency project changes name to Diem to distance itself from Facebook
Jacob Kastrenakes – The Verge
The Libra cryptocurrency is getting a new name today, Diem, in an effort to show that the project has “organizational independence” as it attempts to get regulatory approvals for launch. The project initially received widespread pushback in part because it emerged out of Facebook and in part because its ambitious aims seemed to threaten traditional government-run financial systems. The independent organization that runs the project, the Libra Association, will now be known as the Diem Association, and Bloomberg reports that its currency will be called the Diem Dollar.
/jlne.ws/3lrQnrL

Australia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange accidentally exposed the names and emails of 270,000 customers
Cam Wilson – Business Insider
Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has apologised for revealing the personal details of more than 270,000 of its members earlier this week. The company sent emails to batches of its members which included their names and email addresses. The breach makes BTC Markets users more vulnerable to phishing and other cyberattacks attempting to gain access to their cryptocurrency.
/jlne.ws/3fXw6ZK

Almost 20% of PayPal Users Have Used App to Trade Bitcoin, Mizuho Says
Kevin Reynolds, Zack Voell – Coindesk
Nearly one-fifth of PayPal (PYPL) users have already traded bitcoin using the PayPal app, according to a report published Tuesday by Mizuho Securities and obtained by CoinDesk. Per the Mizuho survey of 380 users, about 65% would use bitcoin as a currency at PayPal’s 28 million merchants; 17% of these users have already used the app to buy and sell bitcoin. Bitcoin exuberance boosts user engagement, the survey found, with bitcoin traders reporting more than three times higher usage frequency compared with non-bitcoin traders. They also held larger cash balances, the survey found.
/jlne.ws/37rkhr4

Crypto.com Secures Australian Financial Service License
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Hong Kong-based Crypto.com has secured an Australian Financial Service License through its acquisition of a firm called The Card Group Pty Ltd. The license has been approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board which examines proposals by foreign entities to invest in Australia and will allow Crypto.com to work within the local regulatory frameworks, the firm said Tuesday. No details on the acquisition were provided after a CoinDesk request for information. Crypto.com – which offers cryptocurrency exchange, payments and debits cards – recently announced support for Australian dollar transfers by allowing its users to directly deposit the currency to their Fiat Wallet via the app.
/jlne.ws/3lwDvQQ

A proposal: Do nothing with Uniswap’s liquidity incentives
Mika Honkasalo – The Block
Uniswap’s first liquidity mining rewards ran for two months from September 18th onwards, distributing 20 million UNI (~$70 million at current price) to liquidity providers. Since then, liquidity on Uniswap has decreased from $3.4 billion to $1.5 billion, but Uniswap’s market share in terms of trade volume has stayed constant at nearly 60%. The community is in the process of deciding whether to continue with subsidizing liquidity on different market pairs and what the parameters should be if continued. Continuing the UNI rewards is likely not the best option. Instead, the community should shift its focus on other ways to invest the treasury under its control.
/jlne.ws/33CV5N3

Crypto exchange volume soared in November, reaching $289.25 billion for the month
MK Manoylov – The Block
Trade volume across legitimate crypto exchanges rose by 134% in November compared to the previous month, according to data collected by The Block Research. November’s legitimate trade volume came in at $289.25 billion compared to $123.58 billion in the previous month. November saw the third-highest monthly trading volume since January 2018, during which time trading volumes totaled $307.83 billion.
/jlne.ws/2JBKElM

Why Europe Bests the US at Attracting Crypto Startups
Bryan Hollmann, Oliver Volkel – Coindesk
For years lawyers have warned of the risks associated with running a cryptocurrency business in the United States, especially when a token is involved. Regrettably, those risks are more apparent than ever. As New York- and Austrian-licensed attorneys, we’ve talked countless clients out of publicly selling tokens in the U.S. or generally pursuing their businesses there. We’ve personally witnessed one of our European clients – a small fish by anyone’s account – fall victim to U.S. regulators’ zeal to shape the law through enforcement, presumably to establish precedent to go after bigger and badder actors in the distant future.
/jlne.ws/3qmD7YU

