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US brokers secure SEC relief to comply with Mifid research rules; Startup Exchange Cleared to Take on NYSE, Nasdaq for Stock Listings

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

Cinnober has introduced subsidiary Minium to provide real-time post-trade technology and services to international investment banks. ~JJL

FIA Global’s Simon Puleston Jones addressed the House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee on the potential impacts of Brexit on the cleared derivatives industry. ~JJL

Apologies – there was a problem with the link in yesterday’s Hits & Takes to the commentary by Jim Greco of TradingPlaces about Virtu and Bondpoint. Here is a new link, which has been double-tested for connectivity.

Also, we have created a page for BondPoint on MarketsWiki. ~SR

NFA: Due to maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 7:00 p.m. CT on Friday, October 27, 2017 until 5:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, October 29, 2017: Online Registration System (ORS), BASIC Data Entry, Security Futures Products Training, Online Payments, Online Arbitration Claims, Arbitrator Profile, Arbitrator Training, Employment Application and Profile System, and all Electronic Filings Systems including EasyFile, Exemptions, Questionnaire, and Disclosure Documents. ~JJL

Barclay Hedge: Not so fast: alternative investment managers skeptical of cryptocurrencies. ~JJL


SEC Announces Measures to Facilitate Cross-Border Implementation of the European Union’s MiFID II’s Research Provisions
Today, following consultation with European authorities, and in response to concerns that investors could lose access to valuable research, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued three related no-action letters. These letters are designed to provide market participants with greater certainty regarding their U.S. regulated activities as they engage in efforts to comply with the European Union’s (EU) Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) in advance of the Jan. 3, 2018, implementation date.

***** MiFID II is the Y2K of our time. ~JJL


At 87, a Stogie-Toting Legend Mourns the End of Trading Floors; As the Hong Kong exchange prepares to close its storied trading floor, the ‘Cigar King’ looks back
By Steven Russolillo – WSJ
When David Tung Wai visited the trading floor of Hong Kong’s stock exchange recently, he did so with the reverent sadness one shows for an elderly friend in declining health.

***** Every trading floor has/had a broker/trader like this. ~JJL


Can the FANG Stocks Keep Powering On and Escape Tech Curse?
By Lu Wang – Bloomberg
FANG stocks in retreat ahead of Google, Amazon earnings; Valuations, analyst forecasts show tech still attractive
They’re not rate sensitive or built on oceans of debt. Their money is mined through sky-high margins, a sign of sustainability. And say what you will about tech companies and the pressure they face each quarter to jack up earnings: they keep pulling it off.

***** When the ICE’s NYSE FANG+ starts trading, FANG traders will be able to manage their risk better, which means they can take more risk. That could mean even higher prices. ~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
New York’s outspoken former mayor drew attention in our top story yesterday, The Guardian’s Michael Bloomberg: Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done besides Trump. Next was Forbes’ Why Bitcoin Matters More Than Blockchain, and third was more in the ongoing saga of Carsten Kengeter in the Financial Times’ Top investors want Deutsche Börse chief to resign


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Lead Stories

US brokers secure SEC relief to comply with Mifid research rules; Regulator’s long-awaited move is big relief for banks ahead of sweeping new EU rules
Philip Stafford in London – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission has granted temporary relief that US banks and brokers will not have to be registered investment advisers to comply with sweeping new European rules that come into force in January

Startup Exchange Cleared to Take on NYSE, Nasdaq for Stock Listings; IEX gets regulatory approval to being listing companies; about a half dozen companies expected to switch
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Upstart stock exchange IEX Group Inc. received regulatory approval this week to list companies, paving the way for the first competition to the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc. NDAQ -1.38% in nearly a decade.

SEC Halts Chicago Exchange’s Speed-Bump Plan
Dave Michaels – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission has once again frozen a decision by its own staff to approve a controversial strategy proposed by the Chicago Stock Exchange, according to a spokesman for the company.
The SEC put on ice a decision announced last week that approved the Chicago market’s plan to implement a new “speed bump” on certain orders, the spokesman said. The speed bump is a brief delay designed to protect key market participants—brokers that stand ready to post and fill orders on its platform—from certain…

CME profit plunges on higher expenses, lower market data revenue
Reuters Staff
CME Group Inc (CME.O), the world’s largest futures market operator, reported a 34.7 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by higher expenses and lower revenue from market data and information services.

