Bits & Pieces
By JLN Staff
Tomorrow is Good Friday and JLN is taking the day off. We will be back on Monday. For those who celebrate Easter, have a glorious day.
Doug Ashburn will be back in the office next week, but Jim Kharouf will be taking the week off. John Lothian will be in and out, as he continues to move his homestead and travels to New York on April 8 & 9 with Doug Ashburn. Jeff and Sarah continue to slave away at JLN global headquarters in the CBOT Building.
The CFTC has sued Kraft alleging they manipulated the wheat market, which has left many with a bad gooey cheese taste in their mouths.
Gary DeWaal is raising money for Doctors Without Borders. Sponsor his ride across New York. You can donate here. I donated, will you too?
Thank you to all who reached out to Kim Taylor following our commentary. Let me know if you donated and I will send you a wrist band.
Connecting: HKEx’s Li Said It Will Help Connect To China’s Trillions
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is all about connecting. HKEx’s CEO Charles Li says his exchange is the linchpin that connects mainland China’s markets with the rest of the world.
Li, who spoke with John Lothian News editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf at the FIA Boca conference, said his exchange is about strategic positioning with China and taking advantage of the explosive growth it sees, especially with the London Metal Exchange firmly integrated into its business.
“Our job is to find a way to make that connection,” Li said, of China, “the largest pool of capital that is yet to be globally deployed.”
Watch the video »
Kraft and Mondelez face wheat trade claim
Gregory Meyer in New York, FT
The two companies created from the former Kraft Foods were accused on Wednesday of manipulating US wheat markets with a “huge” position, in a case that raises questions about the extent to which commercial companies speculate in commodities.
**JK: Forget the mac – it’s all about the cheese!
Why this tech firm may have to hit the reset button on its patent-suit strategy
By LYNNE MAREK, Crain’s Chicago Business
To protect its software sales, Trading Technologies International for years has sued companies that infringed on its 500 some patents, but last week that strategy hit a snag.
**In case you missed it, here’s some more on patents and the closure of IPXI
How 300 Emails Led to a Summer Job on Wall Street; As recruiters target elite universities, students at less-selective schools put in extra legwork
By LINDSAY GELLMAN
To land a summer job on Wall Street this year, Fairfield University junior Matthew Edgar sent 300 emails, made dozens of phone calls and several networking trips to New York banks from the Connecticut campus.
***** Some people call this moxie.
Scotch on the Rocks While Bourbon Is Booming; With bourbon rising in popularity, Scotch exports sank 7% in 2014
By PETER EVANS in London and TRIPP MICKLE in Atlanta, WSJ
Bourbon distillers are kicking their Scottish rivals in the kilt.
***** That’s why I wear an iron sporran with my kilt.
FFK Day, May 15
Futures for Kids
Did you know that London City workers spend, on average, GBP 10.59 a day on coffee, lunch and miscellany? Futures for Kids (FFK) suggests that, on May 15, bring a sack lunch, make your own coffee, and take the ten-and-a-half quid (about $16) and donate to the organization. You’ll be glad you did.
Pegasys Trading Software – Beta Release and Launch Party
Pegasys Trading Software analyzes historical data using our unique range & trade metrics resulting in the simplest, powerfully dynamic trading platform available. Our Beta Release begins April 15th. We invite you to join us for a launch party on April 8th, 4pm, at Trading Technologies’ Tech Tap.
To register for the event, email Ray McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org
and be sure to Follow us on Twitter – @pegasystrading
How Computers Trawl a Sea of Data for Stock Picks; Funds managing billions hunt for investment clues in newswires, weather, Twitter
By BRADLEY HOPE, WSJ
In SoHo offices where robots occasionally ply the hallways, dozens of Ph.D. scientists with degrees in fields like astrophysics, immunology and linguistics huddle every day around computer screens that show billions of dollars zapping around the world.
CFTC Sues Kraft, Mondelez for Alleged Manipulation of Wheat Market; Suit alleges effort to artificially lower the price of wheat in 2011 by buying large amounts of futures contracts
By ARUNA VISWANATHA And JACOB BUNGE, WSJ
The U.S. commodities regulator sued giant food companies Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Mondelez Global LLC over alleged manipulation of wheat prices in 2011, marking a fresh crackdown on how companies outside the financial industry use derivatives markets.
