Day: August 23, 2021

BGCP – kACE partners with Algorithmica to launch FX Volatility Aggregator

LONDON, Aug. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — kACE, a division of Fenics Software Limited, an entity within the BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC Partners,” “BGC” or the “Company”) group of companies, announced today the launch of its kACE Volatility Aggregator (kACE VA) application, a collaboration between kACE and Algorithmica, leveraging both organisations’ vast experience in FX derivatives and advanced analytical solutions to deliver unparalleled volatility aggregation functionality.

The kACE VA application allows users to combine FXO volatilities from multiple sources to create a unique surface that feeds downstream into client applications such as kACE Pro, back and middle office systems and proprietary technologies. Users have full control over blending aggregation and data cleansing algorithms, providing custom weighting and data selection criteria as well as removing outlier and stale data.

Richard Brunt, Managing Director at kACE, said, “We are very pleased with the results of our collaboration with Algorithmica. Clients are demanding more control over their data, and more transparency on the provenance of the data that they use.”  Rich Winter, Senior Managing Director at Fenics Market Data and Information Analytics, added, ‘Clients are moving away from black box composite data feeds to sources that provide high levels of provenance and market accuracy.  The kACE Volatility Aggregator allows clients to select their preferred data suppliers, including from our own Fenics Market Data group, specific counterparty banks and other proprietary sources to create their own golden source. They no longer need to rely on a generic one size fits all data feed”.

Robert Thorén, Partner at Algorithmica, said, “To hit the mark of excellence in providing kACE and ultimately kACE clients with a solution for volatility aggregation is a major milestone for Algorithmica. Working with highly skilled professionals at kACE has been absolutely key to get to a product ready for launch. Achieving this without physical meetings during a pandemic makes the effort even more impressive. We now look forward to rolling out the product and building on the next release with features and requests from kACE clients.”

About kACE
kACE is the product brand for the solutions provided by Fenics Software Limited. The brand was launched in July 2018 following the acquisition of Kalahari Limited by Fenics Software Limited. The product range includes pricing, analytics, distribution and trading tools for a broad range of asset classes.

Fenics Software Limited has over 30 years’ experience providing intuitive pre-trade analysis, risk management, automated client price distribution, post trade processing and innovative pricing solutions for the FX derivatives and financial markets. The extensive range of APIs facilitate connectivity to third parties and bespoke front-end solutions. Through its hosted Gateway service, Fenics Software Limited connects its client community to counterparties, venues, regulators and vendors.

About Algorithmica
Algorithmica focuses on providing efficient tools for real-time quantitative analysis, thus enabling its customers to better price, trade, and risk manage financial transactions. Solutions built for speed and performance are powered by Quantlab®, the award-winning software development platform for quantitative financial analysis. In addition, Algorithmica provides products for enterprise-wide risk management and for market data management including time-series data, static data, and calculated data.

Having head-office and development in Stockholm, Sweden, the customers include a number of well-known financial institutions mainly in the Nordics and London. Algorithmica is led by the Chief Executive Officer and founder Niclas Holm. For more information, please visit http://www.algorithmica.com. You can also follow Algorithmica at https://www.linkedin.com/company/algorithmica-research

About BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc. (“BGC”) is a leading global brokerage and financial technology company. BGC specializes in the brokerage of a broad range of products, including Fixed Income (Rates and Credit), Foreign Exchange, Equities, Energy and Commodities, Shipping, Insurance, and Futures. BGC also provides a wide variety of services, including trade execution, brokerage, clearing, trade compression, post-trade, information, and other back-office services to a broad range of financial and non-financial institutions. Through brands including Fenics, BGC Trader, Capitalab, Lucera, and Fenics Market Data, BGC offers financial technology solutions, market data, and analytics related to numerous financial instruments and markets. BGC, BGC Trader, GFI, Fenics, Fenics Market Data, Capitalab, Lucera, Corant Global, Corant, and Piiq are trademarks/service marks and/or registered trademarks/service marks of BGC and/or its affiliates.

