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And Finally... And so, with the usual mixture of celebration and regret, we arrive at the final Accolade of 2018 – my FX Person of the Year. Obviously last year was a little controversial as I awarded it to an anonymous person (although I think I know the identity of the person concerned) and, you will be pleased to hear, this year is little different. There was a reasonable field this year, although perhaps not quite up to the standards of previous years.
ISDA Confirms Benchmark Fallback Results The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has published a report summarising the final results of a consultation on technical issues related to new benchmark fallbacks for derivatives contracts that reference certain interbank offered rates (IBORs). The report, Anonymized Narrative Summary of Responses to the ISDA Consultation on Term Fixings and Spread Adjustment Methodologies, was prepared for ISDA by The Brattle Group and confirms the preliminary findings published by ISDA at the end of November. The consultation, which was launched in July, covered the proposed methodologies for certain adjustments that would apply to the fallback rate in the event an IBOR is permanently discontinued.
Backstop to Acquire BarclayHedge Backstop Solutions Group, a cloud-based CRM provider for institutional and alternative investors, is set to acquire BarclayHedge, which produces alternative investment data and indices. In a release issued today, BackStop says that adding BarclayHedge to its portfolio of acquired companies represents a significant step in its long-term vision of a productivity suite for institutional and alternative investors. “With proprietary access to the 2,200 alternative investment managers and 6,900 funds tracked by BarclayHedge, Backstop will be able to offer institutional clients a unique combination of technology, tools, services and data to help optimise their research management and due diligence workflows. Alternative asset managers who currently report to BarclayHedge will also benefit by having their exposure to asset owners potentially triple when the client communities of both Backstop and BarclayHedge are combined,” it says in the release.
And Finally... A few weeks ago I invited readers to vote for their own Irrational – the best socks worn by a speaker at a Profit & Loss conference this year, and the votes are in! Obviously the wearers of the socks are anonymous (although I am pretty sure I know who was wearing the winners!) but the readership had little doubt as to which pair should carry home the cash (there is no cash course!) with more than 50% voting for the cats.
CLS Activity Flat on Year, Down on the Month CLS says it handled settlement instructions to the notional value of $1.68 trillion in November, up very slightly from the $1.677 trillion in November 2017 and down from $1.71 trillion in October. This represents a 1.7% drop on a month-on-month basis and is largely in line with data reported earlier by various FX platforms. Activity in outright forwards was actually up at $97 billion in November, this is a healthy 24.4% increase from October and 9% up year-on-year. Elsewhere, FX swap activity was $1.128 trillion, down 2.8% month-on-month and down 1.8% year-on-year’ and spot volumes were $455 billion, down 3.4% from October, but up 3.6% year-on-year.
Capitolis Joins FXPA The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) has announced the addition of Capitolis as the newest associate level member of the FX trade group. “The changing market landscape and regulations are forcing all of us to think differently around the future structure of the market,” says Gil Mandelzis, CEO and founder of Capitolis. “Capitolis is responding to those changes by finding new ways of connecting capital with the best collaborative solutions to clients all over the world. We are pleased to support the FXPA in their efforts to benefit the industry and the wider public by promoting better standards and practices in accordance with their mission to foster a healthy global FX market.” John Shay, president of FXPA, adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Capitolis to our ranks at FXPA, as Gil and team represent another vibrant, innovative and potentially disruptive solution to the global FX space that our membership community is well positioned to embrace.”
And Another Thing... So already in early December I've had enough and think it's about time the readership did some work, so today is all about you - the readers - making a choice. These awards are called the Irrationals and today...well it's truly irrational! Throughout our conference series this year, our editor-in-chief Julie Ros has made herself busy taking pictures of speakers socks (yes, I know, but what can I say?). Anyway, we thought it would be fun to have you decide who wore the best socks this year - and of course into the bargain we hope to ratchet up the competition levels for next year's conference series.
Refinitiv Adds Thai Baht to WM Service Refinitiv is enhancing the WM/Reuters Thai Baht Spot FX Benchmarks with data sourced from Matching, the firm’s anonymous central limit order book. This has allowed the Thai baht (THB) and Thai baht offshore (TOF) benchmarks to become ‘trade’ currencies using the WM/Reuters Trade Methodology. This change was launched on 1 October 2018 and is available now, the firm says. Previously, the THB/TOF benchmarks were calculated from indicative interbank quoted rates, provided by multiple financial institutions. Following analysis about the feasibility of introducing transactional data from the available FX trading platforms and a public consultation, Refinitiv says it found that the inclusion of data from Matching achieves the necessary requirements regarding sufficiency, quality and data hierarchy to evolve these benchmarks to become trade based.
FSB Issues Clarifications Over Conduct Recommendations The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has also published an overview of responses to its public consultation on its Recommendations for national supervisors: Reporting on the use of compensation tools to address potential misconduct risk (Recommendations), which it launched in May. Overall the board says it received 11 responses from associations representing supervisors, banks, a research foundation, trade associations and a trade union. Generally, it says, most respondents voiced support for efforts to promote good conduct, improve culture and reduce the incidence of misconduct at financial institutions.
Avelacom Opens in Singapore Connectivity and IT infrastructure solutions provider Avelacom has opened a new office in Singapore, managed by Gabriel Bassas, who has been appointed VP sales for APAC. In the past year Avelacom says it has seen double-digit growth in new business volumes coming from the APAC region, driven by clients demanding professional-grade connectivity services between APAC venues and exchanges, and to those in Europe and the USA. It adds, that new business is expected to increase over the next few years, also driven by the growth of APAC crypto exchanges, which are starting to deploy high performance physical IT infrastructure demanded by trading institution clients.