**JB – Cheesy badness from the company that gave us cheesy goodness?
Euronext to offer wheat spread trading to boost new contract
Euronext will launch at the end of this month an instrument for trading spreads between its main wheat contract and a new premium version in an effort to boost liquidity in the new product, the European exchange said on Wednesday.
S.E.C. Fires Warning Shot About Confidentiality Agreements
By BEN PROTESS, NY Times
A sound that delights regulators and strikes fear in corporations — employees’ blowing the whistle on wrongdoing — is poised to become louder.
SEC Charges KBR With Violating Whistleblower Protection Rule
By RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN and LISA BEILFUSS, WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement Wednesday with KBR Inc. over allegations it used employment agreements that could have muzzled whistleblowers, a move that marks the agency’s first-ever enforcement action of this kind.
The FX Disruptors: Why Russell Investment Built a Buyside FX Platform
With the foreign exchange markets shaken by the fallout from the 2013 FX rate fixing scandal, Russell Investments saw an opportunity to shake them up even further. While the industry explored ways to restructure the WM/Reuters daily FIX calculation window to minimize the possibility of manipulation by sellside brokers, Seattle-based Russell Investments began exploring a different model altogether.
Big bank brokers use decoys, spy tactics to go alone
BY ELIZABETH DILTS, Reuters
Secret contracts, covert real-estate deals, scurrying around after nightfall to avoid detection: this is how far big-bank brokers are prepared to go when they plan to go independent.
HKEx goes live with enhanced Stock Connect model
Hong Kong Clearing and Exchanges (HKEx) has gone live with a Special Segregated Accounts (SPSA) model to enhance settlement of China A Shares trading on the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
No Sleeping In for Stock Jocks Awaiting Good Friday Jobs Report
by Joseph Ciolli, Bloomberg
Yousef Abbasi will be checking his phone on Good Friday morning, thanks to the U.S. government and phases of the moon.
Ex-Bank of Montreal Trader Freed After Aiding U.S. Probe
by Patricia Hurtado, Bloomberg
A former Bank of Montreal trader avoided jail by helping U.S. prosecutors investigate a fraud that resulted in a record-trading loss for a Canadian bank and a guilty plea by Kevin Cassidy, the former CEO of Optionable Inc.
U.S. plans to dig deeper on antibiotics given to livestock
BY TOM POLANSEK, Reuters
The U.S. government next year plans to begin collecting more detailed data on antibiotics used on farms in a potential precursor to set targets for reduced use of the drugs in animals.
Europe Loses a Stock Market as Oslo Bors Plans a Dark Pool
by John Detrixhe and Will Hadfield, Bloomberg
The owner of Oslo’s stock exchange is closing a trading venue that failed to gain traction from European regulatory changes that increased regional competition.
German Lender Challenges ECB Supervision; Central bank took over monitoring Europe’s largest banks in November
By EYK HENNING and LAURA STEVENS, WSJ
A small German lender has filed a lawsuit against the European Central Bank in a bid to avoid coming under its supervision, marking the first legal challenge to the ECB’s new monitoring role.
Financier Lynn Tilton sues SEC after it charges her with fraud
By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters
Escalating her battle with the top U.S. securities regulator, flamboyant New York financier Lynn Tilton sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday to stop it from pursuing a case charging that she defrauded her investors.
Israel’s Bank Leumi in talks with SEC over U.S. clients
By Ari Rabinovitch, Reuters
Israel’s Bank Leumi is in talks with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and could be required to make payments to the watchdog over securities held by its U.S. clients, it said on Wednesday.
