With the deadline for MiFID II implementation fast approaching, a lot of confusion and uncertainty still exists within the FX Industry. MiFID II regulation is divided into several distinct rule sets with the legislation applying to a broad range of financial industry players, those who provide investment services, such as investment banks, portfolio managers and brokers, and intermediaries such as inter-dealer brokers and market-makers. The main objective of MiFID II is to ensure the fair, effective and safe operation of financial markets. Failure to comply with the directive could result in significant fines.
The MetaTrader 4 Bridge is one of the most popular add-ons for MT4 Servers. It was created in early 2000 and, ever since then, there have been many rumors as to who actually developed the first commercial version (of course, many industry veterans know the name).
Welcome to a financial world, full of mysterious acronyms. LEI, CASS, ECP, EMIR, MiFIR, MTF, OTF… This industry just loves acronyms and MiFID II just gave us a whole lot of new ones to work with.
One that I have started hearing more often is the LEI number and it relates directly to the requirements embedded in the upcoming MiFID II directive. The following article will hopefully give answers to these much-asked questions, what is an LEI? Who needs one? Why it is required? How do I get one?
MiFID II, the “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive”, is legislation that is set to be implemented across the European Union on January 3rd, 2018. As this due date approaches, many market participants are scrambling to implement changes to hopefully comply with the new rules. Some, on the other hand, prefer to procrastinate as long as possible in the hope of getting further clarity on this pending regulation.
While some industry sources are arguing whether or not MiFID II will dramatically affect the FX industry, most FSA and CySEC licensed FX brokers are rapidly adjusting policies in order to comply with the new requirements.
Natallia Hunik, Global Head of Sales at Advanced Markets and Fortex, Inc. and Andrew Saks-McLeod of FinanceFeeds sat down during the iFXEXPO 2017 in Limassol to discuss the state of FX industry in Cyprus and what future will bring.
FX is the most liquid market in the world with over 5 trillion USD in daily turnover, and 1.6 trillion USD in OTC spot transactions executed each day on average. Volatility makes it an attractive investment vehicle for many traders around the world, institutional and retail. Retail FX has been around for longer than 2 decades now, but we have yet to see the industry reach a mature state.
More than a few times over the past year, I have come across instances where companies have thought that they were paying for legitimate ASIC licenses when, in reality, that was not the case. There appears to be several “light fingered” agents operating in the market (particularly, in the Asia region) who are “selling ASIC licenses” at a discounted price.
Yesterday, I got an email from one of my old contacts thanking me for persuading him not to go into the retail FX brokerage business last year. The email was sent from the corporate domain of his new business venture, one that is apparently doing well with only a 30% involvement with the FX industry.
Do you think 2017 will be another big year for prime of prime? If so, you’re in very good company.
Our view is that, as the Chinese market matures, the 2017 trends in China could boil down to the following:
- Quality over price: sourcing liquidity from real prime of primes
There are several ways that an STP brokerage can make a profit. The broker may either charge their clients a commission ($X per $million), apply a markup to the price feed, or perhaps a combination of both.
In MT4, the commission charged to the client is typically set in deposit currency per lot ( In this article, we will be using US Dollars as deposit currency for an easy and clear explanation).
An STP brokerage can also choose to charge their clients a markup, which will be added into spread that their retail clients see. Markup is normally defined as points added per lot. Markup is usually invisible to your clients and tends to be more flexible as you have the ability to adjust the markup according to market conditions.
In 2016, we have seen some incredible market dislocation due to various global events (BREXIT, US Elections, OPEC, GBP Flash Crash, FOMC to name a few). Having experienced my fair share of these moves, I find myself in a unique position to be able to speak with a diverse group of market participants, ranging from Fund Managers to Hedge Funds and individual traders, each of them trying to successfully navigate through these turbulent markets.
Traditionally, December is the month when the majority of FX professionals take some well-deserved time off. Fund Managers are avoiding any major market participation that could negatively impact annual return statistics; bank employees are trying to use up their remaining vacation time, and the overall the spirit of holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Omisoka, Kwanzaa, and many others) makes December the perfect time to relax ahead of the January hype.
Topics: FX Liquidity
It’s no secret that we live in a technological world; a world where mobile has long become the prevalent vehicle for communication and business for all of us. Mobile now dominates the world’s search queries and mobile trading is reported to be responsible for around 30% of all trading at FX brokerages, with even higher percentages in Asia. As the world is adjusts to this new reality, the release of mobile apps, for its products, is now a must for FX brokerages and platform providers alike.
New technology is transforming how we do business in the 21st century, from the way we communicate, to the route we choose when we drive home from work and even the way we check our fridge for the food that we need. In the same way, the tech revolution has significantly changed things for sales professionals and the sales process. It seems that, every day, new platforms emerge that continue to transform the ways in which we communicate with prospects and that, undoubtedly, impact the way we structure our days.
