Thanks for all your comments yesterday – and all the forwards: Exchange Invest achieved the marvellous crypto-Stalinist objective of being comfortably read by a multiple of the people who actually receive the newsletter!
The closest we came to defence of my “Duncan the Value Destroyer” thesis was a comment that he tried to reform NYSE…but even then there could be no other verdict than that he was a failure as a CEO. One person thought my comments unkind – a fair comment…but I would contend they were justifiably harsh. Civilisation doesn’t reward bank robbers for their booty. I fail to see why anybody should pay bonuses for abject failure. Frankly the industry’s senior managers already get a lot of riskless returns through free stock without actually putting their money where their mouths are (in any, of several senses).
Adding analysis and getting to the heart of the matter is one reason why Exchange Invest exists. This is not a frat house of familiarity and mindless backslapping. Exchange Invest is a genuine endeavour to provide value additive analysis of the good and bad of the industry. A lot of egos don’t like the latter and hence endeavour to avoid us – or starve us of commercial interaction. Events like yesterday show the global breadth of this rapidly growing platform – do spread the word by all means, I and the team appreciate it. Oh, and I am delighted to say our revenues are growing, despite the clear desire of some rather blinkered and prickly entities who hope we’ll go away. The truth is, this platform is staying: it’s growing and momentum is with us. If you don’t value it, don’t engage, if you do, your support is always welcome. After all we provide all of this daily newsletter for free (alongside our Premium subscriber content – of which more tomorrow) – and I remain confident anybody in the industry reading this newsletter will come away wiser day in and day out…
Welcome to the influx of new subscribers from yesterday! Everybody is welcome to this inclusive global free newsletter for markets and market structure. It’s great to be riding this wave, there are vast opportunities out there for markets throughout the world.
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Today, FTIL has finally sold out of its entire MCX holding – an era has ended in India’s tumultuous capital markets history. Zimbabwe central bank withdraws restrictions on foreign investors in bond market (join an orderly queue, clearly), Korea launches exciting ETF/ETN hybrid as EUREX talk to TAIFEX in Taipei. India to usher in new insider trading laws? HK traders predict through train success with Shanghai as Barclays Indexes value looks like it may be 2.5 times the original expectation. CME market making arm in the spotlight, and much more, happy scrolling…
…and again thanks for all the emails overnight…
FTIL exited country’s largest commodity exchange MCX by selling its residual 5% stake in the bourse, it had originally promoted, for over Rs 200 crore ($33.14 mln). In July, Jignesh Shah-led FTIL, the erstwhile promoter of MCX, had announced sale of its 15% stake in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank for Rs 459 crore ($76.05 mln) – which gained regulatory approval Tuesday from FMC.
EI reported on August 20th that MCX was asking NSDL to unfreeze 5% stake of its erstwhile promoter FTIL.
FMC has approved the Kotak Mahindra Bank’s deal to acquire 15% stake in MCX for Rs 459 crore ($76.05 mln) from Jignesh Shah-led FTIL.
PLY: Least shocking news of the day – with a veritable tank full of sharks all hungrily circling the Barclays Index business and with the bond market at giddy peaks, the bidding will be fast, furious and probably regretted in about 6 months time…only to be discussed as a brilliant deal 36 months hence. There are circa $2.3 tln tracking assets in ETFs and mutual funds using the indices. Hence S&P, MASCI, Markit (with freshly minted post IPO scrip presumably!), Bloomberg, Markit, Thomson Reuters and perhaps some exchanges are all in there kicking the tyres with varying degrees of aggression.
One thing which amuses me is how – once again – we see a bank do deals which turns the bank back to the core of the useless processes they do inefficiently and expensively and for which myriad customers are lining up. The glibly moronic title “Project Transform” is hard to say with a straight face: “Project Biodegrade” would be much more appropriate but then again we knew Barclays was doomed to a long decline when they dumbly kept the third rate banking franchise and sold the ETF business…
EI reported on August 14th that Barclays Index Unit Said To Draw Offers From Nasdaq, CME. And; Bloomberg, Markit Separately Look To Buy Barclays’s Index Unit.
