Monday 27th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: MONDAY, APRIL 27th 2015:Luc Luyet, CIIA – Senior Market Analyst AT Swissquote says that yesterday, “the SNB surprised the market by announcing that the number of sight deposit account holders that are exempt from negative interest has been reduced. This decision doesn’t change much the domestic banks’ situation as the “20 times the minimum reserve requirement” rule is still running. On the other side, the institutions associated with the Confederation, such as the pension fund of the Confederation or the pension fund of the SNB, are no longer exempt of negative interest. Consequently, only the account holders of the national social security system are still fully exempt.” - High yield debt issuance remains buoyant. Issuance volume for the week ending April 17, 2015, slowed down a bit from the previous week, but remained strong. Junk bond, or high-yield debt, issuers continued to issue bonds as yields remained favourable. High-yield debt is tracked by the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, dollar-denominated bonds amounting to $10.75bn were issued across 16 transactions in the week ending April 17th. The issuance volume fell by 3.2% from the week ending April 10. Pricing was evenly spread across the week. The number of transactions fell from 18 to 16 week-over-week. Last week brought the total US dollar issuance of high-yield debt to $115.8bn in 2015 YTD, up some 15% from the same period in 2014, the bulk of which is refinancing of older debt - Moody's says EMEA auto ABS performance remained stable during the three-month period ending February 2015. The sector's average performance trend was positive in terms of delinquency ratios and cumulative losses. The 60+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.66% in February 2015 from 0.77% in February 2014, while cumulative defaults decreased to 1.06% from 1.20% over the same period. This decrease was due mainly to the good performance of the German and Dutch markets. The prepayment rate increased slightly to 13.49% in February 2015 from 13.30% a year earlier. As of February 2015, the pool balance of all outstanding rated auto ABS transactions was €27.55bn - According to Sino specialists Red Pulse, China’s State Council is considering allowing daily repatriation for QFII. Currently, RQFII enjoys T+1 repatriation while QFII is restricted to T+5. QFII is the largest channel for foreign investment into China with quota of USD150bn, however, only half of the quota is in use, like at least partly due to the five-day repatriation stipulation - Malaysia’s state pension fund will offer a Shari’a-compliant investment option for its members by 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib says it will create the largest Shari’a fund of its kind in the world. Malaysia has one of the world’s largest Islamic finance sectors and the authorities are keen to develop it further. They envision the industry accounting for 40% of the country’s total banking assets by 2020 compared with latest figures of around 23% released last year. The $160bn (MYR577.4bn) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles, which ban interest payments and pure monetary speculation. The fund reportedly hired consultants last year to study the feasibility of a state-backed pension fund focusing entirely on Shari’a-compliant investments. Additionally, local press reports says that Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has received regulatory approval to issue a MYR1billion (around $275m) socially responsible Islamic bond - The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on the company's outstanding common stock, an increase of 67% from the prior $0.15 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 26TH 2015, to shareowners of record at the close of business on June 12TH 2015 - Lazard Ltd today reported operating revenue1 of $581m for the quarter ended March 31st. Adjusted net income was $103m, or $0.77 (diluted) per share for the quarter. These results exclude a pre-tax charge of $63m relating to a debt refinancing2. Q1 2015 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis, including the pre-tax charge, was $56m, or $0.42 (diluted) per share. "Our Financial Advisory and Asset Management businesses continue their strong performance," says Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "In the first quarter, we refinanced and repaid a portion of Lazard's long-term debt, significantly reducing our interest costs," adds Matthieu Bucaille, chief financial officer of Lazard. "Consistent with our capital management objectives, we have increased the quarterly dividend by 17%, the fifth increase in as many years." -

20-20: BATS extends its reach

Thursday, 15 December 2011
20-20: BATS extends its reach When Joe Ratterman took over as chief executive officer of BATS in July 2007, he named his priorities as price innovation, including data for free, smart and fast technology, and good customer service. Within a few years he has taken BATS from a fledgling trading platform to a company which some value at $1.1bn, based on an upcoming flotation aiming to raise $100m. Ruth Hughes Liley analyses the firm’s contribution to diversity in the global trading market as it reposes in a “quiet period” prior to its IPO. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

When Joe Ratterman took over as chief executive officer of BATS in July 2007, he named his priorities as price innovation, including data for free, smart and fast technology, and good customer service. Within a few years he has taken BATS from a fledgling trading platform to a company which some value at $1.1bn, based on an upcoming flotation aiming to raise $100m. Ruth Hughes Liley analyses the firm’s contribution to diversity in the global trading market as it reposes in a “quiet period” prior to its IPO.

