March 24 2014

elb2

EU keen to promote crowdfunding on a day when lots of risk problems appear to be festering across the landscape of swaps, derivatives and beyond. Asia seeks better regulation (I may be emigrating), NASDAQ generates multiple headlines, Goldmans endorse IEX, KCG improving agency business, CME board shrinking opposed and amazingly against a background of legal actions and investigations, buyers for FTIL appear mute…

Actually it’s a big scroll today but worth every inch, happy reading!

Latest posts on Exchange Invest Premium (more to follow later at Exchange Invest Premium) include:

New: China Liberalises

Neither Fit Nor Proper: The FTIL Fire Sale

FESE’s Alleged Fractious Factions…

2014 – A Year Of Unprecedented Executive Change?

The Dark Side Of EMIR Regulation

Thanks to those already in the Inner Circle from amongst our sponsors and subscribers. To enjoy more detail than we can fit into the free daily Exchange Invest then please Subscribe Here, only $120 per user/annum, bulk deals for corporations available…

Public Markets

CFTC Steps Up Probe Of ‘Exchange For Futures’ Deals (subscription)
Gregory Meyer & Kara Scannell – Financial Times

The US derivatives watchdog has warned market participants of potential legal charges as it escalates a probe into more than a million energy, metals, foreign exchange and other swap transactions. CFTC staff have sent “Wells notices” as they examine a broad category of transactions that includes “exchanges of futures for swaps,” or EFSs.

Majority Of EMIR Derivatives Reports Cannot Be Matched, Say Repositories (subscription)
Fiona Maxwell – Risk

European repositories are warning up to 60% of derivatives trade reports entering their systems cannot be matched with their corresponding halves, leaving vast numbers of orphaned reports and a patchy picture of what is happening in derivatives markets.

PLY: One for the “That went well then” file. Odd isn’t it: if you rush vast regulation and apply oodles of rules then a short deadline to get it all happening simultaneous to, er, ‘separate but equal’ rules coming from the EU & US, that it may end up with an out trade pile that would have embarrassed a virgin runner on any floor 25 years ago. Ah, progress, government style.

Asian Watchdogs Battle To Keep Pace With Western Regulations (subscription)
Michelle Price – Financial News

As Australia’s presidency of the G20 takes shape, the spotlight is shining ever more brightly on the regulatory landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. Watchdogs in many Asian countries are trying to fall in line with standards set by Europe and the US, but fears are growing that this trend is not only expensive but could potentially stymie the development of Asia’s capital markets.

PLY: The US/EU ‘big” market fixation of risk and regulation threatens to strangle developing markets – but actually it will just lead to a huge regulatory fragmentation as, anyway, nobody can afford the process… Joe Hockey, Australia’s federal treasurer puts it perfectly: “More regulation should be cast aside in favour of better regulation.” Amen.

No Takers For Majority Stake In FTIL
Kritika Saxena – Moneycontrol

FTIL is unable to find takers for selling its majority stake. Prospective investors like Tech Mahindra and L&T Infotech have backed out of bid after the CBI probe as these companies are wary of settlement with investors.

PLY: It strikes me merely blaming the CBI would seem harsh given that there appears to be a rather broad group of agencies pursuing Jignesh Shah and FTIL currently, notably Mumbai Fraud Squad (EOW)… Are the buyers wondering if there may be a bargain basement price with the group under duress? As things stand buying FTIL is a bit of a punt given the legal cloud hanging over it.

CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Provides Extension of Temporary No-Action Relief with respect to Swaps Trading on MTFs Overseen by Competent Authorities Designated by EU Member States
MondoVisione

That Was The Best Budget Ever For Growing Firms, Says LSE Boss Xavier Rolet
Vicki Owen – This is Money

Xavier Rolet, the French-born CEO of LSE, sees only good news. ‘I thought it was his best Budget ever,’ the former banker declares.

PLY: Upbeat profile on LSE CEO. He likes nanotech (sensible man) but is a bit gushing about the budget – although as I noted Friday hopefully disintermediating annuity companies will only be the first step to taking on the rancid banking system and other financial intermediaries only surviving because of regulatory monopoly.

Global Plans In Question As Canada Exchange Seeks CEO (subscription)
Ben Dummett – Wall Street Journal

As TMX’s Tom Kloet prepares to retire, his successor faces the challenge of making good on the deal the CEO struck after his effort to merge with LSE failed.

Shareholders rejected the LSE deal in 2011 and ultimately supported a higher 3.8 billion Canadian dollar ($3.41 billion) takeover offer for TMX by a group of Canadian banks and pension funds. That group’s plan was to combine TMX with CDS Inc., the country’s main equity and fixed-income clearing facility, and Alpha Group, an alternative trading platform, to create an integrated domestic exchange in Canada with scale to expand globally.

So far, the new TMX has successfully combined Alpha and CDS, generating better-than-expected cost savings, allowing TMX to raise its cost-cutting target to C$28 million in annualized savings from the original C$20 million target. The deal also diversified the exchange operator’s earnings sources from the clearing services offered through CDS and additional trading volumes it can generate through Alpha.

CME Move To Shrink Board Opposed (subscription)
Neil Munshi – Financial Times

CME is facing opposition over its efforts to slim down the size of its board after unveiling plans to reduce the representation of some of its traders and users. Five former board members are publicly opposing CME’s plans to reduce the board from 24 to 21 members by cutting in half the six seats nominated by class B shareholders, who are members of the exchange. Even after the cut, CME will still have the largest board of any company in the S&P 500, according to Institutional Shareholder Services.

PLY: Cutting legacy businesses is never easy. The worry for CME is that its board is often seen as a gerontocrats paradise for former Chairmen now in their advanced anecdotage. There remains a lot of work to do and it falls to the Chairman to lead the board forward to reform, retaining an interesting mix from amidst those talented individuals representing the many facets of the CME’s diverse business and culture.

Integration Of Derivatives Market At JPX
MondoVisione

JPX has today integrated the derivatives market operated by Tokyo SE into that of Osaka Exchange (formerly Osaka Securities Exchange), and all trading operations have been consolidated onto J-GATE.

Nasdaq NLX Says 10% Market Share In Key Contract Shows Momentum Growing
Clare Hutchison – Reuters

Nasdaq OMX’s new London-based derivatives exchange has achieved 10 percent market share in one of its contracts, a level of liquidity that will draw more market participants to connect, its CEO said.

PLY: 9 months on and NLX is making progress with 10% of EURIBOR volume according to its own data. Will it make the big breakthrough? I am still not convinced that a pure discounter copycat strategy will really make a difference but NLX are clearly making a strong push…

Manage OTC Risk Or Join Asia: ASX (subscription)
Financial Review

ASX has urged the federal government to decide if clearing systems for Australia’s multi-trillion dollar derivatives markets should be held onshore or by foreign institutions.

PLY: Back in the bunker at 20 Bond Street, Elmer Funke Kupper emerges with the revelatory news that an ASX monopoly is their fresh approach to the same old status quo strangling Australia’s market development as a financial centre and robbing the customers of choice, competition and service.

Goldman Sachs Endorses IEX Stock Market Built To Fight Predators
Michael P. Regan & Sam Mamudi – Businessweek

In a memo to its equities unit, Goldman Sachs said it’s been one of the most-active brokers on IEX, which opened in October. Markets would be well-served if New York-based IEX achieved “critical mass,” even if that meant Goldman Sachs’s Sigma X dark pool got less volume, according to the document.

PLY: IEX has perhaps the most interesting and well-considered model for the equity market I have seen in a long time. It ought to make the dinosaurs quake. This endorsement from Goldman is very interesting. Of course some will see it as a negative given that GS is perceived as rarely acting beneficently – yes, even when doing “God’s work.” However, the core message is worth noting and is an accurate appraisal of (some of) what IEX brings to the market:

“We view IEX’s core mission as simplifying an overly complex market structure through a transparent rule set, minimal number of order types, and most significantly, a speed buffer that intentionally slows down trading on their market.”

