After a career that has been largely spent in banking, legal, and compliance roles in the UK and UAE, at banks and foreign exchange (forex) brokers, Abdallah Garib has taken on a new venture which marks a big step in his career – the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FXGate.
After almost two and a half years working with Equiti as its Chief Compliance Officer and Legal Officer for the MENA region, Garib was looking for his next challenge. That challenge came in the form of heading the forex and derivatives brokerage.
FXGate, part of FSG Holdings of which Garib is also the Group CEO, is licensed and regulated in Labuan, Malaysia. The company secured its license back in January of this year and is regulated to provide FX and derivative brokerage and investments to retail, professional and institutional clients.
FXGate is focusing on the Asian and MENA markets
The company has two offices in Malaysian, one in Labuan and one in Kuala Lumpur, as well as a representative office in Dubai. Currently, the broker is in the process of getting a license to open a representative office in Egypt and will soon be submitting a license application in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Speaking to Finance Magnates, Abdallah Garib said the focus of FXGate would initially be on the Asian and MENA region markets, where it intends to get a strong foothold before looking to other geographies.
“For next year the focus would be to cement our position as a new FX brokerage firm in the Asian market by fully operating our two offices in Malaysia, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur as well as looking at other South East Asian countries for further representations. Moreover, we shall also focus on opening and operating the representative offices here in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” Garib said.
“However, the long-term plans from 2021 onwards, is to focus on European markets as well. We have strategic long-term plans to be positioned in some of the Eastern European countries and also enhance our regulatory licencing by submitting applications to different regulators across Europe. So we are looking into getting licenses in Cyprus, Germany, UK. So yeah, we have plans to extend operations to cover Asia, MENA and Europe.”
Asian markets are lacking competitive FX brokers
According to Garib, there is a void in the Asian and MENA markets where reputable and competitive forex brokers should be, and that’s a void FXGate aims to fill with its services.
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“We do feel that there is a gap right now for a good competitive FX brokerage that can give advantage to clients with the latest and most innovative technology, the tightest spreads, with online academy and signals. We have a lot of other USPS and advantages that we can provide to clients,” he continued.
“But the vision of the company is to see us as one of the most sought-after companies in the FX brokerage field. We also have strategic plans to diversify our offering right now.”
At present, FXGate offers forex, commodities, metals, and energies. However, the company is looking at diversifying its offering to include other products such as cryptocurrency, indices, contracts-for-difference (CFDs) and other products.
“The long term the vision would be to be well-positioned to be as competitive as we can with the main players in the derivatives industry. Globally, not just in the Asia or MENA region, but also globally,” Garib added.
Brokers flock offshore amid European product intervention measures
FXGate is headquartered in Labuan. As Finance Magnates reported, this island of Malaysia has become an offshore hotspot for brokers following the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) implementing its product intervention measures.
When speaking with Garib, we asked if this was the company’s main motivation to set up shop in Malaysia, as opposed to somewhere in Europe.
“Yes, I mean that’s one of the reasons… we have noticed there is some sort of shift from the UK, from Europe, particularly with brokers who focus their business mainly on retail clients, to the Middle East and Asia. So we took a strategic decision to apply first for a licence in Malaysia as we see also that Malaysia has been sort of the most sought after jurisdiction quite recently.”
“So that’s why we took a strategic decision to focus ourselves first and concentrate on the Asian markets, and the Middle Eastern markets by enhancing our regulatory position and applying for reputable licences here in the GCC and good licences in Asia.”
“Then will enhance our regulatory position by applying for further European licences primarily for our professional clients taking into consideration the new MiFID II regulations.”