NZX Reveals Details Of New NXT Market
Christopher Adams – NZ Herald
NZX has announced the branding of its soon-to-launch new market — aimed at small, fast-growing firms.
The market, is expected to launch in Q4 of this year and will eventually replace the NZAX alternative exchange, will be called NXT.
EI reported on July 08th that Commerce Minister Craig Foss has given the go-ahead on alternative disclosure requirements for the New Zealand stock market.
NZX press release here.
Traders Predict HK-Shanghai Stock Link Will Take Off
Roland Lim – Channel Newsasia
Anticipation is building up over a programme connecting the Shanghai and HKEx, known as the “through train”. Despite some grumbling over quotas, traders predict the scheme will take off when it launches in October. This is because A-shares, Chinese stocks restricted to the domestic market, are considered cheap.
Daily quotas and unclear tax rules were brought up as the main issues when HKEx conducted a connectivity test recently for the through-train scheme. Still, brokerage CLSA predicts that there will be an initial gold rush.
EI reported on August 25th that HKEx completed connectivity test for Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect. On August 20th that the Shanghai – Hong Kong ‘through train’ link will speed up reforms of China’s stock markets. On August 11th the first trial of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect took place in the mainland.
PLY: From previous pessimism a pluralism of optimism blossoms…also known as the “investors will know few bounds when they see a chance to buy cheap stock” thesis.
In conjunction with the additional Designated Market-Making (DMM) scheme of Eurex Deutschland and Eurex Zürich AG for Daily Futures on TAIEX derivatives (FTX) which will run from 1 September 2014 until 31 December 2014, Eurex Clearing decided the following measure: To a maximum of five Designated Market Makers who fulfill their obligation, Eurex Clearing will grant an additional fixed compensation of EUR 5,000 ($ 6606.50) per month.
EI reported on January 6th that Eurex Acquires Stake In TAIFEX.
PLY: Orderly markets please chaps, no big clumps of butterflies, thank you.
TAIFEX, Eurex To Discuss Cooperation In Futures Market
Wei Shu & Frances Huang – Focus Taiwan
The two exchanges also aim to focus on the role Taiwan can play as a Chinese yuan trading hub as well as mutual futures trading cooperation, TAIFEX said. The discussions will take place in a seminar organized by FIA Asia.
Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) has tightened its standards on corporate disclosure, in the wake of a Financial Times story shining light on apparent leaks of price-sensitive information to the Nikkei newspaper.
Earlier this month the FT described the phenomenon of “Nikkei previews”, where companies’ quarterly results are regularly trailed in advance in the pages of Japan’s biggest business daily, apparently via a combination of guesswork by reporters and guidance by company officials. The figures are normally accurate and often prompt a bigger reaction among investors than the official results.
Speed Traders Seize NYSE Floor As IMC Takes Goldman Post
Sam Mamudi & John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
When Scott Knudsen rang the opening bell at the this week, he signaled the ceremonial start of the day’s session and the conquest of the NYSE floor by high-frequency trading firms.
His firm, IMC Chicago , just finished its takeover of Goldman Sachs ’s NYSE unit, giving it rights to manage buying and selling of dozens of stocks including prominent ones like International Business Machines Corp., Verizon Communications and Visa
EI reported on May 23rd that Goldman Sachs is ceding most of its ground on NYSE’s trading floor.
PLY: Astute readers will recall of course that Goldman Sachs floor team used to be Spear Leeds & Kelloggs which was acquired for a cool $6.5 billion in 2000 and sold on to IMC for a chump change $30 million. The deal was always said to be masterminded by one Duncan Niederauer – wonder what ever happened to him?
CME Unit That Trades With Clients Earning Millions With Futures
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
While CME makes most of its money charging the people who use its markets, the world’s biggest futures exchange captures a sliver of sales with a little-known group that trades directly with those customers.
