March 14 2014


It’s St. Me’s Day coming up Monday so be sure to have a great weekend of celebrations (and don’t forget St Zbigniew too). First stop for celebration though is today: marking our 10 month anniversary – I know, you really think it’s been much longer since we launched our newsletter to bring you a free daily digest of Exchange News.

Meanwhile, over at our Premium product, things continue to heat up and we’ve got a fraternal thing going from Boca as well as some useful thoughts on STIRring topics ahead, the latest 5 Premium Posts are:

NEW: Boca Pool Side: A Remarkable Fraternal Exchange

NEW: The Pot Stirs

Boca Pool Side: A New Derivatives Dauphin For London?

Boca Pool Side: The Fresh Prince Of Asia?

Barnier Suffers A Set-Back

Satoshi Unmasked

A Bond Market Dilemma

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 celebrate our 10 month anniversary of free news and Subscribe Here.

As a taster, in Career Paths I have given you a little hint of the sort of things you can learn in our Premium product…just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the information you missed this week alone!

…So to today’s EI with MOEX results showing health in Moscow, a panic in India as the CBI actively pursues SEBI investigation and MCX-SX Chairman dramatically quits after only 5 months! Reuters harbour big benchmark ambitions although not much seems to be happening in public at Boca, while ICE sees the benefits of LIFFE clearing hitting the UK bottom line. London on cusp of IPO record while ESMA issues HFT white paper but web site has collapsed! Swap packages expected SEF-ward bound by May. Electronic order entry finally a majority in European equity trading…

All this and much more in today’s Exchange Invest, happy scrolling:

Public Markets

MOEX Announces 2013 Results

Revenues increased 14% YoY to RUB 24.61 bln (USD 671.6 mln).
EBITDA increased 20% YoY to RUB 16.40 bln (USD 447.6 mln); the EBITDA margin was 66.6% (63.7%)
Net income increased 41% YoY to RUB 11.58 bln (USD 316 mln);
EPS increased to RUB 5.23 (USD 0.14) from RUB 3.86.

Mankekar Buys 700k Shares Of FTIL

Well-known Indian investor Laxmi Shankar Mankekar picked up 700k FTIL shares for Rs 27.23 crore (USD 4.4 mln) (average price of Rs 389 – USD 6.34) on the open market from Om Kedar Investments.

Clarification From FTIL

BSE had sought clarification from FTIL with respect to a news article in a Financial daily about “FTIL, MCX shares spurt on Shah stake sale rumour“. FTIL has replied thus:

“We would like to categorically deny that Mr. Jignesh Shah or any other FTIL authorized spokesperson have made any such statement to media as reported in some TV channels which was subsequently carried by you also.

Also he has not named any company who have approached FTIL or not for strategic partnership and neither has he talked about FTIL”s stake dilution or about its pricing. The reports have been put out of context and are highly speculative. We cannot comment further on this.”

PLY: Clearly Jignesh Shah is determined to act according to best market practice.

Profits Surge At ICE’s EU Clearing House (subscription)
Anish Puaar – Financial News

Profits at ICE’s European clearing house jumped by nearly 40% last year, as the group began to reap the rewards from a takeover of the region’s largest derivatives exchange.

PLY: Always a great boost to the bottom line (q.v. history buffs will recall the rationale for the infamous late night ICE bid for CBOT which took place at Boca Raton in 2007).

TR Plots Bid To Become Isdafix Administrator (subscription)
Anish Puaar – Financial News

TR spokesman: “With Isdafix now up for tender, we are very interested in putting ourselves forward for the administrator role that Isda performs currently. We have been working very closely with global regulators, authorities and agencies to ensure that as an industry we collectively enhance and re-establish trust in key benchmarks and continue to support the vital role they play in financial markets.”

TR unveiled TRBSL a dedicated subsidiary for its benchmark business earlier this week to manage the 160 benchmarks it currently helps to calculate or administer, including Isdafix and Libor.

On February 25th EI reported that ISDA started looking for an independent administrator for the Isdafix.

TR & Cambridge Associates Create Innovative Online Platform For Private Fund Performance Benchmarks

TR announced and Cambridge Associates, will provide Cambridge’s private fund performance benchmarks through a jointly-developed online platform via Thomson Reuters Eikon.

