The CySEC regulated Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF) HF Markets (Europe) Ltd, under its registered brand name HotForex.com, has launched a new offering via the website OptionTrade.com which it describes as an EU regulated binary options brokerage. Forex Magnates interviewed the company’s CEO to better understand the drivers surrounding the launch, and obtain exclusive data (as noted below).
The new website is essentially a new brand name under the company’s Cyprus regulated entity, in order to offer a different set of products through a separate and distinct brand (in addition to its other brand hotforex.com) as the expectations of binary options products build.
The separate launch differs in that HotForex’s main offering revolves around MT4, Currenex and ZuluTrade platforms, and includes trading on spot Forex, Commodity, Index and Share CFDs, whereas the new launch will be for a mostly binary options- centric product line.
Offering Under New Dedicated Brand for Binary Options
Described on its new logo as powered by HotForex, the OptionsTrade.com website lists over 200 tradable products across 20 markets, spanning multiple asset classes and provides traders several contract types across many of these instruments including a classic binary options play, a long-term expiry, a 60-second fast contract and cross-pair options that take two products against each other (e.g. oil vs gold).
Forex Magnates spoke to George Koumantaris, CEO of HF Markets Europe, during an exclusive interview regarding his company’s new brand offering and he commented, “At HotForex we place our partners and clients first by listening to their feedback and reacting accordingly. During early 2013, we had a lot of requests for a Binary Options Offering that would mirror the quality of services our clients have grown accustomed to. We took note and www.optiontrade.com is the result of those requests.”
Mr. Koumantaris added, “The widening of our product lineup by adding a binary options brand is a very important event for HotForex.”
To Date, Four Years of Progress
Indirectly, Forex Magnates previously noted the company’s name referenced by certain regulatory agencies over recent years, as the landscape in underdeveloped regions had started to evolve, with the latest warning from Indonesia as the country tries to get its approach to FX regulations in order. The company had previously indicated that it was also registered with the Financial Services Commission in Mauritius, a status that it confirmed to Forex Magnates is still valid.
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During that time, HF Markets appears to have come a long way (see figures below), after we reported that it received regulatory approval by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) earlier this year, and according to the the figures shared with us by the company’s CEO, which point out one aspect of the strength of its business, including the mention of 85 full-time employees.
For example, Mr. Koumantaris added with regards to his company’s growth, “Our constant efforts to improve our trading terms and the continual expansion of our lineup of products and services were key to our company’s lasting success since its inception 4 years ago. 2013 provided no exception to this trend of sustained growth. The number of clients of the HotForex brand was up by 263% globally, when compared to 2012, and we have now serviced more than 90,000 clients around the world. Volumes for 2013 were up as well, and we saw an increase of around 120% when compared to 2012.”
8.5 Million Trades so far in 2013, According to CEO
During our interview, Forex Magnates’ research team asked how the firm defines client accounts in terms of the metrics it mentioned, and was told that it based it per customer (not on how many funded accounts each customer had). Therefore, over four years the firm may have serviced a total of 90,000 customers who funded a live trading account, with Hotforex.com
From this number (90,000) we were told that 27,000 accounts were considered still active as of today, and Mr. Koumantaris added how to date for 2013, there have been 8,594,646 trades, up 40% from 2012’s figures. We asked how trades were defined and Mr. Koumantaris’ staff confirmed that trades are considered as completed round turns from market orders and entry orders. and not including canceled orders.
We can extrapolate that from the number of trades mentioned above, considering that the bare minimum trade size is 0.01 lots or 1,000 units (through HotForex’s platforms), we can deduce that the most conservative estimate of their trading volumes could be $8.5bln USD (for 2013 so far), if all trades are based on micro lots (on average), or $85bln USD if based on mini lots, and the most aggressive deduction could be $850 billion USD worth of trading volume if all trades were standard lots (100K units).
Trade notional dollar volume information was unavailable for public release as of yet, according to HF Markets’ management (however, the figures noted above are revealing within the deduced ranges, even if wide).
When taken all together, considering the firm’s age, the total figures would be impressive nonetheless for a four-year-old company if accurate (and based on the 263% growth over the last two years noted by its CEO among other data mentioned above), in my opinion. Although Forex Magnates has not validated these figures, as they are only the reported numbers given to us from HF Markets directly, the company’s progress on related developments such as with the new OptionTrade.com offering. will be followed up on.
Forex Magnates was informed that the platform technology was licensed from SpotOption(a developer of binary options solutions for brokerages) for OptionTrade’s new platform offering. A screenshot of the OptionTrade platform can be seen below, showing an example summary of open positions, from a presentation on the corporate website: