The financial-technology industry is maturing, and trends for 2019 point to ample funding, potential acquisitions and possible initial public offerings, experts say. "2018 was a year for massive funding rounds, and I can see that continuing into next year," says Vanessa Colella, head of Citi Ventures.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority deems a proposed merger of Nasdaq and Cinnober worthy of a Phase 1 inquiry, which the authority is launching today. A decision will be made by Feb. 7 on whether a Phase 2 investigation is needed.
A legislative proposal from the Council of the EU would drop replacement of the relevant equivalence framework with national licensing but would give the European Commission authority to impose "operational conditions" on non-EU companies that provide systemically important services.
Major derivatives contracts have experienced dramatic price swings exceeding margin limits almost 50 times this year, according to JPMorgan Chase. As investors struggle to adjust to a routine of sudden price lurches, clearinghouses are revamping margin requirements to better accommodate volatility.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has given clearinghouse status to ICE Clear Credit, which becomes the first global credit default swaps clearinghouse approved to operate in Singapore. The Intercontinental Exchange unit says the recognition aids expansion in Asia and Australia.
Gresham Investment Management's new commodity fund uses trend-following systems to target tough markets, such as Chinese asphalt and South African sunflower seeds. The fund, headed by former AHL commodity head Scott Kerson, reportedly is up more than 28% this year.
Oil traders are bracing for oversupply as demand drops while US output increases and as sanctions on Iran turn out softer than expected. Add the US-Chinese trade dispute, rising interest rates and a global economic slowdown, and it becomes clear "lower oil prices are a necessary part of the economic adjustment process," market analyst John Kemp writes.
Airbnb and Slack reportedly are weighing whether to go public through direct listing, the unconventional structure used by Spotify that does away with bank underwriters. Bankers say they've received a lot of questions about direct listing, but they don't expect any big startups to use the tactic in 2019.
Bess Chapman, an operating principal at JetBlue Technology Ventures, wants the venture capital firm to fuel the growth of disruptive startups and revolutionize the travel and hospitality industries. "[C]orporate venture capital has been quite a trend lately and it's important that JTV remain a proven, practical, and impactful venture capital partner to startups and other investors," she says.
ParkJockey, a startup that developed technology for managing parking facilities, has received an investment from SoftBank. The transaction reportedly gave ParkJockey a valuation exceeding $1 billion.