Apparently the memo goes on to suggest “GS has a similar ideology.” Yes, that bit I find trickier – or maybe the bit not reposted is how GS outlines a way to layer their brokerage on top and charge umpteen extra basis points for it…

KCG Makes Headway On European Strategy (subscription)
Tim Cave – Financial News

KCG Holdings, an independent electronic broking specialist, increased its client trading in European equities by over a third last year as it made headway on a strategy to take on trading services outsourced by local banks.

The US-based group increased the value of equities it traded across major European exchanges and alternative venues by 34.5% last year, according to an investor presentation at a Wells Fargo conference this week.

By comparison, the value of European equities traded over the same period increased by around 5.3%, according to data provided by Bats Chi-X Europe.

PLY: Good story by Tim Cave. Notes how much progress KCG has made in the past year (as whisper it softly it pivots gradually away from reliance on HFT) with its foray into agency broking expanding, aiding smaller institutions to retain execution focus without the same overheads.

MCX-SX Extends Rs 545-Crore (USD 89.71 Mln) Rights Issue Till April 17
The Financial Express
MCX-SX Ongoing Rights Issue May Face Turbulence
Vikas Dhoot & Dheeraj Tiwari – The Economic Times

MCX-SX has extended the subscription time for its nearly R545-crore (USD 89.71 mln) rights issue till April 17 as some banks are still awaiting regulatory and board approvals to participate in the offer.

An ongoing rights issue by the beleaguered stock exchange, MCX-SX, may face turbulence, with many of the 16 state owned banks and financial institutions, which together own little over 80 per cent of the bourse, reluctant to participate in the wake of an ongoing CBI probe.

PLY: That rights issue that is going so well strikes me at face value as going awry. Losing the Chairman etc aside, the fact that so much depends on regulatory permission entirely underlines the thesis that Indian capital markets are now stuck with a Hindu rate of growth problem driven by nitpicking regulation which is stifling investment in every way. Such a great country, such a truly depressing investment landscape and all as a result not of FTIL dancing various jigs but entirely due to the stifling pressure of the regulators themselves.

Warehouse Rule Changes Curb Physically Backed Metals Funds
Business Recorder

Forthcoming metals warehouse rule changes and global political uncertainty have dampened the appetite for new industrial metals funds that are backed by physical material. Total assets under management for the Julius Baer (JB) Industrial Metals Funds in aluminium, copper, nickel and zinc totalled $16.7 million this week, only slightly higher than the $14 million reported two weeks after their launch in October.

Many potential clients for these funds are wary ahead of next month’s scheduled rule changes by LME for its warehouses.

PLY: Clients sensibly wait to see how the warehouse changes at LME amend structure.

Private Markets

KRX Seeks A Cut Of $3 Billion Illegal Gold Trade
Heesu Lee – Businessweek

KRX started offering physical gold trades for the first time, as the government seeks to curb as much as $3 billion of black-market transactions.

EI reported the announcement regarding this launch on March 19th.

SSE Mulls New Board For Strategic Emerging Industries
Xinhua

Shanghai SE (SSE) is considering setting up a strategic emerging industry board to better serve domestic high-growth and innovative enterprises, a top executive said Sunday.

PLY: I created a Premium Post China Liberalises last week which may be of interest (presuming you are in the $120 Exchange Invest inner circle of course!).

ICDX To Enhance Trade System
Linda Yulisman – Jakarta Post

Established in 2010, the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) has increasingly gained a reputation in commodity trading in Southeast Asia, particularly with its contracts of palm oil and tin.

PLY: Interesting interview with ICDX CEO Megain Widjaja.

Kazakhstan Implements Pilot Project Grain Trade Exchange
Daniyar Mukhtarov – Trend

Kazakh Kazagromarketing together with Eurasian Trading System Commodity Exchange and Food Corporation national company has begun implementing a pilot project on the grain stock market with the direct participation of its producers.

PLY: Watch this space, Eastern European commodity exchanges are poised for some fascinating developments.

Interactive Brokers Offers TOM Access To Its Brokerage Clients
MondoVisione

Interactive Brokers has decided to offer trading on TOM to its brokerage clients as of 24 March 2014. Clients will be able to trade directly on TOM in derivatives.

