Industry news

Date: Jun 25, 2012

June 25, 2012: Indonesia Eyes Foreign Investment In Commodity Exchanges; Hong Kong-LME Deal Spurs Biggest Exchange Drop; Wash Trading By HFT Firms Said To Face US Scrutiny

Indonesia says that foreigners can purchase up to a 40% stake in its commodity exchanges, hoping to spur growth and interest there. HKEx bids for the London Metal Exchange, hoping to grow its business, but in the process its stock has lost a huge chunk of its value. Regulators are investigating high-frequency trading companies to see if they are conducting zero-net trades with themselves as a way to alter market prices to their advantage.

First Read

A Loophole Big Enough to Lose a Billion
If nothing else, the collapse of MF Global has made one thing clear: The notion that customer assets were safe was a sham. MF Global’s customers, who discovered that the firm had plundered $1.6 billion of their property, learned that the hard way. But they aren’t the only potential victims. The loophole that allowed MF Global to convert more than $1 billion in customer property to its own reckless bet on European debt is still in effect — although the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures and commodities brokers, said it had since pressured other firms to stop using it.

**** “The notion that customer assets were safe was a sham.”


Clearing, crises and globalisation: Challenges ahead for Phupinder Gill
William Mitting – FOW
Few in the industry can boast of such a glowing reputation as Phupinder Gill, the new chief executive at the CME Group. However, taking over the world’s largest exchange group during an unprecedented time of regulatory change in the industry and global crises outside it, will challenge the man like nothing he has done before.


CME Group Appoints Dr. Sung Hee Hong as Executive Director, Head of Korea
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the appointment of Dr. Sung Hee Hong as Executive Director, Head of Korea effective immediately. Dr. Hong will be responsible for developing growth opportunities and customer relationships in Korea, and will report to Julien Le Noble, CME Group Managing Director, Head of Asia Pacific.


DGCX chooses Cinnober’s trading, clearing and surveillance technology
Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) has announced its partnership with leading global trading technology provider, Cinnober Financial Technology. Cinnober will provide a new exchange infrastructure for DGCX that promises to significantly enhance the Exchange`s derivatives trading marketplace. The exchange infrastructure is scheduled to go live in December 2012 following a phased implementation.


CME Group Sued by Traders Over Price-Settlement Rule Change
CME Group Inc., operator of the world’s biggest futures market, was sued by 24 Chicago Board of Trade brokers and traders over a shift in how the exchange determines final trade settlement prices.

**** The trading floor denizens will not go quietly into the night.


DealBook: A Debate Goes Behind Closed Doors
New York Times
A proposal takes aim at sending derivatives trading overseas to escape the eyes of American regulators, but the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is said to be planning to cast their votes in private.


Mega Stock Exchange Mergers May Resurface In Next Few Years
A new round of huge cross-border stock exchange mergers could happen in the next few years, as the underlying reasons for the recent spate of proposed yet failed-mega mergers remain and are putting pressure on some bourses to combine, industry executives and analysts say.


Why Dodd-Frank Is Unconstitutional
When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law nearly two years ago, he stated that “our financial system only works—our market is only free—when there are clear rules and basic safeguards that prevent abuse, that check excess, that ensure that it is more profitable to play by the rules than to game the system.” We completely agree. Which is why we filed a lawsuit on Thursday asking a federal court to declare that two parts of Dodd-Frank violate a bedrock rule of law: the Constitution’s separation of powers,


Simon Johnson: JP Morgan at Risk if Euro Breaks Up
Naked Capitalism
I’m surprised it has taken this long for Someone Serious to make the argument set forth in a new article by Simon Johnson at Bloomberg , which in short form says “You are dreaming if you think a European financial crisis stays in Europe.”


Central bank existential crisis confirmed
Posted by Izabella Kaminska – Financial Times
The BIS Annual report released this Sunday is jam-packed with data, charts, observations and analysis. Joseph has already stuck up some of the most compelling… But one of the other key points to emerge is in its chapter on the “limits of monetary policy”. There is, it appears, a marked admission that central banks may be losing control.


Wall St. jobs grow, defying forecasts
Crain’s New York Business
ProShares, which creates securities traded by hedge fund managers and other sophisticated investors, was finding it difficult to persuade Wall Streeters to work at its headquarters in Bethesda, Md. So, on June 20, it opened its first office in New York.


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Lead Stories

Indonesia eyes foreign investment in commodity exchanges
By Fergus Jensen – Reuters
The government of resource-rich Indonesia plans to allow foreign investors to buy stakes of up to 40 percent in the country’s commodity exchanges, a government official said on Friday, in a move aimed at attracting more trading business to the bourses.

