Industry news

Date: Mar 21, 2013

March 21, 2013: Shanghai Bourse Mulls After-Hours Trade in Gold, Silver; Getco gets green light for India; ECB warns on trade settlement harmony

The Shanghai Futures Exchange considers extending its trading hours in order to better keep up with international developments. Trading company Getco shuts down Hong Kong operations, at the same time receiving regulatory approval to start up in India. The European Central Bank tells eurozone lawmakers to hurry up and harmonize settlement systems, or risk losing ground on a bank project to support the systems.

First Read

If I were a regulator
Steve Grob, Fidessa
Yesterday’s newsletter included several rants aimed at different regulators around the world. To be fair, I have some sympathy for them as the market will always innovate faster than they, the regulators, can pass laws. This leads to a process of regulatory whack-a-mole where regulators are always playing catch-up. To make this worse, the law of unintended consequences means that much of their time is spent fixing the unexpected problems from their last efforts.

Most behaviourists agree, however, that rewarding correct behaviour is the most effective way to achieve permanent change. That doesn’t mean that lawbreakers should go unpunished (they need to be, and severely) but I wonder whether regulators should try and stay out of the detail and shape the path instead. Work out the outcome you want and then make this the most benevolent environment to operate in. Sit back and let market forces do the heavy lifting for you. Markets are finely balanced ecosystems that evolve constantly (with or without regulatory interference). Treating them as static Meccano sets just leads to an endless cycle where every last little piece gets endlessly tweaked and amended.

Yes markets need reforming but maybe, in this case, less really is more.


Profiles: Neal Kottke

John Lothian Profiles: Neal Kottke

Neal Kottke, chairman of Kottke Associates in Chicago, is one of those industry veterans who has done it all in his career, from the commercial side to clearing, to starting his own clearing firm to proprietary trading. His contributions to the futures industry also included a term as chairman of the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation as well as two terms as vice chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Kottke has seen more events and trends than most during a career that now spans four decades. In this John Lothian Profile, JLN explores Kottke’s experiences, how the markets have changed and evolved and how “discipline” is the key feature for successful trading. He also talks about how to manage volatility in the markets, managing risk and Black Swan events.

Watch the video >


From Our Man In Boca, Tom Groenfeldt: ICE CEO Explains His Broad, Long-Range Vision
It’s unlikely that anyone will accuse Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of ICE, of lacking vision. The Intercontinental Exchange he started in Atlanta to trade commodities 13 years ago will have a market cap of $20 billion when it takes over NYSE Euronext, as is expected to happen this spring. At the FIA Boca conference in Florida last week, Sprecher explained the thinking behind ICE’s expansion, and it’s not just about size.

***SG: I think Jeff’s point is that it’s not about scale for scale’s sake but about having the right tools to solve customers problems. Either way, it’s some toolbox.


Survey Results Show 73% of CTA/CPO Respondents Were Impacted by One or More FCM Failure
Horizon Cash Management
Horizon Cash Management said today that 73% of the commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and commodity pool operators (CPOs) that responded to its survey were impacted by one or more of the futures commission merchant (FCM) failures mentioned in the study. The results are documented in an executive summary, The Aftermath of MF Global and Peregrine Financial Group Meltdowns: A Crisis of Trust.

***SG: As if further proof were needed that customer confidence is an issue in the US futures business.

***JK: Also see the Restoring Customer Confidence segment with Horizon at


High Frequency Trading: A Plea for a Pause
Increased speed has brought considerable benefits to today’s equities markets, but the myopic focus on trading speed and electronic efficiency has blinded most of today’s participants to the potential value of re-introducing an effective tool of yesteryear: A brief pause of a buy order which gives the broker the chance to ask the question “What’s the market?”

***SG: Not sure about this one – manual market phenomena don’t necessarily sit well in today’s electronic world.


Getco to Close Hong Kong Office
Getco LLC this week decided to close its Hong Kong office, abandoning one small outpost for the U.S. automated-trading firm in a region that has been slower to accommodate high-speed trading strategies that have been widely adopted in U.S. securities and derivatives markets.

Getco gets green light for India
Jeremy Grant in Singapore –
Getco, one of the world’s largest automated traders, has received regulatory approval to start operations in India, becoming the first western trading firm to tap into the country’s fast-growing electronic derivatives markets.

***SG: One door closes (at high speed), another one opens (just as fast).


Markets: The ghosts of ’94
Michael Mackenzie, Robin Wigglesworth and Stephen Foley –
Nineteen-ninety four. Nelson Mandela was inaugurated South Africa’s first black president. Ace of Base dominated the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic. And Pulp Fiction introduced “Royale with cheese” to the vernacular. On Wall Street, 1994 was the year many money managers lost their shirts.

***SG: Back then, I was just learning how to iron mine.


CME Eyes Sales Of Nymex, Kansas City Buildings
Chicago exchange operator CME Group Inc. is considering selling the buildings that house its energy and grain trading floors in New York and Kansas City, Mo., in the latest sign that quick-fire computers are replacing iconic buildings as the markets’ center of gravity.


CBOE’s VIX Options Establish New Single-Day Volume Record
Chicago Board Options Exchange today reported that options on the CBOE Volatility Index established an all-time, single-day volume record, totaling an estimated 1,392,621 contracts. Today’s VIX options volume beat the previous record of 1,388,634 contracts traded on February 26, 2013.

**JK – CBOE’s Carol Kennedy says she never tires of writing this press release.


Cyprus Shows How Not to Do a Bailout
Cyprus can’t really be about Cyprus, can it? After all, the banking sector in that country pales in comparison to things like the London Whale trade and the amount of capital the big banks have to raise to meet Basel III.


All the Plan B’s for Cyprus Look Dreadful
There was jubilation last night outside the small Mediterranean island’s parliament when every single member of parliament either voted against a plan to tax depositors or abstained. The message was that people of Cyprus had enough and weren’t going to let the big bullies, led by Germany, boss them around. The plan to tax insured deposits was a dreadful mistake — I have described it as legalized bank robbery. But the deposit tax was part of an unpalatable but available 10 billion euro bailout, agreed with the euro zone. That Plan A is now at risk.

**JK – “I’m broke as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!…”
“Wait, we’re still broke and have to go see the Russians? Oh spit.”


The Changing World of Christopher Hohn and The Children’s Investment Fund
Before the financial crisis, Christopher Hohn was one of the hedge-fund world’s most combative figures. The approach stood out from the warm and fuzzy name of his London-based firm, The Children’s Investment Fund, which donated a portion of its profits to charity.


Gin Still Whetting Spanish Appetites
LONDON—As record unemployment worsens in debt-ridden Spain, consumers are seeking solace in a bottle of gin. The country’s recent economic woes hit liquor demand hard. But despite a cutback in premium spirits across southern Europe, gin is proving a surprising tonic for producers.

***SG: I guess vodka will soon be the national drink of Cyprus.



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Lead Stories

Shanghai Bourse Mulls After-Hours Trade in Gold, Silver
Dow Jones
The Shanghai Futures Exchange said Wednesday that it is considering extending the trading hours for gold and silver contracts to help institutional investors respond faster to international news.

**JK – Shanghai Sets Date For Opening Markets Internationally would be a more compelling headline.

ECB warns on trade settlement harmony
Philip Stafford –
Lawmakers need to quickly pass regulations designed to harmonise European settlement systems or risk further delaying a European Central Bank project designed to underpin it, the bank has warned.

***SG: Do we really need 30 separate CSDs in Europe – what is the word “central” supposed to mean?

ICE Said to Put Hold on Investor Swaps Clearing After SEC Rule
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) has put on hold plans to clear some credit-default swaps for hedge funds and money managers after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission doubled the amount of collateral the traders need to post, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Wall Street Wins Under Swap-Rule Changes Moving in House
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
U.S. House lawmakers advanced legislation that would ease Dodd-Frank Act derivatives rules and give banks greater ability to trade swaps overseas.

European Central Bank Sets Monday Deadline for Cyprus Bailout Deal
The head of Cyprus’s central bank said Thursday he expects there will be a program of support for the island’s teetering economy by Monday, as the European Central Bank threatened to pull the plug on emergency funding for the country’s troubled banks.

