Month: January 2019

And Another Thing…

Aside from what one news service decided was the headline – more like click bait – “FX Volumes Slump Globally” (guess what, yes, there was a dip from April, but on a more considered year-on-year basis FX turnover is up 8.9% at the third highest mark ever), there were actually a few interesting snippets in this week’s FX committee surveys. The two that stood out for me were the surge in RMB trading and a quite remarkable resurgence for the voice brokers in the UK.

FXall Rolls Out Trade Analytics Tool

Refinitiv has formally launched Trade Performance Analytics (TPA), the new analytics solution for users of FXall. “TPA empowers users to assess the quality of their historical execution, conduct like-for-like comparisons of liquidity providers, as well as make better informed trade planning decisions. Leveraging highly interactive data visualisation technology, this comprehensive analytics solution offers several analytics views that are available for immediate use, with the ability for users to customise their analysis using a wide range of filters,” says Refinitiv in a release announcing the launch today.

B2C2 Gets Green Light for Crypto CFDs

B2C2, an OTC cryptocurrency liquidity provider, has been authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to arrange and deal in Contracts for Difference (CFDs) with eligible counterparties and professional clients. The FCA authorisation will allow B2C2’s clients to gain exposure to cryptocurrency markets via the firm’s CFDs.Max Boonen, founder and CEO, says: “We are excited to have received authorisation from the FCA to introduce a cryptocurrency CFD product. Eligible counterparties and professional clients can now gain derivative exposure to the cryptocurrency markets, benefiting from the competitive pricing and liquidity they’re accustomed to receiving from B2C2, while avoiding the risks associated with crypto custody.”

RMB Securities Added to Bloomberg Indices

Chinese RMB-denominated government and policy bank securities are set to be added to the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index.The inclusion in the index will start in April 2019 and be phased in over a 20 month period.When fully accounted for in the Global Aggregate Index, local currency Chinese bonds will be the fourth largest currency component following the USD, EUR and JPY. Using data as of January 24, 2019 the index would include 363 Chinese securities and represent 6.03% of a $54.07 trillion index upon completion of the phase-in

New Report Makes Tough Reading for CTAs

A new report from RCM Alternatives highlights the struggles of Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) in 2018.The report, Managed Futures/Global Macro 2018 Strategy Review, notes that last year was generally a disappointing one for managed futures and global macro across most strategy groups. This is perhaps surprising, given that there were significant sell-offs in the equities markets in 2018, which is when the diversification benefits of having CTAs in the portfolio is supposed to be felt.

As the report explains: “With equities getting hit hard, this was a prime opportunity for CTAs, managed futures and macro to come off the mat and show investors the power of diversification. Instead, the lesson was that sometimes non-correlation does not equal negative correlation, especially in the short term.”

Barclays Adds Further to FX Business

Profit & Loss understands that Colin Devereux has joined Barclays in London as a director and senior spot FX trader.
Devereux joins from a spell at Nomura in New York, prior to which he was at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as chief dealer G10 spot FX. Before BAML Devereux was a director on the FX desk at BNP Paribas in London, having joined that bank from a six year stint at Citi in London. He has also worked at Brown Brothers Harriman and UBS on those institutions’ FX desks.
The hire continues a build out of Barclays’ FX business that started with the hire of Fabio Mudar as global head of FX trading and distribution in mid-2018. This week also saw the bank announce the appointment of Pritpal Gill as head of FX cash and options trading for Asia Pacific.

IHS Markit Teams Up with Cobalt for Post-Trade FX

IHS Markit is partnering with Cobalt through its MarkitSERV business to deliver and sell post-trade processing services for FX, and is also making a strategic investment in the firm.“In working together, MarkitSERV and Cobalt will offer a shared post-trade infrastructure designed to replace legacy technology and manual processes, bringing increased efficiency and reduced operational risk to the FX market,” says IHS Markit in a release issued today.The integration between the firms is already complete, with trade data flowing from customers and trading venues via MarkitSERV into the Cobalt platform.

Blockchain in FX: A Solution That’s Found a Problem?

Galen Stops takes a closer look at the distributed ledger technology solution that HSBC has deployed for settling FX transactions.One of the long-standing accusations levelled against distributed ledger technology (DLT) within financial services is that it is a solution looking for a problem, an accusation that appears to have gained some weight over the past few years given the vast disparity between the initial level of hype around this technology and the actual implemented use cases for it.Which is why it is significant that HSBC recently announced that it has settled more than three million FX transactions and made more than 150,000 payments worth $250 billion using DLT. If this announcement caught FX market participants by surprise, this is probably because this DLT solution, called HSBC FX Everywhere, has thus far only been used to orchestrate payments across HSBC’s internal balance sheets.

StanChart Fined $40m in FX Rigging Probe

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has fined Standard Chartered Bank $40 million for attempting to rig transactions in FX markets between 2007 and 2013. An investigation by the DFS, as well as an internal review by the bank, found that bank traders used a range of illegal tactics to maximise profits or minimise losses at the expense of the bank’s customers or customers at other banks. Specifically, it was found that between 2007 and 2013, traders based in New York and elsewhere joined traders at other locations in a chat room called “Old Gits”. According to the DFS, the chat room was formed so that traders could coordinate trading, share confidential information and otherwise affect FX prices, with one trader apparently describing the chat room to a new member as “a den of thieves”.

Akant Set to Retire From BNP Paribas AM

Adnan Akant has announced his retirement from BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM), where he was head of currencies, based in New York.In this role he was responsible for currency alpha and overlay portfolios, as well as the currency portion of global/international portfolios. Akant had been with the firm for 35 years, having originally been with Fischer Francis Trees & Watts (FFTW), a predecessor of BNPP AM. Prior to joining FFTW in 1984, Akant managed the World Bank’s liquidity portfolio and advised the treasurer on the bank’s multi-currency borrowing program. He holds a PhD in Systems Science, an MS in Finance, as well as BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He is also a member of the New York Academy of Science and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.