London On Cusp Of IPO Record (subscription)
Richard Partington – Financial News

The UK is around $350 million away from a record first quarter for IPOs – a milestone it will almost certainly pass today with the listing of oil and gas support vessel operator Gulf Marine Services.

PLY: IPOs are going well in multiple jurisdictions, the LSE has exciting momentum in particular.

ESMA Demands Spotlight On High-Speed Trading (subscription)
Tim Cave – Financial News

Europe’s top securities watchdog, Paris-based ESMA said more research was needed to “analyse the potential risks and benefits” of HFT, in its bi-annual report on market trends published this week. More European studies are needed… The report included analysis into the relative level of HFT activity in European equities. Studies by consultancy firms to date have put the proportion of activity at around 30%, but Esma found that HFT activity accounts for around 22% of value traded in European stocks, and 60% of overall order traffic.

PLY: We have been trying to link to the ESMA paper but alas their web site has collapsed this am. (Remember while many other regulators have worrying resource constraints, EU-wide regulators like EBA and ESMA operate on what could only be described as a shoestring budget).

PSE-PDEx Merger Still Being Pursued
Business World Online

Negotiations for a merger of the country’s stock and fixed-income markets have not lost steam despite delays, with Philippine SE (PSE) officials determined to corner a deal they said would allow them to cut the costs that go with clearing transactions. “The focus right now is to see the merger to its conclusion. They are still in the thick of negotiations,” PSE Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran said. Merger talks were slated to be concluded last August but were later moved to November. No new deadline has been set since that November target was missed.

EI reported on December 3rd that the PSE-PDEx merger saga is set to continue in 2014 after the Nov 30 deadline was missed.

PSE is set to acquire the shares of SGX and the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines (BAP) in Philippine Dealing System Holding Corp. (PDS Group), which is the holding firm of the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) — the country’s fixed-income trading platform.

BAP, SGX and PSE hold 25%, 20% and 20%, respectively, of the PDS Group. The rest is owned by minority shareholders.

Computers Dethrone Humans In European Stock Trading
Francesco Canepa & Simon Jessop – Reuters

European equity investors are placing more orders via computers than through flesh-and-blood traders for the first time as new market rules drive more money managers to go high-tech and low cost.

Last year, European investors put 51 percent of their orders through computers directly connected to the stock exchange or by using algorithms, or algos, to find a counterparty, a study by consultants TABB showed. In 2012, the share was 46 percent. The foreign exchange market has already embraced algo trading, which accounted for 68 percent of orders in 2013, EBS data showed.

Regulators would like more bond trading to go electronic as well, but progress there has been much slower.

PLY: Demonstrating the strength of the institutional market… As for retail, well has anybody here spoken to a stock broker in the last 12 months? The last person I encountered still placing orders only with a human broker was just on her way back from a regular annual check-up and carbon dating session in Harley Street. The changes in how institutions deal might also be handily attributed to not merely regulation but also the wonders of the cloud as the buy side has leapfrogged having to install too much hardware in their offices…

Of course now dealing is becoming so heavily commoditised we can presumably expect investment banks to offer dealing commissions as competitive as the micropricing available from the exchanges…

Exchange CEOs Say They Are On High Alert Over Cyber Security
John McCrank – Reuters

PLY: Frankly I am concerned by this story. It is perhaps slightly contextually massaged to help create a story to justify the lavish costs of being at the Boca Raton banker-derivatives fest (where ironically all the headlines are made by exchanges – makes you think…). Anyway, given the infamous Intrade (& related prediction/sportsbook/sports exchange) hacks were a decade ago, all of a sudden exchanges are really concerned about hacking? Seriously?

True hacking is in certain senses becoming easier/more prevalent but frankly I think the industry risks looking sleepy here – or at best just issuing blanket platitudes.

Apparently Magnus Bocker of SGX remarked: “We are worried a lot and we are far more worried now than we were just a couple of years ago,” – to which my answer is: ‘why far more now?’ Perhaps it was just jet lag or some element of the pressure Magnus has apparently been under back home in Singapore of late… At the same time, Magnus is spot on in assessing that the industry needs to find better means to share information and help repel hacking collectively, as well as individually. NB To affirm, I am not saying hacking isn’t very important, I just don’t buy the idea that it has suddenly become a much greater issue for exchanges during the past year or two…

LME To Decide On Future Of The Ring In Q3 – Jones (subscription)
Metal Bulletin

LME expects to come to a decision regarding the fate of the open outcry trading floor in Q3, but discussions to date have not revealed a desire or regulatory requirement to close it, the exchange’s CEO said.