Prime of Prime in FX, has undergone a lot of changes in the past few years, yet it remains one of the most highly demanded services in today’s marketplace. Prime of Prime’s role is to extend interbank market access to clients who do not have access to credit. To put it another way, it helps create direct market access for those clients who do not meet the stringent collateral and credit criteria that’s needed in order for them to establish their own, direct, prime broker relationship with a bank. The main value that a real Prime of Prime delivers is non-latent access to institutional trading, in a secure and regulated environment.
Topics: Prime of Prime
CySec’s strategic move capitalizes on a potential shift in the global FX landscape.
As someone who is very passionate about FX and football, I’m always keen to draw parallels between both whenever possible.
Where football and, indeed, sport in general is concerned, 2016 will forever be remembered as “the year of the underdog”
Major market events are generally accompanied by periods of massive uncertainty, volatility and downright fear. It doesn’t matter whether these events are expected, like the Brexit vote, or unexpected like the SNB move last year, the outcome is the same. Many market participants have a few options on how to survive the dislocation. Fear of the unknown creeps into every financial exchange, instability reigns and price action is violent. These events has the potential to affect every trader, brokerage and bank for days, weeks and even years depending upon their severity and the resulting market fallout. Below, I will outline a few possible risk/reward strategies along with how to attempt to control the uncontrollable.
I should start by saying that this article may not be applicable to many market participants, but hopefully the information will be useful when for anyone looking to execute large market orders.
If you are an Institutional Trader, a Fund Manager, a Bank or, perhaps, a brokerage hedging positions, then you will almost certainly know that the job of executing a 20, 50 or 100 million trade can be
Topics: Prime of Prime
Throughout my career I have encountered many different sales personalities. Each of them had their own network, their own approach to dealing with prospects, their own strategic vision and their own way of handling the sales process. However, just ask any sales manager and most will agree that the majority of sales people could be categorized as “openers”, rather than “closers”.
Margin aggregation has become a popular topic amongst retail FX brokers recently with many having lost their Prime Broker relationships and with the squeeze on credit conditions.
When most FX marketers opened their Google AdWords (Google’s keyword advertising program) account last week they might have had a jaw-dropping experience. The cost per click (CPC) for the most searchable FX keywords went up significantly and, in some cases, doubled. The first reaction most likely was “is it competition?” However, there is actually a fairly reasonable explanation for this price hike, and it has to do with how Google has altered its website advertising in general.
The article initially appeared on Finance Magnates.
Technology is certainly at the heart of the FX Business, and, nowadays, has a role to play in dictating the rules of the game. The term “toxic FX flow” often has a direct relationship to the technology behind the liquidity.
What is toxic flow in FX anyway?
More times than not, an interested client inquiring about liquidity will ask the quintessential question, “What is Advanced Markets’ spread in EURUSD?” My standard, truthful response is always that, “the spread is dependent upon market conditions, as Advanced Markets is a true STP Prime of Prime and only provides aggregated liquidity from top tier, global banks. With that being said, EURUSD spread should normally sit within an average range of 0.3-0.5 given our ability to provide very deep liquidity due to our favorable bank relations”. Generally, when someone asks me this question, I will always follow up by mentioning our GOLD offering. In my opinion, Gold has the potential to offer a prospective brokerage (or Fund Manager) more than the EURUSD spread can when looking at future revenues. Many people look at the EURUSD first due to the fact that many brokers aggressively market their “tight” EURUSD spread in order to attract clients and get them in the door. Once they have them in, however, they tend to pile on the mark-ups across the other pairs in their offering.
2015 has now wrapped up, and it is time to reflect on the year passed.
The year of 2015 will be remembered by the FX industry for so many different reasons. In the aftermath of the SNB rate decision, many brokerages had no option but to re-evaluate their business models, their risk management practices and, to tighten their belts.
When someone starts thinking about opening a Forex brokerage their mind immediately fills with question after question. Which regulatory jurisdiction should I choose? How much capital do I need? What kind of license do I need? How do I get pricing? Where do I base the operation? The “office” / location question is usually the last that comes to mind but the choices made here can determine whether a business succeeds or fails. The following 5 points are therefore worth considering before making any decisions on your brokerage startup:
The ability to trade using leverage is one of the key advantages associated with “retail” forex trading. This unique factor tends to attract more investors to forex, rather than to equities or other financial instruments, as there is the perceived opportunity to generate profits with little money down.
Topics: Forex Brokerage
This article originally appeared on Finance Magnates.
I have worked in the FX industry for the past 16 years but I believe that 2015 will stand out most as the year when the market was taught a very valuable lesson. When I look back upon this year, I can’t help feeling that, by applying a simple life principle, many of 2015’s pitfalls might have been avoided.
Topics: Thought Leadership
FIX (Financial Information Exchange) API (application programming interface) is a highly scalable electronic communication protocol to facilitate the real-time exchange of information related to financial markets. It has become the de facto standard method of pre-trade, trade and post-trade communication. Market participants including banks, hedge funds, prime brokers and “prime of primes” utilize FIX for their own trading needs or to connect directly to clients.
Topics: Thought Leadership