One in five financial institutions consider cryptocurrency trading, survey says

Large falls in cryptocurrency prices this year have encouraged critics to warn again that the market is a bubble and that investors should stay away. (Reuters)
Updated 24 April 2018
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One in five financial institutions consider cryptocurrency trading, survey says

LONDON: One in five financial institutions is considering trading cryptocurrencies within the next 12 months, a survey published by Thomson Reuters on Tuesday found.
Among those respondents who said they were willing to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the best known of the digital coins, 70 percent said they were planning to start trading in the next three to six months, the survey showed.
The survey covered more than 400 clients across Thomson Reuters Corp. platforms including large asset managers, hedge funds and trading desks at the biggest banks. Thomson Reuters, the parent company of Reuters, provides data and news to the financial services industry.
Retail interest in the buying and selling of digital coins exploded last year after prices skyrocketed, and institutional involvement has been predicted to grow, despite regulatory warnings that cryptocurrencies are highly risky and prone to scams.
Banks are examining client interest and several hedge funds have tried their hand trading virtual currencies.
Large falls in cryptocurrency prices this year, however, have encouraged critics to warn again that the market is a bubble and that investors should stay away.
The survey was the first conducted by Thomson Reuters so it was not possible to gauge how institutional appetite for crypto trading has changed.


Lloyd’s of London profits quadruple on investment gains

Updated 18 September 2019

Lloyd’s of London profits quadruple on investment gains

  • Specialist insurer reports first-half pre-tax profit of $2.87 billion

LONDON: The 330-year old specialist insurance market Lloyd's of London reported a first-half pre-tax profit of 2.3 billion pounds ($2.87 billion) on Thursday, up nearly fourfold on investment gains and a cutback in underperforming business.
Lloyd's, which covers commercial risks from oil risks to footballers' legs, suffered steep losses in 2017 and 2018 due to natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, typhoons and wildfires.
Lloyd's last year told its 99 member syndicates to ditch the worst performing 10% of their businesses.
"It is encouraging that the Lloyd's market is showing increased discipline in 2019," Chief Executive John Neal said in a statement.
"We need to make some brave choices on how to meet the expectations of our customers and all our stakeholders in the future."
The market has proposed its members move to electronic exchanges next year, as it responds to competition from cheaper rivals.
Further details of the strategic changes will be released on Sept 30.
Net investment income rose to 2.3 billion pounds from 0.2 billion a year earlier, helped by strong equity returns.
Gross written premiums rose 1.7% to 19.7 billion pounds but the company's combined ratio, a measure of underwriting performance in which a level below 100% indicates a profit, weakened to 98.8% from 95.5%.
The results compare with a profit of 0.6 billion pounds a year ago.
Premium rates rose by an average of 3.9%, Lloyd's said.
Lloyd's in May asked the Banking Standards Board to conduct a survey of the insurance market's 45,000 participants on issues such as honesty and respect to help to improve its working environment, following allegations of sexual harassment at member firms.
The survey will be published on Sept 24, Neal said on Thursday.