Breaking News

John Lothian Newsletter: ICE kicks off Asian commodity futures hub; MGEX Completes Best Month in Exchange History; European swaps clearing dates welcomed

First Read

A Reflection on a Life, Its Influences and the Trading Floor
John Lothian – JLN – Published February 5, 2015
I learned recently a lifelong friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My friend and former Wisconsin neighbor is older than me. In fact, at one time he was my babysitter. As I learned yesterday the CME would shut down most of its futures trading pits, his story came rushing back to me.
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***** My friend Warren “Boycie” McNeil passed away yesterday. He was so full of life while he was with us and shall never be forgotten. My condolences to his family and friends, including Jack Higgins of ABN AMRO, his brother-in-law.

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Mark Zuckerberg Philanthropy Pledge Sets New Giving Standard
Sarah Frier – Bloomberg
CEO and wife make announcement after birth of daughter, Max
Plan includes no more than $1 billion annually for three years
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife pledged to give away virtually all of their $46 billion in Facebook Inc. shares, setting a new philanthropic benchmark by committing their massive fortune to charitable causes while still in their early 30s.
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***** Did you give yesterday? I think Zuckerberg beat us all.

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Mark Spanbroek, European Principal Traders Association – Financial Markets 2.0
MarketsWikiEducation.com

“What trading is really about is finding an algorithmic, or systematic way, to analyze the market. And this is done with data.” Mark Spanbroek’s trading career spanned the transition from the old world of trading pits to the new world of algorithms. He now serves as acting chairman of the FIA European Principal Traders Association (EPTA). In this MarketsWiki Education presentation, Spanbroek showcases both worlds – Financial Markets 1.0 and 2.0 – from the pit trader in the multi-colored trading jacket to today’s trader, which he says is not a trader, but rather an engineer, and today’s trading strategy is more of a team effort than an individual effort.

Watch the video »
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Guest Lecture Of CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo, Harvard Law School, Fidelity Guest Lecture Series On International Finance
Mondovisione
Given in Dedication to the late Dr. H.R. Giancarlo, M.D. – 1932 – 2015, who dared to go so much farther than his birth or circumstances warranted so that his sons and grandchildren could journey even further.
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***** Nice speech by Chris Giancarlo in honor of his late father.

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MarketsWiki

MarketsWiki Page of the Day
CBOE Holdings

MarketsWiki Recent Updates

People

Mark Spanbroek; Adrienne Seaman; Robert Greifeld; Adena T. Friedman; Carl W. Gilmore; Thomas Chlada; Mike O’Callaghan; Thomas P. Anderson; Thomas J. Anderson

Companies, Organizations and Groups

CBOE Holdings; London Stock Exchange; LME Clear; Singapore Exchange Limited; Wedbush Futures

Products

ELITE Connect; renminbi

Statistics

71,364,796 pages viewed; 21,722 pages; 195,141 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

ICE kicks off Asian commodity futures hub
Philip Stafford – FT
Intercontinental Exchange’s Asian hub has traded more than 50,000 contracts in the first two weeks of operation as it taps fast-emerging commodities markets.
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BlueCrest to Return All Outside Investor Money
Bloomberg
Michael Platt, who runs the $8 billion BlueCrest Capital Management, will return all client money and instead focus on managing his own wealth and that of his partners and employees.
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**JK: This story tells a lot about commodities markets, investor sentiment and the macroeconomic environment.

MGEX Completes Best Month in Exchange History
MGEX
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives
Clearing Organization (DCO), completed the highest volume month in its storied history on Monday, finishing November with a total volume of 272,202.
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European swaps clearing dates welcomed
Futures & Options World
Market experts welcomed the decision on Tuesday that mandatory clearing of certain swaps will start in June next year but warned that timing for front-loading requirements may present challenges to some participants. The rules over central clearing of interest rate swaps will now come into effect on June 21 2016 for the firms deemed as falling into ‘Category 1,’ typically the largest dealing firms.
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***DA: Subscription required to read the entire story. Also see the press release in the Clearing section below.

