March 12 2014

elb2It’s beautiful spring weather in Europe, as I type from the garden this morning overlooking the glistening (if still too chilly) pool. True, Boca Raton it isn’t but it’s about 10,000 dollars a week cheaper…

Meanwhile, the lines have been buzzing from Boca and our first poolside interjection from a special correspondent was a real zinger yesterday. So good, and such a CEO scoop that we have kept it in Premium Content: members of our inner circle remain even better informed. You can read it here (having subscribed for the princely sum of $120 US per annum for all Premium Content): Boca Pool Side: The Fresh Prince Of Asia? We will have another update from Boca poolside later today, catch it first in our premium service…

The latest 5 Premium Posts are:

Boca Pool Side: The Fresh Prince Of Asia?

Barnier Suffers A Set-Back

Satoshi Unmasked

A Bond Market Dilemma

Rome Wasn’t Burnt in A Day

Thanks to those already in the Inner Circle from amongst our sponsors and subscribers, if you want to get the inside line in more detail than we can fit into the free daily Exchange Invest then please: Subscribe Here

Meanwhile, today’s free Exchange Invest daily burgeons with fascinating stories. JSE profits jump, CFTC considers a land grab while worried about resources. Euronext falls over, Boca relatively quiet (but new world & subsidiary FIA / FOA boards below), City UK worried about forex probes (with 40% market share at stake, are we surprised?) while NASDAQ OMX is looking at the market opportunity. Tri-party repo clearing as participants prefer ETD to OTC swap solutions and a fascinating revolutionary addition to the vital business of making CCPs safer…

Kandy Krush has priced its IPO range incidentally as elsewhere, much of the media is discussing a flood of IPOs. FINRA has issued a warning about Bitcoin which falls into the ‘not talking to strangers or accepting sweeties from them’ bracket of regulatory advisory. Fortunately New York has seen the light and may lead the world as a Bitcoin financial centre.

Public Markets

JSE Profit Jumps 68% As South African Bourse Boosts Earnings
Jaco Visser – Businessweek

JSE said full-year profit rose 68% particularly thanks to cash equity and forex derivatives growth. Net income climbed to 506.6 mln rand ($47 mln) in the year through December, compared with 302.1 mln rand (USD 35.08 mln) in 2012. Diluted EPS increased to 5.89 rand (USD 0.54) from 3.50 rand (USD 0.4).

JSE press release here.

PLY: Very good numbers from JSE despite a challenging political-economic situation within RSA.

Technical Issue Stops Trading On NYSE Euronext Bourse For 1 Hour
Reuters

Euronext stock trading was suspended for nearly an hour on Tuesday. The shutdown at 1115 GMT came a few minutes after the bourse announced it was switching to so-called ‘pre-market mode’ due to a “critical alert on its cash market” related to an unspecified technical problem. While traders were able to place, modify and cancel orders, prices were not set. Trading subsequently resumed at 1210 GMT for stocks and bonds and at 1315 GMT for certificates and ETFs.

NYSE Euronext declined to comment on the incident.

PLY: Clearly not good during a sale process and presumably it won’t help the pressure on those in the NYSE Tech arm which will stay with ICE in a much reduced (some might say largely dismembered), form.

Omega Advisors Buys Stake In ICE
Smita Nair – Market Realist

Omega Advisors opened a new 1.36% position in ICE during Q4.

Nasdaq OMX Considers Expanding Into FX
Clare Hutchison – Reuters

Hans-Ole Jochumsen, Nasdaq’s most senior executive in Europe, said global probes into alleged FX market fixing are encouraging market participants to think about trading on exchanges and CCPs, in an effort to minimize exposure to any unacceptable market behavior.

PLY: The era for platforms and exchanges in forex is NOW! Many retail brokers have been sullied for their behaviour and now it appears the wholesale market was indulging in a lot of dodgy deals too. The OTC markets have largely lost their right to police themselves, it’s time to launch more organised forex markets – any volunteers want to join in? Cash (especially) and expertise welcome… Meanwhile NASDAQ is wise to be perusing the market although it may not have the right Rollodex to make it work easily but it would be a useful expansion for NLX.

CBOE Plans To Invest In Tradelegs
CBOE

CBOE announced today that it plans to invest in Tradelegs, the developer of advanced decision-support software that institutional investors can employ to optimize investment performance.

