Retail brokerage ThinkMarkets has acquired a regulatory license in South Africa.
According to a statement released by the firm on Wednesday, the license, which was issued by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), will go into effect on April 1st of this year.
Catering to the demands of the new market, ThinkMarkets said in its statement that it is going to open an office in Johannesburg.
The broker also plans on launching Rand-based currency pairs to trade, as well as some equity and index derivatives that are traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
“The decision to extend ThinkMarkets’ global footprint to South Africa demonstrates the confidence we have in this region,” said ThinkMarkets CEO Nauman Anees. “[It is also] reflective of our long-term vision and plans to be a leading participant in South Africa’s growing financial services sector.”
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South Africa – a new trading hot spot
South Africa has become a more popular destination for brokers in recent years. A tech-savvy population – South Africa has the highest proportion of mobile phone users holding cryptocurrency in the world – that is open to online trading makes it an attractive proposition for brokers.
“It’s a country with a large number of wealthy clients who are willing to trade,” the CEO of one technology provider told Finance Magnates. “So we’re seeing more and more people express interest in opening an office there, getting licensed and trying to attract customers.”
There is, of course, also the push factor of European regulation. The European Securities and Markets Authority’s product intervention measures, which were introduced in August of last year, have forced brokers to look for new business opportunities abroad.
On top of that, a license from a respected financial authority outside of ESMA’s regulatory clutches, like the South African FSCA, can be used to attract clients in Europe that want to continue trading with high leverage.
“ThinkMarkets has an established client base from South Africa which is organically growing year-on-year, said Anees. “The new operation should help us enhance our client-base in the region and meet our goals as a preferred broker for South African based forex and CFD traders.”