New Rules on Reporting Brokers’ Dismissals to Begin Dec. 12
By LIZ MOYER – NY Times
New rules significantly shorten the window of time brokerage firms have to report the details of a broker’s departure from their firm — an effort by securities regulators to make background information about brokers more accessible to consumers.
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Clearstream, Eurex Repo and Eurex Clearing offer clients joint agency securities lending; New service expected to boost securities lending fixed-income volumes
Press Release
Deutsche Börse Group has enhanced its securities lending services by linking a new agency lending service by Clearstream with Eurex Repo and Eurex Clearing. The new offering combines several elements of the broad Deutsche Börse value chain. The joint new service is already available with first users reaching readiness. It offers customers advantages in terms of capital efficiency, straight-through-processing and potential higher returns for lenders as they can maximise the yield on their assets in a low-risk environment.
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Euronext hires Paul Humphrey to boost senior management team
Euronext
Euronext today announced it has appointed leading industry practitioner Paul Humphrey as Head of Fixed Income, Rates and FX (FICC) Strategy.
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Meet the Central Bank Governor Who Isn’t Much Impressed by Money
David Malingha Doya – Bloomberg
Kenya’s Njoroge surprised by focus on his religious beliefs
Political pressure is one of the biggest challenges of the job
When Patrick Njoroge took charge of the Central Bank of Kenya six months ago, his biggest surprise wasn’t how tough the job turned out to be. It was the attention on his personal life.
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Technology that could disrupt the course of climate change
CBS News
When President Obama spoke at a news conference at the end of his two-day appearance at the COP21 climate conference in Paris, he stressed the need to seek innovative solutions to combat climate change.
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SEC, FINRA, MSRB to Hold Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors
FINRA
The Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today announced the opening of registration for the Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors that will take place in Philadelphia on Feb. 3, 2016, and be webcast live on the SEC website.
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SEC Charges Bitcoin Mining Companies
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two Bitcoin mining companies and their founder with conducting a Ponzi scheme that used the lure of quick riches from virtual currency to defraud investors.
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Why the Treasury Market Has Banks Spread Thin
By JOHN CARNEY – WSJ
Long-term interest rates ended November slightly above where they were a year ago, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury hitting 2.22% on Nov. 30. At first blush, that should be good news for banks chafing under the pressure of years of ultralow interest rates.
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The Good Old Days of the Gold Standard? Not Really, Historians Say
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM – NY Times
Republicans unhappy with the Federal Reserve are circulating an idea that long ago lost currency with most economists: a gold standard.
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Citadel Steps Up Criticism of IEX’s Plan to Start New Exchange
Annie Massa – Bloomberg
Firm sends second letter to SEC critiquing IEX’s proposal
IEX has vowed to diminish advantages held by speed traders
Citadel LLC is stepping up its criticism of IEX Group Inc., arguing that the company’s plans to start an exchange that tries to level the playing field between firms with the fastest technology and other traders will actually hurt stock markets.
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Regulatory

