Anthony Darvall Leaves easyMarkets after 15 Years, Launches Startup

Belarusian Forex Brokers’ Clientele Climbs 30% in 9 Months to 240k

by Solomon Oladipupo
  • This comes despite Western sanctions against Belarus for its role in the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • Clients deposited US$293.6M between January and September 2022.
belarus-national
Bloomberg
Join our Telegram channel

The client base of forex brokers in Belarus jumped 30% during the first months of 2022 even as the share of non-resident clients increased to 93.9% during the period. As of October 1, 2022, the total number of clients reached 239,400 clients. The figure previously stood at about 185,000 clients.

These numbers are based on details recently published by the Financial Market Development Association of Belarus (ARFIN), a membership-based union of organizations that operate on the over-the-counter (OTC) forex markets in Belarus.

The increase in clientele comes despite heavy sanctions from the European Union and other Western countries against Belarus for its involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, Alexei Sidorov, the Chairman of ARFIN, recently told Finance Magnates RU while the initial reactions of investors were that of shock, with some retail customers withdrawing their funds from their accounts, the situation stabilized in May “and, on the whole, returned to the pre-war level.”

“Taking into account that since February, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has not introduced any currency restrictions, including those related to transfers of funds in foreign currency, withdrawal of foreign currency cash, etc. traders had complete freedom in the disposal of their funds, which in turn, convinced retail investors of the ability of Belarusian forex companies to fulfil their obligations in full even in shock periods,” Sidorov explained.

Why Are Foreigners Dominating?

Also, the growth in the number of clients of Belarusian forex brokers is reflected in the funds the firms have been able to attract during the first three quarters of 2022. According to ARFIN, clients deposited US$293.6 million in their accounts with forex brokers in Belarus. However, the majority of these funds, or 91.1%, were placed by non-resident clients.

In comparison, client funds accumulated throughout 2021 stood at US$367.6 million. This means that brokerage firms in Belarus have been able to generate 80% of the total clients' funds posted in 2021 in only nine months this year, which is short by only US$74 million.

Meanwhile, slightly less than 2% of Belarus' population participates in the country’s financial markets including OTC forex markets, a recent study carried out by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus found. Additionally, the research concluded that almost half (or 40%) of the population is not engaged in any financial investment or in saving their money in any way. This probably explains why non-resident clients constitute the largest depositors into forex brokerages in the country.

Sidorov explained that the dominating presence of non-resident clients in Belarus is because “clients manage to ‘sell’ the Belarusian jurisdictions quite successfully.” The Chairman of ARFIN also believes that Belarus’ 'advantages' over regulated and unregulated financial jurisdictions including the permission of leverage of up to 200 are among the top reasons foreigners greatly outnumber locals in the country.

The client base of forex brokers in Belarus jumped 30% during the first months of 2022 even as the share of non-resident clients increased to 93.9% during the period. As of October 1, 2022, the total number of clients reached 239,400 clients. The figure previously stood at about 185,000 clients.

These numbers are based on details recently published by the Financial Market Development Association of Belarus (ARFIN), a membership-based union of organizations that operate on the over-the-counter (OTC) forex markets in Belarus.

The increase in clientele comes despite heavy sanctions from the European Union and other Western countries against Belarus for its involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, Alexei Sidorov, the Chairman of ARFIN, recently told Finance Magnates RU while the initial reactions of investors were that of shock, with some retail customers withdrawing their funds from their accounts, the situation stabilized in May “and, on the whole, returned to the pre-war level.”

“Taking into account that since February, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has not introduced any currency restrictions, including those related to transfers of funds in foreign currency, withdrawal of foreign currency cash, etc. traders had complete freedom in the disposal of their funds, which in turn, convinced retail investors of the ability of Belarusian forex companies to fulfil their obligations in full even in shock periods,” Sidorov explained.

Why Are Foreigners Dominating?

Also, the growth in the number of clients of Belarusian forex brokers is reflected in the funds the firms have been able to attract during the first three quarters of 2022. According to ARFIN, clients deposited US$293.6 million in their accounts with forex brokers in Belarus. However, the majority of these funds, or 91.1%, were placed by non-resident clients.

In comparison, client funds accumulated throughout 2021 stood at US$367.6 million. This means that brokerage firms in Belarus have been able to generate 80% of the total clients' funds posted in 2021 in only nine months this year, which is short by only US$74 million.

Meanwhile, slightly less than 2% of Belarus' population participates in the country’s financial markets including OTC forex markets, a recent study carried out by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus found. Additionally, the research concluded that almost half (or 40%) of the population is not engaged in any financial investment or in saving their money in any way. This probably explains why non-resident clients constitute the largest depositors into forex brokerages in the country.

Sidorov explained that the dominating presence of non-resident clients in Belarus is because “clients manage to ‘sell’ the Belarusian jurisdictions quite successfully.” The Chairman of ARFIN also believes that Belarus’ 'advantages' over regulated and unregulated financial jurisdictions including the permission of leverage of up to 200 are among the top reasons foreigners greatly outnumber locals in the country.

!"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|} !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}