Q&A With CEO Of Mobli: ‘Why We Joined Nasdaq Private Market’ (subscription)
Anna Irrera – Financial News

Last week US-based exchange group Nasdaq Omx launched Nasdaq Private Market for trading shares of private companies. A handful of companies have signed up for the market so far, including Mobli, an Israeli social mobile photo and video-sharing multi-platform.

PLY: With some $60 million backing from Movil (Carlos Slim) this is an instagram rival with some traction. Will “NPM” lead to more NASDAQ listings? Well certainly it gives a great opportunity for relationship building as Mobli founder/CEO Moshe Hogeg notes here.

LCH.Clearnet Introduces €GCPlus Central Clearing Service For The Tri-Party Repo Market In Collaboration With Euroclear & Banque de France
MondoVisione

LCH.Clearnet has launched €GCPlus, a central clearing service for the tri-party repo market, in collaboration with Euroclear and the Banque de France. The new service will enable fixed income trading desks, treasurers and other market participants to efficiently manage Eurosystem eligible collateral and to generate liquidity in a cleared environment, while benefiting from balance sheet netting and capital efficiencies.

Available via several leading e-platforms, the €GCPlus service enables fixed income market participants to re-use the eligible collateral received either with the Banque de France or with any of the 230 collateral takers on Euroclear’s collateral management system, the global Collateral Highway.

PLY: Another useful piece of the collateral/clearing jigsaw comes together, this time in triparty repo.

TMX To Open Singapore Office
TMX

After signing an MoU with CFFEX as reported yesterday, TMX announced plans to open an office in Singapore, subject to regulatory approval during 2014.

UK Financial Body Urges Quick Action Over Foreign Exchange ‘Fixing’
Huw Jones – Reuters

Regulators should deal quickly with allegations that banks have rigged the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market to avoid harming Britain’s reputation as a financial centre, Chris Cummings, CEO of finance sector lobby group The CityUK, has said, noting the sooner the allegations are dealt with the better for London, which accounts for 40 percent of the global currency market.

“It’s really important that people that have broken the law are subject to the full sanction of the law,” Cummings told Reuters on the sidelines of a financial conference.

PLY: I will endeavour to avoid commenting out loud that bringing bankers to justice (or Fannie/Freddie and others) appears to have eluded us since 2008 at least.

Traders Turn To Swap Alternatives As Regulation Bites (subscription)
Anish Puaar & Tim Cave – Financial News

UBS’ fourth annual survey of OTC derivatives participants notes 29% of respondents said they had already or were likely to direct swaps business towards the variety of similar products listed on CME, ICE’s Liffe or Eurex. Furthermore, 84% expected that up to 30% of their OTC derivatives trading could be done via such products in the future.

PLY: Music to the ears of the regulatory nexus presumably as they see ‘safe’ ETDs taking share from opaque bilateral swaps…

Catastrophe Prevention Drives Insurance Pitch To Clearinghouses
Matthew Leising – Businessweek

A group of insurers is for the first time offering to shoulder risk for clearinghouses backing hundreds of millions of derivatives trades, proposing more protection in markets where a collapse could cripple the global financial system. About 20 insurers were brought together by GCSA LLC, a New York-based underwriter, who declined to identify them. They are capable of offering $6 billion to $10 billion of protection to clearinghouses such as CME and LCH.Clearnet, GCSA President Chris Cononico said during an interview.

PLY: A fascinating product for fascinating times. With the excellent David Hardy (the LCH CEO who masterminded the Clearnet merger) in pole position as Chairman, this is a very significant product to add to the waterfall risks debate which perplexes everybody who wants to ensure the safest possible environment for CCP – and the Venn diagram of “those who want to ensure the safest possible environment for CCP” ought to include any human who has evolved beyond trading with beads or leaves.

OCC Eyes Rebate Cuts For Members (subscription)
Financial Times

PLY: New CEO Michael Cahill is endeavouring to find the least painful way to improve his capital standing without actually asking the options exchanges to plough in more money…

Acting Head Warns Of CFTC Underfunding (subscription)
Financial Times

PLY: Rumours that the CFTC has a begging bowl at the door of the Boca Raton Resort are yet to be confirmed. Nor is it clear if the Commissioners and staff are staying at the “HoJo” across the county line to save funds. Yes, it is a serious issue but alas President Obama is not serious about achieving sensible budgets to match his policy aims, as I note in my latest RT Op-Edge column. Sad.