SEC, FINRA, MSRB to Hold Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors
SEC.gov
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, in coordination with the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities, is partnering with FINRA and the MSRB to sponsor the program. Similar to the compliance outreach programs for broker-dealers and investment advisers, the municipal advisor program will provide municipal advisor professionals a forum for discussions with regulators about recent exam findings, regulatory issues, and compliance practices.
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New York proposes banking rules to prevent illicit financing
BY SUZANNE BARLYN AND BRETT WOLF – Reuters
New regulations proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday would require banks operating in the state to adopt rigorous measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.
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SEC Steps Up Probe of Pre-IPO Share Trading; Unregistered brokerage is ordered to comply with subpoena
By SUSAN PULLIAM and TELIS DEMOS – WSJ
Federal securities regulators are intensifying a broad investigation into trading of pre-IPO shares, zeroing in on companies that help technology-firm employees and others resell their shares.
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The confessions of an SEC Commissioner
TheTally – comment and analysis from Financial News
Financial News has picked out some of the more noteworthy — and slightly terrifying — points from Commissioner Aguilar’s (Hopefully) Helpful Tips for New SEC Commissioner. “Future Commissioners are, of course, free to ignore these suggestions,” Aguilar says in the statement.
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The Red Queen’s Race: Financial Regulation Edition
Streetwise Professor
Well over four years ago, I raised concerns about clearing mandates leading to the rise of “collateral transformation” whereby those needing high-quality assets to pledge as collateral against derivatives trades would obtain them via repos collateralized by low-quality assets. I argued that these transactions were inherently fragile, and could go pear shaped during period of market stress.
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Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Requirements for Trading Participants of Eurex Deutschland that offer and sell equity options and equity index options in the United States pursuant to the SEC’s 1 July 2013 Class No-Action Relief
Eurex
This circular sets out the relevant terms and conditions of the 1 July 2013 class no-action relief issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) regarding the familiarisation of certain broker-dealers and large financial institutions in the United States with Eurex Deutschland and specified equity options and equity index options listed and traded on Eurex, as well as the associated requirements for Eurex participants that wish to take advantage of the arrangements.
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CME Group Volume Averaged 13.7 Million Contracts per Day in November 2015, Up 6 Percent from November 2014
CME Group
Eurodollar options average daily volume rose 70 percent; Equity index average daily volume rose 16 percent; Interest rate average daily volume rose 9 percent
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that November 2015 volume averaged 13.7 million contracts per day, up 6 percent from November 2014. Total volume during November 2015 was more than 274 million contracts, of which 87 percent was traded electronically. Average daily volume to date in 2015 is 14.1 million contracts, up 3 percent versus the same period in 2014, with year-over-year growth across five of six product lines. Open interest through November is 102 million contracts, up 9 percent from year-end 2014.
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Eurex: Trading statistics November 2015; Eurex Exchange: ADV 5.3 million contracts/ ISE: ADV 2.3 million contracts
Eurex
In November 2015, the international derivatives markets of Eurex, part of Deutsche Börse Group, recorded an average daily volume of 7.6 million contracts (November 2014: 7.4 million). Of those, 5.3 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (November 2014: 5.3 million), and 2.3 million contracts (November 2014: 2.1 million) were traded at the New York based International Securities Exchange (ISE). The volume traded on the spot and derivatives power markets of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) amounted to 333.0 terawatt hours. Eurex Repo recorded in all markets in November 2015 an average outstanding volume of 148.8 billion euros.
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Key figures SIX Swiss Exchange and SIX Structured Products
SIX
Trading turnover of CHF 1,273.3 billion (+21.3% versus the same period in 2014) since the start of the year; Average trading turnover per day of CHF 5.5 billion; Increases in equity and bond indices
Since the start of 2015, a total of 47,675,113 transactions have been conducted on SIX Swiss Exchange and SIX Structured Products Exchange. This marks a year-on-year increase of 34.2%. The equities including funds + ETPs segme
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SGX takes on larger share of coking coal futures volume in November
Platts
The Singapore Exchange is increasingly taking on a bigger share of coking coal futures volume, latest trade data showed Tuesday. The SGX’s FOB Australia Premium Coking Coal Futures contract made up 285,000 mt in trade November, up from 156,000 mt in October and none a year earlier, when the SGX saw HCC derivatives trade center on a CFR China basis. A further 5,000 mt traded on SGX’s equivalent FOB Australia swap contract last month.
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CBOE Holdings Reports November 2015 Trading Volume
CBOE
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) reported today that total trading volume in November for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange® (CBOE®) and C2 Options Exchange (C2) and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE®) was 82.8 million contracts, with an average daily volume (ADV) of 4.1 million contracts, decreases of 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from October 2015.
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ISE Holdings Reports Business Activity for November 2015
ISE
ISE and ISE Gemini combined to represent 15.5% of equity options market share, excluding dividend trades.
ISE and ISE Gemini reported a combined ADV of 2.3 million contracts.
Dividend trades made up 1.4% of industry volume in November 2015.
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Nasdaq wins back TD Ameritrade in listings war with NYSE
By John McCrank – Reuters
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp , the No. 1 U.S. retail brokerage by trade executions, said on Tuesday it was moving its stock listing back to Nasdaq Inc from the New York Stock Exchange after a little over three and a half-years.
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CBOE Futures Exchange Reports November 2015 Trading Volume
CBOE
CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE®) today reported that November average daily volume (ADV) was up 24 percent from November 2014, and total volume was 30 percent higher than totals in November 2014. Monthly total volume was down 13 percent in November, compared with October 2015.
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Boerse Stuttgart generates turnover of roughly EUR 6.8 billion in November
Increase in turnover in equities, securitised derivatives, debt instruments (bonds) and investment funds
Boerse Stuttgart
According to its order book statistics, Boerse Stuttgart generated turnover of around EUR 6.8 billion in November 2015. In a dynamic market environment, the trading volume rose by more than 5 percent in comparison with October and by around 6 percent compared with November 2014.
(NO LINK)

