Posted In:


Ring My Bell


Mar 21, 2020


Posted In:



Mar 21, 2020



Stock markets hold a nostalgic place in the American psyche as a symbol of capitalism. The 228-year-old New York Stock Exchange has hosted generations of executives ringing the bell at IPOs and, to this day, still has traders shouting across its floors.

The NYSE had resisted closing down the floor this week —a key part of its brand and image — even as other exchanges around the US and abroad had shut their trading floors.

The exchange is responsible for 25% of US trade volume but still doesn’t have a way to electronically replicate the portion of end-of-day buying and selling, known as the closing auction. While floor brokers carry out those trades electronically, the process is still reliant on in-person interaction on the stock exchange floor.

Closing auctions have drawn an increasing share of daily trading volume over the past decade, in part as benchmarks for the popular low-fee ETFs and index funds, as well as numerous futures and options contracts.

Like many businesses in this environment, the NYSE will put its “business continuity” and digitization efforts to the test and hope there aren’t material risks – or stocks will likely move to other fully-digital exchanges...

Portfolio News

In volatile financial markets, scalability is crucial to lender success - A key factor to flexibility has been the elimination of data entry bottlenecks; successful fintech startups are using document digitization services and API-called data connectivity to accommodate fluctuating loan volume and underwriting powered by portfolio company Ocrolus. Read more

COVID-19 insurance FAQ - Portfolio company Embroker prepared a frequently updated FAQ to answer general questions, preparedness and response, workers’ compensation, commercial property, general liability, and directors & officers liability. Read more

Unprecedented times can call for precedented measures: exploring effective ways to reduce retirement - In instances where short term cash flow is imperative to survival, there are a number of options as it relates to company retirement plans as outlined by portfolio company Vestwell. Read more

Ring My Bell

NYSE floor closure could drive trading elsewhere - But with all employees working remotely, the exchange won’t be able to execute about a third of the trades that normally pass through its system during the crucial last minutes of trading. That could drive business away from NYSE to its chief rival, Nasdaq, whose trading system is fully electronic. Read more

Two Positive Coronavirus Tests at NYSE trading floor - The NYSE had resisted closing down the floor—a key part of its brand and image—even as other exchanges around the US and abroad had shut their trading floors, and officials had warned against gatherings of large groups of people. Read more

NYSE to migrate to fully electronic on Mar 23 - The facilities to be closed include the NYSE equities trading floor, NYSE American Options trading floor, and NYSE Arca Options trading floor in SF. Open outcry on the options markets will be halted too. Read more

Industry News

Small businesses hunker down - Square, PayPal and other companies that process payments, make loans to SMEs are bracing for a slowdown in retail GMV as covid keeps consumers from bars, restaurants and beauty salons. Read more

European mobile operators share data for pandemic fight - Mobile carriers are sharing data with the health authorities in Italy, Germany, and Austria, helping to fight coronavirus by monitoring whether people are complying with curbs on movement while at the same time respecting Europe’s privacy laws. Read more

Crypto-market infrastructure creaks amid volatility test - As volatility and volumes spiked, the infrastructure underpinning digital coin trading creaked under the strain. Futures exchanges saw a rash of electronically-triggered liquidations of leveraged positions, fuelling pressure on prices. Read more

Stuck at home: players spend time on non-sports games - Playtech’s poker and bingo businesses saw an increase in activity. The company said its trading platform and payment services business has benefited from the rise in market volatility and brought in core profit of over EUR 30m so far in 2020. Read more

US life insurers impose waiting periods to skirt coronavirus risk - Insurers are trying to curb their own risks to coronavirus by imposing waiting periods for applicants who have traveled to regions with widespread outbreaks. Lincoln Financial and AIG are imposing 14 to 30-day waiting times. Read more

Huobi adds crypto ‘circuit breaker’ - In the aftermath of last week's cryptocurrency market crash, the Huobi exchange has launched a liquidation mechanism that would pull the plug on trading should prices become too volatile. Read more

Virus scare creates the perfect storm for mortgage lenders - The covid outbreak has belted mortgage lenders with a ripple effect the size of a perfect storm: record refinancing demand, time-consuming credit checks and lots of questions about workouts for existing loans that could be in jeopardy. Read more

Nubank’s Mexico strategy: accounts and loans to follow credit cards? In Mexico, Nubank is entering the market with credit cards and is additionally considering accounts and loans. In Brazil, Nubank started with credit cards and has since grown to offer deposit accounts, debit cards, and is testing accounts for SMEs. Read more

Cardless in the coronavirus crisis - An FT journalist's brief experience of joining the unbanked showed the challenges faced by millions. Read more

TransferWise taps into China with Alipay partnership – The partnership will enable instant transfers to China using 17 currencies. The move would help TransferWise tap into Alipay's over 1.2b strong user base, furthering its Asia expansion. Read more

US Regulator proposes a path for non-banks to gain deposit license - The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) proposed a set of standards this week for how it would consider special charters to allow non-banks to accept deposits and engage in other limited banking activities. Read more

PLIN brings free P2P inter-bank payments to Peru - Despite strong demand, questions arise about the system's interoperability, which currently allows individual account holders at Scotiabank, BBVA and Interbank to make and receive transfers. Read more

Select Financings

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Billon Group - UK based distributed ledger technology (DLT) for national currency and business documents raised $6m in Series A financing led by Billon CEO Wojtek Kostrzewa. Read more

Boro - Chicago based consumer financing platform for college students raised $12m in Series A funding led by LexinFintech. Read more

Fintso - India based B2B2C solution for the wealth management industry raised $2.6m in Seed funding. Read more

Payhawk - UK based corporate expense management solution raised €3m in Seed funding led by Earlybird’s Digital East Fund. Read more

Penta - Berlin based digital bank for businesses raised €18.5m in new funding led by RTP Global and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. Read more

Vivriti Capital - India digital alternative lender raised $50m in Series B funding led by LGT Lightstone Aspada. Read more


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