How Wall Street Scored Its Big Win in Congress; Small banks lobbied waffling Republicans to scrap rule that would have made it easier to sue financial industry
Andrew Ackerman and Yuka Hayashi – WSJ
The financial-services industry, led by a group of small banks, successfully targeted a few potentially wavering Senate Republicans to ensure lawmakers overturned a rule that would have made it easier for consumers to join class-action lawsuits against banks.

FCA publishes position limits for commodity derivative contracts
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published position limits on certain commodity derivative contracts which are traded on UK trading venues.

Barclays hit by large fall in bond and currency trading revenue; Shares drop more than 6% as UK bank underperforms US rivals
Martin Arnold, Banking Editor – FT
Barclays reported a large decline in bond and currency trading revenue on Thursday and undershot analysts’ forecasts, sending shares down more than 6 per cent in morning trading, wiping £2bn off its market valuation.

The Richest Royal in Europe Just Keeps Getting Richer
Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
Liechtenstein Prince’s net worth surges 64% to $4.4 billion; Banking wealth originated with 12th-century land holdings
Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein lives in a castle perched on a cliffside in the Alpine principality that bears his name. He’s known as “Your Serene Highness” to the country’s 38,000 citizens, and he owns a collection of Renaissance masterpieces, as well as two palaces in Vienna.

Sep 2017 Swaps Review in 16 Charts
Amir Khwaja – Clarus Financial Technology
Continuing with our Swaps review series, let’s look at volumes in September 2017.

The TRADE’s Leaders in Trading 2017 winners announced; Industry leaders gathered at The Savoy Hotel in London last night to celebrate their achievements throughout the year.
Editors – The Trade
The TRADE is pleased to announce the winners for the Algorithmic Trading awards, Editors’ Choice Awards and Buy-side awards.

Grains Gloom Spurs 139-Year-Old Trader to Tap Breakfast Market
Agnieszka De Sousa – Bloomberg
Germany’s C. Mackprang is selling breakfast cereals to China; Firm looks to niche markets as trading grains gets harder
Trading grains has become so tough that one of the oldest merchants in the business is venturing into the consumer breakfast market.

Deutsche’s investment banking business continues decline; Shares in Germany’s largest bank open lower as division sees sharp drop in revenues
Olaf Storbeck in Frankfurt – FT
Deutsche Bank’s investment banking business continued its decline in the third quarter as Germany’s largest lender saw revenues in the division fall almost a quarter from a year ago to EUR3.5bn, the Frankfurt-based bank reported on Thursday.

Wall Street regulators are poised to enact some real change, and it will help the US solidify its place as the financial capital of the world
Kevin McPartland, Greenwich Associates via Business Insider
Since the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010, every time a Republican proposed a Dodd-Frank replacement in Congress, or a Republican regulator proposed a new, sensible rule, I barely paid attention. I read the headlines, would sometimes read the highlights, but, by in large, ignored the details.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Saudi Exchange Aims to Be Sole Listing Venue for Aramco Shares
Dinesh Nair, Matthew Martin, and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
Tadawul aspires for exclusive role in possible record IPO: CEO; London, New York bourses also vying to attract Aramco listing
Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is gunning for the exclusive right to list shares of oil giant Aramco and will compete with other bourses seeking a piece of what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering, the head of the Saudi exchange said.

CME Group Inc. Reports Strong Third-Quarter 2017 Financial Results
CME Group
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) today reported revenue of $891 million and operating income of $568 million for the third quarter of 2017. Net income was $309 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.91. On an adjusted basis, net income was $406 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.19. Financial results presented on an adjusted basis for the third quarters of 2017 and 2016 exclude certain items, which are detailed in the reconciliation of non-GAAP results.1

Introduction of pricing model for Selective RFQ Service
Eurex Frankfurt AG herewith announces the pricing model for its new Selective RFQ Service, which will be launched on 6 December 2017.

Deutsche Börse welcomes Vanguard as new ETF issuer; Full European Vanguard product range tradable on Xetra for the first time
Deutsche Börse
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) of the issuer Vanguard have been tradable on Xetra and Börse Frankfurt for the first time since Thursday. The 23 new ETFs give investors access to a comprehensive range of equity, bond and strategy ETFs.

Toronto Stock Exchange Welcomes Roots; Shares in Canada’s renowned lifestyle brand begin trading today
TMX Group’s senior equity exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), today welcomed Canadian retailer Roots as it began trading this morning under the symbol TSX:ROOT.

HKEX to Introduce its Iron Ore Futures on 13 November
HKEX’s first ferrous metal product; Screen-traded on an exchange for maximum transparency, efficiency and convenience; 100 per cent Trading Fee waiver and Commission Levy exemption in first six months
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will introduce its cash-settled TSI Iron Ore Fines 62 per cent Fe CFR China Futures (Iron Ore Futures), its first ferrous metal product, on Monday, 13 November 2017.

SGX Catalist celebrates a decade of supporting business growth
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today celebrates the 10th anniversary of Catalist, its sponsor-supervised board for growth companies.

Revisions to Trading Rules in Connection with Shortening of Stock Settlement Cycle
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc., Osaka Exchange, Inc., Nagoya Stock Exchange, Inc., Fukuoka Stock Exchange, Sapporo Securities Exchange, SBI Japannext Co., Ltd., and Chi-X Japan Limited have decided to shorten the stock trading settlement cycle from T+3 to T+2. This decision was made in recognition of the urgency and importance of realizing a secure and efficient securities settlement system for enhancing the international competitiveness of Japan’s securities market.

Bursa Malaysia Launches Real Estate Investment Trust Index – Latest Addition To Bursa Malaysia’s In-House Calculated Sectoral Index
Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia” or “The Exchange”) today launched the Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”) Index, the Exchange’s 11th in-house calculated index. The REIT Index, which will track all listed REITs on Bursa Malaysia, is aimed at increasing the profile of these REITs and serves as a benchmark to gauge their overall performance.

Intercontinental Exchange Makes a ‘Point’ by Entering the Electronic US Corporate Bond Market
Anthony Perrotta – TABB Group
The frenzied race to grab a share of the electronic trading of US corporate bonds took a surreal turn this week, as Intercontinental Exchange bought Virtu Financial’s BondPoint ATS for $400 million. In the process, the deal produced numerous winners, though it’s not entirely clear how ICE is part of that group.


Cinnober introduces subsidiary Minium
Intensified focus on new markets and a broadened target group
Established as a new subsidiary within the Cinnober Group during the end of last year, Minium will provide real-time post-trade technology and services to international investment banks. The development is proceeding according to plan with the ambition that Minium’s solutions, which reach the market in 2018, will modernize and streamline the operation of so-called client clearing services in the banking sector. An area tightly squeezed by new regulatory obligations, higher capital requirements, and high spending on legacy IT infrastructures for older systems and outdated technology.

UnaVista unveils new CAT service to help US firms prepare data ahead of go-live
UnaVista, London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) hosted platform for regulatory reporting, reference data and analytics, today announced it is releasing a suite of services to help the industry meet the upcoming Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) regulation transaction reporting deadlines. Replicating the successful technology used to help firms with EU legislation such as MiFID II and EMIR, UnaVista has designed a series of services to support the efforts of broker-dealers to get their systems, data and reporting fully compliant with the SEC Rule 613 (CAT) regulatory mandate.

Overstock Is the Latest Stock to Surge Thanks to the Cryptocurrency Craze
Lily Katz – Bloomberg
Retailer’s stock has rallied 130% this year amid bitcoin buzz; Company announced plans for its own initial coin offering Inc., the first major retailer to accept bitcoin, has found the antidote for sluggish stock performance: more bitcoin.

CloudMargin Named FinTech Innovator of the Year in The TRADE Editor’s Choice Awards
First Recipient in the Category at Annual Leaders in Trading Awards
CloudMargin, the multi-award winning creator of the world’s first web-based collateral and margin management solution, announced today that The TRADE Magazine has just bestowed on the firm an Editor’s Choice Award, naming CloudMargin “FinTech Innovator of the Year” at its Leaders in Trading awards event in London last night.

U.S. blockchain start-up Bloq to launch bitcoin-like token
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
Bloq, a U.S. blockchain technology company, said on Tuesday it will launch the sale of its own crypto-currency called Metronome (MTN), which will have a predictable and autonomously managed token supply.


Trump Decides Against Gary Cohn for Fed Chair
Kevin Cirilli, Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev – Bloomberg
President said to want Cohn in White House for tax fight; Economic adviser said to be likely to leave after tax overhaul
President Donald Trump does not intend to appoint National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to lead the Federal Reserve, three people familiar with the matter said.

‘Extraordinary elevation’: Trump kowtows to kingpin Xi; US president fawns about Chinese counterpart’s newly exalted status but experts say it is unlikely to win him favours
Tom Phillips – The Guardian
Donald Trump has saluted the “extraordinary elevation” of President Xi Jinping and compared him to a “king” on the eve of his trip to meet an exalted and emboldened leader now considered China’s most powerful since Mao.

Count on a Political Backlash to the Banks’ Victory in the Senate
Gina Chon – NY Times
Banks just scored a victory against disgruntled customers — and, in the longer term, against themselves.

House Republicans Are Still Considering 401(k) Changes in Tax Overhaul; Kevin Brady says many aspects of the tax code are in play, days after President Trump tweeted that the retirement savings program would be unchanged
Richard Rubin, Anne Tergesen and Siobhan Hughes – WSJ
Republicans disagreed with the White House over tax treatment of 401(k) plans and sought to resolve differences over state and local taxes on the eve of a House vote that is crucial to their tax-cutting ambitions.

Don’t bet on Trump’s Fed pick to really move the bond needle; There are powerful forces capping global bond yields whoever Trump chooses
John Authers – FT
Treasury bond yields are back at their highest levels in more than six months. Bond pundits are suggesting that the 35-year bull market in bonds, which dates back to Paul Volcker’s tenure at the Federal Reserve, is in the balance. And meanwhile, New York and Washington are awash with speculation over the identity of the Fed’s next chairman.


FCA statement on MiFID II inducements and research
The FCA welcomes the announcements made today by the European Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) in relation to the MiFID II inducements and research reforms and their interaction with US regulation.

FCA reforms to enhance the effectiveness of UK primary markets
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today set out a package of measures designed to ensure that the UK’s primary capital markets remain effective.

Financial watchdog publishes IPO research reforms, but is criticised for its limited focus
Lucy White – City AM
From July 2018, prospective investors will be able to access research from more providers (Source: Getty)
Investors in London stock market floats will now have access to independent analyst research about the company which is listing, under new rules published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today.

Deutsche Bank to pay $220 million in U.S. Libor probe
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $220 million to settle U.S. regulatory charges that it defrauded government and nonprofit entities by manipulating Libor and other benchmark interest rates.

Temporary Banking Regulator’s Job Status Raises Ethics Questions; Amid major policy moves, acting Comptroller of the Currency draws lawmakers’ scrutiny
Ryan Tracy and Yuka Hayashi – WSJ
The acting chief of a top federal banking regulator is implementing significant regulatory changes in his temporary post and isn’t subject to the ethics restrictions that would apply to his permanent successor, raising concerns from lawmakers.

ASIC’s 2016 – 17 Annual Report tabled
ASIC’s Annual Report for the 2016 – 17 financial year has been tabled today, Thursday, 26 October 2017, in the Australian Parliament.

ASIC overhauls funds management guidance
ASIC has released a suite of new and updated guidance for the funds management industry for consultation.

Former Private Equity Firm Partner Charged With Secretly Billing Clients for His Vacations and Salon Visits
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Mohammed Ali Rashid, a former senior partner at Apollo Management L.P., with defrauding his fund clients by secretly billing them for approximately $290,000 in personal expenditures, including his family vacations, visits to a hair salon, and purchases of designer clothing and high-end electronics.

Investing and Trading

Why investors seek an edge in ‘natural language processing’; Money managers are learning to search for clues hidden in the spoken word
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
On a second-quarter earnings call in late April, the head of US software maker Seagate Technology was asked about his company’s acquisition strategy. The response was a masterclass in gobbledegook.

The Morningstar Mirage
Kirsten Grind, Tom McGinty and Sarah Krouse – WSJ
Millions of people trust Morningstar Inc. to help them decide where to put their money.
From pension funds to endowments to financial advisers to individuals, investors rely on Morningstar’s star ratings to help divide $16 trillion among America’s mutual funds, in much the way shoppers use Amazon’s ratings to pick products. A lot of these investors, and the people paid to guide them, take for granted that the number of stars awarded to a mutual fund is a good guide to its future performance.
By and large, it isn’t.

****SD: Perspective on the piece from Josh Brown – WSJ vs Morningstar

WSJ vs Morningstar
The Reformed Broker
This is a tough one for me. I greatly respect the reporters who did the Wall Street Journal takedown of Morningstar today – Kirsten Grind in particular is must read for our corner of the financial industry. I also think they did a really nice job with the charts and graphics, and also in framing the issues.

Private Equity’s Biggest Backers Are Tired of the Fees; Love the returns. Hate the fees. Is it time to go solo?
Sonali Basak and David Carey – Bloomberg
The biggest U.S. pension fund isn’t happy. After years of paying steep fees to private equity fund managers, it’s plotting an end run. Officials of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which oversees about $337 billion, gave fund managers an earful at a pension board meeting on July 17 in Monterey. Huffed one CalPERS director: “I don’t see your industry standing up and justifying fees.” (The pension’s chief investment officer later said it would explore buying more companies on its own to lower fees and lift returns.) Firing back, Sandra Horbach, a top executive at Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest leveraged buyout managers, warned that CalPERS and other pensions looking for their own deals would be at a “strategic disadvantage” in a head-to-head rivalry with private equity firms like Carlyle.