GPW Launches New Single-Stock Futures
GPW
GPW introduces six new futures on single stocks listed on the Main Market on 3 December
Investors can now trade in futures in the stock of: Bank Millennium S.A., Bank Zachodni WBK S.A., Cyfrowy Polsat S.A., CCC S.A., Enea S.A., Energa S.A.
The Warsaw Stock Exchange introduces new futures to the market on 3 December. Futures on the stock of 21 companies has so far been traded on the market in Warsaw. With the new addition, GPW will list 27 single-stock futures.
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Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Hedge Fund BlueCrest Capital to Return Outside Clients’ Money
By LAURENCE FLETCHER – WSJ
Co-founder Mike Platt says risk-taking was constrained by demand for safer products
BlueCrest Capital Management, once one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds, plans to stop managing money for outside clients after a sharp drop in assets and a run of poor returns from its flagship macro fund.
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Time to change the investment recipe
Edouard Carmignac – FT
Investors find it tough to let go of recipes that have worked well for years. That is the case today as they are tempted to keep betting on the ingredients of healthy risk appetite, liquidity and economic hope — the product of seven years of highly accommodative monetary policies.
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Markets Outlook 2016: Credit homework pivotal for investors
Eric Platt and Gavin Jackson – FT
More than ever, undertaking credit homework matters for corporate bond investors.
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One Investor Just Put on a Big Trade to Hedge Against a Small-Cap Plunge
By SAUMYA VAISHAMPAYAN – WSJ
One big investor is feeling nervous about their small-cap exposure. A hefty trade in iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM +0.66% options attracted attention on Tuesday, ranking among the largest options trades of the day. The trade, known as a put spread, protects the investor from a drop of 10% to 24% in the Russell 2000 ETF through May.
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Euro to Bear Brunt of Yuan’s Inclusion in Reserve-Currency Club
Netty Idayu Ismail – Bloomberg
IMF taking from the euro to give to China, Borthwick says
Shared currency has dropped 13% this year, most in a decade
The euro’s worst year in a decade is looking even grimmer after the Chinese yuan’s inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies.
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Banks & Brokers

G. H. Financials – Sharon, Shi Ning to head Hong Kong office
G. H. Financials, a leading independent clearing firm for listed derivatives globally, has announced the appointment of Sharon, Shi Ning as head of its Hong Kong subsidiary, G. H. Financials (Hong Kong) Limited, succeeding Peter Lovell. Peter becomes special adviser to the Company. Sharon, Shi Ning has been Managing Director of G. H. Financials (Hong Kong) Limited (GHF HK) since the Company was launched in 2012.
(via email)

