Best stories of the week

IronFX Probe and a Candid Account of Forex Trading in Nigeria

A slew of results have come in this week, accompanying major news stories with insight into the big brokers' performance.

The past week has been laden with data – ranging from the Bank of England’s “Super Thursday” to the big brokers announcing their second quarter results and July trading volumes. No less interesting for retail traders and industry participants alike were the investigation announced by the Cypriot Securities and Exchanges Commission (CySEC) of “possible legal infringements” by IronFX, and the brief history of the Nigerian FX industry, followed by a heated debate on the comments.

 

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FXCM, GAIN lose

The second quarter of 2015 saw two international broker firms, FXCM and GAIN Capital, sustain losses. The former, which remains the market leader in terms of US client holdings, reported that its revenues per million (RPM) collapsed, and registered almost half a billion of losses in the first half of the year. The results have seen FXCM’s share price slump to under $1, dipping beneath a 52-week low.

The second quarter of 2015 saw both FXCM and GAIN Capital sustain losses.

Likewise, GAIN Capital’s Q2 results were less than impressive. The brokerage reported revenues of $111.6 million, with the bottom line showing a loss of $8.8 million or -$0.23 a share. The firm attributed the poor performance to “unusually adverse trading conditions across indices”.

After warning in July that Q2 revenue capture would come in at the broker’s lower historical range, the loss was expected, and had been factored into GAIN Capital’s shares as the stock price had fallen 30% since its June highs.

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In contrast, reporting its July 2015 volumes, Interactive Brokers revealed that its volumes remained solid over the summer month, with the number of DARTs reported at 652,000 in June 2015, corresponding to a jump of 8.7% MoM from June 2015 and 23% higher YoY from July 2014.

Dovish Super Thursday

The biggest tranche of data came out of the Bank of England on “Super Thursday”. In the interests of transparency, the Bank simultaneously released information on the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) rate decision, the voting count, minutes, inflation and updated economic forecasts.

The biggest tranche of data came out of the Bank of England on “Super Thursday”.

The overall tone was dovish. With the MPC voting 8-1 to keep the Bank Rate at its current level, an early rate hike seems off the table. The Bank stressed caution and gradualness, noting that the economic recovery remains fragile, with inflation hitting zero in June and an inconveniently strong sterling – which feel over 100 pips following the announcement.

Investigation announced

Finishing on a regulatory theme, the CySEC broke its silence this week and divulged that it is investigating the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) IronFX.

Numerous complaints from clients being denied withdrawal requests have been flocking into the offices of CySEC, which prompted action by the regulator. The broker has put the withdrawal requests of dozens of its customers on hold, on the grounds of an ongoing investigation into bonus abuse by its clients. More data is needed before CySEC can determine who the victim really is.

Finance Magnates has closely followed the unfolding events regarding the international broker, including a weekend piece delving into the latest developments culminating in the investigation.

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