With many industry participants on vacation during August, it was no surprise that the just ended month was light on critical news. There were a few notable releases, specifically on the regulatory front, but overall it was a pretty quiet month in terms of headlines. The one exception was MetaQuotes. Scanning through the headlines during August, one could see that MetaQuotes was especially active as the firm was launching new partnerships with brokers, creating new products, and upgrading its platforms. For a quiet period, the technology provider stood out.
Headlines During August
MetaQuotes activity: As mentioned above, MetaQuotes was active in all facets of its business. In terms of broker rollouts, during August, we saw a continuation of firms operating proprietary platforms deciding to launch MetaTrader 4, as Monex Group and MahiFX announced they were launching the platform. With regards to the platform, MetaQuotes finalized its build 500, with all users now having access to ‘one click trading’. In addition, they mentioned the upcoming launch of an App Marketplace for MQL4 programs, similar to the one that exists for MQL5 products. Coming along with the beta testing of a new IDE for MQL4 which will conform it to MQL5, MetaQuotes is slowly assimilating MT4/5 together. Expanding its liquidity relationships, MetaQuotes announced it had integrated FastMatch for MT5. Lastly, the company also released that MT5 had become certified by the ASX.
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Regulatory roundup: The biggest event of the month came from CySec, where the Cypriot financial supervisor released a circular explaining that brokers will need to receive approval from non-EU regulator bodies to receive clients from their jurisdictions. It was then announced that the ruling was overturned after local industry lobbyists applied pressure on the regulator. If enforced, the actions were expected to curb the ability of firms to onboard non-EU clients and would have led to the launching of numerous unregulated subsidiaries to cater to those traders. Elsewhere, the Japan FSA issued a warning to foreign brokers that were soliciting clients in their jurisdiction without proper licensing. In addition, Australian ASIC was busy as the regulator set new rules regarding HFT and dark liquidity, as well as issuing enforcements to several brokers.
Profits Up: Following a first half of the year of healthy trading volumes, brokers issued strong second quarter and half year financial reports. Among brokers achieving records, GAIN Capital and FXCM announced record revenues during the second quarter, while Saxo Bank saw its net income double from 2012. Elsewhere, newly public Plus500 reported its first slate of financials since its IPO. While showing impressive income and revenue growth, the figures represented that the broker had a high attrition rate and low per account revenue averages.
Volumes: During August, brokers and venues issued their July volume figures. During the month, trading in Japan finally showed signs of cooling as declines were seen at Monex Group, GMO Click, DMM Securities and the TFX. Among ECNs, July also proved tough, as double digit volume declines were seen at Hotspot, Thomson Reuters, FXall, and EBS. Specifically, the decline in yen volumes affected EBS negatively, as trading fell 31%, to a multi-year low ADV of $89.3 billion. Among large brokers, GAIN Capital, Saxo Bank, and FXCM also experienced a decline in volumes. Bucking the trend was Alpari which reported another month of record trading activity.
Other headlines of note: