Top Headlines

JP Morgan Settles Currency Manipulation Lawsuit in US – Reuters
JP Morgan has become the first bank to settle a US antitrust lawsuit in which investors accused 12 major banks of rigging prices in the foreign exchange market. The largest US bank will pay about $100 million, a person familiar with the matter said. Lawyers for the bank and the investors said a settlement had been reached in a letter filed on Monday with the US District Court in Manhattan.

GFI Plans Shareholder Vote on CME Deal – Bloomberg Businessweek
GFI Group will hold a shareholder meeting on 27 January to vote on whether to sell the company to CME Group amid a competing proposal from BGC Partners. Regulators have approved the potential transaction with CME, GFI said.

EBS FX Volumes Down 15% from Nov – LeapRate
EBS’s FX volume in December fell 15% from the prior month to $105 billion, but was much higher than December 2013’s $71 billion. Overall, volume was down 12% in 2014 compared to 2013.

Average FX Trading Volume Rose by 3% at CME Group in December but Overall Down 9% in 2014 – ForexMagnates
CME Group’s FX volume averaged 957,000 contracts per day, up 3% from November 2014 and 26% from December 2013. The average daily notional value of FX contracts traded at the group’s venues in December was $107 billion. Total FX ADV in 2014 was 803,000 contracts, down 9% from 2013’s figure.

China Tells Banks to Check for Illegal Activity in the FX Market – Reuters
China’s foreign exchange regulator has ordered major state banks to check for possible illegal activity in the currency market, as it tries to clamp down on speculative money flows in and out of the country. Banks are being asked to examine cross-border deals involving derivatives and other currency products that may have violated its regulations.

EU Banks’ Exposure to Greece Below 5 Billion Euros – FX Week (subscription)
French and German banks are the most exposed to Greece potentially leaving the European Union, but the overall exposures of European banks are relatively small, with only about 5 billion euros of outstanding loans and “immaterial” government bond holdings, according to a research paper by JP Morgan.

ISDA Insight Survey: End Users Uncertain about New Margin Requirements
Derivatives end users are concerned about the impact of new margin requirements for non-cleared derivatives, with a large number unsure whether they will even have to comply with the rules, according to new survey published today by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).

Regulatory News

Volcker Implementation Efforts to Dominate in 2015 – Financial Times (subscription)
Davis Polk & Wardwell lawyers offer predictions for this year’s top regulatory changes, with a focus on the Volcker rule, the Dodd-Frank Act and swaps rules.

France’s Hollande Adjusts Stance on Transaction Tax – France-Presse
A proposed tax on financial transactions in 11 EU nations should be levied on “all financial products at a low rate,” says French President Francois Hollande. Previously, France insisted that derivatives products important for French banks be excluded. Hollande also says proceeds should go towards mitigating climate change.

ESMA Provides 18-Month Respite to CSDR Discipline Regime – The Trade
The implementation of a ‘settlement discipline regime’ – a common set of measures that central securities depositories based in Europe will have to adopt to prevent and address settlement failures in Europe – is set to be delayed until the second quarter of 2017, according to the European Securities and Markets Authority.

Company News

Bitcoin Theft from Mt Gox Was an ‘Inside Job’, According to Police –International Business Times (UK)
An investigation into the disappearance of half a billion dollar’s worth of bitcoins from the Tokyo-based exchange MtGox has found that 99% of the funds were stolen by someone within the firm.

Market Savvy

Euro Grips the Edge of the Diving Board
James Saft, Reuters
With Greece in the ejection seat and the European Central Bank facing a no-win decision on bond buying, the euro’s fall is far from over. And that’s before we consider the poor economic fundamentals, not to mention the single currency’s new unpopularity with other central banks seeking a safe place to store their reserves.

Industry Events