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Why you’ll never be ready for MiFID II

I attended Institutional Investor’s excellent Trader Forum in Barcelona last week. Basically it brings together the senior executives from the buy-side, the sell-side, venues and technology firms to debate and make sense of our industry. Naturally much of the conversation revolved around the new conditional dark pool venues, periodic auctions and Systematic Internalisers that... Read More

So that’s nice and clear…

According to a few reports I read this week we should all be thankful to the European Commission for clearing up the “loophole” that existed in the current Systematic Internaliser regime. Well that’s a relief – except for two small points – first they haven’t and second they seem to have missed the whole point. A commission official has clarified that SIs will not... Read More

MiFID II – the best thing that ever happened?

So, if you’re planning to attend any kind seminar on what you need to do for MiFID II over the next few months, forget it and go to the movies instead. You’re simply too late and whatever plans you have (or have not) put in place will just have to do as there are only 6 months left to go. The more important questions concern how regulators will interpret and enforce the new... Read More

Be careful what you wish for

Those of us who remember the good old days will recall the industry debate as to how much dark liquidity was really in existence. In one corner were the exchanges who, through FESE, claimed that the amount of malevolent dark trading going on was unacceptably high. In response the brokers claimed through their trade body, AFME, that actually it was pretty low. And, as we all know,... Read More

Thomas in Blockland

Thomas the crossing network wasn’t happy. For years he had enjoyed helping his friends buy and sell things amongst themselves. Sometimes he would even step in directly and agree to buy or sell something himself, especially if there was an awful lot of it. But now he had a tricky choice to make. The ruler of the land, The Regulator, had been convinced by the Exchanges that... Read More

Central Risk Books – the new black for capital markets

I first came across the term “central risk book” at the excellent International Trader Forum event in Rome a couple of weeks back. It seems like it’s the banks’ answer to the dark pool caps that will be upon us in a little over a year. As of January 2018 banks won’t be able to operate their own dark pools in their current form and it seems that the preferred... Read More

FragPro all wrapped up for Christmas

Following on from my last blog on the subject, the guys at Fidessa Labs have now made the latest version of the Fragulator available. Despite its name FragPro is still free, and yet it contains a bunch of cool new features. These include the ability to view stocks or indices by order book or venue owner (e.g. LSE Group including Turquoise, or all Euronext venues), track dark pool... Read More

I’m a mid-sized broker – get me out of here!

On the train this morning, I was browsing through London’s Metro newspaper to see who the latest ‘victims’ in The X Factor, Strictly, I’m a Celebrity etc, were (incidentally, it’s probably the people that actually watch these programs, but that’s another story). I was a bit shocked, therefore, to come across a double page spread examining dark pool trading. I... Read More

A Shot in the Dark

This week saw the announcement that six brokers are going to publish their dark pool volumes in a bid to improve transparency of non-lit trading in Europe. The report is published by Markit and is available here. Whilst the six firms involved should be applauded for taking these first steps towards greater transparency, the announcement still leaves a few questions unanswered. Firstly,... Read More

Having your cake and eating it

The FFI clearly shows that fragmentation is steadily rising as smart routers continue to spread trading volume across different venues. Looking at last week’s data, though, I couldn’t find a single venue (primary or MTF) that wasn’t showing a decline in its overall volume for the week. Obviously the bank holiday and half term break affected the figures but this still highlights... Read More

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