BGC’s customers include many of the world’s largest banks, broker-dealers, investment banks, trading firms, hedge funds, governments, corporations, and investment firms. BGC’s Class A common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “BGCP”. BGC is led by Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit http://www.bgcpartners.com. You can also follow BGC at https://twitter.com/bgcpartners, https://www.linkedin.com/company/bgc-partners and/or http://ir.bgcpartners.com/Investors/default.aspx.

Discussion of Forward-Looking Statements about BGC
Statements in this document regarding BGC that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include statements about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, results, financial position, liquidity and outlook, which may constitute forward-looking statements and are subject to the risk that the actual impact may differ, possibly materially, from what is currently expected. Except as required by law, BGC undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see BGC’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including, but not limited to, the risk factors and Special Note on Forward-Looking Information set forth in these filings and any updates to such risk factors and Special Note on Forward-Looking Information contained in subsequent reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q or Form 8-K.

Media contact at BGC Partners, Inc.:
Harjeet Singh
+44 207 894 8829

Investor contact at BGC Partners, inc.:
Jason Chryssicas
+1 212 610 2426

SOURCE Fenics Software Limited

Related Links

https://www.bgcpartners.com/

LUV – Pick Southwest Airlines Stock To Fly?

After reaching pre-Covid levels in April, the shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) have observed a downtrend in the past two months as booking trends weakened due to the fourth wave of the pandemic. However, the company’s significantly lower debt outstanding and higher operating margin is likely to assist strong cash generation as infections decline. The third round of payroll support program requires airlines to suspend dividends and share repurchases until September 2022. Thus, investors can bet on recovering travel demand to realize capital gains. Considering the demand surge in the second quarter as an indicator for a quick rebound after the fourth wave, Trefis believes that LUV stock is a good value investment. We highlight the historical trends in the company’s revenues, margins, and valuation multiple in an interactive dashboard analysis, Southwest Airlines’ Valuation.

Strong second-quarter performance prompted the management to increase capacity

In Q2 2021, Southwest Airlines reported a 32% contraction in net revenues and a 16% reduction in capacity (available seat miles) over Q2 2019, a sizable improvement over Q1 2021 as travel demand recovered. The company reported $348 million of net income and $2 billion of operating cash. Given the suspension of dividends and share buybacks, the operating cash supported $95 million of capital expenses, certain short-term investments, and enhanced the company’s cash position. On the operational front, occupancy rate increased by 20-percentage-points (q-o-q) to 83% prompting the management to increase capacity during the latter half of the year.

Demand surge in second-quarter indicates a quick rebound after the fourth coronavirus wave

The decline in coronavirus cases in the second quarter led to a surge in air travel demand to the extent that the daily passenger numbers at TSA checkpoints were 20% below 2019 levels. Notably, the daily passenger figures observed a 50% growth in Q2 from 1.3 million in April to 1.9 million in June. Thus, the strong surge indicates growing leisure travel demand also described by many operators as revenge tourism. Given Southwest’s strong balance sheet, a brief period of low demand is unlikely to weigh on finances. Per Q2 filings, the company reported $(5.5 billion) of net debt, which can assist salary expenses for a quarter and still retain balance sheet strength (negative net debt indicates excess cash over long-term debt).

Is there a better investment over Southwest Airlines? Southwest Airlines Stock Comparison With Peers summarizes how LUV compares against peers on metrics that matter. You can find more such useful comparisons on Peer Comparisons.

See all Trefis Featured Analyses and Download Trefis Data here

WPP – WPP acquires agency specialising in artificial intelligence

WPP Group PLC (LSE:WPP), the advertising and marketing conglomerate, has acquired Satalia, a technology company offering market-leading artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for clients.

Satalia, which employs more than 80 people across multiple markets in Europe, will join WPP’s Wunderman Thompson Commerce division and will also act as a hub of AI expertise for all WPP agencies.

Daniel Hulme, the founder and chief executive officer of Satalia, will become chief AI officer of WPP, working closely with WPP’s chief technology officer and WPP agencies to promote AI capabilities across the company.

“Advances in technology are revolutionising how people live, work and shop, how brands go to market, and how products and services are delivered. Clients are looking for end-to-end solutions that harness these technologies to grow their business. I’m delighted to welcome Daniel and the Satalia team to WPP as we continue to strengthen our offer to global brands,” said Mark Read, the chief executive officer of WPP.