Cyprus orders banks to shut until Tuesday
Kerin Hope and Andreas Hadjipapas in Nicosia and Peter Spiegel in Brussels –
Banks in Cyprus were ordered to remain shut until Tuesday as Cypriot and European officials anxiously hunted for alternatives to an abortive plan to tax bank deposits as part of a E10bn bailout.

Cyprus bourse halts trading Thursday, Friday
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
NICOSIA – Cyprus’s stock exchange has extended a suspension of trading to Thursday and Friday, hit by a shutdown of banks amid financial turmoil engulfing the island threatened with default.

***SG: No s*** (again) Sherlock

Cyprus Is Drowning in an EU Spoon
U.S. bank bailouts have taken a beating. And the bailouts do look pretty awful—until you compare them with what’s happening in Europe. To say the euro zone has bungled the crisis in Cyprus is an insult to bungling.

Bernanke Saying He’s Dispensable Suggests Tenure Ending
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s “spoken to the president a bit” about his future and that he feels no personal responsibility to stay at the helm until the Fed winds down its unprecedented policies to stimulate the economy.

Financial Windfalls for Wall St. Executives Taking Government Jobs
People usually say they go into government to perform public service. If they came from Wall Street, however, their former employers often provide another service.

Data giants go head to head with challengers
Tom Osborn – Financial News
Competition in the market for data and analytics is getting tougher. It has long been dominated by large firms, whose sheer muscle power in terms of technology and distribution has seen off challengers. But as clients look for fresh ways to cut costs, small and nimble competitors, able to undercut the entrenched providers, are beginning to gain traction.


The implications of Emir and Dodd-Frank for Asia’s CCPs
Both the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Emir) Article 25 and Section 5b of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) as modified by the Dodd-Frank Act contain prescriptive rules that may prevent covered persons from participating in third-country clearing houses that have not applied for recognition by the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) in the European case or that are not registered as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) in the US case.

***SG: I know that the FIA in Asia is working flat out to explain the impact of Dodd-Frank to its members out there. That’s extraterritoriality for you.

CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk Issues Limited No-Action Relief from Required Clearing for Partial Novation and Partial Termination of Certain Swaps
The Commission’s Division of Clearing and Risk (Division) today issued a no-action letter that provides relief from required clearing for a limited set of “stub swaps” that remain after the partial novation or partial termination of an original swap that was not required to be cleared because it was executed prior to an applicable compliance date for required clearing.

Remarks Of CFTC’s Chairman Gary Gensler Before The International Monetary Fund Conference

Slide Presentation (PDF): SEC Staff Review Of Common Financial Reporting Issues Facing Smaller Issuers, 2012 PCAOB Forums On Auditing In The Small Business Environment

ESMA Publishes An Opinion On The Framework For The Assessment Of Third Country Prospectuses And An Update To The CESR Recommendations On The PD

ESMA Publishes Q&As On EMIR Implementation

ASIC consults on risk management for responsible entities

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

BM&FBOVESPA to Start Trading Crude Oil Derivatives Contract on June 21
BM&FBOVESPA will launch a new cash-settled mini Crude Oil derivatives contract on June 21, based on the settlement price of CME Group’s NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures contract.

Moscow Exchange: Derivatives Market Hit Record High Trading Volume Since The Beginning Of 2013
Moscow Exchange’s Derivatives market saw the highest level of participants activity and turnover since the beginning of 2013.

BATS Global Markets, a leading operator of securities markets in the U.S. and Europe, today announced the successful and total operation of its U.S. businesses from its disaster recovery site on March 14th as part of its Business Continuity Planning process.

Exchange Council: EEX To Introduce Belgian And Dutch Power Futures
New products from the European Energy Exchange (EEX) and changes to the trading systems and trading hours formed the focus of the deliberations at the first meeting of the Exchange Council this year, which was held in London under its chairman Peter Heydecker on 14 March 2013

FIF Capacity Statistics For February 2013:- One New Record Peak: BATS CHI-X Europe CXE PITCH

CBOE Holdings Announces Date of First-Quarter 2013 Earnings Release and Conference Call
CBOE Holdings, Inc. will announce financial results for the first quarter of 2013 before the market opens on Friday, May 3, 2013.

EEX: Second Czech NER Auction Clears At 3.67 Euro
Today, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) conducted the auction of the second tranche of EU allowances (EUA) on behalf of the Czech Ministry of the Environment.