Politics

Trump Nears ‘Checkmate’ Stage in Last-Gasp Bid to Undo Election
Mark Niquette – Bloomberg
Contested battleground states have appointed Biden electors; Attorneys asking Republican lawmakers to name Trump electors
President Donald Trump’s path to reversing the election result has nearly closed after all the key battleground states certified their vote totals and took steps to appoint electors ready to formalize Joe Biden’s victory. Trump continues to hurl unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud on Twitter, but he is now left with only a few extremely improbable options to derail Biden’s inauguration, with the next step — the casting of votes by electors to the Electoral College — set to happen in each state on Dec. 14.
/jlne.ws/3qnDySL

‘Someone’s Going To Get Killed’: Ga. Official Blasts GOP Silence On Election Threats
Stephen Fowler – NPR
A top election official in Georgia had strong words for President Trump and other top Republican leaders who have attacked Georgia’s election system in recent weeks after reports of harassment and death threats against officials overseeing the state’s recount. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed,” Gabriel Sterling, with the secretary of state’s office, said Monday afternoon in an emotional and forceful news conference. “It’s not right.”
/jlne.ws/36uAFaO

Senate Sets Wednesday Vote to Advance Waller’s Fed Nomination
Laura Litvan – Bloomberg
No indication that McConnell will seek to confirm Judy Shelton; Shelton’s chances fading with arrival of new Senate Democrat
The Senate is set to vote Wednesday to advance the nomination of Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t indicated he’ll try to revive the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s other Fed nominee, Judy Shelton.
/jlne.ws/33AGbXO

Prosecutors Are Probing Effort to Buy a Presidential Pardon
David Yaffe-Bellany and Erik Larson – Bloomberg
Investigation revealed in order unsealed by Washington judge; U.S. prosecutors are investigating whether several individuals offered political contributions in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to an unsealed court document. The names of the people under investigation were blacked out in the document.
/jlne.ws/3ofhQyv

Trump Allies Ask High Court to Nullify Biden’s Pennsylvania Win
Greg Stohr – Bloomberg
Long-shot request seeks to overturn results of state’s vote; State high court rejected similar bid saying it came too late
In a long-shot request, Republican allies of President Donald Trump say they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order that would nullify Pennsylvania’s certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in the state.
/jlne.ws/2Jw1faV

Trump associates, including Giuliani, are asking for pardons
Jim Acosta, Pamela Brown and Michael Warren, CNN
President Donald Trump’s associates are making appeals to him in the hopes of obtaining pardons before he leaves office, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday.
/jlne.ws/2KW2ikR

Partisan Fight Over Fed Lending Programs Escalates; The Fed and Treasury disagreed publicly over a decision not to renew a suite of emergency lending facilities
Fed and Treasury Split Over Renewed Emergency Lending Programs
Nick Timiraos and Kate Davidson – WSJ
The Treasury Department’s decision last month not to renew a suite of emergency Federal Reserve lending programs touched off a partisan fight over whether and how the Biden administration should be allowed to use the programs.
/jlne.ws/3qnJyea

Pardoning Giuliani Would Put Trump in Legal Jeopardy; Any lawyer would tell the president it wasn’t worth the risk to himself.
Noah Feldman – Bloomberg
If President Donald Trump wants to avoid federal criminal investigation once he’s out of office, here’s my free advice: Don’t pardon Rudy Giuliani. The New York Times reports that the two men have discussed whether the president should pardon his personal lawyer. But Trump owes Giuliani money for representing him, and pardoning someone to whom you owe money could easily be construed as a criminal act.
/jlne.ws/3ohasTj

Regulation

Russian in Vast Bank Hack Deserves 15 to 20 Years, U.S. Says
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Tyurin hacked more than 80 million clients of JPMorgan, others; Cyberattack scheme netted hundreds of millions of dollars
A Russian who admitted carrying out one of the largest known cyberattacks against a U.S. bank is a “brazen and prolific” hacker who should serve as long as almost two decades in prison, U.S. prosecutors told a federal judge in advance of his sentencing.
/jlne.ws/37vCH9U

