If you were out backpacking in the hills of Europe, chasing for a free souvenir at the Home Run Derby and All Star Game in Cincinnati, or just enjoying a quiet week meditating in some remote cabin with no Wi-Fi or cellular connection, we’ve got you covered for what you missed last week in the world of Finance Magnates.
Customers priced out from Prime Brokers? That was the topic of debate on Thursday as Avi Mizrahi took a look at increased minimums being enacted by ABN AMRO. Joining the likes of BAML, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, ABN AMRO has been cited by former customers to have alerted clients that minimum capital requirements were being raised to $5 million. In addition, buy-siders are also absorbing an increase of commission costs from prime banks which has risen between 25% to 50% for many customers. The widespread changes in the prime services sector are due to banks reevaluating their businesses as rising credit risks have increased the likelihood of multi-million losses stemming from individual clients. As a result of the restriction on the top of the market, it has led to more business opportunities for Prime of Primes such as Sucden Financial and Saxo Bank, as well as multi-asset brokers like InteractiveBrokers.
How profitable are your customers? Last week, Finance Magnates published its quarterly Retail Forex Profitability Report. The report provides data of US brokers, showing their customer’s profitability during the Q2 period as well as the number of active traders. In what is becoming a common theme, InteractiveBrokers (IB) once again took the pole position, having both the most active forex trading accounts in the US and the most profitable customers. At 46.5%, IB customers were much more profitable than the overall US market which had a 36.2% average.
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Plus500 to Playtech a done deal: Ok, this wasn’t much of a surprise after Playtech reported that they had purchased over 9% of Plus500’s shares on the open market. But, shareholders of Plus500 officially approved to be acquired by Playtech for 400p. With Plus500 and AvaTrade joining TradeFX (Markets.com) under the Playtech umbrella, the online gaming operator, has become on the largest forex groups in the world.
More M&A: Playtech wasn’t the only eGaming company in the forex headlines. Also active was 888, which acquired Bwinparty for $1.4 billion. Worth watching in this deal, is Bwinparty’s small forex unit, InterTrader. A relatively small player, they do have a UK FCA license. Therefore, if 888 elects to start buying cheaper unregulated forex brokers, they now have InterTrader as a licensed firm to merge other brokers within.
iMeta? Brokers creating MT4 for Macs: Reviewing a technology trend in the forex markets, last Wednesday, Victor Golovtchenko reviewed the arrival of MetaTrader 4 for MacOS. With the increase of Mac usage, brokers have been creating versions of MetaTrader 4 that operate natively on the MacOS. The latest broker to release a Mac compatible version of MT4 was Tickmill.
GAIN Capital overtakes FXCM for Q2: Last but not least, FXCM reported their June 2015 trading metrics. With the data, we can now name the champ of Q2 among non-Japanese brokers. After topping the list for seemingly forever, we have a new top broker; GAIN Capital. Thanks to their acquisition of City Index, GAIN posted average monthly volumes of $358.8 billion during Q2. This comparted to $333 billion from FXCM, which unloaded their Japanese and Hong Kong units during the quarter.