[CBOE] API Certification and Regression Testing

Direct Edge Trading Notice #13-12: Physical Connectivity Fee Changes Effective May 1, 2013

See The New Rules And Trading Hours For Options In The BOVESPA Segment

Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, Montreal Exchange, TMX Select And Alpha Closed For Good Friday

TMX: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – March 15, 2013

MIAX Options Holiday Schedule – Good Friday

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Pensions industry heaves a Budget sigh of relief
Mark Cobley – Financial News
The pensions industry largely welcomed the shelving of government plans to relax scheme funding rules in the Budget yesterday, but their attention quickly shifted to a new measure intended to help them – an amendment to the powers of the Pensions Regulator.

Synthetic CDOs Making Comeback as Yields Juiced
Mary Childs – Bloomberg
Derivatives that pool credit- default swaps to make magnified bets on corporate debt, popularized in the last credit bubble, are making a comeback as investors search farther afield for alternatives to bonds at record-low yields.

SAC Capital up 4 percent this year as probe continues
Hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors has gained about 4 percent this year, beating the industry average at a time the $15 billion fund is still very much in federal investigators’ crosshairs.

NYSE Euronext Units Corpedia and Corporate Board Member Enter Into Strategic Alliance With Marsh

Banks & Brokers

StanChart chairman in humiliating retreat over US sanction breaches
Patrick Jenkins, Banking Editor –
The chairman of Standard Chartered has been forced into a humiliating retraction of a statement made two weeks ago, when he played down the severity of the bank’s involvement in US sanctions breaches.

Goldman Sachs Said to Hire UBS’s Jordan to Be Moscow Co-Head
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hired Nick Jordan from UBS AG to be co-head of its operations in Moscow, according two people with knowledge of the move.

JPMorgan Chase could suffer more ‘London Whale’ fines after OCC review
New York Post
JPMorgan Chase’s primary regulator may not be done punishing the bank over its $6.2 billon London Whale trading loss.
Deal May Signal Thaw in Mortgage Securities
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is returning to a nearly deserted part of the credit markets with a sale of $616 million of securities tied to mortgages with no backing by the U.S. government.

DealBook: From Morgan Stanley, Investing in Women on Corporate Boards
New York Times
A team within Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division is starting a new portfolio that seeks to invest in companies that have demonstrated a commitment to including women on their boards.

Barclays Awards GBP40.3M in Shares to CEO, Other Executives
Dow Jones
Nine top Barclays PLC executives including Chief Executive Antony Jenkins and investment banking head Rich Ricci received GBP40.3 million in shares Wednesday from earlier-year incentive plans, a month after the bank said it will take a stricter line on pay.

Credit Suisse trims New York rates teams
The Wall Street Journal Online’s Deal Journal blog
Credit Suisse is slimming down its interest rate trading desk in New York by about 10%, according to people inside the firm.

More lenders exit interest-only loans
Tanya Powley –
Yorkshire Building Society and HSBC join the growing list of lenders that no longer offer controversial interest-only loans to homeowners.

Millennium Trust Company Reaches $1 Billion in Private Fund Assets Under Custody
Millennium Trust Company, a leading financial services firm specializing in the custody of alternative investments and private fund assets, announces it has reached $1 billion in fund assets under custody in less than two years of launching the firm’s Private Fund Custody service

Lehman Australia CDO Insurance Settlement Approved
Dow Jones
A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a $45 million settlement between Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Australian unit and a group of insurers over claims the bank misled a group of towns, charities and churches into buying risky securities backed by U.S. mortgages.

Indexes & Products

New Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index Commentary Offers Insight into February Hedge Fund Performance
The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index finished up 0.24% in February.

NYSE Euronext and Vigeo launch ESG indices

Tokyo Stock Exchange: Publication Of ETF-ETN Annual Report 2013


The History of Automated Trading at TT
Trade Talk – Trading Technologies
Ever wonder what Autospreader used to looked like before today? Find out in this slideshow on the history of automated trading at TT. This slideshow revisits key historical events in the evolution of Autospreader, Autotrader and ADL, which comprise TT’s suite of front-end automated trading applications. You will also find a sneak preview of concepts that are being explored for future releases.

