Breaking News

John Lothian Newsletter: Deutsche Börse lines up swoop for LSE; High-speed firms plan second 1,000-foot tower in Kent; A radical world for FCMs

First Read

So I Found You Again On Facebook: LSE and Deutsche Börse Dating Again
Jim Kharouf and Doug Ashburn, JLN

Well, here we go again. The on again, off again affair between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse is, well on again. The two exchanges are looking to create “an exchange of equals” which would pair two powerful securities, derivatives, clearing, products and services companies in the global exchange space.

DB-LSEG

LSE made a run at Deutsche Börse, just prior to the DB’s IPO in February 2001 but the deal fell through when shareholders in London objected. The second deal proposal between the two in 2004 ended with more shareholder disdain. And now here we are in 2016 with another run at it with two different CEOs at their respective controls – Xavier Rolet of the LSE and relative Deutsche Börse newbie Carsten Kengeter, who started in June 2015.

Meanwhile, Britons head to the polls in a few months to determine whether or not to remain in the European Union. Is the exchange tie-up a bargaining chip, the hedge of a bet, or a strange coincidence?

Read the rest of the report, which includes links to the related stories, at JohnLothianNews.com

***DA: We have included a few of our favorite DB-LSEG stories in “Leads” below; a complete list can be found under our special report. Be sure to click over.

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CFC Tackles the What Ifs of Blockchain
Sarah Rudolph and Jeff Bergstrom, JLN

On Tuesday the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) met to discuss a few issues including “Blockchain and the Potential Application of Distributed Ledger Technology to the Derivatives Markets.” A mouthful to be sure, but a timely discussion.

As the first time the TAC has held a public panel on blockchain, the quick take-away was summed up by commissioner Christopher Giancarlo who said it is difficult to know where this will all lead but regulators should not stand in the way of a potentially important technology.

Sandra Ro from CME opined that 2016/2017 is when we will start to see blockchain really get hammered out, yet it was clear from the discussion there is very little consensus on what it will look like. Some of the potential benefits are increased transparency and speed of execution for financial transactions, but even those came with questions.

One question several people asked, including CFTC chairman Timothy Massad, was what problem blockchain was a solution for? Is it a solution in search of a problem? Many in the industry have viewed blockchain as a faster and more efficient settlement tool. But that comes with its own set of problems. Larry Tabb of The Tabb Group wondered if blockchain technology sped up the process enough to change T+3 to T+0, would that actually remove the benefits of a slower settlement period. The panel responded that while blockchain would speed things up, T+0 would never happen and each market would find its own sweet spot for an ideal settlement time.

To read the rest of the piece, go here:

***DA: Click to read statements from commissioners Bowen, Giancarlo and Chairman Massad

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Tighten Your Belts, It’s the Age of Stagnation – Podcast
MoneyBeat – WSJ
The world is enveloped in a miasma of saturated debt, stagnant growth, social upheaval, and the specter of demagoguery, but policy makers aren’t doing anything to make the needed but painful changes to deal with all of that, instead hoping the myth of the all-powerful central bank can save them.
on.wsj.com/1mXhfBj

***DA: Took the words right out of my mouth.

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SEC Weighs Testing Potential Investors
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Soon, wealth may not be enough to qualify as an accredited investor. The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission is reviewing how individuals qualify as accredited investors — those with enough financial acumen to fend for themselves in the opaque world of private capital markets.
on.wsj.com/1mXhWuu

***DA: I am more concerned with bad financial choices made by non-accredited investors, such as using the lottery as a core of one’s financial plan. Wealthy investors who play with fire and get burned get less sympathy from me.

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EU curbs on food speculation could still leave millions hungry, activists warn
The Guardian
Proposed EU rules designed to curb speculation on food and other commodities are not strict enough and could still see price spikes that leave millions hungry, a coalition of NGOs has warned.
goo.gl/k0hBCo

***DA: In other words, unless they repeal the law of supply and demand, no position limits rule will be foolproof.

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Tops for Tuesday
Usually we have to look hard for clearing stories but yesterday one was the most read story of the day, Banks face $27bn risk from failed derivatives payments. The second most read story, A New Breed of Trader on Wall Street: Coders With a Ph.D., started by describing what sounds like a good party. Wish we were there. For number three it was a good day for blockchain news, JPMorgan Quietly Tests ‘Blockchain’ With 2,200 Clients. Be sure to see our story on blockchain from the CFTC Technology and Advisory Committee meeting up above.

