Best Stories of the Week

Algo Trading Expands from Forex to Binary as Regulators Take Notice

FXCM, Fortress Prime, Markets.com, Admiral Markets and SpotOption are among the firms that appear in the passing week's top articles.

2015 started out with a bang and just kept on generating twists and turns. As such was the case, no one should be surprised that even the last week of the year had interesting breaking news to show. The past week saw the chilling effects of regulations in a couple of markets around the world as well as restructuring and continued withdrawal issues at some brokers. The week had some positive stories as well, such as the unexpected rally in FXCM stock which reached above $19.

Admiral Sails Out of Russia

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On Monday we reported that the European brokerage Admiral Markets has notified its clients in Russia that it is suspending the operations of its Russian branch. The firm asked clients to close all open transactions in a timely manner before they automatically closed on December 31, 2015.

To comply with the new Russian forex law, Admiral Markets said that the firm is currently in the process of preparing and filing the documents required for licensing, however it must suspend its activities until it receives approval. The law does not limit residents from trading with foreign brokers so traders in Russia with the FCA regulated UK branch of Admiral Markets were not affected.

Markets.com Restructuring

On Tuesday, we exclusively reported that following the failed Playtech (LON:PTEC) acquisitions of AvaTrade and Plus500, the company’s financial business is getting a revamp alongside client on-boarding procedures. The gaming company has decided make its brokerage more competitive in a market which is increasingly relying on technological advances.

Finance Magnates has discovered that the sales departments in the firm’s offices in Israel and Bulgaria have been reshaped. The broker is re-focusing its resources on automation of client on-boarding and client retention while limiting direct customer facing relationships.

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Another Delay

On Wednesday we broke the news that troubled liquidity provider Fortress Prime is transferring its service to a new bridge provider. The firm’s Senior Executive Mustafa Gameladine revealed another delay for withdrawals as clients worried about ever seeing their funds.

Document filings with the UK Company House have also revealed that the firm’s effort to expand its operation in London and eventually apply for a license with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been scrapped.

Targeting Algo Trading

On Thursday we provided a detailed look into the legal state of forex firms offering algo trading in Israel. This came after the local authorities sent a letter to an Israeli brokerage, banning the use of algo trading, arguing that the practice embodies unlicensed portfolio management by the Tel-Aviv based broker.

The watchdog’s official comment stressed that in accordance with the legal status that trading arenas in Israel hold, they are allowed to operate without a license only during the transition period, while unlicensed investment management is forbidden. All firms that submit an application for a license are investigated for unauthorized investment management.

Binary Expert Advisors

Staying with algo trading developments, last week we exclusively reported that SpotOption is developing its own range of solutions for binary options that aim to standardize the use of trading robots. The firm’s Head of Algo Systems Development explained that the roll-out will initially come as three main consecutive offerings.

The first major related solution that the team developed is a bridge for MT4, so that brokers that offer the platform will be able to connect directly to SpotOption’s binary options price feeds. With this clients that have MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs) for automatic trading on forex or CFDs will be able to seamlessly use them on binary options as well.

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