Offshore services company KTL Global has agreed to issue S$5.35 million in five-year, zero-coupon convertible bonds to a Chinese investment firm to raise money for growth and expansion, according to filings on the Singapore Exchange on Monday (March 4).
A pioneer of electronic stock trading is moving to the bond market.
Chris Concannon is joining bond-trading venue MarketAxess Holdings Inc. as president and chief operating officer, the company said. He comes from Cboe Global Markets Inc., CBOE which operates stock, options and futures exchanges, where he held the same positions.
A spokeswoman for Cboe declined to comment.
An advocate of electronic trading since the 1990s, Mr. Concannon, 51, is making the move in the relatively early days of the corporate bond market’s transition to automation.
While stock trading has become nearly automatic, taking place primarily in central online markets, corporate-bond trading remains a largely manual process. Bond traders still negotiate deals over the phone or via electronic messages.
Yet the market is changing quickly, driven by regulation, upstart platforms and new technology. A recent survey by Greenwich Associates, an industry consulting firm, found that 26% of corporate bond volume was traded electronically in the third quarter of 2018, up from 19% in the first quarter.
“I see the corporate-bond market evolving, and it’s following a pattern I’ve seen before in my career,” Mr. Concannon said in an interview.
A lawyer by training, Mr. Concannon joined Cboe in 2017 after it acquired electronic stock exchange firm Bats Global Markets Inc., where he was chief executive. Mr. Concannon also served as president and COO of Virtu Financial Inc., a high-frequency market-making firm that trades stocks, currencies and other assets.
Mr. Concannon said he expects the move to electronic trading to accelerate as rising interest rates continue to roil the markets. “We’re approaching the end of a 10-year bull market,” he said. “There will be active trading in fixed income while the volatility of the transition occurs.”
About 85% of electronic corporate-bond trading by institutions in the third quarter was on MarketAxess, Greenwich’s survey found.
THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will double the individual limit for holding Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) and allow investors to buy the instruments using their Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds, the financial sector agency announced on Monday.
The maximum amount of SSB that an individual can hold will be raised to S$200,000 from the current S$100,000, MAS said. Both changes will take effect from Feb 1, 2019.
The SSB programme has garnered about S$3.7 billion of investments from close to 100,000 individual investors since its launch in October 2015, MAS said. During this time, the authority has received requests from the public to allow the purchases of the bonds using SRS funds, which are voluntary retirement savings contributed by Singapore workers above the national CPF scheme.
"Taking into account public feedback, MAS has worked with the banks to enable SRS funds to be invested in SSB. This will expand the range of products available to SRS members and help them save and plan for retirement," MAS said in a press statement.
To apply for SSB using SRS funds, investors may apply through the internet banking portals of their respective SRS operators, which are the local banks – DBS, POSB, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank. As with cash applications, the minimum application amount is S$500, and a S$2 transaction fee deducted from the SRS account for each application.
The new increased individual limit on SSB holdings will apply to SSB purchased with cash and with SRS funds.
MAS will also launch a "My Savings Bonds" portal in March for investors to view their consolidated SSB holdings via the SSB website.
Temasek is planning to offer new five-year bonds with a first-time public offer tranche for mom-and-pop investors, the state investment firm announced on Tuesday (Oct 16).
Indonesia is weighing proposals to cut the levy on gains from its sovereign bonds and extend tax breaks to exporters who will park their dollar earnings in local banks for a longer period as part of measures to shore up a weakening currency.
THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) has led a US$53 million growth equity financing round in Trumid, a New York-based startup that runs an electronic corporate bond trading platform.
DBS announced the launch of DBS Wealth Chat, a service that will allow DBS’ wealth clients to interact, exchange ideas and transact with their relationship managers via popular instant messaging platforms WhatsApp and WeChat.
The bank claims to be the first in Southeast Asia to enable this service for its clients. Developed in partnership with regulatory technology (regtech) start-up FinChat, it enables DBS’ clients to use their existing instant messaging platforms to access DBS’ wealth services while meeting rigorous compliance standards.
To access the service, relationship managers can register interested clients in a private chat group with the bank. Upon confirmation, DBS will set up a unique chat group administered by the bank between the client and his/her relationship manager
Once the chat group between the relationship manager and client is initiated, conversations and file exchanges that occur within the chat group will be archived by the bank without any intervention required from the relationship manager. The entire process is fully automated.
Why is DBS Enabling Their Banking Services via Popular Messaging Apps
At present, relationship managers need to ensure key client conversations take place via the bank’s phone lines, where they can be recorded. DBS Wealth Chat allows RMs to communicate with clients on the go, on their clients’ preferred instant messaging platform. This, in turn, allows for speedier service delivery to clients.
The introduction of DBS Wealth Chat is estimated to save some 10,000 manhours on a yearly basis, while enhancing the ease and quality of relationship manager and client interaction.
“We recognise that customers today are inundated with different apps and services and decided to go where our customers already are – WhatsApp has upwards of 1.5 billion users, while WeChat has close to one billion users. Our aim is to provide banking services that are embedded in our customers’ everyday lives, while maintaining client privacy and keeping to our rigorous security requirements,”
said Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management of DBS.
In the first phase, DBS will begin to register and onboard interested wealth clients in Singapore on the service, where content such as DBS Chief Investment Office reports, research insights and ideas, and exclusive invitations will be shared. Additional investment-related transactions (such as trade placement) will be introduced progressively in 2019.