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Lead Stories

Deutsche Börse lines up swoop for LSE
Philip Stafford, Arash Massoudi and Caroline Binham in London, FT.com
Deutsche Börse is in advanced talks to take over the London Stock Exchange Group, in a megadeal that would create a European champion presiding over many of the world’s leading financial markets.
on.ft.com/1mXdwDD

London Börse: help needed
FT Alphaville
Back in the late 90s, during one of the first attempts to forge a merger or some sort of alliance between the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges, an internal competition was launched to find a name for the new entity. The prize was a weekend for two, all expenses paid, in either London or Frankfurt, depending on the winner’s abode.
on.ft.com/1mXcFmp

Germany and the UK show the way : Fidessa Fragmentation Index
fragmentation.fidessa.com
Steve Grob – Fidessa
The pixels were barely dry on my last blog post on the regulatory impact of a potential Brexit on the City of London, when news broke that LSE Group was in talks with Deutsche Börse over a “merger of equals”. The LSE has done a great job under Xavier’s stewardship of positioning itself for the practical realities of the industry today, which are all predicated on the premise of being efficient rather than merely being effective.
goo.gl/h8F5fR

High-speed firms plan second 1,000-foot tower in Kent
Financial News (Subscription Required)
High-frequency trading firms KCG Holdings and Jump Trading want to build a giant communications mast in rural England, a mile away from a rival’s planned tower that has already drawn objection from local residents.
goo.gl/5RUPvi

A radical world for FCMs
The Trade News
Last year, client clearing of OTC derivatives was largely seen as a business in retreat. The Basel III leverage ratio, also known as the US supplementary leverage ratio (SLR), has pilled huge pressure on the traditional business models of clearing brokers, or futures commission merchants (FCMs) as they are more commonly referred to in the US.
goo.gl/FX48NG

CFTC feels pressure on HFT rules
Mike Kentz, IFRe
Market participants on Monday turned up the heat on CFTC regulators with regard to a proposed rule that would allow the agency unfettered access to the algorithms high-frequency trading firms use in futures markets without a subpoena.
goo.gl/WlnySa

Bats Receives SEC Approval For Client Suspension Rule – Will Assist Bats Exchanges In Quickly Stopping Customers Engaging In Manipulative Behavior
Mondovisione
Bats Global Markets (Bats) received Securities and Exchange Commission approval of the Bats Client Suspension Rule, assisting the company in taking swifter action to prohibit manipulative behavior, such as spoofing and layering, on the Bats Exchanges. The Rule, which was approved February 18th, distinguishes itself by specifically addressing disruptive quoting and trading practices, such as spoofing and layering, via an expedited process.
goo.gl/iTTI3t

The Junk Debt Funds Threatening to Create an $88 Billion Logjam
Bloomberg Business
With debt markets showing the first signs of life in weeks, Wall Street banks are trying to break a logjam that could leave them with big losses on $88 billion of risky corporate loans. They won’t get much help from one of their most reliable buyers.
bloom.bg/1mXcnfz

Morningstar warns of smart beta ETF trading costs
Financial News
The higher trading costs of smart beta exchange-traded funds compared with their plain vanilla counterparts could “severely impair” their long-term returns, according to a study by Morningstar, a conclusion that chimes with repeated warnings made by passive fund pioneer Jack Bogle.
goo.gl/PkuKVm

New fund designed for world of negative rates
FT.com
Alberto Gallo, former macro credit strategist for Royal Bank of Scotland, has left the bank to join Algebris, with the aim of expanding the $3bn asset manager’s focus beyond financial institutions by launching a fund designed for a world of negative interest rates. The move to capitalise on the problems faced by insurers and pension funds confronted by very low or negative yielding bonds highlights both the scale of the challenge and the poor performance of many existing hedge fund structures.
on.ft.com/1mXh0Gd

