ICAP's EBS electronic FX business has gone live with a beta version of EBS Select, a non-disclosed, segmented bilateral liquidity pool. Thirty liquidity consumers and six liquidity providers are participating in the beta version, with the first trade completed March 24.
Trading through the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect exploded Wednesday, fully using up the quota for Chinese purchases of Hong Kong stocks for the first time. The growth in trading comes as a loosening of rules to allow domestic mutual funds to trade through Stock Connect went into effect.
The executive chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland's Corporate and Institutional Bank Rory Cullinan will leave the firm as it continues a drastic shrinking of its investment banking capabilities. Cullinan is no stranger to making cuts, having previously been charged with closing or divesting unwanted assets as head of RBS's "bad bank." His departure comes as a surprise, however, because he had only moved from the bad bank to head the corporate bank one month ago.
Virtu Financial Inc., which indefinitely postponed plans for its much-anticipated initial public offering last year amid the negative publicity the Michael Lewis bestseller "Flash Boys" brought to high-frequency trading, is now taking steps to reignite the process.
Electronic bond trading platform KCG BondPoint is expanding into the institutional space through integration with the Charles River Development's Investment Management Solution. The partnership is noteworthy as it represents a blending of different trade types at a time when shifting liquidity structures could force buy-side firms to look for new avenues through which to do business.
Nine asset managers led by Fidelity are reportedly about to launch a dark pool that will allow them to trade large blocks of stock among themselves without the involvement of sell-side firms or high-frequency traders.
Would banks consider outsourcing the management of their dark pool infrastructures to... exchanges? That is the concept reportedly being floated by at least two of the country's leading exchanges, Nasdaq and BATS Global Markets, according to Wall Street Journal and Reuters reports.
In an open letter to the industry and the Securities and Exchange Commission, BATS Global Markets is proposing tiered market access fees, calling for a change from the "one-size-fits-all aspects of market structure." The Lenexa, Kan.-based exchange is also proposing certain modifications to Regulation National Market System (Reg NMS) related to greater order handling transparency and higher standards for small trading centers.
Project Neptune, a plan for boosting liquidity in the European and U.S. corporate bond market backed by more than 25 financial institutions, has reportedly completed a major step in its development. Sell-side banks and buy-side institutions have agreed to a common protocol for exchanging information about dealer inventory available in the market.
Citigroup is closing its LavaFlow alternative trading venue because the firm decided the venue hasn't achieved enough scale to merit continued investment. The move comes just months after LavaFlow was forced to pay $5 million in regulatory fines and as alternative trading systems and dark pools in general are coming under increased scrutiny.