Sparks Between Romanian CSD & BVB (Romanian version only)
Adina Ardeleanu – Bursa

Majority CSD shareholder, BvB, has requested the CSD AGM present the status on the TARGET2-Securities adherence process.

PLY: A new IT system needs to be chosen and it appears there is friction on the issue (NB I am not aware if an open tender was launched at any stage but as this is Romania, well…draw your own conclusions). So the CSD prefers LSE Millennium (who presumably got an open pass when the previous management of BvB was pushing for more cooperation with London) while BvB CEO Ludwik Sobolewski has apparently asked for NASDAQ OMX to also be approached for a price. I would have thought several other vendors could be included too for good measure. Interesting that after all the hullabaloo of NYSE Tech providing systems to Ludwik’s former employer Warsaw SE during his CEO tenure, there is no mention of their being asked to assist in Bucharest. I wonder why?

OPCOM Considers To Sue ANRE
Alina Toma Vereha – Bursa

OPCOM is considering suing ANRE (the Romanian energy market regulator), after being fined by the European Commission (EC) for anti-competitive practices which it feels were a result of Romanian issues concerning counterparties, VAT and so forth.

PLY: My personal experience remains that Romanian corporate paperwork and process is a pure 100% anti-enterprise mess.

Renewables And Power Markets Must Be Brought Together (subscription)
Steffen Köhler – Risk

Fixed feed-in tariffs have produced heavy increases in the volume of electricity generated via renewables, but their continued existence diminishes the strength of price signals in European power markets.

PLY: Interesting opinions from the COO of EEX.

India – FMC Gives Commodity Bourses Extra Time To Register Their Warehouses
Sunil B.S. – Livemint

FMC has extended its earlier deadline of 31 December 2013 to 30 September 2014 for the national commodity bourses—MCX, NCDEX, National Multi Commodity Exchange of India (NMCE), Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), ACE Derivatives and Commodity Exchange and UCX — to register and accredit their warehouses with the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

Singapore Broker Exodus Seen Quickening: Southeast Asia
Jonathan Burgos – Bloomberg

Singapore’s shrinking brokerage industry is set to get even smaller as trading restrictions planned by regulators dent profits. The average daily value of shares traded in the city, which slumped 40 percent in the first two months of 2014 from a year earlier, will decline further should rules be implemented that include requiring collateral for some trades and shortening the settlement period, said the Society of Remisiers, which represents dealers who work entirely on commission.

SGX and the Monetary Authority of Singapore proposed the changes after a penny-stock rout in October erased $6.9 billion in market value of three companies over three days.

PLY: A fundamental problem for SGX – attractive local content is difficult to find and right now various sectors are out of flavour (e.g. Chinese listings and REITs) while commissions are fiercely competitive, squeezing out the local “remisiers” (effectively ‘half commission men” in old London bargain jargon). SIMEX/SGX Exchange veteran Jimmy Ho is quoted here in his current position as President of the Society of Remisiers, incidentally.

Dark Pool Move By The SFC Is A Logical Step
The Trade

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced in late february that it has begun a two-month consultation about the future regulation of alternative liquidity pools (ALPs), also known as dark pools. The moves are a logical step, according to CLSA’s global head of trading and execution Andy Maynard.

PLY: CLSA’s Andy Maynard points to homogeneity of applied rules for MTFs/ALPs as being a key step forward.

Private Markets

Virtu IPO Filing Reveals European Growth (subscription)
Tim Cave – Financial News

With a potential $100 million float valuing the company at around $3 billion looming, the IPO documentation notes the growth of its business in Europe. Financial News takes a look at what the IPO filing revealed about its European operations centred in Dublin.

PLY: EMEA represents 20% of group revenue (i.e. $132.6m.) with the US $432.9 m. and Asia $98.9 (15%). However European profits were slightly subdued from previous years circa 13% to just 11% or $44 million of the total. Virtu is a member of LSE, Turquoise, Borsa Italiana, BATS Chi-X Europe, NYSE Euronext, DB1, EUREX, NASDAQ OMX, SiX SwX and JSE amongst some 210 global market memberships….there’s more in this interesting Financial News piece…

NSE Seeks Advisers For Public Listing
Reuters

Nigerian SE (NSE) plans to appoint financial advisers to guide it through the process of becoming a publicly listed company, it said on Tuesday. NSE is the second-biggest bourse in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg, which listed in 2006. Nigeria’s bourse is currently owned by stockbrokers and some institutional investors and has around 200 listed companies, all included in its benchmark share index.