Fed’s Fischer says market turmoil may pass with little economic impact
Reuters
It is still unclear whether the recent downturn in global financial markets will have any substantial impact on the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Tuesday, suggesting the episode may still pass without much effect on the Fed’s plans.
reut.rs/1mXh3Sr

Signature Bank Sued Over Connection to Ponzi Scheme
The New York Times
Signature Bank has been a darling of Wall Street in the 15 years since it opened its first branch in Manhattan. But all of its success — partly a result of its mantra to deliver top-notch service to its small and midsize business clientele — could not shield it from a Ponzi scheme that lost $66 million of investor money and sent a money manager to federal prison for three and a half years for securities fraud.
nyti.ms/1mXhHQ1

INDOS Financial and Standish Announce Partnership
Business Wire
INDOS Financial, the UK’s only specialist independent AIFMD depositary, and U.S.-based Standish Management, a boutique provider of fund administration to managers of private equity, venture capital, real estate and fund of funds, today announced a partnership agreement. Under the partnership, INDOS will provide depositary services to Standish’s U.S. private equity fund clients who have European limited partners.
goo.gl/fKRZqJ

Regulatory

?Massad: Derivatives industry wrong about price manipulation standard
Neil Roland, MLex
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been adhering to a longstanding legal standard for attempted price manipulation, contrary to derivatives industry contentions in court, Chairman Timothy Massad said.
goo.gl/6cn5w8

MiFID II derivatives rules will apply to corporate treasurers, with some exemptions | Derivatives, Regulation, Treasury and Risk Management
Bloomberg Professional
A common assumption among corporate treasury practitioners is that the European directive MiFID II will only have to be implemented by financial institutions, and corporates will escape the regulatory burden. This is only partially correct.
bloom.bg/1mXjhS1

CFTC’s Energy And Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Releases Agenda For Upcoming Public Meeting
The EEMAC will consider the CFTC’s approach to exempting electricity transactions that take place on highly regulated markets administered by regional transmission operators (RTOs) and/or Independent System Operators (ISOs), such as the Southwest Power Pool, with a particular focus on the proposed inclusion of private rights of action in these orders.
goo.gl/flDQYm

Exclusive: New York asks SEC to force climate vote onto Exxon proxy
Reuters
New York state’s comptroller and four other Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) shareholders asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week to force the oil producer to include a climate change resolution in its annual shareholder proxy, according to a filing seen by Reuters. The move, the first since the Paris climate accord, ratchets up the tension between the world’s largest publicly traded oil company and a growing chorus of investors concerned that climate change or legislation designed to curb it will harm Exxon’s ability to operate profitably.
reut.rs/1mXgR5R

EU capital rules for energy traders not as bad as feared – PwC
Risk.net
Commodity trading firms can slash Mifid II capital charges by 40% through optimisation of derivatives portfolios and application of new Basel rules, report finds The impact of the European Union’s reworked Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II) on energy firms will not be as cataclysmic as market participants now think, a new report from New York-based consultancy PwC suggests.
goo.gl/5gOXZl

UK’s National Audit Office Report – Financial Services Mis-Selling: Regulation And Redress
Mondovisione
The report looks at the roles of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and HM Treasury in the management of mis-selling cases, addressing both the administration of redress schemes and the regulatory responses and penalties imposed on firms.
goo.gl/Ob30G6

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Concludes On Expanding Scope Of Short Position Reporting
Mondovisione
After considering market feedback, the SFC has concluded that short position reporting will be expanded to cover all securities that can be short sold under the rules of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (Note 2). The reporting threshold for stocks will remain unchanged (Note 3), while the threshold for collective investment schemes will be set at $30 million.
goo.gl/W5ZxVP

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME Group to add grain quality data for CBOT wheat, oats deliveries
Reuters
The CME Group, parent of the Chicago Board of Trade, said on Tuesday it will being publishing additional information on grain delivered against CBOT wheat and oats futures, effective immediately. For wheat, the exchange said it will publish the level of vomitoxin, a plant fungus, listed on wheat shipping certificates, which are receipts for delivery.
reut.rs/1mXhjRn

