Investment strategists are developing alternative metrics to gauge China's economic output, measuring factors such as rail cargo volumes, sales of bulldozers, iron-ore imports and power consumption, as concerns mount about the reliability of official GDP data. "There are so many other data points which help us understand the health of the Chinese economy," says Andy Rothman of Matthews Asia.
The majority of US firms say establishing a Chinese research and development centre is of minimal importance compared with other regions, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Less than 4% of businesses say China is their most important R&D centre, citing factors including poor protection of intellectual property rights.
The Cboe Futures Exchange plans to change the minimum increment for bitcoin futures to 5 points from 10 points to offer "a more robust price-discovery environment," says Matt McFarland, head of strategy and operations. As the market evolves, "there is a chance that we could move to even smaller than $5, but we will take things slowly," McFarland says.
LCH has filed a proposal with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to let clearing members reduce risk from the default of a futures commission merchant. The proposal would give clearing members freedom to transfer positions from the defaulting FCM to their proprietary account or to the proprietary account of a third-party clearing member.
The National Stock Exchange of India and BSE want to introduce commodity derivatives platforms. The exchanges have applied for licenses after the Securities and Exchange Board of India decided exchanges can provide universal trading platforms for stocks and commodities.
As US oil exports surge, traders are calling for a revamp of the pricing benchmark to move away from West Texas Intermediate crude delivered in Cushing, Okla., and toward oil sold in Texas Gulf Coast ports. "As the demand center shifts to the export markets, it would be more important to have prices on the water, shifting away from Cushing-based prices," says John Coleman of Wood Mackenzie.
Luxury fashion unicorn Farfetch is launching a startup accelerator to boost innovation in physical stores. The company, which plans an initial public offering this year, is creating services related to mobile payments and the tracking of customer behavior across multiple stores.
Point Digital Finance has received a commitment from hedge fund Atalaya Capital Management to buy up to $150 million of its home-equity assets. Point Digital Finance lends capital to clients in return for partial ownership of their homes.
Boston Scientific will pay $150 million up front and a potential $125 million in milestone payments for nVision, a company founded by Surbhi Sarna to develop a device for detecting ovarian cancer. Sarna was inspired by a personal health scare to explore new ways to collect cells from the fallopian tubes and monitor them for signs of cancer.