Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Category Archives: Derivatives

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UK FCA, Dutch AFM and French AMF Publish Position Limits for Commodity Derivative Contracts

Posted in Derivatives, Financial Markets, UK Developments
Under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), limits are required to be established on the size of a net position a person can hold (at all times) in commodity derivatives traded on EU/European Economic Area (EEA) trading venues and economically equivalent over-the-counter contracts. On December 7, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)… Continue Reading

EU and CFTC Implement Mutual Recognition of Derivatives Trading Venues

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
As contemplated by announcements last month, the European Commission (EC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) took action this week to implement mutual recognition of derivatives trading venues in advance of the January 3, 2018 compliance date for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) requirement that the most liquid derivative instruments that… Continue Reading

ESMA Publishes Transitional Transparency Calculations for Equity and Bond Instruments

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On December 7, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published transitional transparency calculations (TTC) for equity and bond instruments for the purposes of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). MiFID II and MiFIR introduce transparency requirements for equities, bonds, structured finance products, emission… Continue Reading

CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk Provides No-Action Relief to Certain Foreign Financial Institutions From Swap Clearing Requirements

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
On November 7, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) published Staff Letters 17-57, 17-58 and 17-59 (Staff Letters), which provided Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, the European Stability Mechanism, and the North American Development Bank, respectively, with no-action relief from the swap clearing requirements set forth in Section 2(h)(1)… Continue Reading

Reminder: EU Variation Margin Rules Apply to Physically Settled FX Forwards Beginning January 3, 2018

Posted in Derivatives
Starting January 3, 2018, physically settled foreign exchange forward transactions (FX Forwards) will be subject to the variation (but not initial) margin requirements set out in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/2251 of October 4, 2016 (EU Margin Regulation) that apply generally to OTC derivatives. FX Forwards are defined in Article 27 of the EU Margin… Continue Reading

CFTC Extends Swap Dealer De Minimis Threshold Until December 2019

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
On October 26, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an Order that maintains the swap dealer de minimis threshold at $8 billion until a new de minimis threshold phase-in termination date of December 31, 2019. Prior to the Order, the threshold was set to decrease to $3 billion on December 31, 2018. The CFTC continues… Continue Reading

ESMA Agrees to MiFID II Position Limits Proposed by FCA

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On October 24, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published nine opinions on limits regarding commodity derivatives under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). The opinions follow the work plan agreed by ESMA and the national competent authorities of the European Union (NCAs),… Continue Reading

Three Developments Concerning EU-US Cross-Border Swaps

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives, Dodd-Frank Developments, EU Developments
On October 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the European Commission (EC) made three announcements that are significant for cross-border swap activity between the United States and Europe. CFTC Margin Rule Comparability Determination. The CFTC has made a determination that the margin rules for uncleared swaps that apply in the European Union are comparable to… Continue Reading

CFTC Clarifies That Variation Margin Constitutes Settlement

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an interpretive letter clarifying that payments of variation margin, price alignment amounts and other payments in satisfaction of outstanding exposures on a counterparty’s cleared swap positions constitute “settlement” under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulation 39.14. The CEA… Continue Reading

CFTC Conducts DCO Liquidity Stress Tests

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a report summarizing stress tests conducted by three derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs): the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), ICE Clear US (ICUS) and LCH Ltd (LCH). During the stress tests, DCR evaluated whether each DCO could obtain, in a timely manner,… Continue Reading

ISDA To Publish T+2 Protocol

Posted in Derivatives, Dodd-Frank Developments
On September 5, the regular settlement cycle for most securities transactions in the United States will change from three days (T+3) to two days (T+2). In order to assist derivative market participants that have existing equity derivative transactions with payment dates based on T+3, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has developed the 2017… Continue Reading

CFTC Grants DCO Registration to LedgerX

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an order granting LedgerX LLC registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). As specified in the order, LedgerX is permitted to clear fully collateralized digital currency swaps. A transaction will be fully collateralized if LedgerX holds, at all times, funds in the form of the required payment sufficient… Continue Reading