ISE Mercury Completes Second Successful Product Rollout | International Securities Exchange, LLC
The International Securities Exchange Holdings, Inc. (ISE Holdings) today announced that as part of its initial rollout process, ISE Mercury has completed a rollout of fifty additional options products. ISE Mercury now lists 62 products for trading, following its successful launch on February 16, 2016.
goo.gl/fW1PWm

Deutsche Börse Launches Fintech Initiative In Frankfurt – Part Of The Hessian State
Government’s FinTech Initiative – Facilities For Start-Ups Available From April Onwards
Mondovisione
As part of the Hessian FinTech initiative, Deutsche Börse will make fully equipped rooms available to new companies and start-ups in Frankfurt from April onwards. They will be provided with a suitable environment to further develop new ideas and entrepreneurial concepts. The start-ups will also receive on-site support from employees of the Deutsche Börse Venture Network. These will use their experience to help founders develop their companies in a targeted way in the areas of financing, building a network and acquiring customers.
goo.gl/drh7XY

Nasdaq adds machine learning to surveillance platform
Financial News
Nasdaq has signed a partnership with Digital Reasoning that will allow it to incorporate machine-learning technology into its Smarts platform, a step that will increase trading firms’ abilities to monitor for fraud and market abuse.
bit.ly/21ocHmR

NZX Full Year 2015 Results Announcement & Materials – Good Progress In NZX’s Funds Services Strategy; Continued Deepening Of The Capital Markets
Press Release
Total revenues for the year of $73.2 million were up 12.2% on 2014. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, foreign exchange gain, and gain on disposal of associate (EBITDA) were unchanged at $24.6 million.
goo.gl/UJIFWW

Politics

Daily chart: America’s misery index: a presidential ranking
The Economist
The misery index—adding together America’s inflation and unemployment rates—has been a popular way of expressing national economic performance since the 1970s. Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election (taking office in 1981) with the help of the slogan “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”. Whether the president can take sole credit for improvements in these measures (or blame for their deterioration) is another matter; Congress and, even more so, the Federal Reserve, have a big impact.
econ.st/1ozNNT1

Wall St. money talks, but voters aren’t listening
Yahoo! Politics
In the latest sign that hedge fund gurus have little influence over the political marketplace, Wall Street billionaire Steven Cohen and his wife pumped another $2 million into a super-PAC backing Chris Christie’s presidential candidacy less than three weeks before the New Jersey governor flamed out in the New Hampshire primary, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.
yhoo.it/1mXe6kW

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Quantifying CTA Risk Management
Campbell & Co.
New research by Campbell & Company demonstrates how carry strategies provide a powerful portfolio effect, leading to superior long-term risk-adjusted returns. Campbell’s white paper, An Introduction to Global Carry, explains how carry strategies work and spotlights how they can be used in a blended portfolio to significantly enhance returns and reduce volatility.
http://go.campbell.com/IntroGlobalCarry

Best Practices for a CTA’s back office – part 1
Dana Comolli, DMAXX
Every trader who has tried to raise money knows the drill from investors: yes we want to know about your performance, but also, explain in detail your back office (infrastructure, organization). Most allocators come with pages of checklists and expect the CTA to be able to answer their questions in full. In these next two blogs, we’re going to cover what allocators expect and explain what it really means to have a back office that passes investment standards.
goo.gl/CLY2nP

Gold Rally: Flash in the Pan or Sustainable?
Erik Norland, CME Group
Gold prices jumped nearly 20% from their mid-December 2015 lows into mid-February this year before backing off a little. This move included a $59-an-ounce spike on February 11 to the highest close in over a year. The surge in gold begs the question: what’s driving the rally and can it be sustained?
goo.gl/uWfTES

Donald Drapkin, Casablanca Co-Founder and Former Perelman Deal-Maker, Dies
WSJ
Donald Drapkin, co-founder of activist hedge fund Casablanca Capital LP and a 40-year veteran of Wall Street deal making, died Monday following a skiing accident earlier this month. Mr. Drapkin, 67 years old, played a major role in some of the famed corporate takeovers of the 1980s before launching Casablanca six years ago. The fund in 2014 won a battle for control of the nation’s biggest iron-ore miner, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
on.wsj.com/1mXbOSJ

