When Santa visited us for one of our academy sessions, Market Structure for North Pole Inhabitants, we provided an initial introduction to European market structure using the following chart for European Equities by trading mechanism, which may be familiar to many of you: Santa soon understood that, but as a wise man, he remained curious – one of the questions he asked was about ETFs: “If these equity-like instruments are called Exchange Traded Funds,” he asked with a glimmer in his eye, “Why do they trade less than 28% of their volume on exchange compared to 53% for vanilla equities?”
Santa may need to consider moving with the times as we navigate the growing wave of social responsibility. On the one hand, reindeer power is about as green as you can get to power a vehicle, and on the other…..all that wrapping paper and packaging! Someone needs to tell him ESG does not stand for Extra Special Gift. One of the recent benefits of the growth of ESG campaigns in financial markets is that the spotlight has moved beyond a focus on the social DNA of companies to invest in. Questions are now being asked about how all the companies who are active in financial markets are behaving. Could there be ways to introduce new practises and infrastructure in order to become more sustainable as an organisation, and as a community?
Santa may need to consider moving with the times as we navigate the growing wave of social responsibility. On the one hand, reindeer power is about as green as you can get to power a vehicle, and on the other…..all that wrapping paper and packaging! Someone needs to tell him ESG does not stand for Extra Special Gift.
Whilst the Italians enjoy a good hearty feast on Christmas Day, traditionally they give and receive gifts on January 6th – the 12th Day of Christmas. There was a big Italian gift in the spring of this year too when ownership of Borsa Italiana was transferred (for a small fee) by LSEG to Euronext. Given this change and the implications of Brexit for European exchanges and venues, it occurred to us that it might be interesting to take a look at the Italian market to see if things have settled back to (the new) normal.
At this time of year the discussion often turns to how Father Christmas is able to get around so many households in just one night. For sure, the sleigh is fitted with the latest technology such as smart routers and machine learning algorithms to plot the optimal course between well behaved children. But the evidence is building that in his day job the big man may be a high frequency trader. The time it takes to get between Madrid and London at light speed is around four milliseconds. Of course, that’s the physical limit and there are plenty of items that cause friction such as chimneys and church steeples, or if you are a high frequency trader, firewalls and trading controls. The parallels are obvious.
To some people Christmas feels the same year after year, maybe because the favourite armchair in the corner of the room is comfortable, Grandpa’s view never changes too much and he probably likes it that way – he’s seen enough change over the years. For kids, however, each year brings fresh festive excitement; as they grow older their perspective changes and they remain curious.
We should be careful with three letter acronyms (TLAs) especially at this time of year when ELFs should not be confused with ELPs. Along with the bank SIs, ELPs deliver a service not dissimilar to Santa’s little helpers – mysterious, fast moving, hard to spot with the naked eye. Undoubtedly hard working and always available, they often deliver nice surprises of various sizes. Over the last three years, our data scientists have helped us to develop a much better understanding of what is happening in SI land and each year we unwrap a little more.
The Christmas stocking is still a major part of any family Christmas. It’s the perfect place to find last minute surprises like satsumas, bottles of gin, or a multi-rotor copter drone. You never know what you might find, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t, and then of course there is the sweet smell of hessian. In fact, they are a lot like dark pools, apart from the hessian.
In the good old days, your Christmas tipple might have been a gin & tonic, of which there were few mainstream choices for the spirit or the mixer. Then, almost overnight, there was a somewhat confusing abundance of choice for both, garnished with the decision of what variety of fruit or vegetable should be sliced into it.
At big xyt, we like to think big. At Christmas there’s nothing like a big pile of presents under the tree on Christmas morning and the big parcels are often the least expected and the most surprising. It’s got us thinking about the biggest corporate events of the year. One in particular springs to mind which was the share swap between Naspers Ltd and its sister company, Prosus NV. Naspers was the most traded name on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (also the home of the Huge Group by the way!) at around €250M per day, with Prosus in second spot with around €100M. Together, they are the top two names in the JSE’s SWIX index with about 20% share of overall market volumes.