Morgan Stanley Investors Pushed for Cost Cuts; Shareholders peppered executives with questions on why the bank hadn’t cut expenses despite few signs of a fixed-income revival
By JUSTIN BAER – WSJ
Morgan Stanley’s decision to cut hundreds of jobs in its fixed-income division followed a series of meetings with shareholders in which they questioned why the firm hadn’t moved more aggressively to shed costs in the division, according to people familiar with the matter.
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Citigroup Bonus Pool for Traders, Bankers Said to Stay Flat
Dakin Campbell – Bloomberg
Decision is preliminary and hinges on performance in December
Senior managers learned of decision on Tuesday, person said
Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank, plans to leave its bonus pool unchanged from 2014, joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a move that puts pressure on their weakened rivals in Europe, according to a person briefed on the matter.
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J.P. Morgan Enters Online Loan Boom; Bank joining with OnDeck Capital on new type of small-dollar loan product designed for small-business customers
By PETER RUDEGEAIR – WSJ
The largest U.S. bank is hopping on the online-lending bandwagon.
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JPMorgan tops investment banking revenue table, helped by M&A – survey
Reuters
JPMorgan has topped investment bank league tables by revenue, with a surge in dealmaking helping it to pull in $18.2 billion in the year so far, a survey found on Wednesday.
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Clearing & Settlement

European Swap Clearing To Start In June 2016
Mondovisione
Firms will have to centrally clear certain classes of interest rate swaps starting from 21 June 2016. The clearing obligation in the Europe Union (EU) will enter into force following the publication of the relevant technical standards in the Official Journal on 1 December 2015. This marks an important milestone in implementing the EU’s post-financial crisis’ derivatives regulation – the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) – and follows the G20 commitment to clear all standardised OTC derivative contracts, where appropriate, through central counterparties (CCPs).
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Bloomberg Receives SEC Approval for its Confirmation Matching Service
Bloomberg L.P.
Bloomberg today announced its subsidiary, Bloomberg STP LLC has received approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer a confirmation matching service (CMS), for DTC-eligible equity and fixed-income securities.
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Fears Grow Over High-Impact Attack: DTCC Survey
FTF News
Fears over the threat of “a high-impact event” is increasing among risk managers, according to the latest DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer Survey. The new survey on risk trends among those in the financial services industry shows that 61 percent of risk managers “believe the probability of a high-impact event in the global financial system has increased during the past six months,” according to officials at post-trade services provider DTCC.
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OCC Cleared Contract Volume Increased 10% in November
Business Wire
CC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that cleared contract volume in November was 328,272,930 contracts, a 10 percent increase from the November 2014 monthly volume of 298,563,036 contracts. Average daily volume at OCC is down three percent in 2015 with 16,803,068 contracts. OCC’s stock loan program reported strong volume numbers in November with year-to-date activity up 16 percent.
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Indexes & Products

State Street Global Advisors Launches ETFs On Japanese market – Two New SPDR Index Funds Tradable Via Xetra And Börse Frankfurt
Mondovisione
Two new exchange-listed equity index funds issued by SPDR (State Street Global Advisors) have been tradable on Xetra and Börse Frankfurt since Tuesday.
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Korea, Taiwan, India stocks may fall when China ADRs join MSCI EM index
CNBC
Stocks in South Korea, Taiwan and India could bear the brunt of MSCI’s decision to add 14 U.S.-listed Chinese companies to its Emerging Markets index. The mainland currently holds a 23.9 percent share in the $3.5 trillion market-cap global benchmark, and that’s set to widen to 26.2 percent by next year, following the addition of heavyweight tech names including Alibaba, Baidu and Qihoo 360 Technology.
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5 Reasons Your Portfolio Needs More ETFs And Index Funds
Forbes
Even though exchange traded funds and index funds have gained mainstream popularity over the past 10-years a lot of investors have yet to fully embrace them as a primary investment vehicle in their portfolio. There are numerous reasons for this, but the bottom line for investors is that there’s likely no easier or cost effective way to improve a portfolio than to replace most of the mutual funds, hedge funds, and structured products with exchange-traded funds and indexes.
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Russell/Nomura Japan Equity Indexes Add 19 New Firms In 20th Reconstitution
Mondovisione
FTSE Russell, the global index provider, and Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., today announced that 19 new firms were added to the Russell/Nomura Japan Equity Indexes as part of its 20th annual reconstitution process on December 1. The new constituent list for the indexes, which capture 98% of the float-adjusted market capitalization of the Japanese equity market, was posted on the Nomura Securities website.
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StanChart, FTIL, 19 others to exit BSE 500 from Dec 21
The Economic Times
Stocks of 21 companies, including Standard Chartered, Financial Technologies India, Reliance Industrial Infrastructure, JSW Holdings, ABG Shipyard and Lanco InfratechBSE -3.27 % will be dropped from BSE 500 on December 21.
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Technology

