October 07 2015

elb2PLY: The Devil Is In the Details goes my latest RT Op Edge column discussing the TPP breakthrough while in exchange land, Playtech have a devilish conundrum with their Ava deal so far stymied by Ireland’s Central Bank while the devilish details are mostly name calling as already the LIBOR court case is focussed on establishing guilt through ‘evidence’ of familiarity and vulgarity. Guy Sears a welcome promotion as head of the IA following recent fissures amidst the buy side organisation’s management.

Meanwhile, the WFE Magazine has been published this AM in a new e-zine format. Unsurprising that with David Thomas on board, former journalist turned WFE boss Nandini Sukumar has a sound media base building on top of the WFE’s core asset – its statistics.

Public Markets

Playtech To Challenge Irish Central Bank Decision On Ava Trade Deal


Playtech Plc said it intended to challenge a Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) decision (reported yesterday) opposing its $105-million acquisition of Ava Trade.

QV EI Premium:  Exchange Deals Brief.

PLY: Understandable that there will be a challenge by Playtech but the real issue is that if the Ava deal unravels, it will raise questions about the Plus500 situation and that may unravel with remarkable consequences. The ball there is broadly in the FCA’s court…


Dark Pools’ Governance Rules Also Dark, Says Nasdaq CEO Greifeld

Annie Massa – Bloomberg

PLY: With a new movie version of Macbeth out, clearly when you catch the three witches refrain on the big screen:

“Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

…may be perceived in some quarters as an early prototype recipe for dark pool rulemaking.


LSE Chief: Entrepreneurs Only Hope For EU

Bernard Ginns – Yorkshire Post

PLY: Yes we are. (Alas the blob appears eager to grind us all down which is somewhat of an issue).


Big Nose, Lord Libor Helped Hayes Rig Libor, Prosecutor Says

Liam Vaughan – Bloomberg

Former ICAP Plc brokers known as “big nose” and “Lord Libor” helped Tom Hayes rig the London interbank offered rate “enthusiastically” over four years, prosecutors said on the first day of the second trial into benchmark manipulation.

PLY: QV My comments of Monday where I noted: Expect lots of titillating headlines from sensationalist media and much bourgeois judgement. IMHO, vulgarity is not a crime, nor is being stupidly alpha male…”


Brokers Want HKEx To Unify Platform For Selling Funds

EJ Insight

Local brokers & HKEx are in talks to establish a platform for selling funds in the hope of making a breakthrough in a business long dominated by banks.

PLY: Great stuff: a sensible basis to drive the fund industry and the exchange forward with a sound open model.


Bulgaria President: SEE Countries Should Unite, Establish Regional Energy Exchange

FOCUS News Agency

PLY: The problem is the political classes want another exchange they can manipulate in the region which is simply not optimal – as the current nature of the CEE SEE markets show in other asset classes. That manipulation will entirely outweigh any benefits. The “New Europe” needs free markets not the tacitly EU approved state socialist corporate blob mess (occasionally with added outright kleptocracy) that is stymying growth potential.


Q&A: CFTC’s Massad On Cross-Border Conflicts (subscription)

Cecile Sourbes – Risk

Amid an ugly spat with European authorities over clearing house equivalence, CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad is seeking to avoid further cross-border conflicts.

PLY: Chairman Massad seems to earnestly desire to move the debate forward which is clearly a lot more than can be said of Chairman Gensler who for many students of markets, provided a dose of that 1990’s er “Born again” feeling which didn’t leave too many folks feeling overly nostalgic. (Incidentally, endorsing or criticising one party on either side of the Atlantic should not be viewed as endorsing the other side of what remains a dangerously choppy oceanic divide).

Private Markets

Smaller Brokers To Get Access To Co-Location Facilities

Ashley Coutinho – Business Standard

National SE (NSE) plans to open its co-location facilities to smaller brokers, at low costs.

PLY: I still clearly recall visiting this facility in Mumbai when it was newly built – a gleaming white empty multistorey shell at that time which before racking looked as if Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible guise might drop from the roof on a wire at any moment.


Political Betting Market Raises Questions About Insider Trading


Critics Raise Heat On Sports-Fantasy Sites DraftKings, FanDuel (subscription)

Sarah E. Needleman & Sharon Terlep – Wall Street Journal

PLY: Plus ca change and all that. An ongoing issue dating back to the dawn of these markets. However, note how eager political attorneys always see an opportunity for what cynics may see as career enhancing headlines but they perceive as clearly dispensing justice…


Split Between Original Bitcoin & BitcoinXT Continues

George Basiladze – Finance Magnates

PLY: A fascinating furore over the future of Bitcoin – one for all Blockchain enthusiasts to cover as well as those in the pure cryptocurrency movement too.