XOM – Exxon to select next well at Kaieteur block offshore Guyana by Spring 2022

Exxon and its exploration partners will take more time to plan the next well in the Kaieteur Block, offshore Guyana, to allow additional data analysis.

Kaieteur immediately neighbours Exxon’s prolific Stabroek licence which hosts some 8bn barrels of oil discoveries including the Liza field which came online producing up to 120,000 barrels of crude per day.

Previously at Kaieteur, in November 2020, the Tanager-1 encountered a 16 metre oil column which was determined to be sub-commercial on a standalone basis – it was later estimated to host 65mln barrels of contingent oil resources, which is approximately three-times larger the average new discovery in the UK North Sea.

Exxon will now take until March 2022 to make its next well selection at Kaieteur and it’s said that the seven month extension will allow the integration of extensive multi-play drilling results and comprehensive data collection programs into regional petroleum system models.

The US oil major is the operator of Kaieteur, with a 35% interest, alongside partners Hess (20%), Cataleya Energy (20%), and Ratio Petroleum Energy.

London-listed Westmount Energy Ltd has exposure to the high-impact exploration project via a 5.3% shareholding in Cataleya Energy and a 0.04% interest in Ratio Petroleum.

PYPL – PayPal launches crypto service in the UK

PayPal Holdings Inc  (NASDAQ: PYPL) has launched a new service that allows its UK customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency.

The service starts rolling out this week and marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the US, the payment provider said in a statement.

“With a trusted brand like PayPal now making an entry, access, knowledge, and the exploration of cryptocurrency has the potential to become mainstream in the UK,” it added.

PayPal is reported to have over 2mln active users in the UK, the group’s highest penetration in Europe.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives— including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager, Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal.

“Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency.

“We are committed to continue working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support—and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

ILMN – Illumina (ILMN) Shares Slip on GRAIL Buyout Deal Completion

Illumina, Inc. (ILMN Free Report) recently announced the completion of its long-standing and highly-disputed acquisition of GRAIL — a healthcare company focused on life-saving early detection of multiple cancer to accelerate patient access to the latter’s multi-cancer early-detection test. The latest move follows a definitive agreement signed by Illumina to acquire GRAIL in September 2020.

It is to be noted that the European Commission’s (EC) decision is still pending regarding this $7.1-billion (in cash-and-stock as explained in September 2020) colossal takeover. According to Illumina, GRAIL will continue to operate as a separate company until the ongoing regulatory review by the EC is completed.

Following the news of this acquisition, shares of Illumina stumbled 7.9% on Aug 19 to close the session at $470.36, as the company announced that it is likely to be fined for completing its acquisition of GRAIL while the EC was still reviewing the merger. Going by a Reuters’ report, breaches can lead to fines of as much as 10% of the aggregate turnover of the companies.

Legal Implications Related to Acquisition

Illumina noted that GRAIL has no business in the European Union (EU). The company believes the EC does not have jurisdiction to review the merger as the EU merger thresholds are not met, nor are they met in any EU member state. The General Court of the EU will hear Illumina’s jurisdictional challenge later in 2021. By holding GRAIL separate while proceedings are ongoing, Illumina is positioned to follow whatever final decision is reached in the legal processes.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Per Illumina’s management, the decision to make the acquisition and hold the companies separate allows the regulatory processes to proceed while safeguarding the life-saving, pro-competitive benefits of this transaction without the expiry of deal.

Transaction Details

As previously disclosed, Illumina’s acquisition of GRAIL included cash and shares of Illumina common stock as well as contingent value rights (CVRs) or additional shares of Illumina common stock.

GRAIL stockholders, including Illumina, are entitled to cash consideration of nearly $3.5 billion or, excluding Illumina, nearly $3.1 billion.

How Strategic is the Acquisition?

Cancer kills around 10 million people worldwide annually and 600,000 people in the United States alone. Nearly 71% of cancer deaths have no early detection screening recommended, and most cancer are detected when chances of survival are lower. As the early detection of cancer saves lives, the new genomic test will be nothing short of a revolution for human health and the economics of healthcare.