Hong Kong-LME Deal Spurs Biggest Exchange Drop: Real M&A
By Jonathan Burgos and Eleni Himaras – Bloomberg
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s pursuit of the London Metal Exchange is transforming the Asian bourse into the industry’s worst performer.

Wash Trading by High-Frequency Firms Said to Face U.S. Scrutiny
By Joshua Gallu and Silla Brush – Bloomberg
High-frequency trading firms are drawing scrutiny from U.S. regulators seeking evidence that they may be distorting market prices by conducting transactions with themselves, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Spain asks for aid to recapitalise banks
By Victor Mallet in Madrid, and Alex Barker and Peter Spiegel in Brussels – Financial Times
Luis de Guindos, Spanish economy minister, on Monday formally requested assistance from the country’s eurozone partners to help recapitalise Spanish domestic banks, which are burdened by bad loans to property and construction companies and by a continuing sovereign debt crisis.

This Greek Seeks a Chorus of Gifts
As the 33-year-old scion of a Greek shipping family, Peter Nomikos has time and money to follow his passions. Based in London, he dabbles in investing, sponsors art museums and runs a winery and beer brand on his home island of Santorini. His latest cause: saving Greece from its debt crisis.

DealBook: Amid Debt Crisis, Banks Confronted by Familiar Problems
New York Times
Despite efforts to strengthen the international banking industry, many of the world’s largest financial institutions still face the same pressures that confronted the sector after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Swiss haven chagrined as commodities traders look East
By Emma Farge – Reuters
Switzerland’s low corporate taxes, business-friendly regulations and reputation for discretion have attracted multinational commodities trading firms “as a dunghill attracts flies”. But that may be changing. The country’s pre-eminent position in commodities is under threat from Singapore just when it most needs the business after a series of blows to its banking industry.

S&P’s Methods Under Lens
The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ 11th-hour decision to pull its ratings on a high-profile deal backed by commercial-real-estate loans, say current and former employees questioned recently by the regulator.

Regulator grudge match redux: Geithner vs Bair
By Daniel Indiviglio – Reuters
Get ready for round two of the “Bair versus Geithner” sparring match. Sheila Bair may no longer run the FDIC, but she has formed an independent group to push forward reforms in the U.S. financial system. The primary pressure point will be the council of regulators led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. While the two have tangled before, their interests are now aligned.


EU financial reforms could cost E50bn
By Brooke Masters, Chief Regulation Correspondent – Financial Times
The EU financial services industry is on track to spend E33.3bn over the next three years simply to comply with new regulatory demands, a study by the JWG regulatory think-tank has found.

Where Wall Street goes to skirt regulations
The loophole that’s costing Wall Street a fortune, and putting US taxpayers on the hook for the next big financial meltdown.

What Do Embedded Regulators Do With Their Time?
The Motley Fool
More than 100 federal regulators on site at JPMorgan Chase failed to prevent the latest whale of a fiasco.

NFA Notice to Members
Guidance to NFA Member CPOs and CTAs that Operate or Advise Pools Pursuant to an Exemption under CFTC Regulation 4.13(a)(4)

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Deutsche Bank abandons LME steel billet
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Deutsche Bank is moving its steel derivatives business away from the London Metal Exchange billet contract to U.S. rival CME Group , a market source said on Friday, threatening the existence of the steel futures.

Liquidnet CEO: Company ‘Isn’t Perfect’ But Is ‘Completely Transparent’ – Interview
By Jenny Strasburg and Telis Demos – WSJ
Liquidnet Holdings Inc.’s chief executive defended his company and other operators of what are known as dark pools one day after he told customers that the trading platform was under investigation by securities regulators, while acknowledging the industry had lost the trust of some investors.

Do ‘Dark Pools’ Threaten America’s Financial Markets?
Time Magazine
NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group – the corporate parents of the America’s biggest stock exchanges – headed to Capitol Hill this week to lobby regulators about a nefarious-sounding phenomenon spreading across Wall Street called “dark pools,” according to Bloomberg News. There’s certainly no love lost between the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, as these exchanges are bitter rivals competing over an ever-shrinking body of IPOs and order flow. So what are these dark pools, and why are they so threatening as to cause two foes to join forces?

Nasdaq: ‘Arrogance’ Contributed to Facebook IPO Flop
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. NDAQ +1.02% Chief Executive Robert Greifeld said Sunday that “arrogance” and “overconfidence” among Nasdaq staffers contributed to problems with Facebook Inc.’s FB +3.66% initial public offering last month.

[CBOE] Restrictions on Transactions in ChinaCast Education Corporation

Latin America’s Cencosud S.A. Celebrates Initial Public Offering and First Day of Trading on the New York Stock Exchange

TOM MTF Statistics Week 25 2012

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Hedge funds get exotic in hunt for profits
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
Investors fed up with losses from their mainstream hedge fund holdings are eyeing some exotic alternatives. How exotic? How about portfolios betting on Chinese companies embroiled in fraud probes? Or funds looking to arbitrage prices in the electricity market?

