CySEC Limits Leverage and CEOs Talk M&A – Best of the Week

Alpari, CFH and Playtech are among the companies that appeared in last week's top stories.

During the passing week the most interesting stories from the online trading world included major regulatory changes in one of the industry’s most important licensing hubs, and analysis of the economic contribution of binary options brokers to one of the industry’s most important technological hubs. We also kept readers updated about how brokers are taking protective risk management measures ahead of an Italian referendum that could shake the euro.

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Losing options

This week Finance Magnates presented an in depth analysis of just how much Israel stands to lose by cutting off the binary options industry. Breaking down the numbers, we see that the binary options industry alone is responsible for adding $1.25 billion to Israel’s GDP.

Keeping an eye on the local job market, we see that the Israeli binary options industry employs about 5,000 people. We estimate that around 4,700 work for the 70 local active brokers, while the other 300 work for binary options technology providers.


Alpari approved

On Tuesday we reported that the Russian subsidiary of one of the oldest foreign exchange brokerages, Alpari Forex LTD, has received regulatory approval from the Russian central bank and has become the latest company to be officially authorized to operate in Russia pending some legislative requirements.

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The chairman of the board of the company, Boris Shilov, said: “Today the Russian online trading industry is continuing its development, yet still requires a lot of progress in order to make it more attractive. Alpari will continue working with the regulators and other companies from the industry to develop the market further.”


On Wednesday the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new circular that introduces some changes to some key broker regulations. First, companies will be forbidden to use bonus promotions related to trading activity in order to market to their clients.

Demetra Kalogerou CySEC forex
The Gate Keeper, CySEC Chairwoman Demetra Kalogerou

Another major point in the circular that is that CySEC mandated to default the leverage choice of new clients to 1:50. Only clients that explicitly ask for higher leverage can be presented with an appropriateness test, that will determine whether they are suitable to trade with lower margin requirements.

Executive discussion

On Thursday Ron Finberg gave his review of the CEO panel at the London Summit, which he moderated. The panel consisted of Marco Baggioli, Executive Managing Director – Global Head of Brokerage, ADS Securities, Drew Niv, CEO of FXCM, Tom Higgins, CEO of Gold-I, Anthony Brocco, CEO of Advanced Markets, Christian Frahm, CEO of CFH Group and Marc Burki, CEO of Swissquote.

Ron says that while he didn’t plan on focusing too much time on M&A during the panel, it became a much more interesting topic as CFH Group had entered into an agreement to sell a 70% stake to Playtech the previous day. At a valuation north of $100 million, the deal was a surprise given revenue figures for CFH only in the teens.

CWM Mastermind Jailed for Sexual Assault

On Friday we reported that the former boss of London-headquartered firm CWM, Anthony Constantinou, has received a 12 month prison sentence for sexually assaulting two women.

Anna Rice from the City of London Police’s Public Protection Unit said: “Each of these assaults represented an extremely unpleasant ordeal for the victims and we hope that today’s verdict can go some small way to offering them a sense that justice has been served. Constantinou clearly thought that his demeaning, intimidating behaviour was acceptable and today’s sentence has shown this is simply not the case.”

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