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In This List

Hedge fund Hoplite to shut down; NYDFS leads probe on payroll advance sector

Gauging Supply Chain Risk In Volatile Times

The Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Sector Feels the Impact of the Coronavirus

Digital Banking Battles Will Play Out In Southeast Asias Shopping Cart

Street Talk Episode 56 - Latest bank MOE shows even the strong need scale to thrive


Hedge fund Hoplite to shut down; NYDFS leads probe on payroll advance sector

Hoplite Capital founder, John Lykouretzos, wrote to investors informing them that the hedge fund is shutting down its managed funds and will be returning money to clients, Reuters reports. Lykouretzos told customers the decision was due to the company's inability to generate sufficient returns in relation to its strategy. Outside investors of the company will have their money returned by Sept. 6.

The New York State Department of Financial Services is leading a multistate probe on the payroll advance industry to see if companies are violating state banking laws, including usury limits, licensing laws and other applicable regulations on payday lending, and consumer protection laws. Eleven other regulators are joining the DFS in investigating allegations that some members of the sector collect usurious or otherwise unlawful interest rates in the guise of "tips," monthly membership and/or exorbitant additional fees.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might give U.S. brokers an extension to their 30-month grace period to comply with MiFID II, the European Union's set of regulations designed to provide investors more transparency over fees that banks and asset managers pay for research, Reuters reports, citing SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce during her Aug. 7 speech before members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo. Peirce said the adoption of the EU rules, which took effect January 2018, has proven to be a challenge, and that coming up with a permanent solution won't be easy.

Boston-based financial services firm Fidelity Investments is now automatically directing investors' cash into higher yielding options available for brokerage and retirement accounts. The new measure runs counter to the usual practice of defaulting customers' cash into a low-yielding product.

The New Jersey Bureau of Securities ordered two online cryptocurrency promoters, Zoptax LLC and Unocall, to stop offering unregistered securities in the state. The emergency orders were part of "Operation Cryptosweep," an international crackdown on fraudulent initial coin offerings and digital currency-related investment schemes.

Investors are showing signs of doubt in relation to ratings for corporate and government bonds, The Wall Street Journal reports. The news outlet's analysis points to a tendency of some rating agencies to give inflated bond ratings as they compete to obtain market share. Such optimistic ratings on what could be junk securities contributed to the financial crisis a decade ago.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is reorganizing its markets division following the departure of its former head, Simon Potter. The New York Fed is splitting Potter's post into two roles to "best meet its critical responsibilities."

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans thinks the central bank should allow at least one more rate cut to help boost inflation and guard against downside economic risks, Reuters reports.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: AMP revives life insurer sale; rate cuts across APAC; Pakistan halts India trade

Europe: Aviva, Zurich Insurance H1 profits up; RBI result down; former HSBC exec fined

Middle East & Africa: Bank ABC sees Q2 profit dip; Investec's asset management spinoff set for Q1'20

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Chicago a banking buyer's market with 'pent-up demand' for M&A among sellers: Chicago remains one of the most fragmented banking marketplaces in the U.S., even though banks have been consolidating there at a rapid pace in recent years.

US banks trading at lowest price-to-adjusted tangible book value in July: The largest U.S. public bank stocks carried the sector to a market-beating performance in July, but several banks are still trading at a substantial discount to tangible book value.

Trading activity drops at major online brokers in June: Trading activity declined at major online brokerages in June. Daily average revenue trades at Interactive Brokers Group dropped by 87,000 to 807,000 in June, while DARTs at TD Ameritrade Holding fell by 72,000 to 791,000.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 0.48% to 26,120.77, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.37% to 20,593.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.17% to 7,211.10, and the Euronext 100 gained 1.19% to 1,041.22.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Wholesale trade report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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