CBOE eyes more crypto-currency futures after first bitcoin contracts expire

CBOE Global Markets, which became the first US exchange to launch bitcoin futures, may offer contracts tied to alternative crypto-currencies and remains supportive of other exchange-traded products linked to digital currencies if they can obtain regulatory approval, according to chief operating officer Chris Concannon. CBOE’s first bitcoin contracts expired this week without operational or settlement issues despite high volatility in crypto-currency markets.

Lufax aims for April IPO at $60bn valuation

Lufax, China’s largest online wealth management platform, is planning to list in Hong Kong via an initial public offering in April. The company, which was set up by Ping An Insurance in 2011, plans to sell $9bn worth of shares in the IPO, which is expected to give it a valuation of $60bn, making it China’s second most valuable fintech company behind Alibaba-backed Ant Financial.
South China Morning Post

EU financial sector facing gradual upheaval as PSD2 takes effect

The launch this month of the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive is set to accelerate the transformation of the financial industry, but will have limited initial impact because of technical challenges, regulatory hurdles and a lukewarm reception from consumers. PSD II, which is intended to increase competition in the financial sector, ushers in the era of open banking, requiring banks to allow authorised third parties to access customers’ financial data – changes that may benefit global technology giants as well as small fintech start-ups.
Financial Times

European countries ponder crypto-currency rules amid Asia clampdown

European authorities are examining ways to regulate crypto-currencies in response to a clampdown in Asia, where China has sought to ban all activity and South Korea has proposed closing bitcoin exchanges. France and Ukraine have announced plans to create working groups to develop regulations, while Germany’s central bank has emphasised the need for a global framework given the decentralised nature of crypto-currency markets and underlying blockchain technology.
Les Echos

French government may deem AI, big data strategic industries

French companies working in artificial intelligence, big data and data protection could be brought under the scope of legislation intended to protect strategic and sensitive industries from foreign takeovers. The country’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire says economic trends require AI businesses to be considered alongside companies in the energy, telecoms and health industries that are subject to legislation requiring foreign investors to seek government approval for acquisitions.