A Massive IPO and Important Regulatory Updates – Best Stories of the Week

XTB, FXOpen, FXCM and more are among the firms that appeared in last week's top stories.

During the passing week the most interesting stories from the online trading industry included a successful debut of a brokerage for public trading on a stock exchange, the hottest cryptocurrency Ethereum becoming a draw to traders and new revelations on regulations in different parts of the world. We also got a new update about the Leucadia FXCM situation.

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No More Volatility for Israeli Traders

On Monday we exclusively reported that the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) is placing new limitations on instruments for licensed trading in the country. Among other requirements the ISA specifically details that a new list of instruments it will not allow offering CFDs on: FTSE/MIB, Hang Seng, IBEX 35 and SPI 200 as well as many currency pairs.

The reasons for banning the instruments on this list according to the ISA are lack of liquidity and “too much volatility” – exactly what traders look for. The watchdog also says that it will only approve CFDs of indices from the world’s leading exchanges – “to ensure they are calculated in a professional matter.”

CySEC Firms Should Get Ready to Move Call Centers to Cyprus

On Tuesday we published the second part of an interview with Demetra Kalogerou, the Chairwoman of the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CYSEC) talking about regulation of binary options and forex brokers.

Among all the interesting points raised by the regulator were some that might have new operational costs for the firms: “Based on CySEC’s experience so far and having identified deficiencies in the monitoring of these call centers, CySEC is considering to require the CIFs to only perform these activities internally from their offices in Cyprus or only through a branch, tied agent or regulated entity based in another jurisdiction. It is provided that all sales people will be well trained and pass CySEC’s exams.”

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Ethereum Enters Forex Arena

On Wednesday FXOpen showed its commitment to cryprocurrency traders again by launching Ethereum-based pairs. The firm announced that it is offering ETH/USD and ETH/BTC for both its demo and live crypto users.

Ethereum is the hottest cryptocurrency since Bitcoin, reaching the number two position in terms of total market capitalization (around $750 million) and consistently having trading volumes around a third that of the first cryptocurrency.

Leucadia Reduces Value of FXCM Investment

On Thursday, shortly after the close of trading in New York on Wednesday, Leucadia reported its financial results for the three-month period ending March 31 2016, including a $53.2 million reduction to the fair value of Leucadia’s FXCM investment – which reduced its cumulative gains to $438 million from that deal.

FXCM also reported its Q1 2016 financials this week, highlighted by US GAAP net revenues from continuing operations of $71.5 million – this compares with the broker’s Q4 2015 revenues in this area which came in at just $67.0 million, indicative of a jump of 6.7% QoQ.

XTB IPO

On Friday Polish brokerage XTB successfully listed its shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company has been valued at $349 million at the market open, as a single share of the company traded at 11.55 PLN (Polish zloty). Shares of the company closed higher by almost 5% bringing the company’s valuation to $364 million.

After XTB has become a publicly traded company, the firm is gaining additional marketing momentum with its retail and institutional clients. Many explained that raising the prominence of the value of the brand was one of the main aims of the whole process.

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