July 17 2015

elb2 Exciting news as Zagreb buys Ljubljana exchange, marking a first step back from the previously acquisitive stance of the Austro-Hungarian bourse empire. NASDAQ announces strong line-up of members for the recreation of their Futures Exchange, Blockchain investor headed for London listing…and there’s more…

I am still in Berlin lapping up the unique atmosphere of Tech Open Air, with at least one more fascinating cryptocurrency session to follow today. For those who like booking their travel online, I recommend Kayak after a particularly splendid party last evening amongst the satellite events.

Public Markets

Charles Schwab Q2 2015 Financial Results

Charles Schwab

Net revenues $1,566 mln, up 6% compared to Q2 2014

Net income $ 353 mln, up 9% compared to Q2 2014

Plus500 Shareholders Give Playtech Takeover The Green Light

Joe Hall – City A.M.

Playtech’s offer values Plus500 at 400 pence per share, some way below the 750 pence per share trading price the Aim-listed company enjoyed before freezing thousands of investors accounts in the wake of a FCA probe.

Over 93% of votes cast at Plus500’s special general meeting were in favour of the takeover from eccentric billionaire owner Teddy Sagi, representing over 70% of the total voting power, passing the shareholder approval threshold demanded under Israeli Companies Law. Approval from Playtech shareholders is still required.

Read our Premium Plus500 Turmoil & Deal – Brief – Part 1, Part 2.

Hellenic Capital Market Commission – Extension Of Banking Holiday. To 19th July


China Has The World’s ‘Safest’ Equity Market: HKEx CEO

Kana Nishizawa & Eduard Gismatullin – Bloomberg

HKEx Chief Defends Himself From Criticism After Saying Mainland China Market Safe (subscription)

Enoch Yiu – SCMP

Charles Li, who has faced criticism this week for his comment that mainland markets were safe even as investors lost millions, said he was talking about their regulatory infrastructure, not price levels.

China’s Biggest State Banks Recruited Into Stock Market Rescue (subscription)

Gabriel Wildau – Financial Times

China’s biggest state-owned banks have lent a combined Rmb1.3tn ($209bn) to the country’s margin finance agency in recent weeks to staunch a freefall in the stock market, casting doubt on whether the recent equities rebound is sustainable without government support.

China Securities Finance Said To Have Up To $483 Billion On Tap


Read our Premium China Capital Markets Transformation Brief – Main File.

LME May Have To Curb Price Volatility In Line With Peers

Pratima Desai – Reuters

LME may have to introduce rules to rein in extreme volatility to conform with other exchanges and regulatory regimes.

Shrinking Trading Floor Does Not Reduce NYSE’s Influence (subscription)

Philip Stafford – Financial Times

For many investors, last week’s outage on the Big Board — traced to a software rollout to prepare for a tweak to regulations — was barely noticed…

Nasdaq Futures Announces 16 New Members


PLY: Worth reading the line-up as the new futures market certainly has a broad sell side presence to support its ambitions in energy (and beyond…).

Search Goes On For Missing Pieces Of The Plato Puzzle (subscription)

Financial News

Those still seriously being considered include Aquis Exchange, Nasdaq and the US block trading provider Bids Trading.

FAO: More about the development of Plato here, here, here.

NYMEX Building Is Poised For A Big New Tenant

David M Levitt & Brian Louis – Bloomberg

KCG, based across the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey, would take more than 200,000 square feet (18,600 square meters) in the 509,000-square-foot building at the end of Vesey Street, almost half the space.

HFT Firms Aren’t ‘Fair Weather Liquidity Suppliers’: Study

Michael Ide – ValueWalk

A major part of the HFT debate is whether the liquidity that HFT firms provide will evaporate when there is a crisis.

Private Markets

ZSE To Take Over LJSE


Zagreb SE (ZSE) has signed an agreement to take over 100% of the Ljubljana SE (LJSE) from CEESEG. Upon approval by regulatory authorities of both countries and following a capital increase by ZSE, the transaction is expected to be completed in the last quarter of this year.

Both parties agreed on not disclosing the price of the transaction.

ZSE press release here.

Read our Premium CEESEG Stakes Sales Brief.

PLY: Great deal for Ivana Gazic and good luck with the capital raising – this is an interesting moment for Zagreb and Ivana, I wish all parties well with this exciting deal.

Where now for Vienna? Are other assets for sale too? …Did they even get their money back from the price they paid for Slovenia’s market which was set at the top of the market?

Sebi Asks Exchanges To Crack Down On Frivolous Trades

Reena Zachariah – The Economic Times

EPEX SPOT & ECC Successfully Reduce Lead Time On All Intraday Markets – Trading Now Possible Up To 30 Minutes Before Delivery


Blockchain Investor To List In London


Coinsilium, a London-based start-up that invests in the technology behind crypto-currency bitcoin is planning to list on London’s AIM in what is believed to be the first IPO for a blockchain company.

Coinsilium was launched in London in 2013 by the founders of bitcoin and blockchain incubator Seedcoin to invest in early-stage blockchain start-ups.

PLY: Very interesting.

Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads

PLY: FTIL and MCX both flat.


CME Mulls New Treasury Futures Contract Launch (subscription)

Alice Attwood – FOW

CME has initiated work on a new Treasury futures contract and called for clients to work with the exchange on the design.

CME Group & SGS Open Cocoa Grading Facility In Amsterdam


Europe’s Regulators Need To Get Bond Trading Rules Right (subscription)

Arjun Singh-Muchelle – Financial Times

Roughly half of all its investable assets are sitting as cash in the bank rather than being invested at a time when many sectors of the economy are in need of capital.

ESMA Goes ‘Back To The Drawing Board’ On Bond Transparency (subscription)

Financial News

Market is concerned Mifid II requirements to publish trade information for non-equity transactions may harm liquidity.

Career Paths

Reuters reports that TMX hired Nicholas Thadaney (starting Sep. 1st), who has been CEO of ITG Canada since 2005. He replaces Kevan Cowan whose departure TSX announced earlier this week.

ITG Canada promoted its head of sales and trading, Etienne Phaneuf, to replace Thadaney, who has sat on the board of Aequitas Innovations, which launched its Neo stock exchange earlier this year.

Bloomberg reports that Jeromee Johnson, who helped get Bats into U.S. options trading, is poised to work at Miami International Holdings, which runs the Miax Options Exchange that competes with Bats in stock options, and focus on international markets.

Financial Calendar

Complimentary webinar, “The Emergence of the LCH-CME Basis Swap”, Thursday 23 July at 11.30am EDT / 4.30pm BST – details here.

All forthcoming exchange / investment related events are now listed in our Events page.

Analyst Notes

ICE Rides on Highly Volatile Energy Markets

Market Realist

Reasons For Thomas Farley’s Shares Sale of ICE’s Stock

Octa Finance

See all ICE insider stock transactions on our dedicated page here.

PLY: Perhaps it was just part of a pre-planned sale programme?

A full table of current analysis can be found on our Analyst Ratings page which is updated daily.


U.S. Treasury Looks Into Online Marketplace Lending Industry (subscription)

Ryan Tracy & Peter Rudegeair – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday opened a study of the online marketplace lending industry, in one of the first federal forays into the fast-growing sector.

Other stories

HKEx Publishes Consultation Paper On Proposed Changes To Its ESG Guide


Latest Charles Li Direct: HKEx CEO Charles Li Blogs On China’s A-Share Market


Statement On The Anniversary Of The Dodd-Frank Act, Chair Mary Jo White, July 16, 2015


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