Proposed SEC and FINRA Rules Would Increase Regulation of Proprietary and Algorithmic Trading Firms
BY Paul Dengel, Jack P. Drogin, Stacie R. Hartman, Jacob L. Kahn and Kenneth W. McCracken of Schiff Hardin LLP
On March 25, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed an amendment to Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) that would require active proprietary trading firms in securities to become members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The proposed amendment would narrow a provision of Rule 15b9-1 that currently exempts a specified class of broker-dealers from FINRA membership if certain conditions are met. The current rule has allowed many firms that operate a http://jlne.ws/1Gjmamr
CFTC issues no-action relief for swap dealers over legacy special purpose vehicles
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is providing no-action relief, subject to specified conditions, to registered provisionally swap dealers from compliance with certain Commission regulations.
ISDA issues principles for rules governing the centralized execution of swaps
BY RICK BAERT, Pensions & Investments
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association on Wednesday issued principles to be applied to rules governing centralized execution of swaps and called for alignment in swap-execution facility rules across national borders.
SEC: Companies Cannot Stifle Whistleblowers in Confidentiality Agreements; Agency Announces First Whistleblower Protection Case Involving Restrictive Language
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process.
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
MGEX Has 3rd-Best March of All-Time
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives
Clearing Organization (DCO), reports the 3rd-highest volume ever for the month of March, coming in at 128,115 contracts traded during the month.
Nasdaq Claims Lead in IPOs for First Quarter
By TESS STYNES, WSJ
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.NDAQ -0.95% said that 27 companies chose to go public on its stock exchange in the first quarter of 2015, which Nasdaq claimed was more than double the number on any other U.S. exchange.
Hong Kong Exchange Tells Investors It Will Defend Them in China
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. said it will help international investors defend their ownership rights should problems arise amid concerns about Chinese legal protections for shareholders.
The bourse amended its clearing rules last month, committing to provide certificates of ownership to investors who bought shares through Hong Kong’s exchange link with Shanghai. HKEx said it would also help investors prove their ownership of mainland stocks.
London Stock Exchange Welcomes Egypt’s Edita Food Industries
London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange formally welcomed Edita Food Industries to its markets today. The Cairo-based group, a leader in Egypt’s burgeoning packaged snack foods market, raised $275m by simultaneously issuing Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) in London and ordinary shares on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). The institutional offer was 13.4 times oversubscribed and Edita’s market capitalisation on listing is $891m.
Average daily volume of 9.6 million contracts at Eurex Group in March
Trading volumes at Eurex Exchange grew by 10 percent in Q1 2015
In March, the international derivatives exchanges of Eurex Group recorded an average daily volume of 9.6 million contracts (March 2014: 9.4 million). Of those, 7.3 million were Eurex Exchange contracts (March 2014: 7.0 million), and 2.3 million contracts (March 2014: 2.4 million) were traded at the U.S.-based International Securities Exchange (ISE). In total, 159.8 million contracts were traded at Eurex Exchange and 50.0 million at the ISE.
CME Group Volume Averaged 15.0 Million Contracts per Day in First-Quarter 2015, up 10 percent versus First-Quarter 2014, Representing Second-Highest Quarterly Volume Ever
-March volume averaged 13.7 million contracts per day, down 3 percent
-Monthly FX volume increased 27 percent
-Monthly energy volume increased 28 percent
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that March 2015 volume averaged 13.7 million contracts per day, down 3 percent from March 2014. Total volume for March 2015 was 302 million contracts, of which 88 percent was traded electronically. Options volume in March averaged 2.6 million contracts per day, up 2 percent versus March 2014, with electronic options growing 12 percent over the same period.
ISE Holdings Reports Business Activity for March 2015
ISE and ISE Gemini combined represent 16.3% 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 0.9% of industry volume in March 2015.
International Securities Exchange Holdings, Inc. (ISE Holdings) today reported a combined average daily volume (ADV) of 2.3 million contracts in March 2015 for its two exchanges, ISE and ISE Gemini. This represents 16.3% of U.S. equity options market share.
CBOE Futures Exchange Reports March 2015 Trading Volume
3.7 Million VIX Futures Contracts Traded
VIX Futures ADV, Total Volume Up From Prior Month
CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) today reported that March 2015 monthly average daily volume (ADV) and monthly total volume, both exchange-wide at CFE and for futures on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX Index), increased from last month, although the totals declined from year-ago levels.
CBOE Holdings Reports March 2015 Trading Volume
Total Volume of 94.9 Million Contracts Traded; ADV of 4.3 Million Contacts Down From Prior Month, Year Ago
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) reported today that total trading volume during March for options contracts on Chicago Board Options Exchange® (CBOE®) and C2 Options ExchangeSM (C2SM) and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE®) was 94.9 million contracts, an increase of seven percent versus February 2015 and a decrease of 12 percent from March 2014.
OneChicago Announces Trading Volume for March 2015, Average March Block Trade Size was 350 (35,000 share equivalent)
OneChicago, LLC (OCX), an equity finance exchange, today announced its March 2015 volume of 869,981, a decrease of 31% year-over-year. OneChicago is a CFTC and SEC regulated exchange offering Single Stock Futures (SSF), a Delta One product, on approximately 1,500 equities, including ADRs and ETFs.
EURONEXT EXPANDS SPOTLIGHT OPTIONS SEGMENT WITH OPTIONS ON GRANDVISON N.V.; Spotlight options on Altice S.A. promoted to standard segment, obtaining longer maturities
Euronext has expanded its Spotlight options offering with options on GrandVision N.V.. The new products follow the company’s successful IPO on Euronext Amsterdam in February and are available for trading on the Amsterdam market with immediate effect. The contracts will have short-term maturities of one, two and three months.
Boerse Stuttgart generates turnover of around EUR 10.9 billion in March; Highest trading volume since August 2011 // Record turnover from trading in equities and exchange-traded products
According to its order book statistics, turnover at Boerse Stuttgart amounted to around EUR 10.9 billion in March 2015. The trading volume was higher than in any month since August 011. Turnover was up around 27 percent in comparison with February, and more than 33 percent year-on-year.
ICE ENDEX TRANSITIONS THE UK’S ON-THE-DAY COMMODITY MARKET TO THE ICE TRADING PLATFORM
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that ICE Endex has transitioned the UK’s On-the-Day Commodity Market (“OCM”) to the ICE trading platform on April 1, 2015. Designated by OFGEM and appointed by National Grid Gas, ICE Endex is the market operator of the OCM.
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Stock split could cost Google over $500 million
The News Tribune
An unorthodox stock split designed to ensure Google CEO Larry Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin retain control of the Internet’s most profitable company could cost Google more than half a billion dollars.
Barrick Gold must face U.S. lawsuit over mothballed mine
BY JONATHAN STEMPEL, Reuters
Barrick Gold Corp lost its bid to dismiss a U.S. lawsuit accusing the world’s largest gold producer of concealing problems at a troubled South American mine, and fraudulently inflated its market value by tens of billions of dollars.
Tech boom makes April Fools of us all
Tim Bradshaw, FT
April Fools’ Day has become a grand tradition in the tech world, with Google in particular pulling out all the stops to show how they don’t take themselves too seriously, no really haha.
Wall Street trader makes $2.4M — thanks to a tweet
By Bruce Golding, NY Post
A savvy stock trader scored a $2.4 million windfall by using a tweet about a possible tech deal to outrace a herd of rival bulls. The unidentified Wall Street whiz paid $110,530 on Friday afternoon for the right to buy around 300,000 shares in computer-chip maker Altera at $36 a share, according to reports.
Bond Traders Find Answer to Broken Market: Switch to Currencies
by Lisa Abramowicz, Bloomberg
Just because it’s getting harder to trade bonds doesn’t mean that investors are sitting on their hands.
Banks & Brokers
Morgan Stanley chief lands $22.5m pay package
Richard Blackden in New York, FT
Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman has received a 25 per cent pay rise after the US investment bank handed him $22.5m for last year.
U.S. says HSBC ‘too slow’ on compliance but makes progress
HSBC Holdings Plc is making progress toward cleaning up its operations, after reaching a $1.92 billion settlement of charges related to money laundering, but has not done enough, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
Time for Bankers to Start Swearing
By Justin Fox, Bloomberg
Psssst! Bankers! Wanna swear an oath? The Dutch Banking Association has one for you:
Banks Are Poised to Profit From Forex Tumult;Swiss central bank’s surprise January move led to volatility that can help Wall Street
By PETER RUDEGEAIR, WSJ
The big currency swings of the past three months have whipsawed many investors. Wall Street may end up loving the action.
Financial Data for Futures Commission Merchants
Analysts Love the New Macquarie That Looks Less Like Goldman
by Narayanan Somasundaram, Bloomberg
Macquarie Group Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Moore’s reshaping of the Australian investment bank is winning plaudits from analysts who say the overhaul will lead to more predictable profits.
Clearing & Settlement
Tough response required to EU regulators, says US derivatives exchange head
Terry Duffy the chairman of US derivatives marketplace CME Group told the US House of Representatives that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the main US derivatives regulator, must find a way to end a year-long argument over clearing houses with its counterpart, the European Commission.
OCC Cleared Contract Volume Declined 6% in March, Stock Loan Activity Rose 17%
Press Release – MarketWatch
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that total cleared contract volume in March was 341,593,001 contracts, representing a 6 percent decrease from the March 2014 volume of 362,379,835 contracts. OCC’s year-to-date average daily cleared contract volume is down 9 percent from 2014 with 16,500,170 contracts. Stock loan activity at OCC in March was up 17 percent from March 2014.
LCH’s CCP stress test provides adaptive framework
A central counterparty stress test framework proposed by LCH.Clearnet assesses risk impacts in several adaptive scenarios under the cover 2 requirement and a default auctioning protocol.
Options Clearing Hires JPMorgan Chase Exec as CIO – The CIO Report
Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Luke Moranda has been appointed CIO of the Options Clearing Corp., a Chicago-based equity derivatives clearing house. He replaces Raymond Tamayo, who will stay on to assist in the transition before retiring from the company this year.
Indexes & Products
Active mutual funds could disappear: John Bogle
By MITCH TUCHMAN, MarketWatch
Calling active mutual funds “fat, dumb and happy” as they take in billions in pointless fees from retirement investors, Vanguard Group founder John Bogle predicts the end of the active management industry.
ICE Benchmark Administration Completes Transition to New ISDAFIX Calculation Methodology; Benchmark Renamed ICE Swap Rate
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) has completed the transition to a new calculation methodology for ISDAFIX, the global benchmark for interest rate swaps, which has been renamed ICE Swap Rate, effective April 1, 2015.
Minimum Volatility: Strategy for Market Ups and Downs
Like all smart beta strategies, min vol blends aspects of traditional active and passive investing: active in that the strategies attempt to improve risk-adjusted return; passive in that portfolio construction is generally objective and based on pre-set rules.
AIG Introduces New Blended Index in the Power Series of Index Annuities(R)
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) is pleased to announce the recent launch of a new index for use in select contracts in the Power Series of Index Annuities(R). These annuities provide an attractive combination of principal protection, growth potential and lifetime income. They are issued by American General Life Insurance Company (AGL), a member company of AIG.
Low Volatility and High Beta: When Opposite Paths Meet
By design, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index sometimes takes large positions in sectors. Particularly in times of turmoil, the rankings-based methodology of the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index offered refuge by steering clear of sectors such as financials in 2008 and the technology sector during the 2000-2002 deflation of the bubble. On the flip side, there have also been times when having large sector concentrations caused a performance drag, particularly during strong markets.
BitBeat: The Wacky Details of a Bitcoin Theft Gone Awry
by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, WSJ
Being journalists with myriad responsibilities around here, we didn’t immediately get a chance to read the criminal complaint against two former FBI agents accused of pilfering more than $1 million worth of bitcoin during the investigation into the online drug bazaar Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. Now that we have had a chance to read it, our response is…wow.
P2P: Will Peer-to-Peer Lending Revolutionize Banking?
Wall Street Daily
Imagine cutting your credit card rate by several percentage points – or, if you don’t have any credit card debt, earning an 8% return on your idle cash.
Would you be interested? Of course, you would.
And, generally speaking, this is now possible thanks to peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
P2P lending matches lenders with borrowers through an online platform, with the aim of cutting out banks entirely. It’s basically debt-based crowdfunding.