PLY: Nigeria’s population is circa 169 million now and is estimated to be bigger than the US population by 2050 according to UN projections, reaching a staggering 914 million people by 2014!

European Commodity Clearing: Trade Reporting Services Successfully Launched
MondoVisione

In mid-February, the European Commodity Clearing (ECC) successfully expanded its offering with reporting services required under EMIR.

SunGard Spinoff SunGard Availability Preps $1.275B In Debt
Natalie Wright – Reuters

SunGard Availability Services is coming to market with a $1.275 billion credit in connection with its spinoff from SunGard Data Systems as the underperforming division is sold off. JP Morgan leads the deal.

EI reported on January 27th Sungard’s announcement to split off its availability services business and on January 29th, that Sungard prepares to launch an amendment to $4.24 billion in loans to back the spinoff of SunGard’s availability services business.

MtGox US Class-Action Sueball Lawyer: ‘We’ve Frozen Their Sorry Assets’
Shaun Nichols – The Register
U.S. Judge Freezes Assets Of Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange Boss
Tom Hals – Reuters

Embattled Bitcoin exchange MtGox has experienced a setback in its efforts to gain bankruptcy protections in the US, their opponents’ legal team tells us, as the company has been hit with a temporary restraining order freezing its assets.

A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday temporarily froze the U.S. assets of Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles and allowed alleged victims of the shuttered bitcoin exchange to demand evidence of what they claim is a massive fraud.

Bitcoin Bankruptcy Math In Doubt
Gail Sullivan – Washington Post

When Mt. Gox filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection on Sunday, it listed liabilities of about $64 million and assets of $38 million, according to the AP.

But hackers who broke into Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpales’ Reddit account this weekend posted a summary of data they found on Mt. Gox servers showing the company still has 951,116 bitcoins ($30,611,805.67 USD) which they say is evidence the exchange’s owners may have pocketed the missing bitcoins themselves.

Bitcoin Is Coming To Wall Street
Zach Miners – PCWorld

New York financial authorities said Tuesday that they would soon begin accepting applications for virtual currency exchanges including those dealing in bitcoins, in a sign of regulators’ growing interest in the technology. Approved applications will ultimately have to adhere to a proposed regulatory framework that New York plans to enact for virtual currency firms operating in the state. That framework will be developed no later by the end of June, New York’s Department of Financial Services announced Tuesday.

PLY: Brilliant. While Cyprus is trying to move forward in Europe to be a Bitcoin financial centre, the NY Administration is leaping ahead of the game here just when the opportunities are wide open for cryptocurrency exchanges to expand.

Is BTC A Derivative? US Regulator Weighs Oversight
RT

PLY: With the Fed abrogating any responsibility, now it falls to the CFTC to evaluate the merits of a land grab: “We are looking into that,” Mark Wetjen, acting chairman of CFTC, said Tuesday: “It’s been initiated, there’s been an internal discussion at the staff level.”

Frankly I think this could be the making of the House Ag Committee and they must grasp the opportunity with both hands (albeit without any budget which may still be the sticking point!).

Perseus, Atlas Launch Global Bitcoin Trading Platform (subscription)
Michael J. Casey – Wall Street Journal

High-speed telecommunications provider Perseus Telecom and digital currency trading platform Atlas ATS formally launched Wednesday a globally integrated bitcoin exchange system in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore to facilitate trading in the digital currency by high-frequency trading firms and other large financial institutions.

A Turnaround For Bitcoin At SXSW
Nathaniel Popper- NY Times

PLY: For me the worrying story about BTC. As I mentioned yesterday, SXSW looks a lot more mainstream than its hopeful hipster attitude might suggest and I am worried that they have endorsed Bitcoin big time as that suggests yet more volatility in store for the currency as it could be a big short term bubble…

Coinbase: Mt. Gox May Have Stumbled, but Bitcoin Will Thrive
Nathan Olivarez-Giles – Wall Street Journal

Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of the widely used Bitcoin wallet Coinbase, said during a one-on-one panel at SXSW that what happened to Mt. Gox is essentially a tech version of natural selection–arguing that companies that don’t know what they’re doing will fall by the wayside and the stronger firms will survive.

FINRA Issues New Investor Alert, Bitcoin: More Than A Bit Risky
MondoVisione

FINRA issued a new investor alert called Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky to caution investors that buying and using digital currency such as Bitcoin carry risks. While speculative trading in bitcoins carries significant risk, there is also the risk of fraud related to companies claiming to offer Bitcoin payment platforms and other Bitcoin-related products and services.

Press Conference By Taro Aso, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister Of Finance, And Minister Of State For Financial Services – Bitcoin here and here.

Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads

PLY: MCX is up 4% on bid speculation (at least for the FTIL 24% stake) while FTIL is similarly up 3.4%. The (largely disastrous) repayment programme from NSEL is coming to an end too, will discuss this more later in the week!

The NSEL repayment tally of shame has now ended this phase: (N.B. Anticipated weekly repayment was Rs 174.72 crore, roughly USD 28,000,000 – Rs 86.02 crore, roughly USD 13,900,000)

Week 1: Rs 92.73 crore (USD 14.37 mln) paid
Week 2: Rs 12.05 crore (USD 1.79 mln) paid
Week 3:Rs 15.37 crore (USD 2.29 mln) paid
Week 4: Rs 7.77 crore (USD 1.21 mln) paid
Week 5: Rs 8.57 crore (USD 1.35 mln) paid
Week 6: Rs 11.45 crore (USD 1.82 mln) paid
Week 7: no payout – bank accounts frozen
Week 8: Rs. 2.85 crore (USD 457.9 k) paid
Week 9: Rs. 28.34 crore (USD 4.58 mln) paid
Week 10: Rs. 30 lakh (USD 49k) paid
Week 11: Rs. 29.05 crore (USD 4.72 mln) paid
Week 12: Rs. 11 crore (USD 1.77 mln) paid
Week 13: no payout
Week 14: Rs. 6.1 crore (USD 976.7k) paid
Week 15: Rs. 9 crore (USD 1.44 mln) paid
Week 16: Rs. 9 crore (USD 1.44 mln) paid
Week 17: Rs. 9 crore (USD 1.46 mln) paid
Week 18: Rs. 11.5 crore (USD 1.85 mln) paid
Week 19: Rs 12.64 crore (USD 2.04 mln) paid
Week 20: Rs 21 crore (USD 3.37 mln) paid
Week 21: Rs 2.45 crore (USD 394k) paid
Week 22: Rs 3.24 crore ( USD 526k) paid
Week 23: Rs 4.5 crore ( USD 726 k) paid
Week 24: Rs 2 crore ( USD 322 k) paid
Week 25: Rs 8.62 crore (USD 1.38 mln) paid
Week 26: Rs 1.05 crore (USD 169k) paid
Week 27: Rs 4.1 crore (USD 660k) paid
Week 28: Rs 50 lakhs (USD 80.6k) paid
Week 29: Rs 83.3 lakhs (USD 134.6k) paid

According to NSEL’s settlement schedule, the last Pay Out day was March 11th 2014 – 86.02 crores (USD 14.06 mln).

NSEL scam: Special Court Rejects Gagan Suri’s Bail, Sends Him To Judicial Custody
dna India

A special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday rejected the bail application of Gagan Suri, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore NSEL scam. The court remanded Suri in judicial custody till March 24. Suri, through his company Yathuri Associates, is alleged to have received Rs361 crore (USD 59.12 mln) from NSEL funds and diverted the money to a maze of companies.

Technology

Deactivation Of Bovespa FIX And Soma FIX
MondoVisione

BOVESPA FIX and SOMA FIX platforms will be deactivated during Q2 2014. Trading of corporate fixed income securities will be migrated to the BM&FBOVESPA PUMA Trading System and market data content will be distributed at UMDF PUMA 2.0…

Cinnober To Include Azul’s Innovative Zing Runtime In TRADExpress
Cinnober

Cinnober will offer Zing, Azul’s high performance runtime for Java, with its TRADExpress solutions, thus improving response time predictability in its trading, clearing and risk management solutions.

BVB Launches Mobile App
Finextra

The new app is available for smartphones, as free of charge download at Google Play and Apple Store for anybody interested in Bucharest Exchange activity.

Products

SGX Follows HKEx In Launching Offshore Renminbi Futures (subscription)
Joe Parsons – FOW Intelligence

SGX will go live with renminbi (RMB) futures and FTSE China A50 index options in Q3 2014.

