During the passing week the most impactful stories from the online trading industry included breaking news about IBFX dropping out of the retail FX market on two continents as well as an exclusive Finance Magnates report on a new company launched by SpotOption. Additionally, a major development has occurred during the week regarding a story first exposed here.
On Sunday we reported that as part of its Q4 results, Leucadia National Corporation provided an update on its relationship with FXCM. As of December 31st 2015, FXCM had $192.7 million debt outstanding with it after having paid $144.7 million of principal, interest and fees during 2015. The $192.7 million figure is a decrease from the $203 million amount reported by FXCM for the end of September.
For Leucadia, the improvement in FXCM’s stock price allowed it to increase the stated fair value of its investment in FXCM to $625.7 million. This is an improvement from the $613 million that was recorded by Leucadia in September 30th 2015. Overall, according to Leucadia, the firm stated that it recognized $491.3 million of unrealized and realized gain on the FXCM investment for 2015.
Option, IQ Option
On Monday CySEC regulated broker IQ Option Europe signed a new sponsorship deal with Aston Martin Racing, according to the car manufacturer’s website. IQ Option said it wanted to associated itself with speed and reliability, equating the qualities of its platform with the speedy and reliable Aston Martin race car.
The World Endurance Championship brings competition from other high-end car makers, and attracts their fans and audiences as well, including the following competitors in this year’s races: Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 458 Italia, Ford GT, Chevrolet Corvette, among others.
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Monex retreats, OANDA advances
On Tuesday the news broke that TradeStation, which is owned by Monex Group Japan, is exiting the retail foreign exchange business in the U.S. just over four years after acquiring IBFX for $17 million. Trading on the accounts of the IBFX will be suspended March 4th, and clients can choose to be transferred to new accounts at OANDA.
Soon after, it was revealed that OANDA also acquired the clients of IBFX in Australia. Clients of both the U.S. and the Australian subsidiaries of TradeStation who oppose the transfer of their accounts to OANDA will have to close their existing positions with IBFX and submit a notification and a withdrawal request to the support department.
On Wednesday it was revealed that the City of London Police have arrested an individual that authorities allege to be the mastermind of the massive scheme conducted by Base2Trade, which was exposed by Finance Magnates last summer in a series of articles. According to a police statement the individual was apprehended at City Airport while he was returning to the U.K. from Cyprus.
Police Staff Investigator Joseph Ford from the City of London Police said: “We have been gathering evidence in this case for over a year and today we have made what we believe is a key arrest. This has the hallmarks of a classic boiler room fraud, set-up in the City to give it prestige and credibility with potential investors while selling share options that we believe were totally worthless.”
On Thursday it was exclusively revealed by us that binary options platform developer SpotOption is branching out to the online payments business with Spot Paymentech. The new venture will focus on the binary options market to get established, but it won’t be limited to it as it will target other verticals too, such as e-commerce, gaming and travel as well.
With regard to binary options, Spot Paymentech will engage brokers from the regulated market only, which may limit its growth potential within the industry but will allow it to keep a good reputation with banks, financial authorities and even institutional investors.