Alpari US – finita la commedia?

Alpari is a pretty large European broker, one I have been largely criticizing for making a very costly and unnecessary

unclesamAlpari is a pretty large European broker, one I have been largely criticizing for making a very costly and unnecessary move – opening a US office weeks before the new NFA regulations kicked in. Alpari relies heavily on Metatrader software and was dealt a big blow as a result: Metaquotes, the company responsible for the Metatrader software, did little or nothing to make sure its clients could comply with the FIFO rule in time.

Although the NFA fiasco might have not been anticipated by anyone, including Alpari, still there was no real reason to open the US office. The market was at the time coming under increased regulatory scrutiny and was already very crowded with strong local brokers.

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Right now the situation is that Alpari has nothing new to offer to US clients. It can’t accept funds to its US entity (doesn’t comply with the FIFO rules because of Metaquotes) so all the funds are probably going to Alpari UK and rumor has it that ever since the US subsidiary was launched only about $2-3m were deposited.

Keeping $20m tied down in order to comply with the US regulation and attract only $2-3m in deposits in the same time doesn’t make any sense so my view is that Alpari will soon be exiting the US market.

Obviously simply closing the US subsidiary will appear as weakness and will be a poor move marketing-wise so Alpari will probably ponder a different exit strategy – maybe shifting to being a representative office for the UK company only or perhaps becoming an IB. Its latest cooperation with Currenex is a major sign that the latter is already happening: Alpari announced the availability of two new platforms which are directly connected to Currenex. What that means exactly we will need to wait and see, but I suspect it means that Alpari US is becoming an IB for Currenex. Another option is that Alpari made a quick move to ensure it complies with the FIFO regulation and shifted from the non-complying Metatrader platform to a new platform which happens to work with Currenex.

The only way to know what exactly is happening is to wait for the coming CFTC’s FCM Capital reports and see if Alpari keeps the $20m or goes below that level. If it shows less than $20m it would only mean that it has given up on the US subsidiary as being a broker and shifted to a different business model.

ALPARI GROUP ANNOUNCES ADVANCED TRADING PLATFORMS ALPARI DIRECT PRO AND ALPARI DIRECT

Straight Through Processing (STP) and Non Dealing Desk (NDD)

Higher execution speeds, larger liquidity pool and increased market depth

New York, NY, July 15, 2009 – Alpari, one of the world’s fastest growing providers of online foreign exchange (FOREX) services, will launch two advanced trading platforms by mid-summer, offering high-speed and direct access to the international currency market for Alpari clients and other institutional and retail customers.  Powered by trading technology provider Currenex®, Alpari Direct Pro will be offered to institutional clients while Alpari Direct will be offered to retail customers.

True to Alpari’s commitment to providing clients with institutional-level services, both platforms will feature Straight Through Processing (STP), Non Dealing Desk execution (NDD), 1-click Executable Streaming Prices (ESP), accurate pricing with fractional pips and integrated algorithmic models that enable enhanced levels of execution. These features will ensure high-speed and low-latency execution and will empower traders to optimize market impact and reduce execution costs. An integrated Dow Jones feed will keep users up-to-date with current news.

Further to this, Alpari Direct Pro, the execution interface for institutional clients, will provide traders with access to a deep liquidity pool, which aggregates feeds from several global banks and multiple Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs). Alpari Direct Pro shows traders the full market depth, and also features 24 order types (including advanced orders such as pegged orders), which empower traders to take control of order timing and execution. In addition, this institutional platform offers intuitive and fast keypad trading capabilities, pre- and post-trade allocation solutions, trade averaging capabilities and sophisticated order management, allocation and advanced reporting tools.

Alpari’s platforms are created using Currenex technology.  Currenex is a recognized and award-winning leader in providing trading solutions to the active-trading segment of the FX market.

Commenting on the new platforms, Andrey Vedikhin, Co-Founder of the Alpari Group, said: “Alpari Direct Pro and Alpari Direct represent another step towards Alpari’s goal of providing an institutional level trading experience for all. Alpari now provides its clients with one of the most comprehensive selections of advanced trading tools, expert educational resources and responsive customer services available from any online FX trading provider.”

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– Ends –

About the Alpari Group of Companies:

The Alpari group of companies is one of the fastest growing providers of online foreign exchange (“FOREX”, “FX”) trading services, with 27 offices in 8 countries, including London, New York, Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, Moscow, Kiev and Almaty, which serve more than 150 countries. With over 300 employees worldwide, approximately 130,000 live accounts and monthly Forex trading volumes in excess of $104 billion*, the group experienced a tremendous growth in the past year. Since the release of its 2008 growth figures, Alpari (US) growth has doubled in less than 5 months time*. Alpari (UK)’s live accounts alone grew by 897 percent.

The catalyst behind Alpari Group’s success is its dedication to investment in professional online trading technologies and delivery of high quality customer service. Individual traders, money managers and institutional clients worldwide benefit from one of the most reputed platforms, MetaTrader 4, and from comprehensive market analysis as well as educational tools to enhance their online trading experience.

Alpari was launched in Russia in 1998, where it is one of the current market leaders. With the aim of expanding its global footprint, Alpari’s shareholders established several companies in major world financial centres.

Alpari (US) was established in 2006. The company is based on Wall Street, in the financial district of New York City, where it is registered by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and is a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”), Member ID: 0379679.  With the growing success of Forex business, Alpari (US) has now expanded its product base to offer U.S. exchange-traded futures and options to domestic and international investors, speculators, and institutions.

Alpari (UK) was established in 2004. The company is based in the heart of the City of London, where it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Alpari (UK)’s Chinese Representative Office, in Shanghai, and Alpari Emirates, in Dubai, were established in 2008. Alpari Emirates is duly licensed by the Department of Economic Development, Dubai.

*As of June 2009

Please note that trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. For more information about the Forex industry and the regulatory protections offered to those who trade within it, please visit the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) websites at http://www.cftc.gov and http://www.nfa.futures.org.

For more information about this article, please contact:

Jaclyn Cole, Marketing Coordinator

Alpari (US), LLC

(646) 825-5760 ext. 554

jaclyn.cole@alpari-us.com

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