PLY: Updating yesterday’s story which suggested the floor was definitively staying. Elsewhere Garry Jones has been saying he is re-evaluating every vestige of the LME pricing structure incidentally alongside plans to open a US office.

Alibaba Poised To Opt For US Listing (subscription)
Financial Times

Alibaba is “95 per cent certain” to choose New York over Hong Kong for its initial public offering, expected to be one of the largest in history.

EI reported yesterday that Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said that the company will not change its partnership structure in order to list on HKEx.

PLY: However it is still not clear that even in the US the partnership structure is entirely okay, although it has to be said Google have just been share shuffling with even greater gusto than ever to ensure their founders retain total control with relatively modest percentage stakes. Neither move is palatable.

SEF Rules Expected To Catch Swap Packages From Mid-May (subscription)
Peter Madigan – Risk

Curve trades and swap spreads will have CFTC protection lifted from mid-May if they contain a leg that is subject to SEF requirements, platform operators expect. More complex packages may see relief extended
Packaged swap transactions including curve trades and swap spreads will likely be forced onto trading platforms from May 15, SEF operators have predicted, with CFTC not expected to extend a temporary safe harbour protecting the less complex of these products from the SEF-trading mandate.

As Moscow Circles, Ukraine’s Stock Exchange Holds Onto Hopes
Paul Waldie – The Globe and Mail

“The local market here? There’s not much left,” said Mr. Tarabakin, MD of sales and trading at Dragon Capital, one of Kiev’s largest investment firms. “It started to pick up lately as we started seeing hope at the end of the tunnel, we hope at least.”

As reported on March 7th, MOEX is the principal shareholder of the two exchanges, owning a 50 percent plus 1 share of PFTS and 43 percent of Ukrainian Exchange.

PLY: Ignore the macropolitics of the current chaos in Ukraine, the truth is it’s an economic basket case riding on top of a legal system where private property protection is pretty scant. That is at the core of the Ukrainian problems and ultimately having one stock exchange or one million MTFs won’t make any difference whatsoever. The country needs a decent legal system which protects small entrepreneurs and investors from a rapacious state / network of oligarchs who control much of the political landscape of government and opposition. Build a nation with a decent legal system and bottom up growth may flow in place of the stagnant kleptocracy peddled by all governments since Ukraine separated from the dying USSR.

GS Said to Send Refunds After Dark Pool Error
Sam Mamudi & Michael J. Moore – Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs discovered pricing errors in the firm’s dark pool trading venue and sent checks to customers to compensate for the mistakes.

India – FMC To Raise Trade Position Limits
Business Standard

Acting on the recommendations of the Risk Management Group (RMG), FMC is looking at revising trade position limits for clients and members. The move is to increase participation in commodity exchanges, with public comment sought by April 15.

PLY: While the US and Europe are moving in the opposite direction, intriguingly India is moving towards a more liberal regime to encourage transparent exchange transactions.

MAS To Develop Real Time Gross Settlement System For Yuan
Linette Lim – Channel News Asia

Singapore’s bid to be a top yuan clearing hub received a boost on Thursday, after the central bank announced it will develop a real time gross settlement (RTGS) system for the Chinese currency.

PLY: Singapore now joins offshore yuan centres like Hong Kong and Taiwan with an RMB RTGS system.

HKEx And LME: Update On Legal Proceedings

As announced on 4 and 7 August 2013, LME was named as a co-defendant in certain class action lawsuits filed in the US.

Further, as noted in HKEx’s announcement of the final results for 2013 published on 26 February 2014, a total of 26 class actions have been filed against LME of which 19 also named LME Holdings Limited (LMEH), the immediate parent of LME, as a co-defendant.

The class actions have been consolidated into three complaints, each composed of a different class of plaintiffs: (1) first level direct purchasers of primary aluminium from a smelter or an affiliate of a smelter (“Direct Purchasers of Primary Aluminium”); (2) commercial end users who purchased semi-fabricated aluminium; and (3) consumers who purchased Aluminium Consumer Products for their own use.

Private Markets

CISX ‘Gag’ Lifted As New Chief Minister Is Elected
Guernsey Press

A gagging order preventing former non-exec directors of the CISX from speaking about the scandal that cost Peter Harwood his job as chief minister has been lifted. Eight former directors in the affair, including Deputy Harwood, responded to the removal of the enforced silence by issuing a strongly worded defence of their actions. They revealed that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, which has for the last two years been investigating historical activities at the exchange, ordered them to keep quiet.

EI reported on February 26th that the Guernsey chief minister, Peter Harwood, resigned, in the wake of publication of a critical article in the current issue of the British satirical and investigative publication, Private Eye, referring to Harwood’s previous role as a director of CISX.

eleni: Investors Rally to Finance New Ghana Commodity Exchange
Ghana Commodity Exchange Attracts 6 Investment Consortium
Ehidiamhen Okpamen – Ventures Africa

eleni, a private company positioned as the premier commodity exchange promoter in Africa, has announced today the formation of a private-public investment consortium to finance the establishment of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX).

Investment consortium partners include Ghana’s top tier financial institutions, Data Bank Agrifund Manager Ltd, Ecobank Ghana Ltd, UT Bank Ghana Ltd, as well as IFC, 8 Miles Fund and eleni, with minority stakeholding by the Government of Ghana.

The consortium partners and the Government of Ghana have jointly signed a Letter of Intent with the aim of completing the investment process by April 2014 and launching the GCX over a 12 month period through early 2015. A second consortium is also in formation for a large-scale investment in warehouse and logistics infrastructure and equipment in 8 delivery sites around Ghana as a strategic eco-system partner to the GCX.

PLY: Eleni, the eponymous exchange creator run by Eleni Gabre-Madhin has a new venture building on her original successful founding of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. Good luck to her.

China’s Nasdaq Fails To Get Off The Ground As Venture Capitalists Look To The US
The Conversation

China’s equivalent of the Nasdaq stock exchange is failing to attract some of the country’s most innovative companies. ChiNext was supposed to anchor local high-tech businesses on home soil with a secure source of funding, but foreign investors have proven to be stuck in their ways.

ChiNext was launched with high hopes as a Nasdaq-style board of the Shenzhen SE in late 2009. Since then it has been an active market for IPOs, attracting more than 350 Chinese firms. However, Chinese tech firms which listed on ChiNext in the two and a half years after launch had average total assets of less than USD$50 million. That compares to Chinese tech firms listing in New York during the same period which had average assets of about USD$140 million.

PLY: ChiNext may be failing to attract the bigger listings but it is not a failure per se and is clearly providing a liquidity platform for a key segment of Chinese corporates.

Singapore To Regulate Bitcoin Operators For Laundering Risk
Sanat Vallikappen – Bloomberg

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will require intermediaries that facilitate the exchange of digital currencies to verify customers’ identities and report suspicious transactions to a unit of the city-state’s police. No timeframe was given.

PLY: I am not surprised that Singapore would go this route and while diehard faithful are obsessed about privacy in Bitcoin, a modicum of judicious AML is essential.

The Mt. Gox Effect: Singapore Regulates, Bitcoiners Rejoice
Michael J. Casey – Wall Street Journal

Singapore has been a favorite locale for bitcoin startups, thanks to what many have seen as its permissive stance toward virtual currencies.

So, now that the city-state has announced it will regulate digital currencies, what’s the bitcoin business community’s response? Mostly positive, it seems.

That may be a sign that, in the wake of the spectacular collapse of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox, those in the industry trying to bring bitcoin into the mainstream are eager for regulations that establish clear ground rules for virtual currencies. Singapore’s announcement fits that bill.

Bitcoin Vault Xapo Backed By Benchmark In $20 Million Funding
Serena Saitto – Businessweek

Xapo Ltd., a provider of secure online storage for Bitcoins, has raised $20 million in a first round of funding led by venture capital firm Benchmark.

Ribbit Capital, a Silicon Valley venture firm that invests in technologies for financial services, and Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based private-equity and hedge-fund manager, participated in the round, Wences Casares, Xapo’s founder and CEO, said in an interview yesterday.

Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads

PLY: We have a belated announcement of the final NSEL scheduled payment but the big news is the shake up by the CBI muscling into the NSEL case and even opening a file on SEBI Chairman Mr Bhave. MCX and FTIL are both off around 3% (Monday is a holiday incidentally but not for St Patrick’s Day I hasten to add!). The firmament of Indian exchanges has been shaken and already the MCX-SX Chairman has stood down – this could get very interesting as a lot of government officials ought to be brought to book for their failings over NSEL alongside the private sector incompetents cum villains (depending on their precise position in this comex morality play).

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
Week 30: Rs 1.68 crore (USD 134.6k) paid

Week 30: Rs 1.68 crore (USD 274k) paid defaults 30th time – see NSEL announcement here.

Check NSEL’s settlement schedule here.

CBI Grills Jignesh Shah Files FIR In NSEL Scam
The Economic Times

After hours of being grilled on Thursday, Jignesh Shah, founder of the FTIL group, was whisked away by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to its Mumbai headquarters for recording his statements and obtaining signatures on certain documents.

With this, the plot surrounding Jignesh Shah and his men thickens, threatening to drag in regulatory chiefs and reopening some old, controversial stories.

Nod To MCX-SX: CBI Files PE Against Ex-SEBI Chief Bhave
The Indian Express
CBI Goes After Wrong Man In Jignesh Case
The Financial Express

CBI on Thursday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against former SEBI chairman CB Bhave and former member KM Abraham in connection with alleged irregularities in giving recognition to MCX-SX in 2008 and renewing the same in 2009 and 2010.

The agency has also registered PEs against the exchange promoter FTIL, which was last year found unfit by FMC to run an exchange, after a payment crisis broke out at NSEL, also promoted by FTIL.

The CBI’s move to register the PEs coincided with the raids conducted by the agency at NSEL premises on Thursday. Last month, FTIL unit MCX had asked the tainted promoter to divest its 26% in the commodity exchange and bring it down to 2% to comply with the FMC directive.

PLY: Curiouser and curiouser. Given Mr Bhave was pretty determined to refuse MCX-SX a licence, I am not quite sure how he is involved in the proceedings for this reason…

G K Pillai Quits MCX; Shares Plunge On CBI Probe
The Hindu Business Line

Former Home Secretary G K Pillai on Friday resigned as Chairman of MCX-SX, even as the government and market regulator SEBI tried to assuage stakeholders’ concerns arising out of the bourse coming under CBI scanner.

MCX-SX Board Meet: Co Says Business As Usual, But Is It?

Even as NSEL crisis is seen to be engulfing its sister firm MCX-SX, the stock exchange – which is holding a board meeting today – is trying to portray a picture of normalcy.

Last evening, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered an enquiry against former top SEBI officials CB Bhave and KM Abraham over the way in which equity-trading approval was granted to the stock exchange.

There were also media reports that said the company’s appointed “public interest directors” would quit.

MCX-SX: Clarification On Speculative Reports And Market Rumours

PLY: A “nothing to see here” notice is followed an hour or so later by news of a new Chairman. Developing….


Iraq – Kurdistan Region – ESX Has Entered Into An Agreement With KITS Company
Kurd Net

Erbil SE (ESX) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region has entered into an agreement with the KITS Company to implement data centers and associated network components.

PLY: Erbil is installing NASDAQ OMX, X-Stream trading platform, this will add the necessary supporting infrastructure.


LME Will Launch Yuan-Denominated Contracts In Hong Kong (subscription)
Metal Bulletin

Yuan-denominated contracts will be launched by LME in Hong Kong, not London but the Chinese currency will become an approved source of collateral at the exchange’s clearing house, LME Clear, which goes live in September, Garry Jones said.

The contracts would be listed on HKEx and cleared by Hong Kong Futures Clearing. There are already four clearing houses in Hong Kong, for equities, options, futures and OC Clear. HKEx already offers 120 products denominated in yuan.

LME May Introduce Market-Makers To Boost Liquidity In New Contracts (subscription)
Metal Bulletin

LME may introduce market-makers to boost liquidity in new contracts going forward, including for non-metals products it might eventually launch.

PLY: Metal Bulletin deserve plaudits for extracting so much material from one Garry Jones interview…or perhaps they have monopolised his entire week in Boca Raton.

TOCOM To Adjust Trading Hours And First Day Trade Schedule From July 2014

TOCOM announced today updates to exchange trading hours and contract specifications. The changes, designed to offer increased trading opportunities, will start in July 2014 and are pending regulatory approval.

Career Paths

MCX-SX board elected Thomas Mathew T., Former Chairman LIC as the Chairman of the exchange & Ms. Ashima Goyal, Professor at Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) as the Vice Chairman of the exchange after the sudden and entirely unexpected resignation of Chairman GK Pillai.

PLY: Chaos has reigned in Indian exchanges today. The CBI has cracked down and even opened enquiries into the hitherto untouchable caste: SEBI itself. Thus many former civil servants have resigned. Notably the Chairman of MCX-SX GK Pillai has resigned entirely unexpectedly (despite the MCX-SX putting lip gloss on the announcement, noting that its rights issue is proceeding satisfactorily). After all he was only elected Chairman in November when the regulators were endeavouring to oust FTIL from influence. Today’s was a scheduled board meeting but at the same time the fallout is enormous. The idea of parachuting former mandarins into exchanges is now in chaos. As previously noted, they are risk averse creatures and ill-suited after decades in the Indian civil service to deal with real world risk markets as I have long argued. Indian needs a big rethink here as CBI have lobbed a grenade into the cosy regulator-led consensus!

The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China announced the re-appointment of Messrs Chow Chung Kong and Timothy George Freshwater as members of the BoD of HKEx each for a term of approximately 2 years from the close of HKEx’s AGM to be held on 16 April 2014 until the conclusion of the AGM to be held in 2016.

The European Principal Traders Association (EPTA), a subsidiary of FIA, announced that Johannah Ladd has taken on the role of secretary general at the lobby group. Ladd was most recently general counsel at Dutch HFT firm Flow Traders (as we rushed to pixel it was not clear if this is a full time appointment).

FIA EPTA represents European firms that trade on their own capital, and has been a vocal proponent of HFT in recent years. Ladd replaces Mark Spanbroek, a director at HFT specialist Getco, in the role. He will take on the position of vice chairman within the trade body having always been an interim Secretary General.

Finally, from the Boca pool side we heard a welcome rumour a few days back: former UBS ETD brokerage co-head Bill Templer will be joining the LSE to run their initiative to launch a deliverable swap future as part of a wider post OTC fixed income derivatives push in partnership with a consortium of banks, clearing (naturally) LCH.Clearnet. I am delighted to hear of Bill’s appointment and indeed wonder if he is in line to head all of LSE’s derivatives operations given the broad stretch of activities currently undertaken by Nicolas Bertrand?*

*N.B. Premium subscribers have had this information for 2 days, can you afford not to keep up with the industry? Exchange Invest Premium is $120 per annum, Subscribe Here

Financial Calendar

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

Next week

Record date ICE $0.65 Q1 dividend
CBOE $0.18 quarterly dividend payment
NZX $NZ 0.0160 final dividend payment

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

Share Notes

Interactive Brokers Group SVP Milan Galik sold 1,800 shares Tuesday, March 11th at an average price of $22.39 (bargain $40,302.00). He now owns 803,117 shares. Mr. Galik’s regular sales are chronicled on this specific page.

Analyst Notes

ICAP “Sell” Rating Restated By Espirito Santo Investment Bank Research – GBX 335 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.


5 Reasons Why States Should Seize The Initiative On Crowdfunding
Alan McGlade – Forbes

SEC is in the process of formalizing rules to allow “general solicitation”, or the ability to advertise the sale of private securities, to both accredited and non-accredited investors. The implementation of these rules is meant to fully enable the crowdfunding provision of the federal JOBS Act that was signed into law in 2012. Some who have been involved in the process believe that crowdfunding portals will be able to operate under these rules in a matter of months while many others believe the time horizon is substantially longer.

So why should individual states create an exemption for something that is already being dealt with at the national level? Here are five reasons.

Other stories

What Did Deceased IT Exec Know About Madoff Ponzi Scheme?
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology

A defense attorney suggested that Liz Weintraub, Madoff’s deceased former head of IT, helped devise the deceptive code that enabled the Ponzi scheme, and not his clients, two ex-programmers.

HKEx Is Eager To Prove Kipling Wrong And Link East And West

“We look Chinese to Westerners, but to the Chinese we are not so Chinese,” said Charles Li, CEO of HKEx, in describing its role between China and the West. “We want to bring Chinese investors into Hong Kong and push other investors into China over large bridges and highways with exchanges on each side able to control the flow. We are trying to figure out how Hong Kong can add value to China’s coming out to meet the world.”

He expects the boom in commodities to continue in China and to expand to Africa.

Remarks On The Volcker Rule’s Market Making Exemption, John Ramsay, Acting Director, SEC Division Of Trading And Markets

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