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A-Team Insight Brief

Myanmar’s AYA Bank Implements SmartStream TLM Solution

SmartStream has implemented its Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) Reconciliations Premium Digital Payments Control solution at AYA Bank, Myanmar’s premier banking institution. The implementation marks an advance in the bank’s digital transformation journey.

The SmartStream solution is delivered as Software-as-a-Service and streamlines tasks including reconciliations, settlement, fee computation and dispute resolution. Using AI capabilities, it facilitates rapid system adoption and comprehensive management of the bank’s transaction lifecycles. It will also add a real-time oversight layer to further improve transaction transparency and automate accounting processes, the whole enabling AYA Bank to mitigate risks and reduce operational expenses.

ICE Benchmark Administration Releases Beta Extensions for ICE Swap Rate Benchmark

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) subsidiary ICE Benchmark Administration has released indicative Beta versions of its USD SOFR ICE Swap Rate Swap Spreads and EUR €STR ICE Swap Rates. The swap spreads and rates expand the ICE Swap Rate benchmark and are determined using IBA’s published ICE Swap Rate waterfall calculation methodology. They are available here.

The publication of the Beta settings follows a consultation and feedback process on IBA’s proposals to extend the current suite of ICE Swap Rate benchmark settings. The settings are being offered for an initial testing period for information purposes and to enable recipients to evaluate the settings and provide feedback to IBA@ice.com.

IBA will later announce when USD SOFR ICE Swap Rate Swap Spreads and EUR €STR ICE Swap Rates settings will be made available for use by licensees as a benchmark in financial instruments.

Yaala Labs Powers Carbonplace’s New Carbon Credit Market with P8 Platform

Yaala Labs, the global market infrastructure provider, has announced the successful launch of its P8 platform at Carbonplace, global carbon credit transaction network, to facilitate. the operation of its voluntary carbon market. The integration, initiated in late 2023, leverages Yaala Labs’ advanced cloud-native P8 technology, which supports a range of functionalities including tokenisation, primary and secondary trading, and clearing & settlement.

Initially, Carbonplace has integrated with Verra’s carbon registry, the carbon credit registry that manages the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the biggest standard in the carbon market based on market share, with plans to incorporate additional registries in the future.

S&P Global Completes Acquisition of Visible Alpha

S&P Global has completed its acquisition of Visible Alpha, the consensus forecast data and analytics vendor. The move aims to expand the fundamental investment research offerings on S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Capital IQ Pro platform. Founded in 2015, Visible Alpha has carved a niche in offering consensus forecast estimates, key performance indicators, and analytics derived from extensive sell-side analyst models. The company’s data distribution is supported through various channels, including a web-based platform, APIs, and Feeds.

Visible Alpha is backed by a group of investment banks that are key contributors of research and data to the platform. The acquisition, first announced in February 2024, is not expected to significantly impact the financial standing of either S&P Global Market Intelligence or the broader S&P Global entity.

Appital Integrates Insights with FactSet’s Portware EMS to Enhance Liquidity Sourcing for Asset Managers

Appital, the price discovery and liquidity sourcing platform, has announced the full integration of Appital Insights with FactSet’s Portware EMS, enabling one-click access to critical liquidity data for asset management clients. The integration includes the ‘Live Watchlist’ feature, enabling buy-side institutions to discreetly evaluate the feasibility of executing large Average Daily Volume (ADV) orders.

Launched in September 2023, Appital Insights aims to improve liquidity sourcing by revealing opportunities in illiquid or large equities, previously inaccessible through traditional trading platforms. Since its inception, Appital Insights has facilitated $4.0 billion in buy-side liquidity, with trade opportunities ranging from $1 million to $200 million.

FinScan Launches Sanctioned Securities Screening

FinScan, the Pittsburgh-based division of Innovative Systems, Inc. has released FinScan Securities adding sanctioned financial instrument screening to its AML and KYC solutions. 

Screening for sanctioned securities is an increasingly challenging requirement. Data identifying ultimate beneficial ownership is difficult to source and integrate and the number of securities and entities subject to sanctions continues to grow fueled by evolving political situations in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. As a result, firms are required to monitor vast volumes of data to stay compliant. 

Executive orders in 2020 and 2021 (EO 13959 and EO 14032) extended sanctions coverage to indirect investments creating new obligations for asset managers, fund managers, index providers and the investment banks and brokerages that market the funds. Previously, buy-side firms relied on their sell-side service providers to screen their holdings to ensure they have not been issued by entities that are owned, managed by or otherwise connected to sanctioned individuals.  

