Talks to start for Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank merger | Deutsche Bank prime-services revenue reportedly slips | Daylight saving time casts shadow on MiFID II data
18 March 2019
GFMA SmartBrief
News on the global financial markets
Morning Bell
Talks to start for Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank merger
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank will discuss a potential merger. The German Finance Ministry has not commented on reports that it wants the banks to merge.
The Associated Press (17 Mar.),  Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (18 Mar.),  Financial Times (subscription required) (17 Mar.),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (17 Mar.) 
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Mobile Device Usage is a Threat to Data Security
74% of global IT leaders reported a data breach due to a mobile security issue. Discover how cybersecurity is shifting to meet the needs of a mobile world, and why it's critical to not fall behind. Learn how to protect your organization from mobile threats in The Convergence of InfoSec & Mobile.
Industry News
Deutsche Bank prime-services revenue reportedly slips
Revenue at Deutsche Bank's prime-services unit, which provides specialist services to hedge funds, has fallen for three consecutive years amid rising competition from Wall Street banks, sources say. The decline reportedly has contributed to losses in Deutsche Bank's equity-trading division.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (14 Mar.) 
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Daylight saving time casts shadow on MiFID II data
Daylight saving time has created an anomaly in trading data gathered as part of Europe's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, according to studies by Aquis Exchange and BestExHub. "It makes comparing trends between winter and summer near enough impossible," BestExHub co-founder Daniel Mathews says.
Financial News (UK) (subscription required) (14 Mar.) 
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Amundi rolls out 9 low-cost ETFs
Competition among providers of low-cost exchange-traded funds has increased with the launch of nine globally focused funds from Amundi. The ETFs cost 50 cents for every $1,000 invested, while JPMorgan Chase has introduced a stock ETF that charges 20 cents for every $1,000 invested.
Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers)/Bloomberg (14 Mar.) 
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JPMorgan lowers estimate of 3-month Libor
JPMorgan Chase analysts predict the three-month Libor will end the year at 2.65%, downgrading a forecast of 2.9%. The change is based on the expectation that the Federal Reserve will not increase interest rates this year.
Reuters (15 Mar.) 
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Credit Suisse reportedly eyes wealth-management profit of $2B
Credit Suisse wants its wealth-management division to bring in a pretax profit of $2 billion this year, sources say. The move aligns with a focus on private clients for growth as part of a three-year turnaround strategy.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (15 Mar.) 
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Bolsa de Madrid to launch blockchain platform
The biggest stock exchange in Spain plans to go live with a blockchain-based assurance platform for collateral pledges by year-end. Bolsa de Madrid says the system has accelerated operations, reduced paperwork and improved risk management in tests.
CCN (Norway) (English-language content) (14 Mar.) 
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Italian central banker: Debt fears raise borrowing costs
Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco says fears that the country is unable to reduce debt are keeping borrowing costs high. Overall indebtedness remains principal to the economy, he says.
Reuters (14 Mar.) 
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Spotlight on China
Analysts: Chinese economy stronger than data suggest
Standard Chartered analysts see scope for optimism on China's economy, despite a slowdown in industrial production in January and February. They attribute the deceleration to "seasonality and destocking, rather than a continued domestic-demand slowdown".
FXStreet (14 Mar.) 
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Tech Trends
Cboe holds back bitcoin futures listing for March
Cboe Global Markets does not plan to add a bitcoin futures contract for trading this month, though all listed futures remain available for trading. The exchange says it is "assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading".
Cointelegraph (14 Mar.),  Financial Times (subscription required) (15 Mar.) 
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AFME's 12th Annual European Post Trade Conference, 8 May 2019, etc.venues, Fenchurch Street, London
AFME's 12th Annual European Post Trade Conference will take place on 8 May 2019 at etc.venues, Fenchurch Street, London. Now in its 12th year, the conference is the leading event for the European clearing and settlements industry. The programme is designed by the AFME Post Trade Board and is attended by over 200 senior market professionals representing: European buy and sell side, regulators, policymakers, central banks, and industry service providers. This year's agenda will cover key issues including the impact of Brexit on European post trade; the regulatory outlook including CMU, EPTF and CSDR; and the developments in distributed ledger technology. For more details and to register, please visit
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AFME's 3rd Annual European Compliance and Legal Conference, 2-4 October 2019, The Westin Paris - Vendome
AFME's 3rd Annual European Compliance and Legal Conference takes place on 2-4 October 2019 in Paris. It will bring together a high-level audience to engage with leading industry experts and discuss key issues shaping the legal and compliance functions in the European financial sector. Individuals will hear from the regulators on the latest developments, network with senior legal and compliance officers and discover how their peers and clients are navigating the new market landscape. This event is designed for European legal and compliance professionals, and the programme has been created by AFME members, regulators and our sponsors. For more details and to register or sponsor, please visit
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ASIFMA Conference 2019: The Future State: Cost Efficiencies, New Technologies, and Operational Challenges, 2-3 April, Hong Kong
This inaugural Asian conference for technology and operations is designed by the industry for the industry where key stakeholders including sell-side, buy-side, regulators, law firms, consultants and media will come together to meet, identify and discuss tech & ops related shared challenges and bring market participants together to help solve these issues. Register now as seats are limited!
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ASIFMA Events and Conferences 2019
ASIFMA's variety of event sponsorship packages can facilitate your business plans and help achieve your strategic, communication and marketing goals. To effectively engage influential professional practitioners, financial decision-makers and policymakers, sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. Please click here for more information.
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Life doesn't begin when you lose weight. Big dreams can be planned for and achieved in the bodies we have today, regardless of size or age.
Deb Malkin,
one of at least 20 plus-size women who hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together from March 2 to 10
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