German chemicals company Bayer AG (BAYN) announced plans in September to acquire Monsanto (MON) for $66 billion, including debt, in the largest cash bid on record. The deal values Monsanto shares at $128.
The acquisition will create a company commanding more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides, but also must be approved by European competition authorities. The transaction includes a break-fee of $2 billion that Bayer will pay to Monsanto should it fail to get regulatory clearance.
Context Asset Management
Context Asset Management, a provider of alternative mutual funds for retail and institutional clients, announced that the Context Macro Opportunities Fund (“the Fund”) surpassed $100 million in assets under management on its one-year anniversary since the Fund commenced operations on Aug. 4, 2015. The Context Macro Opportunities Fund seeks total return with low to negative correlation to broad financial markets by using alternative investment strategies. Total return consists of capital appreciation and income.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an Order of Registration to Chicago-based Seed SEF LLC (Seed), granting it fully registered status with the CFTC as a Swap Execution Facility (SEF).
Singapore Exchange (SGX) launched the SGX APAC ex-Japan Dividend Leaders REIT Index, composed of 30 real estate investment trusts (REITs) across the Asia Pacific ex-Japan region. It’s the first index of its kind and it will be the first SGX index to be used as a benchmark index for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will be issued by Phillip Capital Management (S) Limited (Phillip Capital Management), the asset management arm of Phillip Capital.
The Chicago Stock Exchange Inc. (CHX) has proposed a rule change to adopt the CHX Liquidity Taking Access Delay, an order speed bump similar to what the Investor Exchange (IEX), which has recently been approved as a stock exchange, has operated for two years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s awards to whistleblowers have surpassed the $100 million mark with the program’s second-largest award of more than $22 million. The whistleblower program was established by Congress to incentivize whistleblowers with specific, timely and credible information about federal securities law violations to report to the SEC. To date, enforcement actions resulting from whistleblower tips have resulted in orders for more than $500 million in financial remedies, much of which has been returned to harmed investors.
CME Group will expand its base metals offering with the introduction of Alumina FOB Australia (S&P Global Platts) futures and Alumina FOB Australia (Metal Bulletin) futures. Both contracts will begin trading on Sept. 26, 2016. Pending relevant regulatory review periods, these new contracts will be available for trading on CME Globex, for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort, and will be listed with and subject to COMEX rules.
Fidelity Investments, a provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), will expand its lineup of ETFs for individual investors and financial advisors with the introduction of the company’s first suite of factor-based ETFs. Fidelity’s six new factor-based ETFs: Fidelity Core Dividend ETF (FDVV), Fidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates (FDRR), Fidelity Low Volatility Factor ETF (FDLO), Fidelity Momentum Factor ETF (FDMO), Fidelity Quality Factor ETF (FQAL) and Fidelity Value Factor ETF (FVAL), will commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange on or about Sept. 15. Each of the new ETFs will be competitively priced with total expense ratios of just 0.29%. In addition, individual investors and advisors will be able to purchase each of the new ETFs commission-free online through one of Fidelity’s brokerage platforms. Once the six new factor-based ETFs are launched, customers will have access to 91 commission-free ETFs.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) has successfully launched a crowdsourcing facility for the ISDA Standard Initial Margin Model (ISDA SIMM) ahead of new margin rules for non-cleared derivatives, which are currently in effect. The IBA crowdsourcing facility, which launched on Aug. 1, 2016, is already supported by 16 global banks who are submitting risk data to the facility. This number is anticipated to grow alongside industry adoption of ISDA SIMM, which is a common methodology for the calculation of initial margin requirements for non-cleared derivatives.
ICAP plc, a markets operator and provider of post-trade risk mitigation and information services, appointed Seth Johnson, currently head of strategy at ICAP’s Global Broking division as CEO of EBS BrokerTec. Johnson takes over from Gil Mandelzis who has decided to leave ICAP. Johnson will continue to sit on the ICAP Global Executive Management Group (GEMG) and will report directly to ICAP CEO Michael Spencer.
Symbiont, a technology partner for the State of Delaware’s Blockchain Initiative, has appointed Caitlin Long as president and chairman of the Board of Directors. Long will be responsible for commercializing Symbiont’s market-leading blockchain technology, encompassing business strategy and client relationships. Long brings 22 years of experience on Wall Street to Symbiont, including her most recent post as managing director in global capital markets at Morgan Stanley.
Straits Financial LLC (Straits) will be the first U.S. based Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) to use the services of bitcoin payment processor BitPay Inc. and digital bank WB21 Ltd (WB21). Straits’ initiatives with WB21 and BitPay will allow its customers to convert bitcoin assets into one of several different currencies to fund their Straits’ investment and trading accounts. The WB21 and BitPay services will allow bitcoin traders, companies and other users to rely on the Straits Financial infrastructure to trade and manage risk in the multi-trillion dollar commodities markets in products such as energy, precious and base metals, agricultural commodities and stock indexes.
Oanda, a global leader in online multi-asset trading services, has selected Javier Martell to oversee global legal functions as general counsel and corporate secretary. Martell most recently led the legal, compliance and human resources functions for Boku Inc., amid the direct carrier billing mobile payment service’s expansion across 65 countries.
Convergex, an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider, has enhanced its recently launched Small Cap Algorithm by improving the algo’s fair price model, enabling traders to source as much liquidity as possible in less liquid names while minimizing impact in the market place.