Top Headlines

BGC Partners to Buy Rival Brokerage GFI – Wall Street Journal (subscription)
BGC Partners has agreed to pay about $778 million for rival brokerage firm GFI Group, according to people familiar with the matter, ending a months-long hostile takeover effort.

Banking Sector Plays Down Need for Radical Change from UK Review – Reuters
The financial sector needs to do more to root out and register “bad apples” but it would be difficult to license wholesale banking as a profession and unclear if doing so would prevent further abuses, the banking industry said in submissions to a British review of capital markets.

Major Banks’ Fixed Income Revenues Fell Last Year to Half 2009 Levels – Reuters
The 10 biggest investment banks’ revenue from fixed income, currencies and commodities fell 7% last year, a consultancy says, citing lower client activity and a challenging economic backdrop.

Sef Chief Sees Rapid Consolidation in 2015 – FOW (subscription)
The chief executive of a fast-­growing US swap trading platform has predicted this year rapid consolidation in a market that has proliferated in the past two years.

Greece, Euro Zone Close to a Deal Before Friday’s Eurogroup: Greek Official – Reuters
Greece and the euro zone are close to a deal on a financing-for-reforms package, a senior Greek official said ahead of a crucial meeting of euro zone finance ministers later on Friday.

Did the Fed Just Enter the Currency Wars? – Bloomberg
The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month have foreign exchange traders wondering whether Janet Yellen has joined the currency wars.

RMB: Banks Staff Up to Match Rise of Chinese Currency – Euromoney
The need of banks to raise awareness and staffing levels around the renminbi within their own organisations looks set to be key as the battle for business heats up.



Regulatory News

Accounting for Accountability in the City – Financial News (subscription)
Libor and foreign exchange rate-fixing scandals brought to light widespread misconduct in the wholesale banking sector and focused UK policymakers’ attention on the need to restore individual accountability for senior managers. Firms must now navigate the ensuing red tape.

City of London ‘Black Book’ is Called for to Track ‘Bad Apple’ Traders – Financial Times (subscription)
Financial institutions need a private forum to share information about traders who break rules, in order to prevent “bad apples” moving from one firm to another, a group of industry specialists will tell the Bank of England today.

Europe Refuses to Relax Definition of Liquid Market – FOW (subscription)
The European Securities and Markets Authority has refused to budge over requests from banks that it relaxes its definitions of a liquid market, potentially dragging more instruments under the Mifid II pre­-trade transparency rules.

What’s Causing the Delays in New OTC Derivatives Rules? – Traders Magazine
The 18-month-long stalemate between regulators in the US and the European Union continues to hobble clearing operations in the over-the-counter derivatives market, raising costs and risk for buy-side firms and increasing concentration levels among remaining central counterparties.



Company News

Curran to Head FX at BNY Mellon – Profit & Loss
Mike Curran has been appointed as head of FX at BNY Mellon as part of a restructuring of its FX division.

FXCM Shares Dip Back Below $2 as Investors Begin to Lose Faith – LeapRate
The change in the effective capital structure at FXCM following the $300 million lifeline it received last month from Leucadia National Corp. has left the investment community somewhat unsure as to how to value FXCM going forward.

Bitcoin Hack Report Suggests Inside Job at Mt Gox – Financial Times (subscription)
A group of hackers investigating the collapse of Mt Gox, the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, has lent weight to the idea that it was an inside job, publishing a report detailing the activities of an automated bot that appeared to game the fragile system by buying hundreds of thousands of coins with fake money.



Market Savvy  

Brinkmanship. Wires and Hard-to-kick Cans     
Societe Generale
Greek debt negotiations are dragging on, all the way to the wire. Meanwhile, after gaining 18% between the end of June and the end of January, the dollar has run out of steam. Uncertainty in Europe, a softer tone to US economic data and a small bounce in commodity prices have all served to muddy waters and increase pressure to reduce long dollar positions.



Press Releases

Trading Technologies’ Platform to Support Quantitative Brokers’ Best Execution Algorithms
Trading Technologies’ users will be able to access Quantitative Brokers’ fixed income and futures algos alongside TT’s existing synthetic order types and deploy them all from a single desktop, web or mobile interface.

ICE Benchmark Administration to Administer the LBMA Gold Price from 20 March
ICE Benchmark Administration expects to launch the new LBMA Gold Price, which replaces the long established London Gold Fix, on 20 March 2015.

NFA Board of Directors Re-Elects Christopher Hehmeyer as Chairman
The Board of Directors of National Futures Association (NFA) has re-elected Christopher Hehmeyer, non-executive director, Wedbush Futures, to serve a one-year term as chairman.



Industry Events