CONSOB Orders Blocking of Five Illegal Investment Websites


In a continued effort to protect investors and regulate financial activities, Italy’s Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) has instructed internet service providers to block five unauthorized investment websites.

The targeted sites are:

  • Ether Arena Ltd (website and related page;
  • “ImpresaMarkets” (website;
  • “Fx-vita” (website, and related pages and;
  • “Keysreim” (website, and related pages and;
  • “” (website and related page

These actions stem from the powers vested upon CONSOB by the “Decreto crescita” (Growth Decree; Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019, Article no. 36, paragraph 2-terdecies). This law empowers CONSOB to direct service providers to block access from Italy to platforms operating without the requisite financial authorizations.

Since the provision took effect in July 2019, CONSOB has sanctioned the blackout of 935 such fraudulent financial intermediary sites.

However, it’s worth noting that the actual process of blocking access to these websites is currently underway. Due to technical complexities, the complete blackout could take several days to be effective.

In light of these measures, CONSOB has taken the opportunity to emphasize the significance of due diligence among investors. It urges individuals to exercise caution and make well-informed investment decisions. A pivotal part of this precaution involves verifying the authorization status of financial service providers and ensuring the publication of a prospectus for financial product offerings.

For added investor safety, CONSOB offers a “Watch for Scams!” section on their official website, This resource aims to educate investors and help them identify potentially harmful financial schemes.

Vienna Stock Exchange Integrates Stock, Indices, and Funds Data into TradingView

Vienna Stock Exchange Integrates Stock, Indices, and Funds Data into TradingView

The Vienna Stock Exchange has joined the growing list of TradingView data providers.

The Vienna Stock Exchange is one of the oldest in the world, being in business since 1771. It operates the Prague stocks exchange, provides infrastructure for other European exchanges (in Budapest, Ljubljana, and Zagreb), and strives to strengthen financial education in the region by organizing workshops and seminars every year.

The exchange provides liquidity and visibility to its listed companies, while investors get access to the global financial markets as well as the local market: to help market players evaluate the latter, the exchange launched its main index, the Austrian Traded Index (ATX). Today, the exchange lists 817 companies and keeps adding more.

And now, data from the Vienna Stock Exchange is accessible on TradingView: open the symbol search, type in the “VIE:” prefix, and see all the stocks, indices, funds, bonds, depositary receipts, and warrants available for analysis.

The TradingView platform reliably connects to hundreds of data feeds, with direct access to 1,357,880 instruments from all over the world.

UK Passes a Bill Recognising Crypto Trading as a Regulated Activity

The United Kingdom Parliament has taken a significant step towards becoming a crypto hub by adopting a new law that regulates digital assets and oversees crypto advertisements. The decision aims to position the country at the forefront of the rapidly evolving crypto industry.

UK Passes a Bill Recognising Crypto Trading as a Regulated Activity

The bill, known as the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, has received Royal Assent from King Charles III on June 29, according to a press release issued by the government. The Act, which enables the regulation of crypto assets and stablecoins, has been hailed as a “Rocket Boost” to the UK economy, which has faced substantial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.

  • With the enactment of the Act, regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Bank of England, and the Payments Systems Regulator are now granted the authority to supervise and control financial activities involving digital assets and stablecoins. This move allows these regulatory bodies to implement new rules and safeguards in the digital sector to ensure their safe adoption in the UK.
  • The adoption of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 reflects the UK government’s commitment to fostering innovation and creating a favorable environment for crypto-related businesses. By introducing comprehensive regulations, the government aims to strike a balance between protecting investors and consumers and supporting the growth of the crypto industry.
  • One of the key aspects covered by the new law is the supervision of crypto advertisements. Recognizing the increasing prevalence of crypto-related ads, the Act empowers regulators to monitor and regulate the content and dissemination of these advertisements. This measure aims to prevent misleading or deceptive promotions and to protect individuals from potential scams or fraudulent activities.
  • Moreover, the Act aims to provide clarity and legal certainty for businesses operating in the crypto space. By establishing a clear regulatory framework, the UK government seeks to attract crypto companies and talent, encouraging innovation and investment in the sector. (Learn more about UK financial Firms)

The decision to regulate digital assets and crypto ads aligns with the UK’s broader strategy to leverage emerging technologies and maintain its position as a leading financial center. The government recognizes the transformative potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies and aims to harness their benefits while mitigating associated risks.

As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, the UK’s proactive approach to regulation positions it as a key player in the global digital economy. The new law sets the stage for a thriving and responsible crypto ecosystem, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of this groundbreaking industry.

USD pulls back as Initial Jobless Claims Exceed Consensus

USD pulls back

The initial applications for unemployment benefits surged to 260,000 over the past week exceeding the highest level since October 2021.