US derivatives watchdog issued highest number of enforcements in its history during 2020; The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) set a new record for the number of enforcements during 2020 totalling $1.3 billion, despite operating through the pandemic.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The US derivatives watchdog has issued a record 113 enforcements in 2020, resulting in $1.3 billion in penalties. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s division of enforcement issued the figures which backed-up the regulator’s claims it would take a tough stance on market participants under the guidance of chairman and chief executive Heath P. Tarbert.
/jlne.ws/3ocCteP

MR AAT upholds ASIC decision to refuse Allegra a licence
ASIC
ASIC’s decision to refuse Allegra Financial Services Pty Ltd (Allegra) an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) to provide personal financial product advice to retail and wholesale clients has been affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
/jlne.ws/3okWAHP

Upcoming Board Meeting
FINRA
This week, the FINRA Board of Governors will hold its final Board meeting of 2020. Highlighted below are several items the Board committees will consider.
/jlne.ws/3ogVnBm

SEC Charges Unregistered Investment Adviser with Defrauding Puerto Rico Municipality
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an unregistered investment adviser based in Orlando, Florida for defrauding the Municipality of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and misappropriating $7.1 million of taxpayer funds.
/jlne.ws/39AKQfW

SEC Charges Boiler Rooms Operator with Defrauding Retail Investors
SEC
The SEC today charged New York resident Mark Alan Lisser with fraud for operating at least two boiler rooms, on Long Island, New York and in Boca Raton, Florida, through which he raised approximately $2.1 million from at least 71 retail investors and misappropriated more than $900,000 of their funds.
/jlne.ws/3odPJQk

SEC Awards Over $6 Million to Joint Whistleblowers
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of over $6 million to joint whistleblowers whose information and assistance led to the successful enforcement of SEC and related actions. The whistleblowers’ substantial assistance, provided to the SEC and another government agency, included submitting documents, participating in interviews, and identifying key individuals involved in the misconduct.
/jlne.ws/3qlJ3Sc

CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on December 8
CFTC
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath P. Tarbert today announced the CFTC will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. (EST). The meeting will be held virtually in accordance with the agency’s implementation of social distancing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
/jlne.ws/37mVAvS

CFTC Division of Enforcement Issues Annual Report; Agency Ordered Over $1.3 Billion in Monetary Relief and Brought Record Number of Actions in FY 2020
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement today issued its annual report for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020). The report catalogues the agency’s efforts to protect the public and preserve market integrity over that period, which yielded historic results despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
/jlne.ws/3oiKq2e

Guidance on the annual affirmation requirement for entities currently operating under an exemption from CPO or CTA registration
NFA
The CFTC requires any person that claims an exemption from CPO registration under CFTC Regulation 4.13(a)(1), 4.13(a)(2), 4.13(a)(3), 4.13(a)(5), an exclusion from CPO registration under CFTC Regulation 4.5 or an exemption from CTA registration under 4.14(a)(8) (collectively, exemption) to annually affirm the applicable notice of exemption within 60 days of the calendar year end, which is March 1, 2021 for this affirmation cycle.
/jlne.ws/3qkkJ2O

Information for consumers on transferring or switching UK pensions into international self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs)
UK FCA
We have been contacted by consumers about overseas advisory firms advising expatriates to transfer or switch their UK pensions into a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) – often one marketed as an ‘international SIPP’. These queries typically relate to the charges being paid in these overall arrangements.
/jlne.ws/2JjPepe

FCA publishes evaluation of rent-to-own price cap
UK FCA
The FCA has published an evaluation of its price cap on rent-to-own (RTO) products, which came into force in April 2019.
/jlne.ws/3ogvykN

Investing and Trading

The Bull Market Rotates Away From Tech-Driven Mega-Companies; Cheap, small, and economically sensitive stocks—the B Team, if you will—are benefiting from the hope that the lockdown is almost over.
Michael P. Regan, Vildana Hajric, Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
The Covid-19 pandemic has done tremendous damage to the U.S. economy—especially the parts that can thrive only when people are willing to leave their homes and spend some money. But the way Michael Baron sees things, “it can’t flatten Vail Mountain.” The famous ski destination “is still there, and people are itching to go away,” says the co-manager of the Baron Partners Fund, which owns shares of Vail Resorts. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand for leisure travel.”
/jlne.ws/2HZtbDl

