Report: A New Era for Forex

Media: Lufthansa Inflight Magazine

Sector: Foreign Exchange Trading

Publication Date: June 2015

Brokering Diverse Solutions

Along with the general trend of capital shifting from the west to the east, FX players are attaching more importance to trading flows in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. ForexTime’s CEO, Olga Rybalkina, highlights that her company does not believe in a one-size- fits-all-approach when expanding into new markets.

The FX marketplace has undergone unprecedented changes in recent years, with trading becoming more popular and increasing rapidly in volume. But despite its global nature, forex cannot be seen as a single market. Traders in different countries have varied demands and follow different strategies, Olga Rybalkina, CEO of ForexTime (FXTM) Limited explains. Driven by a desire for differentiation, the Cyprus-based company was founded in 2012 and since then has focused its efforts on ensuring its offering can be tailored to meet the preferences of clients in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Regional Orientation

“What differentiates FXTM from other brokers is the innovative approach we take in providing our clients with services and solutions specifically designed for their region of the world,” Olga Rybalkina says, adding that the company goes “one step further to make sure that services are diverse enough to meet the needs of traders of all trading styles and levels. This means that regardless of the industry experience and strategy they pursue, through FXTM, clients can find an account that provides exactly the features they need in order to trade the markets effectively.” She highlights that traders in Asia are very different from traders in Europe or Africa. “Asian traders are more prone to speculation while African traders tend to be more cautious. European investors are generally more interested in small spreads, and Russian traders love to have expert advisors, also known as robots, that trade with pre-set rules.”

Regulatory Measures

In a decentralised market, such as forex, regulation plays a key role in gaining the trust of clients and can serve as a means to safeguard the interests of both parties. FXTM is a regulated broker, regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC –CIF licence 185/12) and registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). “We strive to ensure the highest standards in our business. We offer fair and transparent services and employ top-tier auditors and advisors with expertise in various compliance matters to ensure that all company operations are in accordance with the regulations,” Olga Rybalkina says. “As a company, we welcome regulation and the order it provides in the forex domain. The industry has been repeatedly associated with dubious personalities and entities that tarnish its good name, and therefore I do see increased regulatory measures as a benefit, especially to reputable companies such as FXTM.” FXTM also places a great emphasis on education. “By placing our clients’ education at the forefront of our mission, we are striving to provide an environment where retail traders and investors from around the world can easily access the benefits of forex and attain their goals. We hold regular seminar events, workshops and webinars hosted by industry experts at key locations around the world.”

Expansion Mode

FXTM has long had a focus on fast-growing, emerging markets. “The company has managed to gain a strong foothold in both Africa and Asia, and we remain committed to continuing the development of our offering in these two regions. Asia in particular has gone through significant economic changes that have transformed the dynamics of the global economy. It has emerged as an engine of progress, resilient to the destabilising effects of the global economic crisis. I believe that there is great potential for the expansion of FXTM in Asia. For the next few years, our plan is also to expand and establish our presence in the Middle East, where we are seeing a great need for diversification and also a great encouragement for the development of the private sector. We are also seeking to expand into Europe, a market that currently accounts for only 10 per cent of our business.”

Increased M&A Activity

Although the global FX landscape has become very competitive, opportunities to win additional market share are good, Olga Rybalkina thinks. “The real consequences of the fact that the Swiss National Bank discontinued the ‘CHF peg’ are just beginning to be revealed, and I can foresee a trend of mergers and acquisitions building up. Smaller companies, struggling with their finances, will be the target of larger players,” she explains, adding that the removal of the exchange rate cap on the Swiss franc and the events that followed did not have an adverse effect on FXTM itself. “We are constantly making sure that we are properly capitalised and always in line with the guidelines imposed by our regulators. Whatever negative balances were incurred by our clients’ positions in the CHF pairs have been fully absorbed by the company,” she highlights. Nonetheless, a lot of volatility was injected in the global economy this year, and “I believe it is safe to assume that these unpredictable movements will continue well into 2015.”

Towards the Future

Given these market conditions, Rybalkina says, that in the fast paced world of forex it is crucial to be equipped with the latest trading technology. “For example, when trading through an online platform, traders need to know that their orders will be executed on time. Low latency between a broker’s server and the market is undeniably vital, and it can make or break the trust and consequently the relationship between client and broker.” Technology can also help companies identify new ways to drive business and the industry forward. “The astonishing rate of adoption of mobile trading is a perfect example of how technology can affect the industry. The advent of mobile internet technology has driven the adoption rate of forex trading since it perfectly complements its decentralised nature,” Olga Rybalkina says.

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