Fund Chiefs Grow Gloomier
Chief executives of fund-management companies are far more pessimistic than last year, weighed down by the euro-zone debt crisis and increasing regulation, according to a the annual CEO Snapshot Survey by Financial News, a sister publication of The Wall Street Journal.

S&P’s Methods Under Lens
The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ 11th-hour decision to pull its ratings on a high-profile deal backed by commercial-real-estate loans, say current and former employees questioned recently by the regulator.

Wealth funds step up their activities
By Sophia Grene – Financial Times
Sovereign wealth funds are becoming more active, making investments worth 42 per cent more in 2011 than in 2010. In 2011, SWFs reported 237 direct investments, valued at $80.9bn, according to data compiled by the Sovereign Investment Lab at Milan’s Bocconi University.

New Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index Commentary Offers Insight into May Hedge Fund Performance
The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index finished down 1.33% in May. A new monthly commentary offers insight into hedge fund performance through the month of May.

Thomson Reuters Adds Psychological Analysis To Machine Readable News
Thomson Reuters MarketPsych Indices Identify Human Emotion And Sentiment In News And Social Media Posts To Influence And Support Investment And Trading Strategies

Hedge fund manager to pay $405M to Madoff victims
Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance
A settlement announced Sunday will bring $405 million to victims of Bernard Madoff’s historic investment scam, the state attorney general said.

Banks & Brokers

Bank Downgrades in U.S. Prove Mistaken as Credit Risks Wane
By Dakin Campbell and Michael J. Moore
Moody’s Investors Service suffered a downgrade of its own as markets responded to the company’s rating cuts yesterday of 15 of the world’s largest banks by bidding up the value of their stocks and bonds.

U.S. Bank Revenue Falls 5% in OTC Derivatives, Securities Trades
By Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
U.S. commercial banks earned $7 billion in revenue by trading over-the-counter derivatives and securities in the first quarter, down 5 percent from the year- earlier period as credit trading slowed.

RBS Computer Glitch Could Cost Tens Of Millions of Pounds
FOX Business
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC warned that the computer glitch that has left millions of customers without access to their money could take several more days to fully resolve, as the bank continues to grapple with a problem that could cost it millions of pounds to resolve and cause significant damage to its reputation.

Insight: Wells Fargo’s mushrooming mortgage risk
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The new center of U.S. mortgage lending is a nondescript office building in the American heartland, far from the California subprime lenders and the New York investment banks that drove the housing market into a bust.

JPMorgan CDS Position Rose 4-Fold Against Bank Rivals, Data Show
By Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co., whose losses from credit swaps will top $2 billion, amassed a trading position in the contracts last quarter at least four times as large as that of its closest U.S. competitor, a government report showed.

Bank Downgrades Prove No Need for New Glass-Steagall, Right?
Okay, that’s a sensible policy articulated by someone the banks pay to speak for them, it’s an association you know, who want us all to feel that the banking sector is, well, not-too-big-to-fail, and therefore safe enough to let one of them fail to prove it.

Marex Spectron Establishes Ultra Low Latency Links Between Asia And Europe
Marex Spectron has launched an ultra-low latency link between Hong Kong and London with average latency of 178 milliseconds. This ultra-low latency link, which is fully backed-up with an alternate path via Singapore, is automatically available to all Marex Spectron clients connecting electronically in Hong Kong, for trading with Marex Spectron globally.

Barclays Names Chief Operating Officer
New York Times
Barclays said on Friday that it had named its investment banking co-head, Jerry del Missier, to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

JPMorgan Shuns Chesapeake Business That Goldman Courts
For more than a decade, JPMorgan bankers have declined to do business with Chesapeake and its chief executive officer, Aubrey McClendon , 52, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Analysis: Goldman judge cuts Wells notice disclosure burden
Reuters via Yahoo! News
A federal judge’s decision that otherwise went against Goldman Sachs Group Inc has made it easier for companies to defeat shareholder claims that litigation threatened by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should be disclosed.

Judge Calls Goldman Sachs ‘Orwellian’ in CDO Suit Opinion
New York Magazine
U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty apparently didn’t get the news that Goldman Sachs is on a PR honeymoon. Why else would he, in a footnote on page fifteen of an opinion allowing a shareholder lawsuit against the bank to proceed, drop this English class mini-lecture?

Merrill replaces law firm in broker pay cases
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Merrill Lynch has replaced the law firm leading its battles against deferred-pay claims from more than a thousand former brokers.

Citigroup Names Magalhaes to Replace Marin in Brazil
Citigroup Inc. , the U.S. bank downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service to the lowest level in 14 years yesterday, named Helio Magalhaes as country officer of its Brazilian unit.

