Pepperstone has secured a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), a few months after it has already incorporated its new subsidiary, Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited, in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
“Thanks to our presence in Dubai, Pepperstone can establish even closer ties with our clients in the Middle East. Dubai is a significant global financial hub and we look forward to bringing our expertise and technology to the local investors,” Tamas Szabo, Group CEO of Pepperstone, told Finance Magnates.
The DIFC’s website shows that the registration status of the new spin-off is ‘Active’ while its regulatory application has changed from ‘Pending DFSA Authorization,’ which had been in place since September 2019, to show the broker currently as ‘Regulated’.
Pepperstone’s range of instruments and markets available to traders in the Middle East at https://pepperstone.com/en-ae/.
Organizing the effort on behalf of the Melbourne-based firm, according to its listed directors with the DIFC, has been a small team headed by Tamas Robert Szabo (Group CEO and business owner), Gordon Bruce Buchanan (Pepperstone CFO) and Tarik Chebib, who has spent the past two years as the broker’s head of Middle East.
“We have a particularly experienced team here in Dubai and are united with the group’s genuine commitment to helping our clients on their trading journeys. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Pepperstone and we are excited to celebrate it with the opening of our new office in the DIFC,” said Tarik Chebib, Head of Middle East.
The Middle East-focused brand has lured Chirine Daoud to join its operations and assume the role of Regional Marketing Manager back in 2018. Chirine is a marketing veteran that has spent the bulk of her career, which dates back to 2006, promoting retail FX offerings in the region. Based out of Dubai, she spent different stints in marketing roles with HYCM, Advanced Currency Markets (ACM) and Alpari UK.
Prior to her current position with Pepperstone, Chirine held an analogous position with One Financial Markets.
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The team has secured office space for the new operation in Al Fattan Currency House at Dubai International Financial Centre.
This new license will allow Pepperstone to provide its range of FX and CFDs products to retail and professional clients not only from the UAE, but also to expand the offering to the other GCC states.
Pepperstone’s other subsidiaries already hold financial licenses from the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC, and also has several representative offices in other countries.
Dubai forex license is complicated
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a federal area that is financially-free, completely separated from the rest of the country and features its own legal system and courts.
The DFSA has been receiving increased interest from authorized firms and global brokers to offer FX trading to retail customers in or from the DIFC.
Within Dubai’s International Financial Centre, the DFSA is the regulatory authority that issues all forex broker licenses and regulates all financial and subsidiary services conducted.
However, the DFSA has very strict guidelines in place for obtaining a Dubai forex license, as well as for conducting forex business. Specifically, obtaining a Dubai forex license is a complicated procedure that involves many legal limitations that revolve around the country’s prohibitions on banking activity in the local currency as transactions in UAE Dirhams are strictly prohibited in the center.
Other than AML compliance, FX brokers also need to have systems and controls such as intra-day and end-of-day counterparty and settlement limits, segregation of functions, and other risk measures.