The Dollar Index, DXY, fell sharply on Thursday after the US economy sent an alarming signal. The total number of jobless claims has reached 261,000 surpassing estimates of 235,000 and exceeding the 233,000 claims from the week before. As a result, the dominant dollar lost its strength and depreciated by 0.7% as it ventured southward. (Learn more about Forex Trading in the US)

  • Jobless claims are weekly statistic reports issued by the US Department of Labour that estimate the total number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits. There are two types of jobless claims – initial, which consists of people filing for the first time, and continuing, which comprises people who have been receiving unemployment benefits for a while. This is an important indicator for the nation’s macroeconomic scene keeping track of the health of the US jobs market.

The latest figures are higher than those of October 2021 which explains the sharp reaction in the US currency. As a result, the EUR/USD pair surged by approximately 80 pips, reaching $1.0780, while the GBP/USD pair gained around 120 pips, surpassing the $1.2550 mark.

Italy’s CONSOB Takes Action Against Surge of Unregulated Platforms


Italy’s financial markets watchdog, Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), has issued a stark warning concerning a rise in unregulated investment platforms operating within its jurisdiction. The regulator is urging individuals to exercise vigilance and caution while engaging in financial transactions.

In its latest enforcement action, CONSOB ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to five offshore websites found to be operating illegally within Italy. This move is part of the nation’s wider campaign to combat the growing threat of unauthorized providers.

Among the blocked sites is a clone scam of Nadex, the North American derivatives exchange. This fraudulent platform is designed to deceive investors into believing they are dealing with a legitimate, regulated entity. Once lured into this trap, victims’ personal and financial information is exploited for a variety of illicit purposes, including identity theft and unauthorized financial transactions, often leading to substantial losses from drained bank accounts.

For clarity, Nadex remains the only ‎legal way to trade binary options and spreads in the US. The firm, which ‎provides investors with the opportunity to trade stock indices, forex, commodities, ‎economic events, and Bitcoin, is regulated by the CFTC as a Designated ‎Contract Market and Derivatives Clearing Organization.‎

As the battle between legal and unregulated trading intensifies, CONSOB has issued a warning to Italian investors advising against using services from the following entities:

  • “Prime Markets” (website:; page:;
  • “Fintech Market” (website:; related page:;
  • Nadex CFD Limited (website:; related pages:,;
  • Luxem Capital, Inc. (website:

Upon review, the websites of these blocked brokers demonstrate a common tactic of targeting inexperienced clients with offers to trade highly leveraged products.

Since acquiring the power to ban unregulated financial intermediaries in July 2019, CONSOB has blocked a staggering 898 offshore sites. The regulator’s ultimate goal is to completely eradicate unlicensed trading from Italy, ensuring a safer ecosystem for local investors.

To achieve this, CONSOB employs a combination of AI-based search algorithms, investigations, and customer reports to identify rogue offshore operators. The ‘Growth Decree’ has further expanded CONSOB’s power, enabling it to order ISPs to block websites within the region. However, due to technical limitations, it may take several days for such a blackout to come into effect.

  • We strongly advise against trading with offshore trading providers due to the increased risk of fraud. Always ensure that your chosen provider adheres to the regulatory standards set forth by your country.

Admirals to Revoke Estonian License Amids Global Consolidation

Admirals to Revoke Estonian License
Admiral Markets

Admirals has announced its plan to withdraw its investment company license granted in Estonia as part of restructuring. The restructuring stems from the necessity to expand the company’s global presence. However, this change will have no impact on the Admiral Markets’ existing clientele. (Read our detailed review of Admiral Markets)

Admirals Group AS, the parent firm of Forex and CFD trading company Admirals, is planning to merge with its Estonian subsidiary, Admirals Markets AS, in the first half of the upcoming year. To implement the plan, the company intends to withdraw its Estonian license, assumably in August this year.

According to the company’s announcement, the decision to restructure comes from the necessity to expand its global presence, as the company has already significantly positioned itself in many regions over the past few years. Admirals also reassures that the change will have no impact on their existing clients. Moreover, it stated that MoneyZen — a trading platform regulated by Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority — will continue to operate in the country. (Platform’s official website:

Admiral Groups runs several subsidiaries in over 18 countries with client portfolios in over 145 countries and is internationally regulated in the UK, Canada, Cyprus, Australia, and South Africa.

In addition to restructuring, Admirals revealed its plans to buyback a total of 18,268 Tier 2 bonds worth €1.9 million from its investors.

For additional details regarding the broker’s proposal, please visit their official website –

ThinkMarkets Goes Public via SPAC Deal in Canada

ThinkMarkets Goes Public

ThinkMarkets, an Australian-based broker operated by Think Financial Group Holdings Limited, has announced its plans to go public through a reverse merger with Canada-listed blank check company, FG Acquisition Corp. The anticipated listing is scheduled for July 2023. (Read our detailed review about ThinkMarkets)

  • Nauman Anees, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkMarkets expressed excitement about embarking on this new phase as a publicly traded company with the support of FGAC. Nauman Anees will assume the role of CEO in the merged entity, while the other Co-Founder, Faizan Anees, will become the President.
  • According to Nauman Anees, the decision to list on the TSX in Canada offers an efficient pathway into the public markets, and the company sees significant opportunities to expand its product and service offerings in Canada.