FIX Protocol to support MiFID II time stamping; FIX Trading Community announces enhancements to the FIX Protocol to support MiFID II legislation on time stamps.
Automated Trader
FIX Trading Community has announced that the FIX Protocol will now support higher time stamp resolution to enable market participants to be MiFID II compliant.
jlne.ws/1TuALjS

FIS completes SunGard acquisition, creating banking and capital markets technology giant
FierceFinanceIT
Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) has completed its acquisition of SunGard, creating a $9.3 billion company with services extending from banking and payments to capital markets and asset management.
jlne.ws/1NHi8dv

Yahoo Board to Weigh Sale of Internet Business; Board to discuss whether to proceed with a plan to spin off its investment in Alibaba, find a buyer for its core business, or both, sources said
By RICK CAREW, DOUGLAS MACMILLAN and DAVID BENOIT – WSJ
Yahoo Inc.’s board is planning a series of meetings this week to consider selling off the company’s flagging Internet businesses and how to make the most of its valuable stake in Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
jlne.ws/1TkymHU

Moula says small businesses still don’t trust fintech
Sydney Morning Herald
Fintech start-ups have a long way to go before they successfully get small business to trust new lenders and embrace digital business models, according to a new measure of how ‘disrupted’ the financial services sector is.
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Enforcement

SEC Charges Bitcoin Mining Companies
SEC.gov
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Connecticut, “mining” for Bitcoin or other virtual currencies means applying computer power to try to solve complex equations that verify a group of transactions in that virtual currency. The first computer or collection of computers to solve an equation is awarded new units of that virtual currency.
jlne.ws/1Ou9L43

Ex-Citi exec gets over 2 years in N.Y. prison for taking bribes
BY NATE RAYMOND – Reuters
A former Citigroup Inc executive and onetime child star was sentenced to up to at least two years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to taking at least $500,000 in bribes from contracting companies seeking business with the bank.
jlne.ws/1jyhMaZ

Jailed Libor trader denied fair trial, his lawyer tells appeals court
BY KIRSTIN RIDLEY – Reuters
The judge who sentenced Tom Hayes to 14 years in jail for conspiracy to rig Libor interest rates blocked the defence from presenting key evidence about a banking industry that routinely flouted rules, his lawyer told an appeals court on Tuesday.
jlne.ws/1Q0ACGh

Top RBS trader to be charged with manipulating price of debt securities
By Kevin Dugan – NY Post
Federal prosecutors are said to be preparing to bring criminal charges against Adam Siegel, a top trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland, for allegedly manipulating the price of complex debt securities, The Post has learned.
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Environmental & Energy

Beijing’s Skies Begin to Clear as Toxic Smog Levels Stay North
Bloomberg News
Tianjin City, Hengshui in Hebei see continued heavy pollution
China was the biggest renewables market in the world in 2014
Beijing’s skies have begun to clear, bringing a hint of blue for the first time in days even as toxic clouds of smog that had cast the metropolis in darkness continued to linger over cities north of the Chinese capital.
jlne.ws/1MW1tQ4

As OPEC Meets, World Oil Traders See Prices Stagnating Into 2017
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
Brimming stockpiles will continue to weaken market, Vitol says
Gunvor sees Iran’s return keeping a lid on prices next year
The world’s largest independent oil traders said supplies will overwhelm demand into next year and prices may not rally until 2017, painting a gloomy outlook for energy-rich nations as OPEC gathers to discuss output policy.
jlne.ws/1l7kUwm

