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Hedgewire non-US 25/07/17

Newsletter Items: LedgerX granted CFTC approval to operate first US regulated exchange and clearing house for digital currency derivatives 92 per cent of hedge fund professionals anticipate significant rise in use of ETFsNasdaq to acquire SybenetixGlobal Advisors (Jersey) launches crypto fundTech stocks roar ahead and fuel stock-picking strategiesStatPro appoints new North American Sales Director and Group Executive Board memberAcadian Asset Management adds portfolio manager in LondonTAB launches new global index for crowdfunding and marketplace financeiCapital Network secures Investment from Morgan Stanley Investment ManagementHedge fund risk remains a moveable feastRegulation and security increases the need for risk managementManaging liquidity risk in response to SEC rule 22e-4How can managers make risk more strategic?Establishing a combined risk compliance frameworkBanner: 18821882188218821882Skyscraper: 18811881

Hedgewire US-only 25/07/17

Newsletter Items: LedgerX granted CFTC approval to operate first US regulated exchange and clearing house for digital currency derivatives 92 per cent of hedge fund professionals anticipate significant rise in use of ETFsNasdaq to acquire SybenetixGlobal Advisors (Jersey) launches crypto fundTech stocks roar ahead and fuel stock-picking strategiesStatPro appoints new North American Sales Director and Group Executive Board memberAcadian Asset Management adds portfolio manager in LondonTAB launches new global index for crowdfunding and marketplace financeiCapital Network secures Investment from Morgan Stanley Investment ManagementHedge fund risk remains a moveable feastRegulation and security increases the need for risk managementManaging liquidity risk in response to SEC rule 22e-4How can managers make risk more strategic?Establishing a combined risk compliance frameworkBanner: 17681768176817681768Skyscraper: 17691769

LedgerX granted CFTC approval to operate first US regulated exchange and clearing house for digital currency derivatives

LedgerX, the New York-based institutional trading and clearing platform for digital currencies, has been granted US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approval to operate the first US federally-regulated exchange and clearing house for derivatives contracts settling in digital currencies. LedgerX is now authorised as a derivatives clearing organisation (DCO) under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) to provide clearing services for fully-collateralised digital currency swaps.  LedgerX, which was also granted an order of registration as a Swap Execution Facility on 6 July, 2017, initially plans to clear bitcoin options.   Participants in the LedgerX venue will be able to obtain and hedge bitcoin and other digital currencies using exchange-traded and centrally-cleared options contracts. Initially, LedgerX anticipates listing one to six-month options contracts for bitcoin (BTC). Other digital currency contracts such as Ethereum (ETH) options, are expected to follow.   Eligible participants in the LedgerX venue will include registered broker dealers, banks, futures commission merchants, qualified commodity pool entities and qualified high net worth investors.   "A US federally-regulated venue for derivative contracts settling in digital currencies opens the market to a much larger customer base," says Paul L Chou (pictured), CEO, LedgerX. "We are seeing strong demand from institutions that previously could not participate in the bitcoin market due to compliance restrictions against unregulated venues," added Chou. "In particular, there is a desire for fund managers to hold financial instruments that are not correlated with the broader equity market, and digital currencies meet that need," concludes Chou.     The terms and conditions of the CFTC order require, among other things, that LedgerX comply with applicable provisions of the CEA, including the core principles set forth in Section 5b of the CEA, and with Commission regulations. LedgerX also must fulfil each of the representations it has made to the Commission relating to...

