CFTC and ASIC sign information sharing agreement. The CFTC announced that CFTC Chairman Tim Massad and Chairman Greg Medcraft of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation and the exchange of information in the supervision and oversight of regulated entities that operate on a cross-border basis in the United States and in Australia. (9/30/2014) CFTC press release.

Risk exposure reports. The CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight announced that swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs) may furnish risk exposure reports to the agency through WinJammer, and do not need to use the CFTC’s web portal. Since risk exposure reports submitted by SDs and MSPs through WinJammer will be furnished to the CFTC automatically, SDs and MSPs need not use the web portal to re-submit those same risk exposure reports to the CFTC. (9/29/2014) CFTC press release.

Swaps registration relief. The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight extended previously issued time-limited relief relating to certain occasional, off-facility, cleared credit default swaps entered into pursuant to a derivatives clearing organization’s rules related to its price submission process for determining end-of-day settlement prices for cleared CDS. The letter also extends the relief previously provided by the Division in connection with the reporting requirements of Part 45, allowing the DCO to fulfill all of the reporting counterparty’s obligations with respect to reporting certain CDS trades executed pursuant to a CDS Settlement Price Process. The relief expires on September 30, 2015. (9/29/2014) CFTC press release.

New final rule. The CFTC published new final rules on the exclusion of utility operations-related swaps with utility special entities from the de minimis threshold for swaps with special entities. The new rule is effective October 27, 2014. (9/26/2014)

Global Markets Advisory Committee Meeting. The CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on October 9, 2014. The meeting will focus on issues related to clearing Non-Deliverable Forwards and the digital currency Bitcoin. (9/25/2014) CFTC press release.

SEF relief. The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight provided time-limited relief to swap execution facilities (SEF) from the “occurs away” requirement under of Section 43.2 of the CFTC’s rules until December 15, 2015, at 12:00 am EST. The relief will allow SEFs to facilitate the execution of block trades on their non-Order Book trading systems or platforms while they evaluate and address the technology and other pre-execution credit check issues associated with block trading that occurs “away from” the SEFs’ trading system or platform. (9/19/2014) CFTC Letter No. 14-118.

Proposed swaps margin requirements. The CFTC published for comment a proposed rule to implement Section 4s(e) of the Commodity Exchange Act, as added by Section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposal would adopt initial and variation margin requirements for certain swap dealers and major swap participants but would not require them to collect margin from non-financial end users. The proposal includes an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment on the cross-border application of such margin requirements. Comments should be submitted within 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. (9/17/2014)