15 January 2021
GFMA SmartBrief
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Morning Bell
The UK faces a struggle to secure full access to the EU, despite ongoing discussions, City of London leaders have told lawmakers. They cite the UK's indication it will diverge from EU financial rules, while the EU wants assurances it will not.
Full Story: Reuters (14 Jan.) 
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Industry News
A five-year plan from the City of London aims to accelerate recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with a focus on support for green finance and fintech innovation. The plan states that it is meant for "turbocharging" a rebound from losses inflicted by the pandemic.
Full Story: Financial News (UK) (tiered subscription model) (14 Jan.),  Financial Times (subscription required) (14 Jan.) 
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Investment bankers expect more initial public offerings outside London as a result of Brexit, with Amsterdam emerging as a technology-investment hub. In an early sign of the trend, Polish e-commerce venture InPost says it will float on Amsterdam's Euronext exchange, rather than in London.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (14 Jan.),  Private Equity News (subscription required) (13 Jan.) 
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Wall Street is bracing for tough regulation as expectations grow that US President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. As chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gensler sought to rein in derivatives trading with aggressive rulemaking and enforcement actions.
Full Story: Bloomberg (14 Jan.),  The New York Times (13 Jan.),  The Wall Street Journal (12 Jan.) 
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US banks face a challenging earnings season as the outlook for 2021 remains uncertain. Although government support for the economy and robust trading revenue have shielded banks from the worst fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts expect fourth-quarter reports to show earnings under pressure and rising impairment costs.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (14 Jan.),  Forbes (tiered subscription model) (13 Jan.) 
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Major clearinghouses are reviewing whether to shift trillions of dollars in interest-rate derivatives out of Libor and into alternative benchmarks weeks before Libor's official end. LCH and CME Group are talking with clients about Libor exit strategies.
Full Story: Bloomberg (14 Jan.) 
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Investors allocated a record $762.9 billion to exchange-traded funds last year, taking assets in the sector to a record $8 trillion worldwide, according to data from ETFGI.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (14 Jan.),  Morningstar (13 Jan.) 
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Fitch Group has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for credit-research firm CreditSights. The deal, which needs regulatory approval, would enhance Fitch's debt-research coverage.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (14 Jan.),  Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (14 Jan.) 
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Regulatory Roundup
The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has formalised a rule that prohibits banks from refusing to offer loans or other services to firms in potentially controversial industries. The banking industry largely opposes the rule, finalised shortly before Brian Brooks' departure as acting comptroller of the currency.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (14 Jan.),  CNBC (14 Jan.),  American Banker online (subscription required) (14 Jan.) 
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Spotlight on China
Investors in China have spent a net $15.8 billion buying Hong Kong-listed shares of firms hit by a US investment ban. The amount invested this year through the Stock Connect trading link has reached almost 90% of a record set in March.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (12 Jan.),  The Wall Street Journal (14 Jan.),  Reuters (14 Jan.) 
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AFME News
Now in its 12th year, the Spanish Capital Markets Virtual Conference, in collaboration with Asociacion Espanola de Banca, brings together over 200 professionals for high-level networking and discussion to address the most pressing issues and trends affecting the Spanish capital markets. Registration for individuals and groups is open now.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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