Global Advisors (Jersey) launches crypto fund

Global Advisors (Jersey) supported by JTC, and in partnership with law firm Carey Olsen, has launched what is believed to be the world's first regulated, crypto-denominated fund. CoinShares Fund I, which launched on 23 June 2017, is a self-managed fund and will receive investment exclusively in Ether, the ‘crypto-fuel’ which runs the Ethereum platform.  Global Advisors says it is the first regulated bitcoin investment strategy and the firm is the provider of Europe’s only exchange traded bitcoin notes (ETNs). The firm writes that since May 1st more than USD1 billion was raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). “This statistic serves both as striking evidence of the emerging, investable opportunity and as a signal for caution in a rapidly developing space, a sentiment echoed in the high volume of inquiry received by the Global Advisors (Jersey) Limited team in Q2. Put simply, investors want to participate in this movement, but through a diligent fiduciary capable of making educated investment decisions,” the firm writes. “We believe strongly in the emerging use case of cryptocurrencies as tools for capital formation, but as with all innovation, discretion and caution is key. This fund is structured to offer managed exposure to the emerging space, allowing the fund investors to participate cautiously and intelligently, as this new market unfolds,” says Daniel Masters, Chairman at Global Advisors. The fund while structured to invest broadly, will focus first on ICOs where tokens are integral to powering the protocol and secondly as a vehicle to invest in other viable, alternative cryptocurrencies which are emerging, in addition to bitcoin. As with Global Advisors’ current fund GABI Plc (formerly Global Advisors bitcoin Investment Strategy Plc), the newly closed fund is Jersey based, a fact, the firm says which can be attributed to the diligence of the Jersey regulators who continue to lead...

Tech stocks roar ahead and fuel stock-picking strategies

The sharp outperformance of technology stocks, which represent 23 per cent of the the S&P 500 currently, lifted the index to new records last week, according to the latest weekly brief by Lyxor’s Cross Asset Research team. In turn, the MSCI World also reached new records, considering the huge weight of US stocks (59 per cent) in the benchmark. The latest leg of the global equity rally is taking place in the context of the Q2 earnings season in the US, which has proved particularly good for technology companies so far. According to Bloomberg, 8 technology companies already reported Q2 earnings and the aggregate earnings surprise (the gap between actual and expected earnings) is close to 20 per cent. Valuation metrics signal the valuation of the sector is not overextended . Philippe Ferreira (pictured), Senior Cross Asset Strategist of Lyxor writes: “These market developments have had significant implications for hedge fund performance. The long positions of Event-Driven and L/S Equity funds to technology stocks have been rewarded and contribute to explain why both strategies outperformed last week. The so-called FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet) are among the most preferred names by fundamental stock pickers. Event-Driven funds also benefitted from positions in the consumer non cyclical and communications sectors. CTAs delivered positive returns after a troubled start to the month, as part of their long positions on both equities and fixed income. Long positions on the Euro versus the US Dollar also contributed positively. On a negative note, Global Macro suffered losses related to the rise of the EUR vs. USD and the underperformance of European stocks vs. the S&P 500. Long agricultural commodities and short fixed income positions detracted from performance for some managers as well.   “Going forward, we maintain an overweight stance on Event-Driven and...

92 per cent of hedge fund professionals anticipate significant rise in use of ETFs

More than nine out of 10 (92 per cent) senior professionals working in the hedge fund industry expect to see the volume of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) used by hedge funds to increase by the end of 2017. That’s according to new research commissioned by Source, one of the largest providers of ETFs in Europe.   On average, hedge fund professionals expect the volume to rise to USD55 billion by the end of this year, up from around USD44 billion at the end of 20162, with almost a fifth (19 per cent) forecasting it could rise to over USD70 billion. The study found that, on average, respondents expect the volume to hit USD100 billion by early 2021.   The prime motivation cited for using ETFs in hedge fund strategies were low holding costs and management fees, according to two thirds (66 per cent) of respondents. Other primary reasons include excellent liquidity (64 per cent); easy access to sector exposure (46 per cent); ability to trade on exchanges (46 per cent); the growing choice of ETFs (42 per cent); and flexibility over long and short positions (42 per cent).   More than half (53 per cent) of respondents said they believe greater numbers of hedge funds – especially smaller ones – will use ETFs to reduce their costs and fees, thereby becoming more competitive.   Chris Mellor (pictured), Executive Director, Equity Product Management at Source, said: “Hedge fund managers are sophisticated investors and it is clear they are increasingly seeing the benefits that ETFs provide them, such as a cost-effective means to execute their strategies. We are seeing strong demand from hedge funds and expect this to escalate as ETFs play a progressively core role in investment strategies.” offSurveys & research