Special Section: FTI, NSEL, India at the Crossroads

PLY: MCX up nearly 2%, FTIL flat. No fresh NSEL probe:

Sebi Steers Clear Of Fresh Probe In NSEL Scam

Jayshree P Upadhyay – Business Standard

In a meeting with the Economic Affairs Secretary, Sebi gave a detailed reply informing them of the approach it is likely to adopt in the multiple investigations currently underway against the spot exchange.

PLY: A new investigation is counterproductive, the elements of existing investigative threads need to be brought together for a settlement, solution and end of this sorry mess. I appreciate that NSEL was unregulated (i.e beyond direct SEBI or FMC control) but then again the Indian blob has been found wanting in its lack of coordination and this latter issue needs to be resolved.


Market Stress Puts Focus On High-Speed Technology (subscription)

Philip Stafford – Financial Times

Computerised systems do not cope well with big rush of orders at times of high volatility.

PLY: In other words they are similar to humans but even when slowing, still faster.


Ex-JP Morgan Exec Seeks To Raise $25M For Blockchain Business

Kevin Dugan – NYP

Blythe Masters, is looking to raise $25 million or more in the first round of funding for Digital Asset Holdings — and she’s aiming at her former peers to back her venture.

PLY: Good luck with this, a funky venture amongst several currently seeking funding – there is a lot of opportunity out there.


Two Financial Services Giants Interested In Blockchain Technology


Nomura and Fidelity Investments, are showing a keen interest in the blockchain technology.

PLY: #Unsurprising.


Clarient Partners With FIA Tech To Offer Firms A Streamlined Service For OCR Reporting



Thomson Reuters –  New Open Eikon App Development Suite


PLY: Sound thinking for development by TMR.


Eurex Clearing: New Margin Calculation Service To Launch In November



DGCX To List India Silver Quanto And Mini WTI Futures On October 9



Double Standards: CFTC Margin Rules Redefine Key Concepts (subscription)

Peter Madigan – Risk

Recently de-guaranteed foreign affiliates of US banks face having to comply with US swap rules under new proposals, but only when posting margin on non-cleared swaps. In all other respects, earlier guidance will let them escape. How this will work in practice no one really know.

PLY: The blob is bereft of resources to even vaguely consider the bumps in the carpet which is enveloping the world’s rush to regulate post Lehman.


IMC Financial Markets & Convergex Enter Into Options Liquidity Agreement



NCDEX, Kotak Mahindra Bank Pact To Provide Commodities Loans

The Economic Times

NCDEX announced its tie-up with Kotak Mahindra Bank to provide financing to the depositors of goods in warehouses approved by the exchange.


BSE To Introduce Smart Beta Indices By 2015-End

Business Standard

Bombay SE (BSE) in collaboration with S&P Dow Jones Indices will introduce three smart beta (factor-based) and a 1-2 thematic indices by 2015-end.


Launch of ICAP Euro Interest Rate Swap Index


Career Paths

Duco appointed Emmanuel Lesur as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), responsible for global sales.

FT reports that the board of the UK Investment Association took the decision on Tuesday to ask CEO Daniel Godfrey to leave because they were angry that he had “ploughed ahead” with his own agenda without listening to the membership.

FN reports that Guy Sears, the director of risk and compliance at the Investment Association, is to step up to lead the buyside body following the abrupt exit of its CEO.

PLY: All the very best to Guy, a highly competent figure on the EU regulatory scene with whom it has been a pleasure to share a panel on occasion, including testifying to the Econ Committee on the Market Abuse Directive a few years back. Incidentally, somewhere along the line the IMA seems to have abandoned the “M” in their name…I don’t think they have abandoned “Management” per se. The loss of M&G as a member clearly paved the departure of outgoing CEO Daniel Godfrey amongst other issues.

Financial Calendar

New announcements

Interactive Brokers Q3 Results – Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – press release here

BGC Partners’ & GFI Group’s Q3 2015 Results – Wednesday, October 28, 2015 – press release here

ICE Q3 2015 Results – Tuesday, November 3, 2015 – press release here

TMX Q3 2015 Results – Thursday, November 5, 2015 – press release here

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

Share Notes

Interactive Brokers President Milan Galik sold 13,024 shares Monday, October 5th at $39.21 (bargain $510,671.04).

Analyst Notes

CME Downgraded By Zacks From “Buy” To “Hold” Rating

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

Other stories

UK’s FCA Introduces New Rules On Whistleblowing


PLY: Not applicable to exchanges or MTFs it seems…

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