Moreover, combining the two companies is the quickest way to expand the availability and affordability of the test. As Illumina entered the non-invasive prenatal testing space, prices dropped, reimbursement expanded, the number of providers increased, and more expectant parents gained access to testing.

GRAIL’s Galleri blood test detects 50 different types of cancer before they are symptomatic. Currently, this groundbreaking test is available in the market but costs as high as $950 because it is not covered by insurance companies. According to Illumina, with the acquisition, the company’s expertise in market development and access will lead to coverage and reimbursement for this test. This will accelerate access and adoption of this life-saving test worldwide.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by RESEARCH AND MARKETS, the global cancer testing market or cancer screening market size is estimated reach a worth of $123-$133 billion as of 2018 and is expected to see a CAGR of 4.5-5.5% by 2025.

Considering the market opportunities, Illumina’s latest acquisition to accelerate patient access to the GRAIL’s multi-cancer early-detection test is well-thought of.

Recent Developments

In April 2021, Illumina entered into a new partnership with Kartos Therapeutics to co-develop a TP53 companion diagnostic based on the content of Illumina’s comprehensive genomic profiling assay — TruSight Oncology 500 (TSO 500). The partnership with Kartos builds on a solid history and varied portfolio of Illumina’s oncology partnerships with industry leaders, with the integrated goal of advancing cancer diagnostics and precision medicine.

In February 2021, Illumina entered into an agreement with the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology (BSMO) which is running a new national pilot to assess the use of comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in 864 patients with advanced metastatic cancer.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 39.5% in a year’s time against the industry’s fall of 0.3%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Envista Holdings Corporation (NVST Free Report) , BellRing Brands, Inc. (BRBR Free Report) and Henry Schein, Inc. (HSIC Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Envista Holdings has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 26%.

BellRing Brands has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 22%.

Henry Schein has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 14%.

PFE – Pfizer Booster Significantly Lowers Risk Of Covid-19 Infection Among Elderly, Israeli Gov't Finds

Topline

A booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine significantly improved protection from infection and serious illness among people who are older than 60, findings published by the Israeli Health Ministry on Sunday showed, a finding that will likely bolster the push for deploying a third dose of the vaccine to better protect elderly and immunocompromised populations.

Key Facts

Among people aged 60 and older, the health ministry’s findings showed that the booster dose offered a four-fold increase in protection from infection after 10 days compared to people who have received only two doses, Reuters reported.

The third dose also offered five to six times stronger protection against hospitalization or serious illness after 10 days in the same age group.

Despite having one of the widest vaccine rollouts in the world, Israel has seen a major resurgence of Covid-19 inside its borders largely fueled by the more infectious delta variant.

However, officials have noted that the vast majority of the people who are suffering serious bouts of Covid-19 are unvaccinated, the Times of Israel reported.

Crucial Quote

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel’s head of public health services said last week: “There is cautious optimism, and we see a curbing of serious morbidity.”

Big Number

1.5 million. That’s the total number of Israelis who have received a third vaccine dose out of the country’s 9.3 million population, Reuters reports. According to Bloomberg’s tracker, around 60% of the country’s population has received at least two doses of the vaccine.

Key Background

As the delta variant began to sweep Israel last month, data from the country showed that vaccines were significantly less effective in preventing infections from the more contagious variant. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be just 39% effective at preventing infections and 41% effective at preventing symptomatic infections from delta. While the vaccine still provided a robust 91% protection against severe disease, there were concerns about waning immunity among the elderly and immunocompromised. On July 30, Israel started administering booster shots to people over the age of 60. Last week it dropped that age of eligibility to people who are 40 or older and also included pregnant women, teachers, and health care workers below that age. Israel is administering the third dose to people who have received their second dose at least five months earlier. Other countries including the U.S., Canada, France and Germany have followed suit with plans to rollout booster shots.

Further Reading

Israel finds COVID-19 vaccine booster significantly lowers infection risk (Reuters)

Nearly 200 COVID deaths reported in past week, but booster data raises hopes (Times Of Israel)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus