Preemptive strike

Brokers Are Bracing for Grexit Spikes, Warning Traders

Providing an inside look at the many risk management discussions going on around the world right now, the CEO of

Brokers around the world have been increasing margin requirements on euro pairs or informing clients that changes might come at any moment due to Greek debt announcements. With negotiations between Greece and its reluctant financial backers continuing over the weekend, a large gap at market open is a possibility that anyone concerned with risk management has to examine.

 Over the last couple of days the euro exposure has been subdued as traders stay on the sidelines

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Once burned twice shy – When the Swiss central bank caused massive unexpected volatility, some brokers saw hundreds of millions of dollars vanish in seconds and the pain of Black Thursday is still felt in the industry. As such is the case, it is not surprising to see that brokers seem to take the Grexit danger of extreme volatility very seriously.

Providing an inside look at many risk management discussions going on around the world right now, Charalambos Psimolophitis, the CEO of FxPro shared his thoughts with Finance Magnates. He explained, “In view of a potential Grexit we have reviewed our exposure limits in euro related pairs and have made some adjustments to reflect the higher risk.”

“However the last couple of days the euro exposure has been subdued as traders stay on the sidelines. In case of a Grexit, additional measures will be implemented, such as increasing the margin requirement for euro pairs to reflect the potential for increased volatility,” Mr. Psimolophitis explained.

Taking Actions

Alpari already issued an announcement on Thursday, warning its clients that they may have to face changes in trading conditions on their EUR/USD and EUR/JPY trades in relation to prospective market turbulence next week.

Today, FXCM notified its clients that the margin requirements on FXCM UK, AU and Markets branches will be updated, with margin on many euro pairs increased. Trading accounts will be adjusted at market close today (Friday, June 26) for FXCM clients.

There is probably no one left in FX who has taken a position on the EUR in relation to Greece and not been badly hurt.

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Rakuten’s FXCM Japan Securities notified its clients today that a number of margin requirements will change on market open on June 29. Among the changes, maintenance margin for EUR/USD, EUR/JPY and EUR/GBP increased from $480 to $520 per a $10,000 exposure.

IC Markets sent out dire warnings to traders reminding them to check their exposure to euro pairs and margin levels prior to market close. Clients were asked to ensure that they are not over leveraging and have sufficient free equity to withstand a market gap.

XTB UK has informed clients of a possible announcement over the weekend related to Greece, that might have significant impact on volatility during incoming days, especially on the market open on Sunday, June 28th. Clients were requested to adjust their positions (particularly on European indices and currency pairs with EUR) to upcoming market conditions. Spread levels and limits on some instruments may be temporarily increased.

LiteForex has increased threefold its margin requirements for all EUR pairs. Clients were asked to note that high market volatility is expected today due to the Greek debt negotiations between Greece and the “troika” of creditors, currently taking place in Brussels. Hence margin requirements for EUR pairs will be increased threefold starting from 6 pm, Friday, June 26, 2015 till 9 am, Monday, June 29, 2015.

Changes to trading conditions around the market close tonight and the market open on Monday have also been announced by Cyprus-based brokerage MAYZUS. The firm’s clients will only be able to execute “close” orders due to expected volatility around the early hours on Monday, when more clarity about a Greek deal is expected.

The brokerage will be temporarily switching all instruments into “close only” mode of operation starting from 22:30 GMT+3 tonight (26th of June 2015), until 00:30 GMT+3 on Monday (29th of June 2015).

No Winners

Simon Smith, Head of Research at FxPro, shared his analysis of the situation, “There is probably no one left in FX who has taken a position on the EUR in relation to Greece and not been badly hurt. That is even more so the case after this week, when we’ve moved from thinking a deal was just about done on Monday to once again going right to the wire today.”

“Because we are so so close to that wire, I struggle to see the euro rallying significantly on a deal this weekend, if at all. The IMF payment is due Tuesday and it must be ratified by various parliaments, including Greece and Germany. Bottom line, not much good can come out of this, given just how late in the day it has been sorted and how near they are to not repaying the IMF. Greece needs further debt write-downs, so I don’t see any winners,” he concluded.

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