December 2011 prove a landmark for BATS Global Markets. During the month, the UK Competition Commission official was expected to ink its approval of BATS’ takeover of Chi-X Europe, Europe’s largest multilateral trading facility (MTF). The new BATS Chi-X Europe will be the largest trading centre in Europe in terms of market share and notional value traded. In the first quarter of 2011, Chi-X Europe accounted for €454.6bn traded while BATS own MTF, BATS Europe, traded €171.2bn. Chi-X Europe will add a derivatives offering to the combined company through an agreement with Russell Investments.

It was also a month in which BATS Global Markets was set fair to challenge NYSE Euronext and NASDAQ OMX with a new listings service on BZX. BATS operates two stock exchanges in the US, the BZX Exchange (BZX) and the BYX Exchange (BYX), which account for around 10% to12% of all equity trading in the United States on a daily basis. BATS Listings will be headed by Brian King, who has managed client relationships at BATS for four years.



Launched from a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, onlookers were unsure about the success and direction of BATS at its launch in 2005.  Started by a handful of people and still only employing barely more than 100 worldwide, in May 2011 it filed with the SEC to raise $100m in a flotation, which some estimates say values the company at $1.1bn. The flotation will fund acquisitions and provide an exit strategy for some of its original investors, which include Getco, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank among others.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Joe Ratterman’s expansion plans for BATS—originally just a simple electronic communications network—have coincided with huge upheavals in the financial markets. In October 2008, in the middle of the fallout from the Lehman Brothers crisis, it launched a multilateral trading platform, BATS Europe. At the same time on the other side of the Atlantic, it also launched BZX. Work on the European platform was complete in six months with Ratterman saying at the time: “This is a testament to our focus and determination to move at ‘BATS speed’ and the drive to simply get things done.”  The platform is headed by chief executive officer Mark Hemsley.

In 2007, BATS represented around 15% the size of NASDAQ. In 2009, it represented around 55%. Today its 12% US equities market share compares with NASDAQ’s 18%. For its other businesses, US equity options market BATS Options holds around 3.8% matched market share and BATS Europe just over 5% as of October 2011.

Not content with expansion at home and in Europe, BATS is also looking further afield. The firm has set up a partnership with Claritas, a Brazilian asset management firm, to work on creating a new stock exchange in the country, with attendant clearing and depositary services. Brazil is the fourth-largest market in the world, with opportunities to challenge the incumbent stock exchanges.

It is that “better place to do business” which has been BATS’ focus with Ratterman at the helm. BATS originally stood for Better Alternative Trading System and its logo incorporates the slogan “Making Markets Better”.  “The last two years have been very exciting and rewarding as we took BATS from a napkin drawing to one of the fastest-growing market centres in the nation,” he told members then. “Because our employees and investors come from the industry, we are well-positioned to help make the markets a better place to do business.”

While it is acknowledged that a listing business will add to BATS’ revenue, some believe they will find it harder to make a success of it than they did with their trading business; high-frequency trading provided a ready-made market for the trading business.

Ratterman bases his success on the technology which underpins BATS. It includes parallel routing strategies which aim to provide best execution more efficiently while accessing multiple market venues simultaneously. Several matching engines provide up to five times more capacity than required and it has kept latency low.

Ratterman has also implemented innovative pricing with BATS National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) Setter programme, which rewards clients not just because of size but also because of actions which improve market quality. Ratterman says: “This has been such a hit on the BATS Options market that we have recently rolled it out on our two US equity exchanges as well. It’s the first of many innovations to come from BATS based on a new paradigm shift in pricing models.”

Pricing has been used as a strategy to expand. An initial aggressive fee structure that lost money on every trade in order to attract customers was successful: the firm now claims more than 300 broker-dealer customers. In October 2011, the firm began to provide rebates for firms taking liquidity from the BYX Exchange order book for all securities priced $1 or above. Customer service is one of Ratterman’s original stated aims for BATS—in 2007 Ratterman told his members: “We are listening to you, our customers. We want to be your market.”

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