Citigroup To Buy Loans From Societe Generale
Dow Jones
Citigroup Inc. is buying a portion of Societe Generale SA’s portfolio of shipping loans, joining the group of U.S. banks buying businesses and assets from shrinking European banks.

Clearing & Settlement

KDPW_CCP Equity Raised To PLN 200 Million – Supervisory Board Appoints Management Board For A New Term

Indexes & Products

NASDAQ Closing Cross Calculates U.S. Russell Indexes For The Ninth Year During Russell’s Annual Reconstitution

Two new UBS ETFs launched on Xetra

Deutsche Boerse: New Bond Index ETF From PIMCO Fixed Income Source Launched On Xetra

S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index Launches Today


CGI Signs New, Expanded Three-Year Partnership Agreement With Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking
CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A) (GIB), a leading provider of information technology and business process services, today announced the three-year renewal of a partnership agreement signed in 2010 with the Canadian group of Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking.

Trayport Announces Iron Ore Milestones – Growth In Iron Ore trading – New Brokers And Record Trade Through Trayport’s SGX STP Link


NFA takes emergency enforcement action against Florida commodity pool operator and forex firm, Altamont Global Partners and its principal

ASIC acts to stop cold calling scam and obtain compensation for investors

Environmental & Energy

UN Reaps Sustainability Pledges Worth $513 Billion in Rio
The United Nations obtained pledges worth $513 billion from governments and companies for projects aimed at reducing the strain on the planet’s resources, the biggest accomplishment at a meeting that world leaders and environmentalists assailed for not setting strong enough goals.

EU CO2 Auction Delay Proposal Said to Face Hurdles in Commission
A draft European Union proposal to postpone sales of some carbon allowances faces hurdles after it received a negative opinion from three departments of the bloc’s regulatory arm, people with knowledge of the matter said.

As Growth Ebbs, Brazil Powers Up Its Bulldozers
The New York Times
More than 40,000 laborers swarm the port complex here in northeast Brazil, building a refinery for the state oil company. Five thousand others toil at a shipyard, another government-led project. Real estate prices are soaring and unemployment is falling in this region along the Atlantic coast, once known for its festering poverty.


Asia’s investment banks launch round of job cuts
Reuters via Yahoo! News
HONG KONG – Investment banks and brokerages across Asia have launched a sweeping round of job cuts as Europe’s debt crisis and China’s economic slowdown bite into the region’s financial activity. Speaking to bankers and other industry sources, Reuters was able to confirm at least 50 people were let go in the past three weeks, a cull that includes senior expatriates as well as junior bankers.

CIMB Set to Take on Goldman With ‘Audacious’ RBS Purchase
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. , Southeast Asia’s top-ranked investment bank over the past three years, is taking aim at a bigger market following its acquisition of some of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc ’s operations in Asia.

Keiji Hatano Elected As President And CEO Of The Tokyo Grain Exchange

FIA Japan Conference To Be Held In Tokyo

SGX Welcomes Maxi-Cash To Catalist
Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) is pleased to welcome the listing of Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corporation Ltd on Catalist, under the stock code of “5UF” .

Memorandum Of Understanding Between The Monetary Authority Of Singapore And Bank Of Thailand

[TFX] Reduction of Block Trade Minimum Volume Threshold

HKFE Announces Revised Margins For CNOOC Futures

Frontier Markets

BRICs Biggest Currency Depreciation Since 1998 to Worsen
By Ye Xie and Michael Patterson – Bloomberg
The largest emerging markets, whose economies grew more than four-fold in the past decade, are making losers out of everyone from central bankers to Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) as their currencies post the biggest declines since at least 1998.

Abu Dhabi fund sees potential despite uncertainty
Associated Press via Yahoo! News
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority believes the world economy offers opportunities for it and other patient investors, despite an uncertain outlook, the government-run fund’s managing director said in a report released Monday.

Qatar seeks $5bn Chinese investment quota
By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing – Financial Times
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking approval to invest up to $5bn in Chinese stocks and bonds, which would make it the biggest foreign investor in China’s capital markets.

Second Meeting Of The Taskforce Of MENA Stock Exchanges For Corporate Governance – Advisory Facility For MENA Stock Exchanges Launched By The OECD
In cooperation with the Capital Markets Board of Turkey and the Istanbul Menkul Kiymetler Borsasi, the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development has organized a meeting which has assembled the heads of stock exchanges and securities regulators from the Arab World.

Tehran Stock Exchange: Bandar-Abbas Oil Refining IPO -24 June 2012

NASDAQ Dubai Welcomes $650 Million JAFZ Sukuk To Its Market

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) Receives Istanbul Municipality Delegation

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report

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