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January 23, 2013
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News on the capital markets, securities and financial industry

  Morning Bell 
  Industry News 
  • Muni-bond fees decline sharply as demand soars
    Municipal bonds have rallied for the past two years, and the increased demand has benefited buyers as costs and fees come down. Average fees declined to $5.84 per $1,000 of bonds in 2012, from $6.82 in 2009. Data also show a decline last year in the average cost of issuance for negotiated offerings. “It's a very competitive environment in terms of underwriting spreads, especially on negotiated deals," said Michael Decker, co-head of the SIFMA's municipal securities division. Bloomberg (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Currency trading declines among U.S. retail investors
    The fourth quarter saw a 20% decline in active retail currency traders in the U.S. compared with the same period two years before. Tougher regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, while protecting clients more effectively, has also made it less enticing for forex brokers to operate in the U.S., with three leaving in the past six months alone. Reuters (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Computer-based FX trading is back as markets normalize
    Quantitative trading is returning to currency markets as bond markets and other asset classes once again begin differentiating themselves. The algorithmic-based trading strategy has struggled in the past two years as markets moved in concert in response to policy suggestions instead of quantitative measures. Reuters (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Floor traders unfazed by ICE's NYSE acquisition
    Traders don't expect the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to change as a result of IntercontinentalExchange's management. Although the new bosses likely will seek to boost revenue and halve the downward trend in volume, most traders feel ICE's real focus will be on the derivatives side of the business, and equities will be left mostly untouched. Traders Magazine Online (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BaFin official suggests replacing rate-setting process
    Elke Koenig, head of German financial regulator BaFin, has voiced concerns about whether reform of the way interbank-lending rates are set would be helpful. Koenig says the process might need to be replaced. "It has been shown that benchmarks, which are based on estimates submitted by market participants, are susceptible to manipulation," she said. "In my view, we need to work not on a reform of the existing system but on a replacement for it." Reuters (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Washington Roundup 
  • Rep. Markey raises concerns about high-frequency trading
    High-frequency trading may be holding back the economy, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass, argues. "There is a real risk that algorithmic trading is making investors hesitant to re-enter the equity markets because they fear that the entire game is rigged," Markey wrote in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that urges the agency to institute "rules that restrict or eliminate the practice." But Liquidnet CEO Seth Merrin says a better option might be for the SEC to make "an HFT-free trading zone open to every investor." Fox Business (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Asset/Wealth Management Report 
  • Advisers' firm type influences retirement guidance
    Retirement-income recommendations vary based on financial advisers' type of firm, according to Cogent Research. Registered investment advisers lean toward mutual funds. Broker-dealer advisers often suggest insurer products. Advisers at national wire houses are divided, favoring either insurer products or brokerage investments, mostly dividend-paying stocks. Financial Advisor online (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for SIFMA's Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar March 17-20 in Phoenix, AZ. This premier event will have more than 60 dynamic and informative panels in addition to leading industry experts to the latest regulatory developments and industry trends.
  SIFMA News 
  • SIFMA's Muni Bond School -- first of 10 sessions -- Feb. 12 -- New York City
    Stay ahead of the competition by attending the MUNI Bond School, presented by the Municipal Bond Club of New York and SIFMA. Attend in person at 120 Broadway in New York City or enroll via webinar. In 10 evening sessions, learn everything you need to know covering topics such as the issuers' perspective, ratings, finance, underwriting, market strategy, trading and much more. Senior-level lecturers include speakers from Lebenthal, Morgan Stanley, Assured Guaranty and others. On the final evening, you will have the opportunity to network with fellow muni professionals. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SIFMA C&L Society's FINRA Communication Rule Seminar -- Jan. 30 -- CLE credit available
    FINRA's Communications Rule takes effect Feb. 4. Don't miss our FINRA Communications Rule Seminar, the only event that brings FINRA together with leading compliance and legal experts to provide comprehensive perspective and critical implementation information on changes that will affect the way we do business. The seminar will feature a panel discussion on the new supervision standards, filing requirements for structured products, new regulation of social media and much more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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