U.N. Reclassifies Cannabis as a Less Dangerous Drug; A United Nations commission voted to remove marijuana for medical use from a list of narcotics like heroin.
Isabella Kwai – WSJ
A United Nations commission voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medical use from a category of the world’s most dangerous drugs, such as heroin, a highly anticipated and long-delayed decision that could clear the way for marijuana research and medical use.
/jlne.ws/3fXiYnD

Treasury Yield Spike Risks Sparking Domino Effect in Markets
Ruth Carson and Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Benchmark 10-year yields jumped back toward 1% on Tuesday; Higher yields seen boosting value stocks, EM growth bets
One of the year’s biggest spikes in Treasury yields has investors mapping out the impact of rising rates on markets ranging from stocks to corporate bonds.
/jlne.ws/33AGwty

Virtual meetings during the pandemic have driven down value of analyst research, claims report; Asset managers value meetings with analysts 47% less in remote working environment, finds new research.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
A new report has found that asset managers are valuing meetings with analysts 47% less in remote working conditions forced by the pandemic. According to the report from Substantive Research, virtual group meetings are also valued 35% less than they were pre-pandemic.
/jlne.ws/37pV2W5

Derivatives a big part of suddenly popular bond ETFs
Ari I. Weinberg – Pensions & Investments
From index futures and ETF options to total return swaps, many of the largest and most liquid equity exchange-traded funds are supported by a swath of derivatives and a ready market for borrowing ETF shares. These features allow market makers to hedge risk with precision, investors to buy or sell protection, and speculators to leverage their exposures. Now, a similar ecosystem for fixed-income ETFs is rapidly emerging, thanks to a flood of assets and an overt endorsement of ETFs by their inclusion in the Federal Reserve’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility.
/jlne.ws/3g1ngdO

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

U.K. Debates World-Leading Cuts in CO2 Emissions
Alex Morales and Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
New target set to be announced ahead of climate pledge summit; Goal would put U.K. ahead of EU in race to cut emissions
Boris Johnson is mulling stricter U.K. greenhouse-gas cuts of as much as 69% by 2030, which would make it one of the most ambitious developed nations in the world when it comes to fighting climate change.
/jlne.ws/36vin9F

Fund Managers Answer the Call to Save Earth’s Biodiversity; A Dutch sustainability expert wants financial giants to apply the lessons of ESG to plants, animals and ecosystems. Some are starting to listen.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
A band of 30 finance executives sat in silence on the ice, their eyes closed. With no sound but the Arctic wind and the occasional creaking of snow boots, some began to weep as they contemplated the consequences of global warming—both for the glaciers around them and the entire world.
/jlne.ws/2JGi6Yf

Petrobras CEO Calls Net Zero a Fad, Echoing Exxon’s Focus on Oil
Peter Millard – Bloomberg
Oil to remain ‘backbone’ of society, CEO Castello Branco says; Demand strong in Petrobras’s main markets China and Brazil
Petrobras is pledging a 25% cut in carbon emissions by 2030, but that hasn’t stopped Chief Executive Officer Roberto Castello Branco from dismissing pledges by peers to completely neutralize their carbon footprints two decades later.
/jlne.ws/3g13SO4

Schroders CEO Calls for Climate ‘Impact-Adjusted Profits’; The financial industry is clamoring for more corporate disclosure.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
A recurring theme at the two-day Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit was almost continuous calls from bankers, academics and at least one chief executive officer for better corporate disclosures on climate change.
/jlne.ws/2JvYXIO

Credit Suisse Says LGBTQ-Inclusive Stock Basket Has Outperformed
Veronika Gulyas and Lisa Pham – Bloomberg
Companies with LGBTQ-supportive policies beat MSCI benchmark; Revenue growth, returns stronger at firms embracing diversity
Shares in companies supporting diversity including gender identity and sexual orientation have historically performed better than the broader market, according to Credit Suisse Group AG analysts.
/jlne.ws/2VtzORq

