Month: June 2018

CTAs Look Towards Crypto Trading

Thus far, despite the hype and excitement around cryptocurrencies, most CTAs haven’t exactly been in a rush to start trading these assets. However, as Galen Stops reports, this might be about to change.

As Cboe and CME both prepared to launch bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, the price of a single bitcoin roared upwards to peak at over $19,000.

For retail investors, the attraction of this particular cryptocurrency was that the price had been going up all year, having traded at around $985 per bitcoin in January of last year. For professional traders, the attraction of bitcoin was that it was an asset that was actually moving, it was uncorrelated to other assets and therefore offered diversification benefits and, on top of all this, was almost exclusively being traded by retail punters.

Currenex Shifts White Label Technology Focus to Regional, Mid-Tier Banks

Currenex is shifting the focus of its white label business to increasingly target regional and mid-tier banks, citing a number of broader industry-wide trends for this change.

Traditionally, Currenex has focused on selling its institutional grade technology infrastructure to brokerage firms, which then re-brand it in order to provide FX trading services to their own customers.

The most recent example of this is the institutional platform launched by the retail broker Oanda at the start of May, which will utilise a branded version of Currenex’s HTML trading front-end.

CLS Appoints Four Directors

CLS has named four senior bankers to its board of directors, bringing the total to 23, the four were elected at the recent CLS annual general meeting.
The four are; Vincent Bonamy, who is currently managing director, head of global intermediary services GFX, at HSBC Global Markets based in London; Gerald Brady, global chief information officer for Morgan Stanley; Michael Lawrence, managing director CAO, foreign exchange & local markets at Citi Global Markets in London; and Robert Stolte, head of technology for a number of businesses and functions at JP Morgan’s Commercial and Investment Bank including equities, prime, global clearing, markets risk and PnL reporting.

Societe Generale Hit with $750m LIBOR, Euribor Fines

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has fined Societe Generale (SocGen) $475 million, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) another $275 million, for attempted manipulation of and false reporting in connection with the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor).

More specifically, the CFTC accused the French bank of attempted manipulation of and false reporting in connection with the LIBOR for US Dollar, Yen and Euro, and the Euribor, certain instances of manipulation of Yen LIBOR, and aiding and abetting traders at another bank in their attempts to manipulate Euribor.

This misconduct apparently spanned more than six years, from 2006 through mid-2012.

Platforms Deliver May Uptick

The three largest FX platforms to report average daily volume (ADV) have reinforced the message from the first group to report that May was a good month for the industry. All three of CME Group, NEX Markets and Thomson Reuters have reported sizeable increases in activity both month-on-month and year-on-year, with NEX rising 25% from April, CME up 34.1% and Thomson Reuters up 12.6%. All three platforms report ADV in excess of $100 billion for the third time this year, a feat last achieved in June 2015.

Monahan Joins Greenwich

Greenwich Associates has hired Ken Monahan as a senior analyst in the firm’s market structure and technology group, where he will cover FX, listed derivatives and fixed income, among other topics.

Prior to joining, Monahan worked as the principal at Vizier, an independent consultancy specialising in market structure and business development that he founded in 2010.

Before that, Monahan was at Deutsche Bank where, after starting in New York as a trader on the bank’s institutional derivatives desk, he moved into market structure, working with the International Securities Exchange (ISE) to launch the first all-electronic US options exchange.

SmartStream Launches Innovation Team

SmartStream Technologies has launched a new innovation team tasked with creating solutions using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and blockchain technologies, in the areas of reconciliations, cash management, and fees and expense management.

“Highly skilled members of the team include mathematicians, applied data scientists, computer scientists and PhDs, who will focus on the deployment of AI/ML and blockchain models with financial institutions. This includes evaluating optimal AI/ML modelling, data interpolation, running tests, implementations and analysing how AI processes best work within the current product environment by monitoring achievements and optimisation of processes, to enable better business outcomes,” the firm says in a release issued today.

Miesner, Provenzano Depart GTX Following 360T Announcement

John Miesner and Sal Provenzano have left GTX, according to market sources.

These are the first senior staff departures to be announced since 360T agreed a deal earlier this week to buy GTX for $100 million.

Miesner has been with GTX since 2015 and held the role of managing director, head of global sales, and Provenzano – who also joined the firm in 2015 and reported into Miesner – was a director, institutional sales, at the platform. Both were based in New York.

FMSB Seeks Feedback on Information Sharing Guidance

The FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) has published a Transparency Draft of a new Statement of Good Practice on Information and Confidentiality for fixed income and commodities markets.
The FMSB says the proposed guidance is not intended to apply to the FX markets, which is covered by the FX Global Code, or to the precious metals markets, which is covered by the Precious Metals Code, rather it seeks to build on those works for the fixed income and commodities markets.

Early ADV Reports Suggest Strong Trading Activity in May

May was a good month for OTC FX platforms, judging by the first set of venues to report trading volumes.

GTX’s ECN and SEF set a new monthly ADV record of $16.8 billion, beating the previous record of $16.1 billion set in February this year and up from $13.3 billion last month.

Elsewhere, GTX’s monthly volume of $385.5 billion surpassed the previous $322.7 billion, also set in February, and the venue bested its previous daily record volume five times in May, registering a new high of $26.8 billion on one of these days.

These figures mean that both total monthly volumes and ADV on the GTX ECN and SEF were up 56% year-on-year in May.