Top Headlines

FXPA Elects Board of Directors, Officers
The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) held elections on February 10 for its first permanent Board of Directors and Officers. The new FXPA Executive Committee includes: Chair Eric Busay, Portfolio Manager, CalPERS; Vice Chair Adam Cooper, Senior Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer of Citadel LLC; Treasurer Sean Tully, Senior Managing Director, Financial and OTC Products, CME Group; and Secretary William K. Goodbody, Jr, Managing Director, COO & Head of Sales of KCG Hotspot.

Citigroup to Boost FX Trading Fees 25% for Some Customers – Bloomberg
Citi, the largest provider of prime brokerage services to firms trading currencies, is using that size to extract higher fees from clients, according to people familiar with the firm’s pricing.

Lawsky Says He’s Probing Banks’ ‘Last Look’ Option on FX Trades – Bloomberg
New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky said his agency’s probe of electronic currency trading focuses in part on a practice known as “last look,” a programming feature designed to let banks delay execution of orders to avoid getting burned on price swings.

Isda Proposes Model to Slash Initial Margin – FOW Magazine (subscription)
Trade body the International Swaps and Derivatives Association has proposed a new method to calculate initial margin (IM) for non­-cleared OTC derivatives that could see firms cut their margin contributions by a factor of ten. Isda has outlined a standardised risk-­based model to calculate initial margin as an alternative to an earlier proposal by Basel and Iosco.

Sweden Cuts Rates Below Zero as Global Currency Wars Spread – The Telegraph
Sweden has cut interest rates below zero and launched quantitative easing to fight deflation, becoming the latest Scandinavian state to join Europe’s escalating currency wars.

Denmark Steps Up FX Interventions as Rate-Cut Tool Shelved – Bloomberg
Denmark signalled it has adopted a new strategy to fight speculators as capital continues to flow into its AAA-rated assets at a record pace, threatening to undermine the krone’s peg to the euro.

Australia Corporates Revisit FX Hedging After Dollar Slide – Asia Risk (subscription)
Leading Australia corporates are actively looking to revamp their foreign exchange hedging strategy in light of the recent slide in the value of the Australian dollar versus the US currency.

Venezuela Unveils 69% Devaluation via New FX System – Reuters
Venezuela on Thursday unveiled a devaluation of 69% at the opening of a new free-floating currency exchange rate system.

Case for Steadier Euro Grows After Third Week of Gains – Reuters
The euro edged higher on Friday, putting it on course for a third straight week of gains, its best performance in just under a year against a dollar weakened this week by some softer US economic numbers.



Regulatory News

Massad Backs Leverage Ratio Changes – Risk Magazine (subscription)
Timothy Massad, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has called for changes to the US leverage ratio rules to soften the impact on futures commission merchants that clear derivatives trades on behalf of customers.

New Rules on Bank Capital and Swaps Clearing Set to Clash – The Wall Street Journal
A new rule requiring banks to hold extra capital against all the assets on their books may have the unintended effect of undermining a central plank of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law aimed at boosting the safety of the multi-trillion-dollar swaps market, a top regulator warned Thursday.

ICE CEO Says EMIR’s Clearing Rules Will Increase Cost for End-Users – Profit & Loss
Incoming European legislation around open access to clearing houses and the region’s divergent clearing model will culminate in greater costs to the end-user, says Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) chief.

ASIC Amends Rules on Trade Reporting Obligations for OTC Derivatives Following Industry Consultation
ASIC has considered stakeholder feedback and has taken steps to make the reporting regime more effective and easier to comply with, while ensuring that the data being reported will allow regulators to meet the underlying objectives of OTC derivatives reform.

Canadian Securities Regulators Seek Comment on Derivatives Rule Relating to Mandatory Central Counterparty Clearing
The Clearing Rule describes requirements for central counterparty clearing of OTC derivatives transactions, and is intended to improve transparency in the derivatives market while enhancing systemic risk mitigation.



Company News

ITG Plans FX Dark Pool Launch – Financial News (subscription)
Investment Technology Group is planning to launch a new foreign exchange dark pool by the end of the year, anticipating a structural shift in the currencies market and institutional demand for a venue that keeps buyer and seller identities private.

London Capital Undergoes Restructuring – Forex Magnates
UK-based brokerage firm LCG has devised a new dedicated website for its MetaTrader 4 business. The new portal replaces the firm’s signature FX offering as Forex Magnates reports the closure of its prime-of-prime unit.



Market Savvy  

Currency Wars? The US Isn’t Losing
Societe Generale
As Sweden’s Riksbank joins the negative interest rate club (and announces the smallest QE programme I’ve ever heard of) there’s plenty of talk of currency wars, and even more talk that the shift to ever-lower interest rates around the world will affect Fed policy and the outlook for the dollar. But while the dollar has gained 18% since it reached its low in 2011, that only partly reverses a 27% fall between 2002 and 2011.



Press Releases

First Derivatives to Raise $15.3 Million For Fast Data Expansion
Financial services technology firm First Derivatives has placed1,177,003 new ordinary shares of 0.5p each at £13.00 per share with a number of existing and new institutional investors to raise approximately £15.3 million to expand its fast data capabilities.



Industry Events