ETFinance announces a sponsorship with Real Madrid Basketball

ETFinance logo

European online investment platform, ETFinance has announced its official partnership with Real Madrid’s Basketball Club. This three-year sponsorship was announced at Real Madrid’s facilities in Valdebebas.

The round table event was attended by Borja Vilar, regional general manager of ETFinance, a leading company in online investments in Europe; and Pablo Laso, Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernández, on behalf of the Whites’ team. 

Borja Vilar has commented on the sponsorship with ETFinance: “a platform for investors from those just starting out to the highly experienced. For the beginners, we have all types of tools to help you learn how to invest and understand the market. And for the experienced investor, we have the tools for analysis. For us, it is highly important to provide the type of tools that help everyone focus on their financial well-being. It is a way to give people the power to control their own money. In addition, we have mobile and desktop applications and hundreds of assets that you can invest in.”

Real Madrid logo

Vilar Martos has added that this partnership represents the common values at a global level. ETFinance wants to promote the values that they have as a company and of everyone that works there. That is why choosing the Real madrid was a natural fit.

“Real Madrid is perfect, not just for their global reach but because of their togetherness and the whole club family that they represent.”

ETFinance offers its traders a unique trading experience that focuses on equipping them with all the tools and knowledge they need to build their financial future. Its platforms offer traders the ability to trade CFDs on a wide range of financial assets (equities, indices, currencies and commodities).

FCA on Delivering financial services digitally in its perimeter report

FCA Regulator

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) recently published its first annual Perimeter Report, in which it comments on the limits of its responsibilities towards the UK citizens. The perimeter is basically the legal boundary determining what the FCA regulates (and therefore also what it does not regulate).

In the report, the FCA says it might push internet service providers (ISPs) to take down misleading or unfair financial promotions, in order to improve consumer protection. The regulator also stated it might ban certain cryptoassets falling outside its regulatory perimeter.

“Digital channels enable firms to create, market and sell financial services products very quickly. This means that the speed at which harm can be caused by a misleading or unfair financial promotion has greatly increased. Internet or social media adverts reach millions of people in an instant, challenging our ability to detect and act against misleading adverts. Historically, we asked traditional media to voluntarily remove adverts we believed to be fraudulent. This is harder to achieve with internet service providers. We address this with warnings on our own website, but this is clearly not as effective as taking down promotions.”

It is the main reason why the FCA will seek greater regulatory control over ISPs and push them to remove fraudulent content & social media ads. The British regulator also said that it is developing and deploying automated tools for detecting online products or practices that pose potential risks to consumers.

The report also spoke about retail products, especially when it comes to binary options, which are sold by foreign brokers. The agency keeps a close eye on the companies that do this, as well as dangers which may come from such behavior. Further, they regularly update their warning list in regards to such firms and their products.

Vantage FX goes through a major rebrand

Vantage FX logo

One of the leading global CFD brokers, Vantage FX, has announced its rebranding. The idea is to reflect the company’s evolution into an all-encompassing, global financial services provider.

Head of Sales, Marketing and Partnerships of Vantage FX, David Bily has commented on the announcement: “The company’s rebrand and new tagline, “Trade your way” represents a significant step in the company’s evolution. We are redefining who we are, driving change and shaping the future of a pure client-centric financial services provider.”

Vantage FX brand ethos has always been built on transparency, trust, credibility and an exceptionally strong service offering as a CFD broker. These are the principles that have kept the company not only running seamlessly for the past decade and growing rapidly over this time, but it is something that it is continuously evolving that will aid in delivering what company’s clients truly want.

The “Trade your Way” tagline is to show that regardless of clients’ trading style, preferred instruments or financial goal, the company got them covered. Vantage FX has extended its instrument offering, reduced the costs of trading, and also placed a great deal of emphasis on onboarding client service staff that can support the clients in an increasing number of languages.

Vantage FX team of developers have created a brand new multilingual website, client portal, and improved IB portal, all offering an engaging design, a very effective user experience, and a suite of new features and functions that have been implemented at the request of the  clients and partners. 

Bily has also added: “If 2019 is anything to go by, Vantage FX’s existing clients, as well as the new-comers are sure to benefit from what 2020 will bring. Vantage FX are in the process of introducing even more products through their already extensive global Share CFD offering, as well as implementing further improvements to trade costs and the infrastructure to support the increasing number of traders that are switching from other brokers, and those who are joining for the first time.”

You can read our full Vantage FX review here.

