Last week gave us a rundown on December US data for some top brokerages. It also saw continued interest in the now defunct Alpari UK with updates trickling out of special administrator KPMG. Also making headlines this week was the merger of Australian broker GO Markets with Vantage FX UK as well as ongoing CySEC regulatory activity.
CFTC Releases December Trading Figures
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released figures for December activity last week. As expected for the traditionally slow holiday month, numbers were down across the board for funds held at major brokerages.
FXCM Inc. remained in the lead in terms of market share, but funds held at the brokerage dropped by 12%, double the average industry decline. The only major company registering growth was IBFX with its TradeStation client funds buoying activity.
Rounding out the numbers, GAIN Capital remained flat, OANDA dropped by about 4%, Interactive Brokers shed nearly 5% of funds held and MB Trading declined by 10% in customer deposits.
Alpari – More Questions than Answers
KPMG released an update regarding the status of Alpari UK’s status last week. Among the sparse information KPMG released, it outlined its requirement as joint special administrator to hold client funds in a client money pool (CMP)—a pool of client funds held in a single currency.
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They also updated clients on the claims portal and announced that a client and creditor’s meeting will be held on March 12, 2015 in London. The meeting will stipulate the requisite actions that both clients and creditors will need to take to initiate any claims or actions.
Last week Forex Magnates also got wind that Alpari UK’s situation might be having an impact on the separate entity Alpari ME, based in Dubai. Although Alpari ME is not formally related to Alpari UK, the two do obviously share common branding, reinforced by Andrey’s Dashin’s recent purchase of Alpari UK’s brand and intellectual property.
Forex Magnates has learned that several contenders have actively been engaged in negotiations over the group’s regional assets. Alpari ME would be an attractive buy for both foreign brokers looking to expand into the Middle East and North African spaces, as well as local brokers looking to solidify their presence.
Australian Broker GO Markets Partners Vantage FX UK
Forex Magnates reported last week that FCA-licensed Vantage FX UK will be partnering with Australian-based GO Markets. Vantage FX UK will be rebranded as GO Markets UK. The move is a natural step for the two brokers. Vantage FX UK and GO Markets used to be owned by the same conglomerate until GO Markets spun off in 2013 in a bid to expand its operations.
CySEC Laying down the Law
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has been handing out suspensions and issuing announcements left and right warning investors against unlicensed companies. Last week saw the watchdog suspend Pulp International Business Ltd. and UFS Capital Ltd.
CySEC also cautioned investors about Talanto Capital Markets (Cyprus) last week, issuing a statement informing investors that the company is not permitted to provide investment and ancillary services in the country. Talanto Capital Markets has since removed the Cyprus office from their website.