Brazil’s Perfin Investimentos Signs on with Eze Software Group; Adopts Front-to-Back Office Suite to Streamline Workflows
Eze Software Group
Eze Software Group, a premier provider of global investment technology, has signed on Brazilian equity specialist Perfin Investimentos as a client for its award-winning product suite. The São Paulo-based independent asset manager will implement Eze OMS, its order management system, as well as RealTick EMS for execution management, and Tradar PMS for portfolio management to streamline workflows across the investment lifecycle. The partnership reflects Eze Software Group’s continued growth in Latin America, with 90 clients using one or more of its products.
Eventus Systems Launches Validus, an Enterprise Run-Time Risk and Compliance Platform for Traders, Brokers and Clearing Firms; Eventus Systems, Inc. spins out from RGM Advisors, LLC, a leading automated trading firm
Introduces an independent and groundbreaking way for risk managers and compliance officers to monitor the health of their trading enterprise and dramatically reduce their financial, regulatory, counterparty, operational and technology risk
Eventus Systems, Inc. (“Eventus”), a new independent technology firm leveraging deep data and domain expertise, proven technology, an experienced management team and high tech innovation, today announced the launch of a groundbreaking new platform called Validus. The solution is the securities trading industry’s first enterprise run-time risk and compliance platform covering the front-, middle- and back-office functions of the trading business.
Advantage Futures and DWC Enter Into Global Quote Spoofing Surveillance Software Agreement
David Widerhorn Consulting (DWC) announced today that Advantage Futures is the most recent licensee of its new compliance platform, Neurensic.
Why regulators must adapt to fintech
Regulators globally must build relationships with financial technology companies to monitor new market risks.
Their wariness of innovation in finance is attributed to the fact that periods of rapid financial innovation are typically followed by crises.
But the exponential growth of new market players means that it’s more difficult to judge companies on scale alone. Instead, regulators should engage with more parties to learn about new technology and how that will affect the markets.
SEC Charges North Carolina Executive With Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the owner and chief executive of a North Carolina business with defrauding a publicly-traded telecommunications company and its shareholders during and after its acquisition of his business.
Prosecutors scolded for delay request in ex-Goldman programmer trial
By Kevin Dugan, NY Post
Cyrus Vance has “screwed this up.” Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office incurred the wrath of a judge on Wednesday after showing up unprepared to try a case on the docket since 2012.
SEC wins securities fraud verdict against Levin for aiding Rothstein Ponzi scheme
Brian Bandell, South Florida Business Journal
A Miami jury found George G. Levin liable for five counts of civil securities fraud for funneling investor funds to Scott Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme.
Finra arbitration panel awards investor $1.3 million from ex-Stifel broker; Broker’s former daughter-in-law claims churning and fiduciary breach
By Mark Schoeff Jr., InvestmentNews
A Finra arbitration panel has awarded $1.3 million in damages to a Mississippi investor over the handling of her finances by a former broker for Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc.
C.F.T.C. Accuses Kraft and Mondelez of Manipulating Wheat Prices
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED, NY Times
Less than a week after agreeing to sell itself to H.?J. Heinz in a blockbuster deal, the Kraft Foods Group has found itself the target of a government lawsuit over wheat prices.
CFTC Charges Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelez Global LLC with Manipulation of Wheat Futures and Cash Wheat Prices
CFTC also charges violations of position limits and noncompetitive trading
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a civil enforcement Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelez Global LLC, headquartered in Northfield and Deerfield, Illinois, respectively, for manipulation and attempted manipulation of the prices of cash wheat and wheat futures. The Complaint also alleges that Kraft and Mondelez violated speculative position limits by holding wheat futures positions in excess of speculative position limits established by the CFTC and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) without a valid hedge exemption or a bona fide hedging need, and engaged in numerous noncompetitive trades in CBOT wheat.
Environmental & Energy
Californians told to cut water use by 25%
Sarah Mishkin in San Francisco, FT
California governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns in the drought-stricken state to cut their water usage by 25 per cent, as the area faces its fourth straight year of shortages.
