Indonesia has recently begun to publicly demonstrate objections toward FX firms, both domestic and foreign which operate within its jurisdiction. The nation’s governmental information site, TRUST+, have embarked on a program of listing almost every FX firm as having complaints lodged against it. In addition, a number of main sites and representative offices of very well-known Western brokers and signal service providers are listed as being blocked in Indonesia.
This move comes after Indonesia has become an attractive destination for some retail participants in the forex industry. Whilst the Western world’s financial markets’ regulators have long since set forth comprehensive, and in some cases very expensive stipulations with regard to the means by which FX firms operate, a number of the world’s major brokers and ancillary service providers have been looking east toward emerging market economies.
With a largely untapped client base, sizable and young domestic population and very few hindrances in relation to government red tape, Indonesia has become an area which many retail brokers consider important. Those who have made inroads into the Asia-Pacific region have garnered a client base from the region over recent times, as was reported by Forex Magnates in detail in the Quarterly Industry Report for Q4 of 2012.
Emerging market economies still have a very long way to go before the national governments of nations such as Indonesia, implement stringent consumer protection laws and resource-heavy entry barriers such as in North America, Australia or Europe. However, this recent publication may indicate that either the regulation of FX in some form is on the Indonesian government’s to-do list, or that the country wishes to stem foreign competition in order to establish home-grown firms.
In order to go some way toward establishing the possible reasoning behind the move, Forex Magnates spoke to Ottelo Deiy, Regional Head, South-East Asia at TNC Markets, who explained that in his opinion, “The regulators have been cautious of margin FX products as investors have faced numerous difficulties with unregulated players hence the forced attack on this product.”
“Domestically investors are overcharged and conditions are not favourable hence the attraction of FX and CFD trading. The regulators will be making some harsh reforms in the coming months,” stated Mr. Deiy.
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Indonesia may be following in the footsteps of Turkey, which back in 2009 played host to a number of OTC FX firms offering many products, and in particular binary options, to a very willing client base, with very little regulatory oversight, if any at all. Today, things are somewhat different, with Turkey having become one of Western Asia’s most prominent financial markets economies, and has a very organized regulatory structure to go with it.
Decade of FX In Indonesia
Indonesia has a somewhat longer history of FX market participants operating within its jurisdiction, some of whom are indigenous. But most of them, as with companies which target a Chinese audience, originate from Russia, and were the first to enter the Indonesian market back in 2003, viewing its potential along the same lines as that of China.
The sites which the Indonesian government portal refers to are:
With this in mind, a matter for consideration for many brokers and signal providers could be that it is possible that the governments of the emerging markets of the Far East may be investigating the possibilities of raising the currently low entry barriers.
Whether this is occurring in order to protect customers, or to protect the domestic FX industry, is perhaps a moot point.