PLY: The battle is on between HKEx and SGX to dominate the offshore RMB market. London is endeavouring to stake its claim too.

CBOE Announces April 10 Launch Date For CBOE Short-Term VIX Options With Weekly Expirations
CBOE

CBOE today announced that it plans to launch trading of options with weekly expirations on the CBOE Short-Term Volatility Index (ticker symbol: VXST) on Thursday, April 10, pending regulatory approval.

Eurex Extends Access To Asian Derivatives
Mike Kentz – IFR

Eurex will list daily futures on TAIFEX futures and options contracts and extend the trading window by 12 hours on existing Taiwanese equity derivative contracts this May.

Career Paths

FIA Elects Directors and Officers

The following directors were elected as officers by the new board:

Michael Yarian, Managing Director, Head of Agency Derivatives Services, Barclays, was elected as chairman
Gerald Corcoran, Chairman and CEO, R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC, was re-elected as vice chairman
Emily Portney, Global Head of Agency Clearing, Collateral Management and Execution, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, was re-elected as secretary
Malcolm Clark Hutchison, MD, Head of North American Listed Derivatives, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., was elected as treasurer.

The following individuals were re-elected as public directors by the new board:

Michael R. Schaefer
Alice P. White

Eight directors were elected for two-year terms in the regular member category:

Antoine Babule, CEO, Newedge USA, LLC, and Head of Newedge Americas
Patrice Blanc, President, Futures Brokerage Division, Jefferies & Company, Inc. and CEO, Jefferies Bache LLC
Gerald Corcoran, Chairman and CEO, R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC
Michael Dawley, MD, Global Co-Head of Futures and Derivatives Clearing Services, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Malcolm Clark Hutchison, MD, Head of North American Listed Derivatives, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
Najib Lamhaouar, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives and OTC Clearing, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
Edward Pla, Global Head of Clearing and Execution, UBS Investment Bank
Michael Yarian, MD, Head of Agency Derivatives Services, Barclays

Two directors elected to fill the remainders of two-year term expiring in 2015 in the regular member category:

Craig Abruzzo, MD, Morgan Stanley
Jeffrey Howard, Global Head of Prime Services, RBS Securities Inc.

Four directors were elected for two-year terms in the associate member category:

Robert Creamer, President, Geneva Trading
Richard Gorelick, CEO, RGM Advisors LLC
Arthur Hahn, Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Kenneth Raisler, Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

One director was elected for the remainder of a two-year term in the associate member category:

Clive Christison, CEO, Global Oil Americas, BP North America

The new board also appointed the directors of FIA Technology Services, a subsidiary of the FIA that supports electronic execution of give-up agreements and execution brokerage payments.

The directors are Antoine Babule of Newedge USA, LLC; Rebecca Crowe of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.; Michael Dawley of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; John Gleason of Morgan Stanley; and Chris Mitchell of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.

FIA’s board of directors holds elections each year at the annual meeting in March, with terms staggered so that approximately half of the directors are elected each year. In addition to Walt Lukken, president and CEO of FIA, who serves on the board ex officio, the continuing board directors are:

George E. Crapple, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO, Millburn Ridgefield Corporation
Maureen Downs, President, Rosenthal Collins Group LLC
Thomas J. Erickson, VP, Director of Legal Affairs, Bunge Product Lines
Christopher Hehmeyer, Managing Member, HTG Capital Partners LLC
Jeffery Jennings, MD, Global Head of Prime Derivatives Services, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Peter G. Johnson, MD, Global Head of Futures, OTC Clearing and FX Prime Brokerage, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jerome Kemp, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives Sales and Clearing, Citigroup Global Markets Limited
Edward J. Rosen, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Emily Portney, Global Head of Agency Clearing, Collateral Management and Execution, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

FIA press release here.