The GFX unit, which has been disclosed for years in regulatory filings, generated about $9 mln in revenue last year, or 0.5% of CME’s total. GFX makes markets on the exchange’s electronic trading system to stimulate volume in new or underused futures tied to currencies, interest rates and equity indexes, according to filings.
PLY: The thing about GFX is not that it exists, it’s that it has not yet been used by others as a precedent to do other deals (LSE maintaining Frank Russell’s asset management arm looks plausible in this context while it is odd that CME bought Trayport but didn’t want GFI as an IDB when it already is clearly in the business of making markets in some form albeit this trade was really a vehicle to let Mickey Gooch maintain IDB control).
India is set to launch a fresh crackdown on securities fraud with a long-awaited revamp of insider trading rules and powers to boost investigation and enforcement.
PLY: That ought to prove challenging.
China’s financial regulators are considering expanding a trial program to open up foreign investment in stocks and bonds to more countries, widening the channel for offshore yuan flowing back to the nation.
Beijing may allow institutional investors in Switzerland and Luxembourg to invest in the nation’s stocks and bonds with yuan raised offshore under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor, or RQFII, program.
PLY: Very interesting news. See also our Premium post: China Liberalises.
Bursa Malaysia To Boost Financial Literacy Rate Among Youth
New Sabah Times
Bursa Malaysia Bhd is organising programmes to grow financial literacy among the youth, while creating an investing culture among them, with an eye on their future participation as traders.
Bursa Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Tajuddin Atan said the local bourse is committed to attracting and educating youths to participate in trading and investing activities.
PLY: Splendid news, good luck to Bursa Malaysia with this.
Morgan Stanley Gets In Early Over Saudi Stock Exchange Reforms
Hadeel Al Sayegh – National
Morgan Stanley has become the first international investment bank to initiate coverage on Saudi Arabian equities ahead of an expected opening of the kingdom’s stock exchange to foreign investors.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), together with four stock exchanges in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) – Cambodia, Hanoi, Hochiminh and Laos – participated in the second GMS exchanges CEOs meeting ‘GMS Focus’.
EI reported on June 4th that Thai Bourse’s New President To Strengthen Thai Capital Market Towards International Level.
Summer Season & PSE
Vladimír Štípek – Prague Post
There has been some exceptionally good news regarding the growth of the Prague Stock Exchange (PSE) over the past few weeks. However, other serious concerns remain, including the lack of businesses’ trust in capital funding, people’s lack of trust in the safety of the stock exchange, and the lack of industrial companies on the stock exchange.
PLY: A good article. Petr Koblic has done a good job in Prague but the government has alas been consistently wanting – the ongoing distrust of open markets and a lack of cohesion about privatising and encouraging investment culture has been key. Article notes how Poland encouraged this through private pension funds and privatisation but in recent times the gradual move towards leftist policies and micromanaged economic control has left the Warsaw dream fraying with the Warsaw Exchange’s management headed by a government puppet, half the private pension schemes de facto stolen by government fiat (driven by a moronic EU accounting precept) and more. At the grassroots it’s my first Polish startup club meeting of the season, Mission ToRun tonight and I am hugely optimistic about the New European opportunity but at government level one is left to despair somewhat of their abilities and intentions, let alone their dismal track record.
BitBeat: More People Know About Bitcoin, But Few Willing To Use It
Paul Vigna – Wall Street Journal
While awareness of cryptocurrencies is rising, very few people have actually used them. A new survey, from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the Massachusetts Division of Banks, found that 51% of people in the U.S. were aware of bitcoin and other currencies, albeit only about 3% had said they used it.
Still, that’s a big change from earlier this year. Back in February, another survey found that about three-quarters of the population hadn’t heard of bitcoin, and 80% said they’d never even consider using it.