Jerome Powell To Lead the Fed for Another Four Years

Jerome Powell To Lead the Fed for Another Four Years

The White House and Joe Biden have, as expected, nominated Fed Chairman Powell for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed). Lael Brainard will be vice-chair of the Fed, taking the reins from Richard Clarida, the current vice-chairman, whose time on the board of governors is set to expire in January. Clarida decided to file for resignation in October after allegations of insider trading.

The WH statement read,

“We can’t just return to where we were before the pandemic, we need to build our economy back better, and I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy more robust than ever before.”

US inflation is at 30-year highs (with the core CPI above 4% and regular CPI above 6% yearly) and shows no signs of easing. Well, for some people, it still may be considered as “low inflation and stable prices.” 

The decision was taken hawkishly as investors perceived Lael Brainard more-dovishly, sending the two-year yield to new cycle highs just below 0.6% and shifting the market’s expectations for a first rate-hike from July 2022 to June 2022.

At the same time, the USD index followed yields higher, rising to 96.50, undermining precious metals. At the time of writing, gold was down 2% at 1,810 USD, while silver plunged nearly 1.5% to trade at around 24.30 USD.

Equities reacted in a volatile way, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 falling, while the SP500 and Dow Jones index were trading higher on the day.

It looks like gold will retest its 200-day moving average at around 1,790 USD. Another strong support is expected at the ascending trend line near 1,785 USD. Suppose the bullion drops below these two zones. In that case, the medium-term uptrend could be over, possibly hitting stop-losses of long positions and sending the metal further lower, targeting 1,760 USD in the initial reaction.

Alternatively, if bulls reappear, gold needs to get back above 1,830 USD to cancel the immediate bearish threat. 

GCEX and PrimeXM launch a new liquidity distribution partnership

GCEX, a leading provider of digital technology solutions in crypto-assets and multi-segment currencies, has announced integration with PrimeXM’s XCore. PrimeXM is one of the leading technology B2B providers to the retail and institutional electronic e-trading industry, delivering cutting-edge aggregation and execution management software – XCore.

GCEX (GC Exchange Limited) was established in 2018 as a part of the GC Group. There was a demand for regulated and compliant exposure to the Cryptoasset market. GCEX is an FCA-regulated and authorized provider of the funds, brokers, asset managers, professional traders and banks with an advanced suite of integrated financial technology products. It includes AI applications, allowing clients to automate on-boarding, offer and trade Cryptoassets and Currencies with tight spreads, deep liquidity from Tier 1 sources and solutions for clearing.

PrimeXM logo

The PrimeXM partnership now allows participants of the XCore community to access GCEX liquidity which includes digital assets and FX. The XCore system is an ultra low latency order routing pricing and execution engine which provides institutions the opportunity to connect to a wide range of liquidity providers. Furthermore, XCore is installed and managed by PrimeXM’s infrastructure in Equinix data centers (LD4, NY4, TY3), allowing for the efficient management of the entire brokerage business in a centralized low-latency environment.

GCEX CEO and Founder, Lars Holst commented, “We are excited to enter into this partnership with PrimeXM and integrate GCEX’s digital asset and FX liquidity within the XCore trading infrastructure and community. XCore has proved to be an extremely popular venue amongst GCEX’s institutional client base and we are confident that PrimeXM’s market-leading technology will complement our extremely competitive pricing to provide GCEX’s clients with a first-class trading experience”.

PrimeXM COO, Galin Georgiev commented, “We are excited to have this integration with GCEX and welcome them as a liquidity provider into our growing XCore trading community. Our Clients will be able to benefit from such partnership and enjoy cost-efficient and low-latency connectivity to execute in digital assets and FX, supported by the experienced team behind GCEX”.

GCEX has previously partnered with the institutional liquidity provider Gold-i.

Brokerage firm AFX Markets goes into administration

FCA Regulator

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed the appointment of special administrators at the AFX Markets after ceasing its trading activities. 

The FCA has announced that, on August 27, 2019, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales appointed special administrators to AFX Markets Limited.

AFX Markets logo

AFX Markets Limited (AFX Markets) is a UK registered company that has been authorised by us since May 2012. AFX Markets acted as broker for customers trading on its online trading platforms (ww.afxgroup.com and www.stofs.co.uk), principally in foreign exchange and contracts for difference products. 

AFX Capital is AFX Markets’ parent and is based in Cyprus – its license with Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Cypriot regulator, has been suspended since 19 July 2019.  

On 31 July 2019, as a result of concerns over AFX Markets’ financial position and its arrangements for safeguarding monies held on behalf of its clients, the FCA required AFX Markets to cease conducting any regulated activities, except solely for the purpose of closing trading positions, and freezing all its assets.  

