Israel Finally Grants Licenses as Cyprus Hits Out at Binary Options Firms

FXCM, Saxo Bank, Tradologic, IG and Plus500 are among the firms that appeared in last week's top stories.

During the passing week the most interesting stories from the online trading world included a new deal between IG Group and FXCM, a number of CySEC licensed brokers getting slapped by the regulator and one company’s innovative new execution model.

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Turmoil in Binary Land

This week saw multiple attacks against various elements in the binary options industry. On Monday we reported that Visa has taken steps to limit the ability of international providers from accessing the North American market. Then the news broke that the Netherlands is going to introduce a ban on binary options and CFDs advertising. Adding to all that, one of the biggest payment processors in the Lottery Messenger industry, which also services a number of binary and FX brands, Counting House, has been put on the OFAC Sanctions List.

Meanwhile in Cyprus, the regulators struck at multiple binary options firms this week. CySEC has extended a ban on the license of AirFinance which operates Porto F.C. sponsor Buzztrade. It fined both OptionRally €138,000 over misleading information on its website and IQ Option €180,000 for outsourcing operations.

On a positive note, we also revealed this week Tradologic’s new project that aims to bring a new perspective to binary options trading. The company has been working on deploying a regulated binary options exchange called Binarex.

Saxo’s Game Changer

On Tuesday Saxo Bank announced that it is launching a brand new order execution model for its clients. Saxo Bank’s order driven model is at the center of the Danish multi-asset brokerage’s commitment to deliver best execution to its customers.

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To elaborate on the details of the offering and the enhancements to clients’ ability to control their trading orders, Finance Magnates exclusively spoke with the Global Head of Foreign Exchange of Saxo Bank, Kurt vom Scheidt.

Plus500 Exit

On Wednesday it was revealed that the founders of Plus500, which has become one of the most successful IPOs in the industry, are preparing to offload a big chunk of shares to institutional investors.

The following day Plus500 updated that its founders had successfully sold an aggregate of 15,500,000 ordinary shares at a price of 650 pence per share raising aggregate gross proceeds of over £100 million for them.

ISA Actually Delivers

On Thursday the Israeli Security Authority (ISA) announced that it has finally granted its long-awaited Trading Arena Licence to five firms. The brokerages ATRADE, FXCM Israel, REAL FOREX, FIRST INDEX and Plus500 are now ISA approved to offer retail margin services to Israeli clients.

Three more firms are still in limbo (PROTRADE, Colmex and Trade Capital Markets Ltd) waiting for the final decision of the ISA to approve or reject them. Any operator offering retail margin trading in Israel that is not licensed or still has its licence pending is now breaking the law.

FXCM Loses Another Limb

On Friday the news broke that FXCM Inc (NASDAQ:FXCM) is selling its news and research portal DailyFX to UK multi-asset brokerage IG Group Holdings plc (LON:IGG).

The deal is worth $40 million and came as a surprise for the industry, since FXCM has not so far mentioned it on its list of assets for sale, after the Laucadia National bailout which the company was forced to take in the aftermath of the SNB crisis.

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