PLY: The improving position will take knocks and setbacks but I remain confident cryptocurrency is breaking through – the sheer range of forces trying to kill it now are unprecedented, and indeed they are not overall succeeding in keeping Bitcoin down either.
BitQuick Launches Bitcoin Buying/Selling In The Middle East
Eric Calouro – News BTC
Bitcoin buying and selling platform BitQuick took to social media on Wednesday, posting that they have launched a trading platform for the Middle East, allowing enthusiasts in the region to buy and sell bitcoin. While details weren’t abundant, BitQuick says they’ve launched support for six currencies (including the USD), making the buying and selling of the digital currency available in: Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and more.
Startups Accelerator Boost VC Picks Up Singaporean Bitcoin Exchange
Diana Ngo – Coin Telegraph
PLY: Watch Singapore, how it shapes the cryptocurrency marketplace may be pivotal. There are a few nations on earth with financial nous and the ability to realise how to profit from a deal with better honed antennae than the city state…
Bitcoin Malware Attack Exploits Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Stan Higgins – CoinDesk
A hacker group is trying to leverage the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine as it distributes malware that is capable of targeting bitcoin wallets.
A report by Bitdefender Labs, a cybersecurity firm that focuses on the digital currency market, highlights how an alleged hacker group disguised one form of malware as another. According to the report, the perpetrators distributed software that they described as capable of disrupting the digital activities of Western governments fighting against Russia.
PLY: A digitally karmic “if you steal from me the world will steal from you” tale.
Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads
PLY: MCX up 1.5% as FTIL is flat while NSEL makes a final payment to E-Silver holders.
NSEL announced that Rs 43.89 crore ($7.25 mln) was paid as final payment to unit holders of e-Silver transactions, achieving financial closure. Initial remittances comprised sale of 70.48% of silver, and sale proceeds of Rs 97.34 crore ($ 16.09 mln) was directly credited to back accounts of unit holders beginning from June 5,2014.
NSEL press release here.
Wickr, a cyber security start-up, is in talks with banks and major financial services companies including Markit to create an alternative to Bloomberg instant messaging, just as Goldman Sachs tries to create its own Wall Street chat service. The San Francisco-based company has taken an investment from CME, the futures exchange operator, and is working closely with it to create an app that will allow both chat and financial transactions between traders.
EI reported on June 27th that Wickr, said it has raised $30 mln from investors including CME to help develop self-destructing messaging technology for use by financial services firms and gaming companies. Previous investors Alsop Louie Partners, Juniper Networks Inc, the Knight Foundation and Riverwood Capital also participated in the series B round. And, on August 4th that Wall Street firms led by Goldman Sachs are close to buying a stake in chat and instant messaging startup Perzo Inc.
PLY: As I have said before: Messaging, a key industry so long overlooked and now a massive attack is being made at the heart of those core reasons why you buy a Bloomberg terminal…
The Depository Trust & Clearing last month launched a new entity with six big banks to shed more light on Wall Street’s web of client relationships. The new company, Clarient, is majority owned by DTCC. Shareholders in Clarient are: Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Barclays, Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase JPM and State Street.
CenturyLink Technology Solutions, the former Savvis hosting and network business subsidiary acquired by internet and telecoms service provider CenturyLink, has opened a new datacenter in Markham, Toronto (dubbed TR3).
Betfair Deploys New Anti-Fraud System From Sphonic
Antony Savvas – Computerworld UK
Online betting and gaming company Betfair is using Sphonic’s identity and risk management solution, which will be used to help prevent fraud. The Sphonic technology will enable Betfair to build a “complete digital picture” of each of its customers, allowing it to combine data from a variety of sources for greater visibility of its user base, Betfair said.
PLY: It’s only a few years since Betfair could not discern the difference between the sovereign UN member state Monaco and its neighbour France. Security needed to improve, this looks promising.