Big Oil Writedowns Hit a Record $70 Billion as Virus Forces Cuts
Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg
Huge Exxon writedown rounds out record year for impairments; Peaking oil demand is a serious threat to the industry: BNEF
Exxon Mobil Corp.’s impending writedown of natural gas fields rounds out a record year for Big Oil chargeoffs stemming from misplaced optimism on the future of fossil fuels.
/jlne.ws/2L0EjRG

BlackRock launches Aladdin Climate to support sustainable portfolios; Upon launching Aladdin Climate for measuring climate risk, BlackRock has also expanded the platform’s ESG data via new partnerships with Refinitiv and Sustainalytics.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Global asset manager BlackRock has launched a software application via its flagship investment operations platform Aladdin to allow investors to quantify climate risk within their portfolios.
/jlne.ws/3lvEaC5

China plans carbon futures to help meet emissions goals
Kevin Foster – Argus Media
China is strongly committed to launching a carbon futures market as part of efforts to meet its emissions-reduction targets, a top executive at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has said. Research into carbon futures contracts has been underway for some time, CSRC vice chairman Fang Xinghai said at the Futures Industry Association’s virtual Asia Derivatives Conference today.
/jlne.ws/3obdmZC

Institutions

HSBC’s Loyal Hong Kong Investors Find Redemption in 51% Rally
Alfred Liu and John Cheng – Bloomberg
Lender has soared 51% off Sept lows on stronger operations; Investors turn to banking stocks on sector rotation trend
Fear of owning HSBC Holdings Plc shares is turning into a fear of missing out on a major rally. Europe’s biggest lender is up 51% in Hong Kong since touching its 25-year low in September, and is the best-performing stock on the Hang Seng Index this quarter. Just two months ago, investors were fretting over how mounting regulatory and economic pressures would squeeze the firm’s key businesses in Asia. Shares of HSBC rallied 3.7% on Wednesday in Hong Kong, while the Hang Seng fell 0.1%.
/jlne.ws/2VtJAmN

Global Bank Job Cuts Reach Five-Year High
Nicholas Comfort -Bloomberg
Banks around the world have announced the most job cuts in five years as the pandemic adds further pressure to business models upended by the digital revolution. ABN Amro Bank NV and Banco de Sabadell SA disclosed plans to eliminate as many 4,600 positions between them this week, taking the total to 85,540 globally, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most since 2015, when deep overhauls of several major lenders called for a combined 91,448 positions to be axed.
/jlne.ws/2VsyBtO

Citi’s next CEO Jane Fraser on regulators, Covid and breaking the gender barrier; The first female leader of a major Wall Street bank has always enjoyed ‘playing the game differently’
Laura Noonan – FT
The text message sounded innocuous, and certainly not like the watershed it heralded. “Can you call me on Saturday morning?” Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat wrote to Jane Fraser, his number two, on a Friday evening in early September.
/jlne.ws/39zR3ZJ

Regions

Nigeria’s Biggest Bank in Talks to Buy Atlas Mara Assets
Vernon Wessels and Dinesh Nair – Bloomberg
Access Bank in talks for Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe businesses; Diamond’s Atlas Mara disposing of assets amid debtholder talks
Access Bank Plc is in talks about a potential acquisition of assets belonging to Bob Diamond’s Atlas Mara Ltd., as Nigeria’s biggest lender seeks to expand its reach in the rest of Africa, people familiar with the matter said.
/jlne.ws/2JGtxQ0

Supreme Court Voices Doubts Over Suit Alleging Nestle, Cargill Liable for Child Slavery
Ivory Coast plantations supply food makers with cocoa
Jess Bravin – WSJ
Several Supreme Court justices expressed doubts Tuesday over a lawsuit that aims to hold Nestle USA Inc. and Cargill Inc. liable for the exploitation of child slaves on Ivory Coast plantations that supply the companies with cocoa.
/jlne.ws/36xgWrj