Interactive Investor and TD Direct fee changes: how much will investors pay?
James Connington – Telegraph
Interactive Investor, one of Britain’s largest fund shops following its acquisition of rival TD Direct, has published the prices that customers of the new merged service will pay.

John Cryan promises at least three more years at Deutsche Bank; Chief says ‘heavy lifting’ almost over but shareholders worry over performance
Patrick Jenkins and Laura Noonan in Frankfurt – FT
The beleaguered chief executive of Deutsche Bank has reaffirmed his commitment to stay in his job for another three years, promising that the “heavy lifting” was nearly over at the bank.

Barclays and Deutsche Bank Fall Behind U.S. Peers Again in Trading
Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank, Barclays markets revenue falls more than feared; Europe’s investment banks have been losing share to U.S. peers
Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc, reported declines in trading revenue that were worse than analysts had expected and exceeded falls at U.S. rivals, a sign that Europe’s biggest securities firms are further losing their grip.

Who’s to Blame at Barclays and Deutsche Bank?
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Nobody was expecting Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc to shoot the lights out after a third quarter of weak volatility and trading volumes that even U.S. heavyweights struggled with. But there was at least a hope that a low bar would be cleared.

Barclays Plunges as Trading Declines, Adding Pressure on CEO
Stephen Morris – Bloomberg
Shares fell most since Brexit on Staley’s worst markets result; Markets revenue drops 31%, more than Wall Street rivals
Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said he wouldn’t panic after one bad trading quarter. Now he’s had three.


Saudi exchange pushes for ‘exclusive’ Aramco listing
Anjli Raval and Simeon Kerr in Riyadh – Financial Times
The head of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange has said the Tadawul is pushing to be the “exclusive” venue for the initial public offering of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, raising questions about the status of any international listing for what has been billed as the biggest IPO in history.

Inside China’s secret ‘magic weapon’ for worldwide influence; Xi is quietly ramping up a Communist party department to expand Beijing’s soft power
James Kynge in London, Lucy Hornby in Beijing and Jamil Anderlini in Hong Kong – FT
On the Google map of Beijing there is an empty quarter, an urban block next to the Communist party’s leadership compound in which few of the buildings are named. At street level, the aura of anonymity is confirmed. Uniformed guards stand by grand entrances checking official cars as they come and go. But there are no identifying signs; the sole information divulged is on brass plaques that bear the street name and building numbers.

Vietnam’s Biggest-Ever Initial Public Offering Prices at Top End
Andrea Tan and Crystal Tse – Bloomberg
Vincom Retail’s investors to raise $709 million in share sale; Country’s benchmark stock index hits highest level since 2008
Vincom Retail JSC’s existing investors raised 16.1 trillion dong ($709 million) after pricing an initial public offering of the Vietnamese mall operator at the top end of a marketed range.

Germany Inc. Is Confident as Ever Reaping Fruits of Global Boom
Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
Ifo climate index jumps to 116.7 vs. estimated drop to 115.1; Gauges for current conditions and expectations both improved
German companies are more optimistic than ever as they reap the benefits of global economic strength fueling demand from the world’s third-largest exporter.


Brexit to test £17bn tax haul on foreign banks; Worry over decline in sector’s contributions as operations are shifted out of the UK
Madison Marriage – FT
Foreign banks contributed £17bn to the UK’s public finances in the latest financial year, raising concerns about potentially significant tax losses if overseas lenders accelerate plans to shift staff and operations elsewhere in Europe.

Brexit Demands are ‘British Fantasy Land,’ Ex-Brussels Envoy Says
Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
Collapse in talks could lead to trade war, Ivan Rogers says; Rogers stepped down over his opposition to government strategy
The U.K. is dreaming if it expects to have far better access to European Union markets after Brexit than Canada does, according to the man who quit Theresa May’s negotiating team over her strategy.

Why a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit Doesn’t Always Mean There’s No Deal
Emma Ross-Thomas and Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
U.K. politicians have been talking up the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, partly as a negotiating tactic. But it’s increasingly clear they don’t really mean Britain should leave the European Union without any kind of deal at all.

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About Author

Bergstrom is chief information officer of John J. Lothian & Co. He edits MarketsWiki and JLN Options.