KRX To Launch Exchange Traded Notes In November
Eun-jung – Yonhap News
South Korea’s main bourse will launch ETN, a type of debt security linked to the performance of a market benchmark, in November to meet investor demands for derivative products. The ETN combines aspects of both bonds and ETF, which are traded on the major exchange during normal trading hours. Unlike ETF, however, ETN investors can hold the debt security until maturity.
Shanghai’s Iron Ore Swap Volumes Reach One Third Of SGX’s (subscription)
Xiao Wang – Risk
Volumes of iron ore swaps traded on the Shanghai Clearing House (SCH) since the contract was launched on August 4 have reached a third of the amount changing hands on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). However, market players say the latter’s international role means that its leading global position in the contract is not under threat.
SCH, a central counterparty that provides clearing and settlement services for OTC products in China, debuted its iron ore swap contract by closing a deal between Citic Securities and two Chinese international trade groups – Xiamen International Trade Group and Heibei Jingye Group – earlier this month.
PLY: Interesting stuff and presumably helping to fuel both markets although SGX’s internationalism ought to help it retain an edge.
Investment banks’ earnings from foreign exchange trading fell at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis in the first half of 2014, hit even harder than other trading areas by low volatility and volumes. Revenues of the 10 largest investment banks across the US and Europe fell 5% year on year in the six months to June, largely as a result of the 13% drop in trading of bonds and other fixed income products, according to data published by Coalition.
PLY: The forex market is under duress as competitors threaten costs on various levels and of course the regulatory noose has tightened somewhat in recent months.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has removed restrictions on foreign investors who wanted to participate on the bond market to mobilise external finance and boost market liquidity.
PLY: Hmmm, removing the restrictions by the bank which has made modern hyperinflation an art form may not prompt a stampede by western investors at least…
SZSE: Convertible Bond Serial Indices Launched
SZSE and Shenzhen Securities Information Co., recently announced to launch SZSE Convertible Bond Index (Code: 399307, Abbreviation: SZSE Convertible Bond) and CNI Convertible Bond Index (Code: 399413, Abbreviation: CNI Convertible Bond) on August 27, 2014. The indices are designed to depict the overall operation feature of the convertible bond market, and fuel the development and innovation of indexing investment.
Being as a hybrid security with debt- and equity-like features, a convertible bondholder may enjoy a return close to stock investment in a bull market and resist the crash when market collapses. Holding of a convertible bond not only keeps the long-term growth potential of stocks but also the security and income advantage of bonds, is a kind of investment which maximizes profit when risks are considered. In recent years, the convertible bond market witnesses steady growth with 31 convertible bonds listed on Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets and valued about CNY 167 bln (as of the end of July, 2014). The convertible bond market has become an important component in the exchanges’ bond market.
Leap Rate reported that CME Announced Retirement of Jamie Parisi by the yearend, and Promotes John Pietrowicz, former Senior MD, Corporate Development & Finance and Deputy CFO to Senior MD & CFO.
CME press release here.
Gulf Times reported that Kuwait is replacing the head of its Securities Regulator, Al-Falah, who has held the post since the CMA began operating in early 2011, will be replaced next month by former Finance Minister Nayef al-Hajraf.
European Commission (EC) proposals to freeze staff numbers at Europe’s main markets watchdog – where resources are already stretched – have been deemed insufficient by MEPs. In draft amendments to the EC’s June budget proposal for 2015, the European Parliament recommended that supra-national regulator ESMA should have 147 full-time staff next year, a 10% increase on this year’s number of 133. The Commission’s initial budget proposed retaining staff numbers at 133 for 2015.
Record date CBOE $0.21 quarterly dividend
Record date Interactive Brokers $0.10 quarterly dividend
All forthcoming exchange / investment related events are now listed on our Events page.
Charles Schwab EVP Bernard J. Clark sold 26,115 shares Monday, August 25th. an average price of $28.98 (bargain $756,812.70). He now owns 2,289 shares.
NASDAQ OMX CEO Robert Greifeld sold 100,000 shares Wednesday, August 27th. at an average price of $43.58 (bargain $4,358,000.00). He now owns 844,551 shares.
