Policy Reversals in Cyprus, Malta and New Zealand – Best of the Week

MetaQuotes, TechFinancials and iBroker are among the firms featured in the passing week's must-read stories.

The regulatory environment in many markets around the world has been changing for a long while now and during the passing week we got a number of examples all at once. Three Island nations that were once looked at as hospitable and welcoming regional hubs have all taken an about face on online trading regulations it seems.

We also heard from a broker in Spain about the effects of the legal changes in the country on the business, reviewed the yearly performance of a listed binary options technology firm and seen a mobile web trader launched in beta.

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Malta and New Zealand

On Monday we published two updates regarding trading regulations.

The Malta Financial Services Authority made changes to its Investment Services Rules. One of the changes for new Category 2 Investment Services Licence applicants is that the MFSA will introduce a higher capital requirement of €730,000, compared to €125,000 under the the previous rules and similar to the initial capital requirement for current Category 3 licence holders.

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority now requires that businesses selling short-duration derivatives, such as binary options and contracts-for-difference (CFD), will need to be licensed in the country. Sophie Gerber, Director of Sophie Grace Pty Ltd, commented: “This further step today confirms their intention to remove this sector of the market from using New Zealand as a de facto regulatory hub.”


On Tuesday a routine CySEC meeting took a hostile twist after the head of the regulator reportedly took a cursory tone with brokers, showing signs of wearing patience. According to sources in the meeting, Ms. Kalogerou expressed her discontent, pointing to a number of practices that some Cypriot brokers have engaged in.

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The chairman of CySEC elaborated that cases where CIFs offer services in third countries without obtaining the necessary authorization from the competent authority of the third country are unacceptable. Finance Magnates took  a close look at whether this will really happen and how it will effect the industry.


Spain’s comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) has given online brokers one month to comply with a new set of decrees, regarding risk disclosure, trading costs, leverage and advertising requirements – which will come into effect on April 17th.

On Wednesday we published an exclusive interview with Enrique Martí, CEO of iBroker, to hear firsthand about the process.


On Thursday TechFinancials reported its yearly performance for 2016. The company’s main focus for the current year will be to mitigate the loss of its largest client and adapting its offering to the increasingly strict regulatory requirements around Europe.

TechFinancials is also preparing to diversify its product offering with the introduction of Forex and CFDs trading. The company’s geographical focus is shifting to the vast Asian market.


On Friday the mobile MetaTrader 5 Web was made available for testing. The software is accessible from any mobile browser and can be used free of charge.

The beta version of the product starts with some basic features like quotes, charts with 9 timeframes, a view on open orders and positions and trading history. Its deployment is another step in the commitment of MetaQuotes to the platform’s further development.

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