Barclays Pool, U.A.E. Margins, Highway Rule: Compliance

Barclays Plc saw the volume of U.S. shares traded at its dark pool rise to the highest since it was sued by New York over the claim that it lied to customers.

About 106 million U.S. shares were traded in the private trading platform in the week of July 28, up 21 percent from about 87.6 million in the previous week, according to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. That’s the most since 312 million shares were traded in the week of June 23.

Britain’s second-largest bank is fighting allegations by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that it falsified marketing materials to hide the presence of high-frequency traders at what used to be Wall Street’s second-largest dark pool. The bank has challenged Schneiderman’s June 25 complaint, saying it’s based on “clear and substantial factual errors.”

The case is New York v. Barclays Capital, 451391-2014, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.

Compliance Policy

United Arab Emirates Margin Trade Crackdown Fuels Shariah Push

Brokerages in the United Arab Emirates, where the market regulator last month vowed it may create new rules to control so-called margin trading, are increasingly offering Shariah-compliant versions of the service.

The practice contributed to stock market volatility in the country this year that sent Dubai’s benchmark index from a bull market into a bear and back again in less than a month. The U.A.E. said it may amend the rules governing lending against shares after reviewing the price swings. Increased monitoring by the central bank and Securities & Commodities Authority is creating more clarity for investors and is fueling client demand, Abu Dhabi-based Fathi Ben Grira, chief executive officer of Mena Corp., said by phone Aug. 17.

Islamic margin trading allows investors, predominantly high-net-worth individuals, to borrow cash according to terms that adhere to the religion’s ban on interest, in order to trade shares, Grira said. This is accomplished by giving interest-free loans and through Murabaha contracts, in which goods are bought and later resold at a pre-agreed mark-up, Sherif Zohdy, head of brokerage at Al Safwa Financial Services, said by phone from Sharjah Aug. 17.

Compliance Action

NHTSA Issues Notice on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Rule

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking and a supporting study on vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, it said on its website.

The technology lets cars automatically exchange safety data such as speed and position 10 times per second, and sends warnings to drivers if an imminent collision is sensed, according to the Transportation Department.

Early estimates indicate that the two crash-avoidance technologies, relating to left turns and movement in intersections, could prevent as many as 592,000 crashes and save more than 1,000 lives yearly.

Interviews/Studies

Hedge Fund, Private Equity Assets Rose 22% Since 2013, SEC Says

The assets managed by private equity and hedge funds registered with U.S. regulators grew 22 percent from a year ago, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC is required to submit an annual report to Congress under the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform legislation on how it uses data collected from private funds.

Regulatory assets under management rose to $8.9 trillion from $7.3 trillion for the 12 months ended in May 2014, the agency said in an Aug. 15 report. Regulatory assets include borrowed money, or leverage.

Qualifying hedge funds, those with a net asset value of at least $500 million, oversaw about $4 trillion compared with $3.3 trillion last year, the SEC said. There were 1,326 hedge funds reported by 460 filers.

Private-equity firms manage $7.4 trillion, as measured by the gross value of portfolio companies they’ve invested in, the SEC said. Private-equity firms oversaw $6 trillion a year ago.

Google and Right-to-Be-Forgotten Critics Distort Ruling, EU Says

Google Inc. and other critics of a European Union court ruling that created a right to be forgotten on the Internet are exaggerating it to undermine a reform of data-protection rules, the EU’s justice chief said.

Such critics are using “distorted notions of the right to be forgotten to discredit” a planned reform of EU data-protection rules that includes the right, Martine Reicherts, the EU’s justice commissioner, said yesterday in a speech in Lyon, France.

Google was ordered by the EU Court of Justice in May to remove some links from search results if a person asked it to take down personal information that was irrelevant or out of date. The company must weigh requests, which may be refused if a person has a role in public life.

Google didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comments on Reicherts’ remarks.

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