The Top Performing Hedge Funds of 2015
Bloomberg Business
Hedge funds attracted a net $44 billion in assets globally last year, the smallest amount since 2012, according to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc. That reflects a volatile year, when unanticipated economic events rattled markets and led to declines and losses for many funds. Others were hurt by crowded and sometimes concentrated trades and poorly timed bets on energy as oil prices continued to fall.
bloom.bg/1mXcuaZ

Banks & Brokers

Finra Begins a Review of Brokerage Firm Culture
Liz Moyer – NY Times
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has begun a formal review of cultural values at more than a dozen brokerage firms, including how executives identify rogue employees whose actions contradict company policy.
nyti.ms/20TErOe

JPMorgan to raise loan loss reserves to cover energy pain
FT.com
JPMorgan Chase has warned of growing stresses in its oil and gas portfolio, saying it would pump up its reserves for loan losses by about 60 per cent in the first quarter. The disclosure, made at the bank’s annual day-long presentation to investors, came just weeks after it made its first net addition to its provisions for loan losses in the past six years.
on.ft.com/1mXcK9Y

JPMorgan Tries to Calm Investors on Its Outlook and Oil Defenses
The New York Times
JPMorgan Chase executives painted a positive picture of the American economy and the bank’s business at their annual investor day, but they failed to beat back the pessimism that has battered bank shares and the broader stock market in recent months.
nyti.ms/1mXbW4V

JPMorgan brushes off rivals’ fixed-income woes
FT.com
FICC units across Wall Street have been squeezed in recent years by tougher regulation, a shift to electronic platforms and risk aversion among clients. Total revenues across the industry have more than halved since 2009, according to Coalition, a consultancy, prompting second-string players such as Morgan Stanley, UBS and Credit Suisse to cut back.
on.ft.com/1mXgJmK

HSBC hires Goldman’s Westerman as co-head global banking
Reuters
HSBC has hired Matthew Westerman from Goldman Sachs to become co-head of banking in its investment banking arm, part of several changes in the structure of the unit. Westerman has been at Goldman Sachs for 16 years and was most recently chairman of its investment banking division in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
reut.rs/1mXgCb0

Morgan Stanley says majority of its E&P loans to junk-rated companies
Reuters
Morgan Stanley said the majority of its loans to oil and gas exploration and production companies are to non-investment grade firms. The loans accounted for $1.7 billion of the $4.4 billion in total loans and lending commitments the Wall Street firm has made to E&P companies, Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday in a regulatory filing. The $2.7 billion in lending commitments are primarily to investment grade companies.
reut.rs/1mXhpbP

Clearing & Settlement

DTCC-Euroclear GlobalCollateral Ltd Publishes White Paper on The Implications of Collateral Settlement Fails
DTCC
DTCC-Euroclear Global Collateral Ltd, a joint venture (JV) of Euroclear and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have published the white paper, “Implications of Collateral Settlement Fails: An Industry Perspective on Bilateral OTC Derivatives.” The paper examines the market implications and costs of bilateral OTC derivatives collateral settlement fails. A collateral settlement fail occurs when cash or securities collateral is not delivered or received on the agreed date.
goo.gl/F0xmg1

Singapore Exchange (SGX) Goes Live With Millennium PostTrade
Mondovisione
Millennium PostTrade, a highly integrated, real time clearing, settlement and depository platform will initially enhance SGX’s securities clearing and connectivity capabilities and provide a solid technology platform to replace CDP’s settlement and depository systems. With the clearing system and the Application Programming Interface (API) now live, SGX will work with their broker dealers and participants to migrate away from SGX’s proprietary broker back office system.
goo.gl/isB4TI

RBA Sees Scope For Digital Version Of Australian Dollar
EconoTimes
Realizing the potential of digital currencies to revolutionize the payment and settlement system, financial authorities seem to be increasingly taking interest in creating their own digital currency. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan recently suggested that the central bank is not only interested in digital currencies but is also researching related technologies.
goo.gl/L6pnBc