CFTC Extends Relief From Transaction-Level Requirements for Non-US Swap Dealers

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, the Division of Clearing and Risk and the Division of Market Oversight (collectively, the Divisions) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have extended relief previously provided in a series of previous no-action letters relating to transaction-level requirements for non-US swap dealers (non-US SDs). Specifically, the Divisions have… Continue Reading

NFA Adopts Interpretive Notice on Swap Valuation Disputes

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
National Futures Association (NFA) has adopted an interpretive notice that standardizes the process for filing swap valuation disputes with NFA. As set forth in the interpretive notice, swap dealers (SDs) generally are required to file with NFA notices of unresolved swap valuation disputes involving initial margin, variation margin and/or transaction or portfolio valuations if the… Continue Reading

NFA Adopts 4s Attestation Process for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
National Futures Association (NFA) has revised the process by which each swap dealer (SD) and major swap participant (MSP) applicant demonstrates its ability to comply with Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations implementing Section 4s of the Commodity Exchange Act (4s Regulations), including but not limited to regulations relating to capital and margin requirements, reporting and… Continue Reading

SEC Chairman Clayton Makes First Public Speech Outlining His Vision for the Commission

Posted in Derivatives, SEC/Corporate
On July 12, in his first major address since becoming Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, Jay Clayton outlined his vision for the SEC under his Chairmanship based upon eight guiding “principles” and his approach for implementing those principles into practice. In the speech, delivered at the Economic Club of New… Continue Reading

FCA Publishes Notification Guide for Firms Wanting To Rely on MiFID II Ancillary Activity Exemption

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On July 19, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its webpage on the introduction of the commodity derivatives position limits and reporting regime under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The FCA explains that, under the MiFID II Directive, firms or individuals who trade in commodity derivatives on a professional basis… Continue Reading

MiFID II Implementing Legislation Published

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On June 22, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/701) were presented to Parliament. The Regulations transpose elements of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and related Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) into UK law. Member States of the European Union are required… Continue Reading

EC Launches Systematic Internalizer Amendment Consultation and Publishes Commodities Reporting ITS

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On June 20, the European Commission (EC) published a consultation and draft amendment to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/565 (Delegated Regulation) supplementing the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The Delegated Regulation specifies, among other things, additional criteria to be considered in determining whether a firm is a systematic internalizer (SI) for the purposes… Continue Reading

FCA Focuses on Dividend Arbitrage

Posted in Derivatives, Financial Markets, UK Developments
On June 2, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published issue 52 of Market Watch, its market conduct and transaction reporting newsletter. The newsletter focuses on the practice of dividend arbitrage, the intention of which is to place shares in alternative tax jurisdictions around dividend dates, with the aim of minimizing withholding taxes (WHT), or generating… Continue Reading

FIA Publishes Letter Opposing Relocation of Euro-Denominated Derivatives Clearing

Posted in Brexit, Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On June 6, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) published a letter addressed to European Commission (EC) Vice–President Valdis Dombrovskis, detailing its concerns about the potential approach of forced relocation of euro-denominated derivatives clearing to the European Union. Forced relocation was raised as an option for ensuring the protection of the financial stability and monetary policy… Continue Reading

New FX Code of Conduct

Posted in Derivatives
The Foreign Exchange Working Group (FXWG), operating under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements, has published a final version of its “FX Global Code” (the “Code”), a code of conduct for foreign exchange markets. (This version incorporates Part 1 of the Code that was published in May 2016.) The Code was developed to… Continue Reading

ESMA Publishes Opinion on the Meaning of Traded on a Trading Venue

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments, Financial Markets
On May 22, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published an opinion regarding the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). The opinion clarifies the concept of “traded on a trading venue” (TOTV), which is relevant for a number of provisions under… Continue Reading