ThinkMarkets provides retail forex trading services and also operates an institutional presence with a liquidity provisioning platform launched in 2021. The broker boasts a substantial client base of 138,500 traders from 165 countries. With a strong focus on growth, ThinkMarkets achieved a 24% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and generated $62 million in revenue in 2022.

While the majority of its business is in the retail sector, ThinkMarkets is experiencing year-over-year growth in its institutional business. In addition to its presence in Australia, the broker has expanded internationally, obtaining a license in New Zealand earlier this year and entering the Japanese market through the acquisition of a local FX firm.

Vantage Obtains License to Establish Operations in South Africa

Vantage, an ASIC-regulated foreign exchange brokerage, has extended its services to tap into the emerging opportunities in South Africa, a rapidly growing and dynamic region.

Vantage has successfully obtained a derivatives license from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). This authorization permits the company to function as an OTC derivative provider, enabling it to engage in activities such as originating, issuing, selling, or creating a market for OTC derivatives as part of its regular business operations.

Vantage expressed its interest in operating in South Africa due to various factors, including the favorable business environment and the progressive legal framework for international brokerage firms in the country.

To comply with local regulations, Vantage must appoint registered representatives within the country, including at least one key individual and a compliance officer, to effectively manage company affairs. In line with this requirement, Ted Odigie was promoted to Head of Sales for Africa in November. With over 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, Odigie specializes in business development and client management, joining Vantage in August 2021.

Marc Despallieres, Chief Strategy and Trading Officer at Vantage, commented, “We are delighted to have obtained our FSCA license. South Africa has been our target market, and we were determined to offer traders outstanding financial services and products while adhering to the highest regulatory standards.”

Forex brokers in South Africa are overseen by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, which grants approval to firms operating within the jurisdiction. The FSCA issues licenses and has the authority to impose penalties on companies that violate the guidelines of the nation’s dual regulatory system.

South Africa boasts a robust and well-structured financial market, making it an attractive destination for brokers seeking expansion. As one of the top ten global capital markets, it attracts thousands of investors. Furthermore, the market in South Africa offers diversity and is not as saturated as other regions like Europe.

In addition to entering the South African market, Vantage recently expanded its service offerings and trading products by introducing Vantage Connect, a liquidity solution catering to institutions and corporates in the UK.

This move into the B2B market aligns with the current challenges faced by institutional and professional traders when accessing the wholesale foreign exchange price-matching community through a prime brokerage model. Vantage’s strategic expansion in the institutional segment aims to meet the growing demand for customized trading solutions.

Oil Prices Stabilize as Russia Deems Further Production Cuts Unnecessary

Oil Prices Stabilize

Thursday saw a stabilization in oil prices, mitigating some of the previous session’s losses, following Russia’s announcement that OPEC+ does not foresee a need for additional output reductions.

Alexander Novak, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, characterized the oil markets as balanced. Russia is a member of the OPEC+ consortium of oil-producing nations that earlier this month unexpectedly agreed to slash their collective production by about 1.16 million barrels per day, a move the U.S. termed ill-advised.

Novak stated that OPEC+ does not view further oil output cuts as necessary, but it has the capacity to tweak its policy as required.

Brent crude futures rose by 64 cents, reaching $78.33 a barrel at 1:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT). Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude saw an increase of 60 cents, settling at $74.90.

On Wednesday, both benchmarks plummeted nearly 4% as concerns about a potential U.S. economic recession overshadowed a larger-than-anticipated decrease in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Investors are closely monitoring economic indicators for potential signs affecting energy demand.

The U.S. economy experienced a more significant slowdown than anticipated in Q1, although there was a decrease in jobless claims for the week ending April 22, according to data.

An analyst at Price Futures Group, Phil Flynn stated, “There’s a blend of signals on interest rates, and the oil market is uncertain how to react to this.”

U.S. data on Wednesday indicated a greater-than-expected drop in capital goods spending. The slumping of First Republic Bank further influenced the weak risk sentiment in the banking sector, which weighed down oil prices.

Analysts highlight poor refinery margins as a key factor in the recent fall of oil prices. Tamas Varga, an oil broker at PVM, named heating and gas oil “the principal potential drivers of this marked weakness.”

Varga noted that “Stocks of this product are somewhat resistant to depletion, possibly due to robust Russian exports.”

Despite an EU embargo and oil price cap, sources informed Reuters that Russia has ramped up its exports of refined products.

Reduced refinery profit margins could result in run cuts and a subsequent decrease in crude demand, suggested Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

The backwardation in the Brent futures curve (LCOc1-LCOc7) has levelled off slightly above $2.00 per barrel, after peaking at $4 a barrel on April 12.

Backwardation, a market scenario where front-month contract prices surpass those of later months, typically suggests a tight supply.

Market participants are waiting for the first quarter data on eurozone GDP growth, due Friday, for potential market direction. The data could influence the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decisions in its meeting scheduled for May 4.