PLY: Over 50% of Dutch retail option flow is via TOMS. This is perhaps one of the best NASDAQ investments of recent times having acquired 25% in late 2012 and it is surely only a matter of time before Bob finds the cash to exercize his option to own 50.1%). Everything TOMS has done well demonstrates the ongoing incapacity of Euronext to compete (unless of course the French government move the goalposts to favour them). Incidentally, stony silence in recent weeks although there was talk ICE has actually found some ‘investors’ willing to buy that 30% pre-IPO stake. In answer to repeated reader requests for an advanced grey market in Euronext, we’re looking at it although it appears order flow is all one way and finding that other side it proving tricky. Maybe we can create a hybrid security alongside Alibaba and get somebody in HK to make a market?

Bitcoin Exchange BTC-e Allows Fund Withdrawals Through MasterCard And Visa Cards
International Business Times

Bitcoin exchange BTC-e is allowing users to send funds to Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards issued in any country and in any currency with some exceptions, subject to a 5% fee (no exceptions) and a 2-4 day delay in delivery of funds.

Bitcoin Trading Platform Btc.sx Going Global
Brett Cole – The Australian

A bitcoin derivatives trading platform created in Australia, btc.sx, is on the brink of securing venture capital funding from investors as it seeks to offer round-the-clock trading in the crypto-currency round from New York, London and Singapore. A US-based hedge fund and Asian-based investors are negotiating term sheets with btc.sx founder Joseph Lee and COO George Samman.

Finding Lost Bitcoin Could Mean IRS Finds You
Robert W. Wood – Forbes

The bankrupt Japanese Bitcoin exchange MtGox discovered over 200,000 lost Bitcoins valued at over $116 million. The coins apparently showed up in an old Bitcoin wallet format. MtGox’s CEO said he thought it no longer contained any Bitcoins. This is good news in a bankruptcy filing, of course, and would be good news for anyone. You can see the bankruptcy disclosure here.

There’s no tax issue for MtGox, of course, but there could be for someone else who finds Bitcoin or anything else of value. Imagine finding millions in your old jeans pocket! Under U.S. tax law, if you find something it is generally income unless you can show it was rightly yours all along. And that can be the rub, whether it’s cash or art or anything else.

PLY: The IRS’ ability to tax anything, even if it hasn’t actually moved in this case, remains bewildering for those of us outside its remit.

Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads

PLY: MCX off 1.5% and FTIL down 3% as FTIL seems to be centre stage in the next stage of relieving the NSEL crisis. The fascinating move is how minority shareholders may yet seek to turn the tables on the FTIL management by demanding de facto recompense (even in the form of a plan for rebuilding) for their loss of shareholder value. Is that the first noose tightening further, or another noose being applied separately around Jignesh Shah’s neck? Just when our readers thought their “Shahdenfreude” would be short-lived, here’s a whole new level to watch as India’s telenovela of fintech and exchanges (but no sex please we’re Indian) develops/festers.

FTIL’s Minority Shareholders May Resist Firm’s Move For NSEL Investors Relief
Sugata Ghosh & Ram Sahgal – The Economic Times

Jignesh Shah and his men, dividing their time between court and investigative agencies, may also have to worry about vocal minority shareholders of FT group flagship FTIL and a new regulation in the works.

PLY: At the base this appears to be a battle brewing for the heart of FTIL and that suggests the minority shareholders have tired of Jignesh Shah and his cronies at the top. There will be those who may accuse minority shareholders of hypocrisy in refusing to take the losses from the deals gone bad like NSEL when they are happy to trouser the SMX $150 million et al but that surely obscures the key point: in the absence of a buyer for the majority of FTIL as mentioned above, the shareholders are now becoming restive as the once-feted Jignesh Shah has fallen to earth and is no longer seen as an Indian business genius but just another man with a perception as a sharp operator who didn’t keep all his juggling balls in the air…

A Leaner FTIL Is Good For Investors
Rajalakshmi Nirmal – The Hindu Business Line

Hiving off the stake in overseas ventures is good for FTIL as its standalone business is quite profitable. In FY13, the front and back office solutions offered to exchanges plus licensing fee and annual maintenance cost from trading applications sold to brokers brought a revenue of 439 crore (USD 72.3 mln). The net profit was 323 crore (USD 53.2 mln) with a margin of 49 per cent.

PLY: A useful simplification of the state of FTIL’s accounts by Rajalakshmi Nirmal – essentially it remains a tech company which was a one hit wonder in exchanges: MCX while all its other investments simply failed to perform while the African odysseys were so remarkably lavish in their incapacity to deliver they rival government in its abject wastefulness. I discussed a simple rundown of what might be raised in a Premium Post: Neither Fit Nor Proper: The FTIL Fire Sale

Finance Ministry Supported NSE In Fight With MCX: Venkat R Chary
Rajesh Bhayani – Business Standard

Venkat R Chary (74), a senior former bureaucrat and the non-executive chairman of MCX for a decade until August 2013, is now an independent director at FTIL since October 2013.

He tells Rajesh Bhayani in an interview, in his personal capacity, that he will ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) why his name has been dragged in relation with the payment crisis at NSEL. Chary also says some government officials have played an important role in favouring organisations that MCX competes with.

PLY: Mr Chary makes an allegation in public which has long been considered a truism. The Indian regulatory bureaucracy has favoured NSE on many occasions. This is deeply frustrating as the excellent execution skills of NSE suggests they had no need to be cosseted. Rather than an attack on NSE per se, it underlines precisely everything which is wrong with the control economy nature of Indian regulation. Whoever wins the upcoming general election it is, sadly, too much to expect they will take an axe to the whole fetid system but gosh wouldn’t it be amazing to see the growth which could emerge for the Indian people?

Bhave, Abraham Officers Of Terrific Integrity, Says Montek
Business Standard

Coming in defence of former SEBI chief C B Bhave and its former member K M Abraham, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said that they are officers of “terrific integrity” and CBI has not charged them with anything.

PLY: Again the civil service is so desperate to protect their own (rightly or wrongly on the merits of the case!) that is underlines just why Indian regulation needs to be radically reshaped.

Jignesh Shah: How Luck Ran Out For The Engineer Whose Passion Was Market & Creating Companies
Subhomoy Bhattacharjee – The Financial Express

Six years ago, India’s top capital market honchos were caught by surprise as waiters appeared with red wine and cheese at The Leela, Goa, one warm evening, during an event organised by Jignesh Shah. For many of the delegates, this was their first exposure to the sultan of the Indian capital markets…

PLY: Good portrait of the empire as it rose and the fall of the sultan Mr Shah. At the same time, to put it in perspective, Shah’s contribution to Indian markets needs to be recognised on the plus side of the ledger too. As D K Agarwal, MD, SMC Capital, one of India’s largest broking houses, notes Shah deserves plaudits his success in developing MCX and with it commodity trade: “The phenomenal growth of this market should be assessed with respect to his contribution”. I know many just want to pillory Mr Shah but he has achieved remarkable things, alongside, some unfortunate failures of judgement and oversight.

Technology

DSE Signs Deal With US Cos To Upgrade Trading System
Financial Express Bangladesh

Dhaka SE (DSE) Friday signed an agreement with two US-based companies – NASDAQ OMX and FlexTrade Systems – to upgrade its existing trading system.

NASDAQ OMX press release here.

Nasdaq OMX Builds Up Technology Sales In Asia (subscription)
Jeremy Grant – Financial Times

The Bangladesh deal brings to 18 the number of exchanges in Asia that use Nasdaq technology, either for equities and derivatives trading or for clearing, or for both.

Nasdaq Rethinks FinQloud Partnership With Amazon (subscription)
Arash Massoudi & Barney Jopson – Financial Times

Nasdaq is re-evaluating a venture based on Amazon’s cloud computing services after a landmark partnership to offer back-office data storage to banks and brokers failed to gain traction with customers. The exchange operator is now restructuring the service, known as FinQloud, following the departure of top executives and others associated with the project.

PLY: “The brokerage services unit wants to provide services to customers but really struggles to get outside the exchange mindset”, according to one former Nasdaq insider interviewed for this piece. It strikes me the problem with this cloud service is that it was an extra layer of intermediation which didn’t really seem to add anything? I know lots of financial folks (including platforms/exchanges) using AWS without a problem but then again why go to NASDAQ where they offer top notch tech at top notch prices? At least this venture didn’t involve building a vast swathe of data centres like NYSE Tech. However both of the New York exchanges appear to have failed to understand just what their brands represent when it comes to service offerings.

Equinix Mulls NY5 Microwave Growth After BATS Migration, Eyes Asia-Pac Metro Microwaves (subscription)
Faye Kilburn – waters technology

Datacenter provider Equinix is considering expanding its capacity for radio frequency data transmission at its NY5 datacenter in Secaucus, NJ, after US stock and options exchange operator BATS Global Markets announced plans last month to migrate its BATS and Direct Edge trading technology to NY5 next year, under a long-term agreement with Equinix.

Nanospeed Adds Eurex Connectivity For The New T7 Platform
MondoVisione

NanoSpeed, the provider of ultra-fast FPGA trading solutions, is connected to the Eurex T7 platform, launched in January this year. NanoSpeed also provides access to the eight Eurex T7 derivatives partner exchanges which include SGX, KRX, TAIFEX and BSE.

FIX Preps ITCH Data Protocol Integration (subscription)
Max Bowie – waters technology

Standards association FIX Trading Community is working to incorporate elements of Nasdaq OMX’s ITCH data protocol into the FIX Protocol, to create an industry data standard that combines the efficiency of binary ITCH messages with the flexibility and detail of FIX.

Products

Brave New World Of Electronic Bond Markets (subscription)
Michael Chuang – Financial Times

Single dealer platforms are falling out of favour as corporate bond market participants seek platforms to which several brokers contribute, as these venues meet the needs for best execution, provide diversity in liquidity and seek a more efficient marketplace. The recent purchases of Bonds.com by LSE and Vega-Chi by Liquidnet highlight this trend.

PLY: A slightly plodding Opinion piece but a sharp improvement on the utter drivel masquerading as market structure discussion of late in the pages of the pinko. Single dealers are dying as multilateral exchange-style platforms come centre stage and indeed LSE and Liquidnet purchases in the field are only recent examples of a trend which I suppose began with the likes of Brokertec, MTS and Tradeweb amongst others.

Mapping The New OTC Derivatives Clearing Landscape
FTSE Global Markets

Although regulators have been determined to ensure that CCPs meet minimum requirements for risk management and margining as part of their crackdown on systemic risk, they have done little to map out the competitive environment that the all-important clearinghouses will operate in.

Eurex To Launch US Dividend Futures In April (subscription)
Jonathan Watkins – FOW Intelligence

Eurex Exchange will become the world’s first platform to launch US single stock dividend futures next month, giving investors a product to hedge their exposure to the results of some top US firms.

Lahore SE Launches Spot Commodity Trading
Business Recorder

Lahore SE (LSE) has launched the Spot Commodity Trading and Warehousing Management Company Limited.

FMC Likely To Ease Price Limits For Agricultural Commodities Soon
Suresh P Iyengar – The Hindu Business Line

FMC may relax the daily price limit for agricultural commodities on the futures platform, in line with that of non-agricultural commodities such as bullion, metals and energy traded on the exchanges. Currently, agricultural commodities have a maximum daily price limit of four per cent on both the upper and lower sides. In contrast, bullion and other non-agricultural commodities, the first price limit is six per cent. It gets extended subsequently by three per cent, with a cooling period of 15 minutes.

Indexes

WSE Launches WIG50 And WIG250 Indexes
WSE

Warsaw SE will publish WIG50 and WIG250 indices starting on 24 March 2014. WIG50 and WIG250 will be price indices, which means that their value will be based only on prices of transactions excluding dividend income. The publication of the new indices as of 24 March 2014 implies that calculation and publication of sWIG80 and WIG-Plus will be discontinued after the trading session on 21 March 2014. However, mWIG40 will be calculated until 31 December 2015.