The politics of climate change; No sanctions for countries that renege on their commitments, therefore, no point in making a legally binding agreement?
Victoria Johnson – Aljazeera
Approximately 150 heads of state have descended on a northern suburb of Paris for the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties, known as COP 21. Their goal? To try and agree a global, legally binding deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will avoid global average temperature change from exceeding 2C.
jlne.ws/1IE6Q2k

The Latest: Climate talks eye saving local culinary staples
By The Associated Press
Basic staples and traditional dishes around the world are under threat from climate change, the International Fund for Agricultural Development says. They’re handing out recipe cards at the Paris climate conference to illustrate the problem and how to solve it.
jlne.ws/1Q0y2jo

Exxon taps high-profile lawyer to fight N.Y. climate change probe
By Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
Exxon Mobil Corp has hired a star attorney in an aggressive response to mounting scrutiny over the company’s climate change disclosures, according to people familiar with the matter.
jlne.ws/1MW5BQ8

Asia-Pacific

Three-Quarters of Asian Adults Financially Illiterate, S&P Says
Michael Heath – Bloomberg
28% of Chinese respondents identified as financially competent
In India, about 47% of adults don’t hold a bank account
Almost three-quarters of Asia’s adult population don’t have a clear grasp of key monetary ideas including inflation and risk diversification, according to a study conducted by Standard & Poor’s.
jlne.ws/1XxTdxU

Hong Kong vying for lead role as yuan trading hub
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong will need to introduce more yuan-denominated products to compete for some of the US$600 billion worth of yuan expected to flow into the city’s financial markets over the next five years, in the wake of the International Monetary Fund’s decision to anoint the currency reserve status
jlne.ws/1NHiqkF

Beijing’s new financial regulator needs independence, not expanded powers
Hong Kong Free Press
The Beijing government has decided to regulate its chaotic financial sector with the full might of the Chinese Leviathan. This involves laudable steps, such as investigating shadow banks, arresting insider traders, and completely overhauling the regulatory framework.
jlne.ws/1NHirFo

As its money goes global, can China loosen up?
LA Times
Ten days before the International Monetary Fund designated the Chinese renminbi an elite currency alongside the dollar, pound, euro and yen, Chinese authorities uncovered an underground bank in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
jlne.ws/1NHitgw

Frontier Markets

Qatar recovers from MSCI shock; Egypt bounces from chart support
Ahram Online
Several major Middle Eastern stock markets rose on Tuesday, led by Qatar, which recovered steep losses triggered the previous day by MSCI’s rebalancing of its emerging markets index.
jlne.ws/1NHgiJL

Sebi prefers retail investors coming via MFs, pension funds: Sinha; Regulator also asserts it has put in place all necessary measures to check manipulations in primary markets
Press Trust of India
Small investors are best advised to enter the stock market through institutions such as mutual funds and pension funds, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said today while asserting that he was not worried if smaller investors do not participate in IPOs directly.
jlne.ws/1jyeWTx

In U-turn, Sebi chairman says not concerned about low retail investors in IPOs; Small investors should come through informed institutional investors such as pension or mutual funds, U K Sinha said
Jayshree P Upadhyay – Business Standard
In an about-turn from its earlier stance of wanting to increase retail participation in direct equity ?market, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Wednesday stated that it is not concerned about low retail participation in initial public offers (IPO).
jlne.ws/1YHwIn9

Banks should clean balance sheets by FY17, says regulator; Raghuram Rajan said stressed assets would have to be cleaned on the balance sheet by not only provisioning but also by putting some of these assets back on track
BS Reporter
With many initiatives in place to tackle stressed assets, Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan expects banks to finish the task of cleaning their balance sheets by March 2017.
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Doug Ashburn is a former editor-at-large of John Lothian News. He left in late 2016 and is now the managing editor of T3 Custom.