Day: 14 August 2018

Industry in Alignment Over CFTC Swap Dealer Rules

There appeared to be a broad consensus in the responses to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) proposed swap dealer rules that the Commission should retain the current $8 billion de minimis threshold for swap dealer (SD) registration and that NDFs should be excluded from the threshold calculations.

Since 2012, Commission regulations have stated that market participants will not be considered a “swap dealer” unless they trade over $8 billion per year in aggregate gross notional amount (AGNA). This $8 billion threshold was meant to be a temporary phase-in period, with the threshold ultimately due to be reduced to $3 billion.

CTAs Register Small Gains in July

The flash estimate for the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, indicates a 0.21% gain in July. Year-to-date, the index has lost 1.98%.

“Although managed futures were able to register a small gain in July with 57% of the underlying index constituents reporting profits, the dispersion of monthly returns was quite high, ranging from a 41% gain down to a 15% loss,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

Four of Barclay’s managed futures indices had gains in July, while six had losses. The Cryptocurrency Traders Index was up 5.28%, the Agricultural Traders Index gained 1.04%, and Discretionary Traders Index was up 0.67%.

Hedge Funds Shake Off Tech Decline: BarclayHedge

Hedge Funds gained 0.54% in July according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, versus a 3.72% increase in the S&P 500 Total Return Index. Year to date, the Barclay Index is up 1.04%, while the S&P has gained 6.47%.
“In spite of July’s rise in global equities, hedge fund performance was mixed,” says Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge. “Technology funds were negatively impacted by Facebook’s record 20 percent decline triggered by the announcement of weaker-than-expected revenue growth.”

BlockTower Co-Founder Joins Caspian Advisory Board

Crypto trading technology provider Caspian has announced that cryptocurrency investment firm BlockTower Capital’s co-founder Ari Paul has joined its advisory board.
The appointment comes as Caspian also announced that it now connects to more than 25 exchanges and has 12 funds on its beta platform, with eight more clients expected later this month. The firm also says it will be adding its first OTC desk as a destination later this month and that it is allowing for a defined composite order book that aggregates and displays liquidity from more than 20 exchanges with the ability to trade against it using the Caspian Smart Order Router (SOR).

Bank of England Turns to Fintech for Atomic Settlement

The Bank of England says it is looking to explore synchronisation of payments in its RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) service, including cross border payments relating to international currency transactions.
In a release the Bank says it believes that this functionality could provide an opportunity to reduce cost and risk, improve efficiency, and support innovative new methods of settlement. “We are now seeking to work with a small group of organisations to further explore the potential for this functionality,” it states.

FIA Groups Urge CFTC to Maintain De Minimis Swap Threshold

FIA and the FIA Principal Traders Group (FIA) have submitted a detailed letter in reposnse to a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed rule making that urges the Commission to retain the current $8 billion de minimis threshold for swap dealer registration.
The associations also suggest the CFTC modifies the calculation methodology to “better align it with the goals of a well-regulated derivatives market”.
The letter states that the FIA supports the proposed $8 billion de minimis threshold for swap dealer registration purposes, as well as excepting swaps that are exchange-traded and/or cleared from de minimis calculations, without a notional backstop or haircut.