Euroclear France And Broadridge To Automate Company Meeting Notices
Euroclear France and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. will launch on 25 March 2013 an automated service to proactively notify domestic and foreign institutional investors holding shares in NYSE Euronext Paris-listed companies of upcoming annual and extraordinary general meetings. Investors in listed companies will have a central conduit through which to automatically receive meeting notifications.

FFastFill Expands Trading And Clearing Capabilities And Conforms To The Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx)
FFastFill, the leading provider of application services to the global financial marketplace, is pleased to announce today that they have successfully integrated their middle office application SEALS and back office system Eclipse to HKMEx. Through the completion of conformance testing to HKMEx post-trade gateways, trades can now be auto-allocated within the SEALS middle office application and uploaded in real-time into Eclipse for clearing and settlement.


Federal Court Orders Oregon-based System Capital, LLC and its President Joshua Wallace to Pay $840,000 for Solicitation Fraud and Making False Statements to the National Futures Association
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a default judgment and permanent injunction Order against Defendants System Capital, LLC (System Capital) and its founder and president, Joshua Wallace, both of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Absolute Capital’s Homm Is Charged With Securities Fraud
The fugitive German hedge fund manager who more than five years ago fled the Spanish island of Mallorca with $500,000 hidden in his underwear and luggage was charged with securities and wire fraud.

US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Stops Foreign Operation That Scammed Many Small Businesses And Nonprofits Into Paying Millions of Dollars For Bogus Online Directory

ASIC permanently bans Sydney insurance broker

Environmental & Energy

Jeremy Rifkin warns Europe: Don’t repeat Obama’s mistakes
A leading climate analyst and adviser to world governments has warned the EU that its environmental goals will become meaningless unless the bloc learns from US President Barack Obama’s mistakes, and makes a supergrid the ‘nervous system’ of its energy policy.

US Cap and Trade Growing, May Hit $2 Billion By 2020
The Energy Collective blog
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) held its 19th auction of CO2 allowances late last week, selling nearly 38 million allowances at a clearing price of $2.80 and generating $105.9 million in revenue. 88% of permits were purchased by electricity generators and their corporate affiliates.

**RKB — Blogger is clean energy PR exec Silvio Marcacci.

EU Lawmaker Sees No Carbon Fix Compromise Before Vote
Political groups in the European Parliament will not propose a new compromise solution on a draft carbon market fix before the full assembly vote scheduled for next month, according to lawmaker Eija-Riitta Korhola.


Stagnant Japan Rolls Dice on New Era of Easy Money
Japan’s new central bank governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, begins work Thursday on a feat no one before has managed: reversing nearly two decades of falling prices to lift wages and profits in the world’s third largest economy.

SGX and Philippine Dealing System to develop Singapore-Philippines fixed income access
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp (PDS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop fixed income access between Singapore and Philippines.

Shanghai Stock Exchange To Fuel 2013 “1+5” Major Tasks
The SSE will contribute to increasing returns to investors and supporting reinforced rationalization of listed companies by launching a series of service-oriented activities for innovative practices.

Cleartrade Exchange Market Data To Be Distributed By FT Mercati – New Agreement With Milan-Based Metals Vendor Signals Proliferation Of CLTX Market Data
Cleartrade Exchange, the Singapore Regulated Futures Exchange is pleased to announce that FT Support / FT Mercati, a Milan-based data distributor specialising in metals, has become the latest organisation to connect to and distribute the CLTX Market Data Service (CMDS).

SGX reports 3Q FY2013 results on 16 April

[Japan] Press Conference by the Minister for Financial Services (March 19, 2012)

MAS Welcomes Positive Assessment of Singapore’s Regulations Implementing the Capital Standards under the Basel Framework

Opening Remarks By HKEx’s Co-head Of Global Markets Romnesh Lamba – Media Briefing On Stock Options Market Revamp, 20 March 2013

Frontier Markets

ANALYSIS: South Africa faces investor exodus if rand rout deepens
Reuters via Yahoo! News
By Sujata Rao and Stephen Eisenhammer LONDON – South Africa faces the risk of a huge exodus of foreign investors who are seeing the plunge in the rand’s value rapidly erode their stock and bond returns.

Read article

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