Month: March 2019

Six Firms Join DTCC-Euroclear Collateral Initiative

DTCC-Euroclear Global Collateral, the joint venture of Euroclear and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), has announced that the Margin Transit Utility (MTU) collateral settlement infrastructure community has added six more dealers to its roster as it moves beyond its pilot production phase.
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, UBS and Wells Fargo have adopted MTU, Global Collateral says, joining over 30 investment management, administrator and custodian firms, including Brandywine Global Investment Management, Fidelity International, Franklin Templeton, Vanguard and Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) who have adopted the service.

New York Fed Details Attitudes to Crypto

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Liberty Street Economics Unit has published the results of a survey conducted in the May 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations that sought to understand what motivates people to participate in cryptocurrency markets.
The survey covers a sample of 1,146 people from ages 18 to 96, with broad representation by race and gender and finds 85 percent of respondents had heard of cryptocurrencies – something it says may be a testament to Bitcoin’s name recognition. Around five percent of respondents reported that they currently or previously owned cryptocurrency and an additional 15 percent reported that they were considering buying cryptocurrency.

Baillie Joins R5FX

Alistair Baillie has joined R5FX as head of operations.Based in London, he joins the firm from MarketFactory, where he had been a director since 2016. Prior to that, he spent over a year as the global head of account management at Caplin Systems. Both of these roles were also based in London.Before this, he spent 14 years working in a variety of FX-focused consultancy and project manager roles at financial institutions and advisory organisations in Sydney.

SGX Buys 20% Stake in BidFX

Singapore Exchange (SGX), has acquired a 20% stake in BidFX, including an option for additional shares to gain a controlling interest, for a total cash consideration of $25 million.BidFX was spun off as a division of TradingScreen (TS), a provider of a multi-asset execution and order management systems, in January 2017. It offers a cloud-based, front-end trading platform aimed at helping hedge funds, traditional asset managers and regional banks trade, improve access to liquidity, generate alpha and simplify workflows. Its liquidity aggregation platform supports FX spot, swaps and forwards for G10 and Asian currencies.SGX says that the investment is part of its strategy to build core pillars of growth across multiple asset classes, while BidFX indicates that it plans to utilise the funds to further grow its reach and offering among institutional investors.

Digital Asset Settlement Service Launches

Zero Hash, Seed CX’s digital asset and fiat currency custodian subsidiary, has launched a suite of OTC trade settlement services for digital assets. The new settlement service aims to widen the number of counterparties that market participants can transact with, streamline reconciliation and reporting, and enable frictionless settlement of trades.At launch, Zero Hash supports spot settlement of 19 fiat pairs, in addition to BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH, and will be launching support for repos, forwards, and other product types in the coming months.

CFTC Votes to Provide Greater Brexit Certainty

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has passed by unanimous vote, a provision to provide greater certainty to the global marketplace in the event of a “no-deal Brexit” precipitated by the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union without a negotiated withdrawal agreement.
“At a time of heightened market uncertainty caused by Brexit, this Commission has worked over the past several weeks to bring clarity to participants in global derivatives markets by a series of separate actions and statements with its regulatory counterparts in London, Brussels and Singapore,” says CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo.

P&L Talk Series with Integral’s Harpal Sandhu

Harpal Sandhu, CEO of Integral, talks to Profit & Loss about the launch of his new cryptocurrency exchange, and how he sees the crypto markets evolving in the future.Profit & Loss: What was the genesis of Mint Exchange?Harpal Sandhu: A lot of people don’t realise that the derivatives markets in cryptoassets is actually quite a lot larger than the physical market. Because of this, we were speaking to a lot of FX brokers, people who were trading large amounts of crypto and CFDs, and they were having problems trying to hedge those positions because, unlike FX they can’t go to prime brokers or prime-of-primes in order to access liquidity, so there’s very few places that these firms can go in order to hedge their crypto exposures.

In the FICC of It

There is much for listeners to enjoy in this week’s podcast as Colin Lambert tries to sound intelligent on credit, clearing and crypto, three subject with which he has the loosest connection. Luckily Galen Stops is on hand to provide the voice of reason as our two podcasters discuss how prime brokers and their preferred target customers are poles apart on what the PB service should look like. The potential for big change is there, says Stops, but what, if anything, is going to trigger it?
This week’s podcast also looks at a new ETF launched in the crypto space, which, Stops explains, seeks to provide investor access to “digital assets”. Putting aside Lambert’s inevitable cynicism – “is ‘digital assets’ just another phrase for cryptocurrencies?” – the development is an interesting one, for as he asks, ‘does this make the technology underpinning the crypto world the asset in question?’
Luckily for him and sadly for listeners, Lambert does get to sound off about how the FX market is radically different from even 15-20 years ago, and of course he has a theory about why that is. He also gets to re-live his childhood thanks to Stops asking him, “If you were trading now, what would you do with Cable?”

And Finally…

Regular readers will know that, with a few honourable exceptions, I don’t have the highest regard for FX strategists. It comes from bitter personal experience and, if I am honest, the surge in retail (sorry – institutional!) FX brokers seeking to give their clients insight (when all they mostly do is report the news). That said, even I would have to draw the line at FX strategists as market manipulators. According to reports at the weekend, however, this is a line that the Turkish authorities are more than willing to cross.

CME FX Link One Year On – Progress But More to Come

March 25 marks the one year anniversary of the launch of CME’s FX Link, probably the most significant attempt by a market intermediary to establish a bridge between OTC and futures markets. In terms of volumes, as expected the growth has been steady rather than spectacular, although FX Link did hit a new record high on March 7 at just under $2.7 billion notional. Generally speaking the platform is handling average daily volumes in the region of $1-1.5 billion in 2019.