Intercontinental Exchange says its restructured Midland WTI crude oil contract is set to launch on January 24, anticipating that the March 2022 futures contract will be the first deliverable to both Magellan- and Enterprise-run terminals. ICE global head of oil markets Jeff Barbuto said the contract "marks an important milestone in the development of the U.S. Gulf Coast as the benchmark location for pricing U.S. crude."
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives traded a record 18.4 million contracts in 2021 led by crude palm oil futures, beating 2020's record of 18.2 million contracts. Bursa Malaysia Derivatives CEO Samuel Ho said that with the introduction of after-hours trading last month, the firm was "confident that the Exchange will continue to improve the Malaysian derivatives market ecosystem and create a vibrant marketplace for investors to seek new opportunities and hedge their portfolio."
There is strong demand for exchanges to extend their hours for derivatives trading in the EMEA and Asian regions, according to a survey conducted by Acuiti for Montreal Exchange. "The world is becoming smaller in terms of firms' ability to trade globally and the launch of extended hours trading sessions is a key development in facilitating that trend," said Acuiti founder and managing director Will Mitting.
Eurex reported 14% year-over-year growth in European interest rate derivatives volumes in 2021 to 603.2 million contracts, even as a 25% slump in equity index derivatives pushed overall volumes down 8% to 1.7 billion contracts. Meanwhile, overall notional outstanding volumes for over-the-counter clearing products rose 20% compared to 2020, with average daily cleared volumes rising 9% to €133 billion.
UK financial services firms say preventing pandemic-weary staff working remotely from quitting their jobs has become a top priority, according to a survey conducted late last year by PwC and the Confederation of British Industry. Retaining talent was followed by improving employee engagement and finding future talent, according to the survey.
A new independent institute focusing on cryptoassets and AI technology updates to the UK legal system is being proposed by Lord Chief Justice technology adviser Professor Richard Susskind. The proposed center would look for legal gaps concerning new technologies, as well as promote the global use of English law to cover technology-related transactions.
Phase II of a test by the Bank for International Settlements, the Swiss National Bank and SIX indicates that a central bank digital currency can be successfully wholesale integrated into the current banking system. "We have demonstrated that innovation can be harnessed to preserve the best elements of the current financial system, including settlement in central bank money, while also potentially unlocking new benefits," says BIS Innovation Hub's Benoit Coeure.
Startups in the US received almost $330 billion of funding, a new record, in 17,054 deals, also a record, from venture capital investors in 2021, according to the latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report. "The best news about these record achievements is that we are creating more American made entrepreneurs than ever before," said NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin.
Highspot, a startup that develops software to support sales teams, raised $248 million in a Series F funding round that gave it a $3.5 billion valuation. The company is planning significant new investment in product development, marketing and international expansion.
Arc, a startup platform that lets software-as-a-service founders convert future revenue into capital they can use now, raised $161 million of equity and debt in its most recent funding round. Don Muir, Arc co-founder and CEO, said that in the near future the company will "be launching a full suite of financial tools to empower SaaS founders to scale their businesses efficiently and retain control."