Indexes & Products

Study Analyzes Performance of CBOE S&P 500 (SPX) Options-Selling Indexes
CBOE
The Chicago Board Options Exchange today announced the release of a new study that examines six benchmark indexes that write Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) options, comparing their performances with those of traditional stock, bond and commodity indexes. The options-selling indexes generally had returns that were similar to those of the S&P 500 Index, but with lower volatility and lower maximum drawdowns.
goo.gl/PU049m

STOXX Changes Composition Of Benchmark Indices – Results Of The First Regular Quarterly Review To Be Effective Mar. 21, 2016
Mondovisione
STOXX Limited, a leading provider of innovative, tradable and global index concepts, today announced the new composition of STOXX Benchmarks and their sub and sector indices, among them the STOXX Europe 600 Index, STOXX North America 600 Index and STOXX Asia/Pacific 600 Index.
goo.gl/N7h2S8

Index Funds: Presumed Guilty
John Rekenthaler – Morningstar
In his 2015 shareholder letter published last month, hedge fund chief Bill Ackman suggests that U.S. stock index funds may be creating two forms of instability. One is relative price disparity, between those stocks that are being rewarded with index-fund inflows and those that are not. The second is absolute price inflation, whereby index fund flows have created (or are creating–Ackman waffles on the timing) a market bubble.
goo.gl/qTuhaB

Oil State Municipal Bonds – Risk or Opportunity
J.P. Rieger – Indexology: S&P Dow Jones Indices
Local and state municipal bonds issued within states dependent on oil production are potentially in a cycle where they could underperform the overall bond market. So far, modestly higher yields can be seen in Louisiana and North Dakota and only Louisiana has underperformed to any significant degree year-to-date. Supply and demand of the bonds themselves plays an important role here as some states do not issue bonds in large volumes or have state supported debt.
goo.gl/NWl856

ETF flows prompt bounceback for gold
FT.com
Gold rebounded as money flowed back into exchange traded funds but analysts cautioned that the gains might be limited without physical demand from India and China. The precious metal has been one of the best-performing commodities this year, rising 15 per cent thanks to flows into gold-backed exchange traded funds.
on.ft.com/1mXcvLV

Technology

Japanese Exchanges to Work with IBM Japan on Blockchain Project
FTF News
Officials of the Japan Exchange Group (JPX) and IBM Japan recently announced that they are jointly developing proof of concept (PoC) tests for the Blockchain distributed ledger technology.
This effort marks another major project for the financial services industry, which has been rapidly exploring how Blockchain can be applied to a variety of securities operations.
goo.gl/Vg0puo

Calastone Launches Data Services – A Unique Global Fund Distribution Solution
Mondovisione
Calastone, the global funds transaction network, today announced the launch of Calastone Data Services, a global market intelligence solution offering fund managers detailed insight and transparency into their global fund distribution whilst also supporting client firms in meeting changing regulatory obligations.
goo.gl/PlnnNU

Startup Analytics Vendor MayStreet Taps Ex-Knight, Citadel Exec for BizDev
Waters Technology
Startup analytics and market access software provider MayStreet has hired former Knight Capital and Citadel exec David Streltsoff as head of business development, responsible for helping the vendor to capitalize on its momentum and grow its business among banks, asset managers and exchanges.
goo.gl/chFwcz

Solid support for Apple in iPhone encryption fight: poll
Reuters
Forty-six percent of respondents said they agreed with Apple’s position, 35 percent said they disagreed and 20 percent said they did not know, according to poll results released on Wednesday.
reut.rs/1mXf4xz

Enforcement

Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Bans Jia Zhen For 10 Months
Mondovisione
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Mr Jia Zhen, a former account executive of China Merchants Securities (HK) Co., Limited (CMSHK), from re-entering the industry for 10 months from 20 February 2016 to 19 December 2016 for breach of the SFC’s Code of Conduct
goo.gl/k6mvMV

Environmental & Energy

CSIRO climate cuts will breach Paris agreement and cost economy – report
By Michael Slezak – The Guardian
Cuts to the CSIRO’s climate modelling and measuring research will breach Australia’s obligations under the recent Paris agreement and will result in huge costs to the economy, a report by Australia’s Climate Council has found.
bit.ly/1VzRdzT

John Kasich: ‘I Know That Human Beings Affect The Climate’
By Katie Valentine – Think Progress
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich acknowledged humans’ contribution to climate change Saturday, though he stopped short of accepting that humans are the main driver of the global problem.
bit.ly/1QxBRxJ