FIA Global Elects Directors

The following directors were elected as officers by the new board:

Michael Dawley, MD, Global Co-Head of Futures and Derivatives Clearing Services, Goldman, Sachs & Co., was elected as chairman
Jerome Kemp, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives Sales and Clearing, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, was elected as vice chairman
Steve Sparke, Group COO and Head of Financial Futures, Marex, and chairman, FIA Europe, was elected as treasurer
Najib Lamhaouar, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives and OTC Clearing, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., was elected as secretary

The following individuals were elected as directors to the FIA Global board:

Craig Abruzzo, MD, Morgan Stanley
Michael Dawley, MD, Global Co-Head of Futures and Derivatives Clearing Services, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
David Escoffier, CEO, Newedge
Jeffery Jennings, MD, Global Head of Prime Derivatives Services, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Peter G. Johnson, MD, Global Head of Futures, OTC Clearing and FX Prime Brokerage, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jerome Kemp, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives Sales and Clearing, Citigroup Global Markets Limited
Najib Lamhaouar, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Derivatives and OTC Clearing, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
Emily Portney, Global Head of Agency Clearing, Collateral Management and Execution, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
Ajay Singh, Global Head of Listed Derivatives, Deutsche Bank AG

The following individuals will serve as the ex-officio directors of the FIA Global board:

Michael Yarian, MD, Head of Agency Derivatives Services, Barclays, and chairman, FIA
Steve Sparke, Group COO and Head of Financial Futures, Marex, and chairman, FIA Europe
Jason Scott, MD, Head of Listed Derivatives Asia, Deutsche Bank, and chairman, FIA Asia

The following individuals will serve as ex-officio non-voting directors of FIA Global:

Walt Lukken, CEO, FIA
Simon Puleston Jones, CEO, FIA Europe
Bill Herder, executive director, FIA Asia

FIA press release here.

FCA has appointed Julia Hoggett as head of investment banking in its supervision division. She will start in early May.

Businessweek notes that KCG, the firm created when Getco merged with Knight Capital Group, hired Anthony Abenante as a senior adviser to its global execution services business.

Abenante was co-chief executive officer of Instinet Inc., a unit of Nomura Holdings Inc., from June 2007 until May 2012. He also spent 10 years at Investment Technology Group Inc. In his new role Abenante, 47, will provide strategic advice on the development of KCG’s institutional business, the firm said in a statement.

The Bitcoin Foundation hired Jim Harper, an official at the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy organization, to “identify political impediments to bitcoin adoption, and build confidence in bitcoin among governments around the world.”

KOR, the advocacy and consulting firm, led by exchange/industry veteran Christopher Nagy (CEO) and  David Lauer (president and managing partner), will cover the intersection of market structure, policy, and financial technology, and will push an agenda of greater transparency in the industry.

Financial Calendar

Thursday
BGC Partners $0.12 quarterly dividend payment

Friday
Interactive Brokers $0.10 quarterly dividend payment
Record date GFI $0.05 quarterly dividend
Record date NASDAQ OMX quarterly dividend of $0.13

New announcements:

Dubai Financial Market will hold a BoD’ Meeting on Sunday 16 March, 2014, at Borse Dubai, to discuss normal business activities.

Amman SE (ASE) will hold its Fifteenth General Assembly Meeting on Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

Crowdfunding

Wells Fargo Reverses Ban On Staff Making P2P Loans (subscription)
Tracy Alloway & Arash Massoudi – Financial Times

Wells Fargo has dropped a ban on its employees making loans with their own money on peer-to-peer platforms, in a sudden reversal of internal policy toward the budding alternative lending sector.

The largest US bank by market value said it had conducted a fresh review of the “P2P” market and found that loans made by its staff on the platforms were not “inconsistent with [its] code of ethics”.

On January 21st EI reported that Wells Fargo banned staff from investing in P2P loans.

PLY: It is better for Wells Fargo to look dumb short term than over the long term, I applaud their ability to admit a mistake, it is not a common trait with banks.

Other stories

FIA Releases Annual Report On Global Trends In F & O
Automated Trader

FIA has released its annual report on global trends in the trading of futures and options. According to statistics gathered by FIA from 84 exchanges worldwide, 21.64 billion futures and options contracts were traded in 2013, an increase of 2.1% from the previous year, but still well below the number of contracts traded in 2012 and 2011.

Check FIA annual volume survey here.

ETD Trading Volumes Recovered In 2013, Says WFE
hedgeweek

The number of ETD worldwide increased by three per cent in 2013 to 22 billion contracts, according to statistics compiled by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

The WFE, which annually conducts a survey on derivative markets, found that in 2013, 22 billion derivative contracts (12 billion futures and 10 billion options) were traded on exchanges worldwide – a 685 million increase above derivatives contracts traded in 2012.

WFE release here.

Keynote Address Of Acting CFTC Chairman Mark Wetjen To 39th Annual International Futures Industry Conference

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