The capital markets sector is highly attractive to criminals due to its complex and fast-paced nature, allowing rapid and easy movement of illicit funds across borders. This environment requires an advanced, comprehensive compliance solution to ensure adherence to constantly updating sanction lists and regulatory demands. 

As staying on top of regulations has become more onerous, so the penalties have become more severe with firms facing fines in excess of $1 billion for individual breaches. 

“Identifying sanctioned entities in the complex web of securities, structured products, and options has traditionally been highly challenging and reliant on manual processes. Even where organizations have managed to do this, the technology has not been available to organize and manage the results,” said Steve Marshall, Director of Advisory Services at FinScan, “FinScan Securities provides a complete, streamlined workflow from data analysis and clean-up to audit trails and reporting. As a result, time is saved, and risk is reduced by eliminating the need to rely on spreadsheets or manual reviews and alleviating the burden on IT departments to develop and maintain a homegrown solution.” 

FinScan Securities covers a range of jurisdictions and sanctioning authorities, including the UN, OFAC and regulators in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the EU, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and California with further additions in the pipeline.

Droit and FINBOURNE Partner to Produce Position Reporting Solution

Droit, a provider of computational law and regulation, is partnering FINBOURNE Technology, a provider of cloud-based investment data management software, to deliver an end-to-end position reporting solution. The integration embeds Droit’s Position Reporting product that delivers determination of reporting obligations based on consensus interpretations of requirements from Endoxa, a consortium of six global financial institutions, into FINBOURNE’s financial data management platform LUSID. This enables sell-side and buy-side institutions to manage disclosure obligations for long, short and takeover panel reporting.

The unified approach also ensures consistency around complex regulatory interpretations, regulatory clarity and accuracy of reporting. As part of the joint solution, Droit translates and processes detailed guidelines from all major global jurisdictions, automating the decision-making process for shareholder disclosure reporting eligibility. For complete accountability, a traceable audit record is generated for each evaluated position.

Bloomberg Releases Tool for Sustainable Investment Screening

Bloomberg has released a tool that helps investors assess portfolios, funds and indices based on sustainability criteria and thresholds customised by the user. Available on the Bloomberg Terminal and based on the company’s ESG data, the solution facilitates a transparent screening process and can be used for both making investment decisions and to help clients with regulatory compliance.

Users can input their investment preferences by selecting from a wide range of criteria and calibrating precise thresholds from three categories: sustainability targets, exclusion or ‘no harm’ criteria, and good governance requirements. The tool then calculates a percentage figure that shows how much of a portfolio, fund or index is aligned with the user’s criteria and provides a detailed list of all holdings to quickly detect any outliers.

Investors can also use the tool to check, based on their own definitions, if funds align with regulatory obligations including the EU’s MiFID II suitability rules and Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the United Arab Emirates’ sustainable finance framework, the UK FCA’s forthcoming sustainability disclosure requirements, and future SEC guidance on ESG disclosures and fund labelling.

Finastra Partners with OpenFin to Enhance Kondor Treasury Management System

Finastra has teamed up with OpenFin to upgrade its Kondor bank treasury management system, aiming to strengthen the user experience with advanced workspaces and streamlined workflows. The collaboration leverages OpenFin’s “Workspace Anywhere” technology, enabling Kondor users to access the system through web browsers or a dedicated desktop application.

The enhanced Kondor system will incorporate microservices, AI, and a partner ecosystem to provide a more intuitive and efficient experience for banks, delivered through Treasury as a Service (TaaS) and cloud capabilities. This initiative aims to improve decision-making processes and operational efficiency in banking treasury management.

SGX FX Introduces Enhanced AI Tool for Optimized FX and Digital Assets Trading via MaxxTrader

SGX FX, through its digital assets and eFX trading solutions provider MaxxTrader, has unveiled the latest version of its advanced AI tool designed to enhance FX trading decisions for financial institutions. The new version leverages real-time data analysis, encompassing trades, price streams, user activities, and market impact among other elements, to generate tailored insights and actionable recommendations, thus promising quicker and more effective decision-making.

Originally launched in Q1 this year, the solution is designed to empower banks and broker-dealers to better manage risks, optimise trading performance and achieve superior execution quality and profitability through intelligently curated insights, presented in user-friendly formats.