Brexit

EU tells Brexit negotiator: don’t let deadline force bad trade deal
John Chalmers, Gabriela Baczynska – Reuters
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator told member states’ envoys on Wednesday that negotiations on a trade deal with Britain were reaching “a make-or-break moment”, and they urged him not to be rushed into an unsatisfactory agreement.
/jlne.ws/3mzDf55

Barnier Voices Caution as Brexit Negotiators Race to a Deal
Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
EU’s chief negotiator warns diplomats no guarantee of a deal; Some governments are concerned Barnier is giving too much away
British and European Union officials are racing to strike a post-Brexit trade deal before the start of next week, with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier telling envoys the outcome is still too close to call.
/jlne.ws/39FMTQd

Barnier seeks to win round EU capitals as Brexit endgame raises tensions; Bloc’s chief negotiator says next 36 hours will be critical to fate of negotiations with UK
Jim Brunsden and Sam Fleming and Peter Foster – FT
Michel Barnier sought to reassure Paris and other jittery EU capitals on Wednesday that he would protect the bloc’s interests in the creative compromises being explored to get a Brexit deal sealed this week.
/jlne.ws/39zu0hN

EU keeps UK guessing on post-Brexit rights; British banks and pet owners among those waiting for Brussels to show its hand
Peter Foster in London and Jim Brunsden – FT
From market access for stockbrokers to passports for pets, Brussels is still holding back on granting Britain a whole collection of rights and regulatory waivers with under five weeks until the UK exits the EU’s single market.
/jlne.ws/3ofluIH

Medicines body chief contradicts Hancock over Brexit vaccine claim
Peter Walker – The Guardian
Matt Hancock has been contradicted by the head of the UK’s medicines regulator after he claimed Brexit helped the UK become the first western country to license a coronavirus vaccine. In media appearances on Wednesday morning following the announcement that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), the health secretary credited Brexit as a reason behind the quick move.
/jlne.ws/37nAFc2

Brexit: UK has lowered demands on fish catches, says EU
Daniel Boffey and Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
Boris Johnson has lowered his Brexit demands on Brussels by asking for up to 60% of catches in UK waters back from EU fishing fleets but the gap between the negotiators remains wide, Michel Barnier told the bloc’s capitals ahead of what he said would be a crucial 48 hours. In briefings to EU ambassadors and MEPs in Brussels, the bloc’s chief negotiator said Downing Street had revised its demand down from 80% but that it was unclear whether the divide could be bridged in the time remaining, prompting member states to caution against rushing into a deal.
/jlne.ws/37mRVhC

Miscellaneous

American football tries to contain growing Covid-19 crisis; NFL faces dwindling options for rescheduling games as outbreaks wreak havoc
Sara Germano – FT
The spread of Covid-19 infections among professional American football players is imperilling the National Football League’s season, threatening to disrupt the most popular US sport in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
/jlne.ws/39DLDNh

Singapore Approves Cultured Meat: A Major Step Forward for the Industry, Questions IDTechEx
PR Newswire
Singapore has become the first country on Earth to approve cultured meat for commercial sale. On Wednesday, December 2nd, the Singapore Food Agency said that the cultured chicken produced by San Francisco-based start-up Eat Just met the safety standards for use in nuggets, opening the door for a commercial launch in the country. Cultured meat, otherwise known as cultivated meat or clean meat, involves the use of cultured animal cells to create realistic meat-like food products, without requiring the slaughter of animals. Proponents of cultured meat believe it could help overcome the ethical and environmental issues of animal agriculture, while still allowing consumers to enjoy eating meat. In recent years, investment has poured into the industry, with companies like Memphis Meats, Shiok Meats and Mosa Meat having completed funding rounds in 2020.
/jlne.ws/36u5QTD

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ETF trading surges on European stock exchanges

ETF trading surges on European stock exchanges

First Read $26,851/$300,000 (9.0%) Denise Knabjian ++++ Hits & Takes JLN Staff The U.S. has surpassed the 25 million Covid-19 infections level, according to data reported Sunday by Johns Hopkins University. JPX has signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU,...

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