CME Tweaks FX Options

CME Group is set to change the strike price listing for certain FX options contracts in a bid to offer more granularity.Essentially, the exchange is reducing the number of steps above and below the at-the-money strike, while also reducing the strike increments. So, for AUD/USD, instead of 21 steps at $0.50 increments above and below the at-the-money strike, there will be eight steps above and below at $0.25 increments and then 10 steps at $0.50 increments for all weeklies and front monthly contracts. For non-front serials and quarterly contracts there will be 10 steps above and below the at-the-money strike at $0.50 increments and then 10 steps after that at $1 increments.
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ESMA Grants Brexit Relief to UK-Based Clearing Houses

Following a review of UK-based central counterparties (CCPs) and central securities depositories (CSDs), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, three CCPs established in the UK – LCH Limited, ICE Clear Europe Limited and LME Clear Limited – will be recognised to provide their services in the European Union. ESMA says it has adopted these recognition decisions in order to limit the risk of disruption in central clearing and to avoid any negative impact on the financial stability of the EU.
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SGX Starts 2019 with Record FX Volumes

Trading on SGX’s FX futures hit an all-time in January, with $105 billion in notional value and 1.87 million in aggregate contracts traded. Year-on-year, this represents a 60% growth in terms of notional value and a 30% growth in the volume of contracts traded. Average daily volume (ADV) of contracts traded last month grew to approximately 85,000 contracts from 68,000 in January 2018, while the notional ADV traded per day grew to $4.8 billion in January 2019, up from $3.1 billion the same month the previous year.
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Kraken Buys UK Crypto Firm

Digital exchange group Kraken has announced the acquisition of Crypto Facilities, a regulated cryptocurrency trading platform and index provider. London-based Crypto Facilities offers individuals and institutions trading on a range of cryptocurrency derivatives and was the first regulated entity to list futures on bitcoin, ethereum, ripple XRP, litecoin and bitcoin cash. The firm also provides a cryptocurrency index, calculating the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate that powers the CME Group’s Bitcoin futures. Eligible Kraken clients will gain access to futures on six cryptocurrency pairs.
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Citi, Eaton Vance Clear First FX Cash-Settled Forwards

Citi and Eaton Vance Management have cleared the first FX cash-settled forwards at CME Group. CME cleared the two EUR/USD trades on January 15. The exchange group currently offers clearing for 26 currency pairs of FX cash-settled forwards and 11 pairs of NDFs.“CME Group is pleased to clear our first cash-settled forwards, which provide a new capital-efficient way for our customers to trade G10 foreign exchange. This first cash-settled trade, combined with the recent increase in our non-deliverable forward clearing volume in late 2018, allows us to work with our clients, clearing members and liquidity providers to help customers mitigate their risks through cleared solutions,” says Sean Tully, global head of financial and OTC products at CME.
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On-Exchange Derivatives Trading Grew 20.2% in 2018

New data from the Futures Industry Association (FIA) shows a 20.2% increase in the number of futures and options contracts traded globally on exchanges in 2018.Futures volume rose 15.6% to 17.15 billion contracts traded, while options volume rose 26.8% to 13.13 billion contracts traded."The rapid growth in derivatives trading on exchanges around the world highlights the value that these products continue to provide for end-users and investors," says Walt Lukken, president and CEO of FIA. The overall rate of growth was the highest since 2010, when rapid growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin America combined with a recovery in the North American interest-rate sector to produce a growth rate of 26.4%.
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ISDA Releases Best Practice for CCPs in Wake of Nasdaq Default

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has published a set of best practices for central counterparties (CCPs), aimed at ensuring greater consistency in risk practices at CCPs across the globe. The recommendations follow a default at Nasdaq Clearing last September, which exceeded the defaulting member’s margin and default fund contribution and required the use of mutualised resources – the second such event in five years. The paper highlights steps that can be taken to minimise the potential for a member default to impact other members and the financial system as a whole, except in an extreme stress event.
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Traiana, HKEX in Clearing FX Deal

Traiana is now providing direct central clearing connectivity to the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s (HKEX) OTC Clearing Hong Kong (OTC Clear).Market participants can now access HKEX’s OTC Clear service to clear USD/CNH and USD/HKD FX forward and swaps, via Traiana’s Clearing Hub (CCP Connect), which provides affirmation, matching and trade processing.The OTC Clear deliverable FX service can be used to mitigate settlement risk that arises when payments and receipts of currencies occur at different intervals during a standard bilateral settlement process. The service can also be used to offset settlement exposure with its clearing house cross currency swaps service.
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SeedCX Launches Spot Trading

Seed CX, a licensed exchange for institutional trading and settlement of digital assets, is now offering spot trading.The exchange has opened trading on BTC/USD, while ETH/USD, LTC/USD and BCH/USD pairs will start trading later this month. “There is no shortage of digital asset spot trading markets, but none have our vision for creating an institutional-grade experience across technology, operations and compliance,” says Edward Woodford, co-founder and CEO of Seed CX. “We are getting very positive feedback from recently on-boarded customers, and we are quickly on-boarding more investors and trading firms from around the world.”In September last year, Profit & Loss interviewed Woodford about what it really means to offer an institutional grade platform in the rapidly evolving crypto market.
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FIA Calls for Removal of Barriers to Clearing

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) has filed a response to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision urging the adoption of FIA's suggested modification to the leverage ratio and to recognise the exposure-reducing nature of client collateral in order to align regulatory incentives. Central clearing of derivatives was a key pillar of the G20 countries response to the post-2008 financial crisis reforms to reduce systemic risk in the financial system, however FIA argues that to date, the leverage ratio’s failure to recognise collateral has had a direct negative impact on the ability of banks to provide clearing services to customers.
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