US ambassador calls on UK to support sanctions on Iran | Asian-Pacific markets plummet following lira's collapse | Elliott Management presses Nielsen to put itself up for sale
13 August 2018
CFA Institute: Financial NewsBrief
Top Stories
Turkish lira's collapse triggers global sell-off
Turkish lira's collapse triggers global sell-off
The Turkish lira's collapse on Friday led to a global market sell-off. One primary concern related to the lira's weakness is its potential to affect French and Spanish banks due to their exposure to Turkish debt.
Business Insider (13 Aug.),  CNBC (13 Aug.),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12 Aug.) 
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US ambassador calls on UK to support sanctions on Iran
Robert Wood Johnson, the US ambassador in London, urged the UK to back US-imposed sanctions on Iran. "Any businesses that put their commercial interests in Iran ahead of the global good will risk serious consequences for their trade with the U.S.," he wrote in The Telegraph.
Politico (12 Aug.),  The Guardian (London)/Press Association (UK) (12 Aug.),  The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (11 Aug.) 
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Market Activity
Asian-Pacific markets plummet following lira's collapse
All major Asian-Pacific markets posted losses Monday as traders reacted to the plunging Turkish lira. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 2%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gave up 1.5%; Australia's S&P/ASX moved down 0.4%; China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.3%; South Korea's Kospi lost 1.5%; and India's Sensex was down 0.6%.
CNBC (13 Aug.),  The Economic Times (India) (13 Aug.) 
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Elliott Management presses Nielsen to put itself up for sale
Elliott Management has acquired an 8% interest in Nielsen Holdings in preparation for an effort to persuade the company to sell to a new owner, sources said. Several private equity investors have expressed interest in bidding for Nielsen, they said.
Reuters (13 Aug.),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12 Aug.) 
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Crypto fund launches on track to set new record
The pace at which crypto investment funds are being created is picking up even though some regulatory decisions remain to be made and cryptocurrency prices are depressed. A Crypto Fund Research analysis suggests the launch rate will reach 165 in 2018, ahead of 2017's record of 156.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (10 Aug.) 
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Saudi SWF discussing participation in Tesla's go-private plan
Saudi Arabia's sovereign-wealth fund is engaged in talks that could lead to its participation in an investor pool to take Tesla private, sources said. The fund increased its stake in Tesla and now owns slightly less than 5% of the company.
BloombergQuint (India) (13 Aug.) 
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Report: Many e-trading apps vulnerable to attack by hackers
Some online-trading applications have vulnerabilities that could permit cybercriminals to steal money from their users' accounts, according to a report from IOActive. Ten of the 80 applications tested stored passwords in unencrypted form, a weakness that could give hackers account access, the report said.
BloombergQuint (India) (10 Aug.) 
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IEA: Oil demands could become "very challenging"
IEA: Oil demands could become "very challenging"
The global oil market may become less calm as the end of 2018 approaches, according to a report from the International Energy Agency. "As oil sanctions against Iran take effect, perhaps in combination with production problems elsewhere, maintaining global supply might be very challenging and would come at the expense of maintaining an adequate spare capacity cushion," the IEA said.
OilPrice (UK) (12 Aug.) 
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Russia to scale back US securities holdings
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia will respond to US sanctions by selling off some of the US securities it holds. There are no plans to shut US businesses operating in Russia, he said.
Reuters (12 Aug.) 
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Clearing fund switch will enhance resiliency, OCC says
The Options Clearing Corporation's new clearing fund methods will cut member costs and enhance resiliency by focusing more on risk and better articulating "the type of stresses that we are covering for, and the default scenario we are covering for," says chief risk officer John Fennell.
Risk (subscription required) (13 Aug.) 
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Brexit-induced novation on derivatives worries UK banks
Financial institutions in the UK are looking at novating derivatives contracts in preparation for Brexit. However, such a move might jeopardize contracts that enjoyed grandfathered status under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.
Practice Insight (09 Aug.) 
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China gives go-ahead for 78.7B yuan urban rail construction
China's Politburo has approved spending 78.7 billion yuan on urban rail projects in the capital of the northern province of Jilin, local media reported. The action marks the restart of infrastructure spending that the government suspended to get local government borrowing under control.
Reuters (13 Aug.) 
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France plans to tax packaging with nonrecycled plastic
France is getting ready to introduce a tax to support its goal of recycling 100% of the plastic it uses by 2025. Brune Poirson, secretary of state for ecological transition, said that, beginning in 2019, products that don't have recycled packaging will cost as much as 10% more than other products and that the country will begin a deposit-refund program for plastic bottles.
Deutsche Welle (Germany) (13 Aug.) 
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Trade group: FCA-led initiative could shape cryptocurrency regulation
Trade group Innovate Finance says the "global sandbox" launched by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority in cooperation with other global financial regulators could form the basis for cryptocurrency regulation and help the UK maintain its position as a fintech pioneer after Brexit. The US, Canada, Australia, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Singapore are among the participants in the Global Financial Innovation Network.
MLex (subscription required) (10 Aug.) 
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Financial Products
OppenheimerFunds rolls out 2 dividend-focused international ETFs
OppenheimerFunds has brought to NYSE Arca two equity international exchange-traded funds, one targeting emerging markets and the other investing in developed markets. The Oppenheimer Emerging Markets Ultra Dividend Revenue ETF is designed to replicate the performance of the FTSE Custom Emerging Ultra Dividend Revenue Index, while the Oppenheimer International Ultra Dividend Revenue ETF is linked to the FTSE Custom Developed ex US Ultra Dividend Revenue Index.
ETF Trends (09 Aug.),  ETF (09 Aug.) 
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Commentary: Cboe's bitcoin ETF could draw institutional investors
Acceptance of Cboe's application to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund by the Securities and Exchange Commission could move the cryptocurrency sector forward and make it more appealing to institutional investors, writes Chris Kline. An SEC approval could potentially make cryptocurrency easier to access, raise bitcoin prices and create an asset class, Kline writes.
FX Empire (Israel) (12 Aug.) 
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