Exclusive: CFI Launches Institutional Offering via Dubai Subsidiary

After obtaining Dubai's lucrative DFSA license, CFI is venturing into the institutional space focused on big tickets

CFI is a brokerage that has been around for some time now. The company has almost 20 years of history after opening its first office in Lebanon. Since the firm took its first steps in the arena, the focus of the company has been Middle East-based retail investors. That is until the company opened a new subsidiary in Dubai.

After the company obtained the lucrative DFSA license last year, it is taking its next step with offices in Lebanon, Amman, London, and Larnaca. The acquisition of the desirable permit from Dubai’s financial regulator is at the core of a new effort for the brokerage. The company exclusively shared with Finance Magnates the details about its institutional offering.

“In order to differentiate itself from the market and deliver added value to clients, CFI is taking advantage of multiple technology partnerships. In contrast to the common approach across the industry to use one connectivity provider, we are leaving that choice with the clients,” commented the company’s Deputy CEO, Global Head of Business Development Nidal Abdel Hadi.

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The main goal of CFI is to cater to brokers, small to medium size banks, hedge funds, and high net worth professional individuals. The company is providing to its clients a choice among various tech providers, which it believes are widely used by traders. The brokerage is offering its liquidity via different APIs and direct trading platforms with GUIs.

Market Depth Focus

With the trend of retail brokers shifting into the institutional space accelerating, CFI shared that it identified a gap in the market.

“We focused explicitly on market depth. As you know, most liquidity providers are almost the same when it comes to trade sizes. Clips between 500K and 1M are the standard. We decided to give competitive conditions for larger ticket sizes varying between 5 and 10M,” explained Abdel Hadi.

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The company launched a new product called Ultimate Liquidity Stream where the firm promises to deliver to its clients the above mentioned large clip sizes. The offering is starting with EUR/USD, USD/JPY and gold trading. CFI’s license in Dubai allows the company to deliver that in and the company operates an STP model.

When asked about the number of liquidity providers to which the company is connected, Abdel Hadi said: “We are connected to between six and seven liquidity providers at any given time. We keep optimizing the list based on ranking, execution and the most-actively traded pairs.”

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus of CFI is spread across different locations. The company, via its Cyprus subsidiary, has also recently launched its institutional liquidity for companies in the EU, which helps other companies comply with the latest changes in the ESMA regulations such as the negative balance protection and reporting requirements.

“We are seeing good demand from Europe. The GCC and the Middle East remain a solid focus for us and a traditionally strong market. A lot of new business is getting set up in the Middle East and a lot of new companies are coming to operate in the area,” explained the company’s Deputy CEO.

Indeed, recent months have shown that quite a few companies that have not been active in the region are getting interested. Aside from Dubai, firms are also looking to get regulated in Jordan, where CFI is already present.

Traditional equity brokers in the Middle East have also been shifting into the forex space to diversify their income stream.

“We are also working on a full white label solution to offer to brokers and banks,” shared Abdel Hadi.

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