Russia Pledges Essentially Zero To Global Greenhouse Gas Goals
By Ronald Bailey – Reason.com
Yesterday, the Obama administration issued its proposals for the country’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the global effort to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the world’s climate under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Senate GOP presses EPA on climate models
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A group of Senate Republicans is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to explain the climate change models it uses for its regulations.
Call for action on pollution as emissions linked to respiratory illnesses double
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian
Environment and health groups have called for a rapid crackdown on air pollution after a new analysis showed that emissions of a key pollutant linked to respiratory illness have doubled over the past five years.
Chinese Stocks Rise to Seven-Year High as Technology Shares Jump
Chinese stocks rose to the highest level in seven years as a rally by technology companies overshadowed declines by financial shares.
Shanghai Wangsu Science & Technology Co. surged 8.6 percent, while Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. extended its rally this year to 82 percent. Ping An Insurance Group Co. slid 1.4 percent after agreeing to buy a 9.9 percent stake in Country Garden Holdings Co. Poly Real Estate Group Co. paced losses by property developers.
China’s free trade zones will accelerate reform
The launch of China’s new free trade zone program is set to open up a new chapter in the country’s financial reform journey.
China has a recent history of using special economic zones to experiment and act as sandboxes for future development on a national scale.
TOCOM Off-Floor Trading System Updates On April 1
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. (TOCOM) as of April 1 revised a number of rules to improve its Off-Floor Trading System. This follows regulatory approval from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on March 31.
The Chinese Billionaire Zhang Lei Spins Research Into Investment Gold
By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON, NY Times
With an $18 billion war chest, he is one of China’s richest investors. Yet on a recent trip to San Francisco, Zhang Lei and his entourage crammed into a three-bedroom house in the Mission District, rented through Airbnb.
HKFE Announces Revised Margins for ChinaAMC CSI 300 index ETF Futures
Shanghai Traders Make Trillion-Yuan Stock Bet Backed by Debt
Shanghai traders now have more than 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion) of borrowed cash riding on the world’s highest-flying stock market.
Hong Kong Exchange Tells Investors It Will Defend Them in China
by Eduard Gismatullin, Bloomberg
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. said it will help international investors defend their ownership rights should problems arise amid concerns about Chinese legal protections for shareholders.
SGX completes investigations into Nov 5 trading disruption
Channel News Asia
The investigations into the Nov 5 trading breakdown have been completed, with the SGX Board Committee of Inquiry submitting a report to the SGX Board and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Russia Bans Prominent Foreign Investor Entry on Suspicions of Spying;Finnish businessman dismissed the allegations and said the atmosphere has changed
By GREGORY L. WHITE
A Finnish businessman who is one of Russia’s most prominent foreign investors has been banned from entry to the country for five years after authorities warned him that his work raised suspicions of espionage.
Sebi permits OTC Exchange of India to exit from stock markets
Love visual aspect of news? Enjoy this exclusive slideshows treat!
MUMBAI: Sebi has allowed OTC Exchange of India (OTCEI) to exit as a bourse from the nation’s securities markets.
Enforcement Directorate names Jignesh Shah, Joseph Massey in NSEL case chargesheet
FTIL founder Jignesh Shah, MCX-SX’s Joseph Massey and former NSEL CEO Anjani Sinha are among 68 accused named in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheet in the National Spot Exchange scam case.
Editorial: Get the money, not FTIL
By: The Financial Express | April 2, 2015 1:23 am
Whether Jignesh Shah is guilty of abetting the NSEL fraud or innocent, as he claims, is something the courts will decide. While that could take a long time given India’s judicial system, instead of pursuing FTIL—NSEL’s parent and the company Shah founded—it is important to first focus on getting NSEL’s 13,000-odd trading clients back the R5,600 crore they are owed by 25 other trading clients.
READ MORE: John Lothian: How Computers Trawl a Sea of Data for Stock Picks; CFTC Sues Kraft, Mondelez for Alleged Manipulation of Wheat Market; S.E.C. Fires Warning Shot About Confidentiality Agreements.