ICAP “Sell” Rating Restated by Liberum Capital – GBX 306 ($5.06) Price Objective.
Tullett Prebon “Sell” Rating Restated By Liberum Capital – GBX 219 ($3.62) Price Objective.
A full table of current analysis can be found on our Analyst Ratings page which is updated daily.
All Analysts, Banks and Brokers are welcome to contribute to this section.
Online P2P Banker LendingClub Files For IPO
Neha Dimri – Reuters
LendingClub Corp, the world’s largest online marketplace directly connecting borrowers and investors, filed with U.S. regulators for an IPO of common stock.
LendingClub filed to raise $500 million from the offering, but did not reveal how many shares it planned to sell.
Lending Club officially announced plans for an IPO in a filing Wednesday afternoon.
The filing did not reveal where the company plans to list, when it will kick off its roadshow and simply left a placeholder for what Lending Club plans to raise its in offering. The WSJ has reported that Lending Club was valued at more than $4 bln in a recent fundraising round and is expected to seek more in its IPO.
Alibaba Revenue Soars Ahead Of IPO
Abhirup Roy & Alexei Ore Skovic – Reuters
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s revenue accelerated in Q2 on strong gains in its mobile business, providing investors with what may be the final glimpse of the Chinese e-commerce company’s financials before its expected landmark market debut.
Alibaba, whose IPO could be the largest ever by a technology company, said mobile revenue was roughly a third of its total transaction volume in the three months ended June 30, up from 27.4% in the first three months of the year.
SEC Adopts Credit Rating Agency Reform Rules – Rules Require Stronger Conflicts Of Interest & Governance Controls & Enhanced Transparency To Improve The Quality Of Credit Ratings & Increase Credit Rating Agency Accountability
SEC adopted new requirements for credit rating agencies to enhance governance, protect against conflicts of interest, and increase transparency to improve the quality of credit ratings and increase credit rating agency accountability. The new rules and amendments, which implement 14 rulemaking requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, apply to credit rating agencies registered with the Commission as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs).
“This expansive package of reforms will strengthen the overall quality of credit ratings, enhance the transparency of credit rating agencies and increase their accountability,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “Today’s reforms will help protect investors and markets against a repeat of the conduct and practices that were central to the financial crisis.”
SEC Approves Rules Aimed At Hidden Risks Of Asset-Backed Securities (subscription)
Andrew Ackerman – Wall Street Journal
SEC took long-awaited steps Wednesday to give investors more information about the quality of mortgages and other loans underpinning certain securities and to limit conflicts of interest at credit-rating firms.
The SEC voted unanimously to require banks and other firms to provide investors with more details about mortgages and other loans pooled into bonds known as asset-backed securities. The rules, which also would give investors more time to review the disclosures before the first sale of the bonds, aim to prevent a repeat of events that led to the financial crisis, when ratings firms gave unduly high grades to the bonds-particularly those backed by mortgages-and investors had little information about the quality of the underlying loans.
The capital market highly depends on legal construction, as strengthened legal construction contributes to building a booming market. Building a law-ruled capital market is a realistic requirement for implementing the principle of ruling the country according to laws, an inevitable way for building a mature capital market, and a key breakthrough point for propelling a new round of reform in the capital market.
We should improve the legislation work, cement the law enforcement, boost the judicial justice, and strictly abide by laws for the construction of the law-ruled capital market. Since last year, the construction of the law-ruled capital market has seen an array of new progresses; the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress successively included the revision of the “Securities Law” into the 5-year legislation plan and the 2014 legislation plan of the National People’s Congress, with the relevant revision work being carried out as well; securities regulatory organs vigorously propelled streamlined administration and decentralized power, actively explored in regulatory transformation, and intensified regulatory law enforcement; judicial organs continuously optimized the judicial environment for the capital market and escorted for the market growth.