Russian run on CME’s Globex. Russian twins Marat and Ayrat Yunusov have been indicted in the Northern District of Illinois on federal fraud charges following their attempt to make a $7.2 million profit through manipulative trades in Russian rouble and British pound currency futures on CME Group’s electronic global platform, Globex.
The brothers allegedly tried to make corresponding buy and sell trades within seconds of each other in 2010, using two futures commission merchants in Chicago: Velocity, from which they tried to take profits, and Open E Cry, which they paid a slightly bigger loss to. The indictment alleges that the defendants collected their profits from Velocity but failed to pay the $7.8 million loss to Open E Cry. In 2010, the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission filed a civil lawsuit that prevented the defendants from obtaining the $7.2 million in the purportedly illicit trading profits. Last week the defendants were each charged with eight counts of wire fraud and two counts of commodities fraud. Arrest warrants have been issued for the men.
Iceland’s adoption of the Canadian loonie is “off the agenda”. Thordur Oskarsson, Iceland’s ambassador to Canada, has dismissed the notion that the country may adopt Canada’s currency to replace its challenged krona, saying that a transition to the Canadian dollar is “off the agenda” following an economic study by Iceland’s central bank.
The study in September concluded that the country should continue with the devalued krona and that Iceland’s best long-term prospects for prosperity would occur from a successful integration with the European Union and adoption of the euro. In an interview with Canada’s Postmedia News, Oskarsson said, “This report concludes that the Canadian dollar is not the first, second, third or fourth option, even. Traditionally, our main export markets are in Europe, the European Union. All the economic aspects really point in that direction.”
Iceland has been considering adoption of the euro or the currency of another currency because of the instability of the krona and to ease trade with other countries which may not wish to transact in the currency. In March this year, Iceland’s Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, said, “The choice is between surrendering the sovereignty of Iceland in monetary policy by unilaterally adopting the currency of another country or becoming a member of the EU.” (Squawkbox, 18 March 2012).
Basler Kantonalbank CEO steps down over FX losses. Basler Kantonalbank is replacing its chief executive after clients lost more than 100 million Swiss francs due to a foreign exchange scandal involving investment company ASE Investment.
Hans Rudolf Matter is stepping down and Guy Lachappelle, currently head of institutional clients, has been appointed interim replacement. Basler Kantonalbank says Matter will take early retirement at the end of the year after a report it commissioned found it should have done more to protect its clients and limit the risks resulting from ASE.
The investment firm has been under investigation by the Swiss authorities since March this year when BKB alerted them after a client noticed discrepancies between an e-banking account and account documents forwarded from ASE.
Regulator Finma has said it is investigating whether the company dealt in securities without holding a licence and whether ASE illegally accepted deposits. In May, Finma estimated that more than 500 investors had been victims.
Basler Kantonalbank says former ASE customers with accounts at BKB had lost more than 100 million francs. Three of its Zurich-based employees have been dismissed and four more have been given written warnings after an investigation found they had failed to be vigilant, placing too much trust in ASE statements.