Mercer, a Longtime Funder of Climate Skeptics, Backs a Believer
By Zachary Mider – Bloomberg
Robert Mercer, whose $11 million backing Ted Cruz makes him the biggest single donor in the presidential race so far, is a longtime supporter of groups that question mainstream climate science.
bloom.bg/1Oqz7dZ

Asia-Pacific

Warburg Pincus bets on China industrial parks with $220 mln D&J investment
Reuters
D&J Industrial Property (China) Investment Co Ltd raised $220 million from its founder and from private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, looking to expand its business parks and industrial facilities in China’s largest cities.
reut.rs/1mXh7Sa

BOJ Kuroda Vows to Act if Market Volatility Threatens Price Trends
WSJ
TOKYO–Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Wednesday that the central bank won’t hesitate to act if market volatility threatens its efforts to defeat deflation, suggesting that further yen strength or stock-market weakness could trigger additional monetary-policy easing.
on.wsj.com/1R13fyB

BOJ to Tighten Information Controls After Probe of Possible Leak
Bloomberg
The Bank of Japan said it will tighten control of information about policy decisions after questions were raised about a possible leak of officials’ discussions just before last month’s announcement on negative interest rates.
bloom.bg/1R13hX3

Hong Kong Finance Chief Says Political Turmoil Hurts Economy
ABC News
Rising political turmoil in Hong Kong could hurt economic growth in the freewheeling southern Chinese business hub, the city’s finance chief said as he unveiled measures Wednesday to counter the impact of global weakness.
abcn.ws/21fEU2J

Hong Kong budget: How sweet can the financial secretary be to business and ordinary punters?
South China Morning Post
When Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah delivers his ninth budget on Wednesday, he is expected to continue his tradition of dishing out billions of dollars in one-off funding measures.
These so-called sweeteners – one-off fiscal measures to mitigate the burden on ordinary people – are a hallmark of Tsang’s budgets, with about HK$270 billion distributed to particular sectors of the community in the form of tax relief and handouts over his past eight budgets.
goo.gl/PmxomF

Citron’s Left Sees Hong Kong Inquiry as Shareholder Rights Fight
Bloomberg
As far as Andrew Left is concerned, the inquiry by Hong Kong regulators into his bearish investment research is just a chance to press for shareholder rights.
Speaking in an interview from Los Angeles as Hong Kong authorities began two weeks of hearings into his statements about a Chinese property developer, the founder of Citron Research said the inquiry is an opportunity for his lawyers to make the case for short-sellers as a positive force in the market. The Securities and Futures Commission accuses Left of distributing false information about Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd., which plunged in 2012 following one of his reports.
bloom.bg/1R12V2Q

China hoping to calm jitters as it hosts G20 in Shanghai
www.theaustralian.com.au
China had hoped the Group of 20 meeting in Shanghai later this week would give it a stage to ­promote new models for running the world economy. Instead, it is becoming a venue for Beijing to ­assuage global anxiety about its currency policies, tumultuous markets and economic management.
goo.gl/Yc8qWo

Frontier Markets

Iran: the final great investment frontier
Financial Times
Iran’s historic nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions should bring the country back into the global community. For investors, it is being heralded as the return of the largest economy to the global system since the breakup of the USSR in 1991.
We recently went on a fact-finding mission to Iran prior to the lifting of sanctions. What we found was a real eye-opener and exposed many of our biases as wrong.
on.ft.com/21fEcCG

Cautionary tales for Myanmar’s new exchange
FinanceAsia
You don’t have to look far from Myanmar to see the dangers of a pre-emptively launched stock exchange. The country’s outgoing, military-led regime wants to see the first companies list on its new Yangon Stock Exchange before handing over power to an elected government at the end of March, but faces a struggle, with companies seemingly ill-prepared for a listing.
goo.gl/NLtAUJ

Landmark MOU signed to form new stock exchange
World Folio
Integration of the Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore stock exchanges follows the global trend of consolidation, a move clearly welcomed by foreign investors
goo.gl/qnOQzA

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About Author

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.