Career Paths

It Doesn’t Matter Whether The CEO Of BVB Is Called Cionga, Barbu Or Sobolewski
Adina Ardeleanu – Bursa

The performance of the CEOs of the BSE does not represent an factor that has any influence on the volume of trades taking place on our stock market. If we review the last two years, the value of the daily turnover follows a constant trend, regardless of who was in charge: Victor Cionga, Ludwik Sobolewski or interim CEO Alin Barbu.

PLY: The problem is the BvB needs root and branch reform and the vested interests are not keen on potential damage to their fiefdom while actually Ludwik while a good manager was given a GPW where he merely had to fly an already ascending aircraft – which was not what BvB needed. I had a premium post on 2014 – A Year Of Unprecedented Executive Change just last week in fact.

Tech-Savvy CFO Rides The Big-Data Wave
CFO

After almost six years as CFO of global information technology at $3.5 billion stock-exchange operator NYSE Euronext, Krish Venkataraman hopped to a new employer that may presently be only about 2 percent of that size…but it’s in big data…

Financial Calendar

This week

CME $0.47 Q1 dividend payment
ASX 88.2 cents half-year dividend payment
Amman SE (ASE) General Assembly Meeting
GFI $0.05 quarterly dividend payment
NASDAQ OMX $0.13 quarterly dividend payment

New announcements

LSE will report a brief pre-close period update for the eleven months ended 28 February 2014 on 27 March 2014
SGX Q3 results for FY2014 on 23 April 2014

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 Wednesday, March 19th at an average price of $21.90 (bargain $39,420.00). He now owns 797,717 shares. Mr. Galik’s regular sales are chronicled on this specific page.

Analyst Notes

Credit Suisse Upped Their Price Target On LSE From GBX 2,000 To GBX 2,220 – “Outperform” Rating

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.

Crowdfunding

Exclusive – EU Executive Plans To Promote Crowdfunding Sector
Huw Jones – Reuters

A EU “quality label” and possible state aid for crowdfunding would help the 1 billion euro (848.8 million pounds) sector grow to fund economic growth, the bloc’s executive body said in a document seen by Reuters.

The European Commission, in a draft document to be published this week, said crowdfunding has real potential to finance certain types of projects.

PLY: Good news the the EU is behind crowdfunding, even better news that they are not planning yet more tedious pan-European rules. Hopefully some nations will continue to encourage the business, as indeed we have (DV Advisors) some form in developing crowdfunding currently…

Other stories

CFTC Division Of Swap Dealer And Intermediary Oversight Issues No-Action Letter Regarding The De Minimis Threshold For Swaps With Utility Special Entities
MondoVisione

Statement Of CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia, Revised Relief From The De Minimis Threshold For Certain Swaps With Utility Special Entities
MondoVisione

SIFMA Comments On FINRA CARDS Concept
MondoVisione

SIFMA today submitted comments to FINRA regarding FINRA’s concept proposal to develop a Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS).

While SIFMA supports FINRA’s goal of utilizing technology to make it a more efficient and effective regulator, SIFMA cannot support the CARDS concept. More information as well as further analysis on how the system would be structured and utilized, and a better understanding of what existing FINRA-mandated systems would be replaced is necessary before proceeding any further.

PLY: Big data is a wonderful thing but government bodies and quangos, including regulators, have never been proven capable of handling it so far. This is a nice idea but in practice I cannot see how FINRA can logically achieve it without it being a Reg NMS fiasco multiplied many factors over.

Alibaba Loss Seen As Price Worth Paying For Hong Kong Investors
Adam Haigh & Kana Nishizawa – Bloomberg

In Hong Kong, where billionaire families dominate the economy, listing standards that prevent company insiders from hoarding control strike Pauline Dan as protections worth guarding.

PLY: Couldn’t agree more, capitalism is not plutocracy, no matter how some government-regulatory complexes are pushing in that direction – entirely misguidedly when it comes to growth and progress for mankind.

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