The special administration order appoints insolvency practitioners from CG Recovery Limited (CG Recovery) (which also trades as CG&Co) as special administrators of AFX Markets. Jonathan Avery-Gee and Daniel Richardson from CG Recovery have been appointed as the joint Special Administrators.

AFX Markets is still authorised by the FCA and remains subject to supervisory oversight and our rules.

ESMA and ASIC have signed an arrangements on benchmarking

ESMA logo

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting out cooperation arrangements in respect of Australian benchmarks.

The EU Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) prescribes a European common framework to ensure the integrity and accuracy of benchmarks used in the EU. 

The MoU sets out appropriate cooperation arrangements to complement the EU’s equivalence decision, as well as to ensure effective information exchange and supervisory coordination. Under it, both authorities agree to provide each other with the fullest cooperation permissible under their laws and regulations in relation to all relevant information and supervisory activities regarding the covered benchmarks. 

ASIC logo

This decision will allow benchmarks declared significant by ASIC (BBSW, S&P/ASX200, Bond Futures Settlement Price, CPI, and Cash Rate) to be used in the EU by EU-supervised entities. 

Commenting on the MoU, James Shipton, the Chair of ASIC said: “Enhancing and improving regulatory cooperation with our international counterparts is a priority for ASIC. We are very pleased to announce this agreement and look forward to our cooperation with ESMA in the future.”

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “The use of financial benchmarks in global capital markets is important for market participants and their accuracy and reliability needs to be ensured at all times. In order to help regulators achieving these objectives, I am pleased that the ESMA-ASIC Memorandum of Understanding will support European regulators and ASIC to work together on a sound legal basis.”

ASIC is Australia’s integrated corporate entity that regulates , markets, financial services and consumer credits. ASIC is an independent Commonwealth Government body. Its vision is for a fair, strong and efficient financial system for all Australians. You can check our detailed article about the pros of dealing with ASIC-regulated brokers.

SFC fines FIL Investment Management Limited for regulatory breaches

SFC logo

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined FIL Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited (FIMHK) HK$3.5 million for regulatory breaches including unlicensed dealing in futures contracts, delay in reporting the breach to the SFC as well as submitting incorrect information during an application.

The regulator found that between August 2007 and July 2018, FIMHK executed 6,738 trades in futures contracts for its overseas affiliates with an approximate value of US$40 billion without the required license.  FIMHK identified the suspected breach in a review conducted between May and June 2018 but only reported the incident to the SFC in August 2018, after it had obtained external legal advice.

The SFC also found that FIMHK, when applying to the SFC for a new fund authorization in March 2017, submitted an incorrect information checklist based on an outdated template.  As a result, the certain required information was not completed or provided in the checklist submitted to the SFC.

The internal investigation conducted by FIMHK and the reviews performed by an independent reviewer engaged by FIMHK identified certain deficiencies and weaknesses in FIMHK’s internal controls and systems, which suggest that FIMHK did not put in place satisfactory and effective systems and controls to ensure the accuracy of information submitted to the SFC at the relevant time.

FIMHK has been licensed under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) to dealing in securities, advising on securities, advising on futures contracts asset management regulated activities since 29 March 2005.

You may check our list of the SFC-Regulated Brokers.

ECB Surprises Markets, Changes Guidance to Hawkish

ECB Surprises Markets, Changes Guidance to Hawkish

The euro has rallied strongly over the previous days as traders bought the shared currency following last week’s European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy decision and press conference.

At its Thursday meeting, the ECB sounded unexpectedly hawkish, saying it might recalibrate monetary policy at its next meeting in March.

According to the report, the Governing Council agreed that it’s sensible not to exclude a rate hike this year and that an end of bond-buying under the APP in the third quarter is possible.

Additionally, both Bloomberg and Reuters reported that ECB policymakers “see policy change at March meeting if inflation doesn’t ease,” adding that a “sizable minority” of ECB policymakers wanted to change policy at Thursday’s meeting, and also noted that ECB policymakers see a faster tapering of APP purchases as the “first port of call to fight high inflation.”

The euro strengthened massively following the ECB decision, sending the EURUSD pair to one-month highs near 1.1480. At the same time, yields in the eurozone soared, while the rate market now expects the ECB to hike rates two times by September 2022.

The German 2-year yield had a nine-sigma event, causing it to spike steeply to multi year highs, reaching 0.2% for the first time since 2015. It looks like monetary policy in the euro zone could start to tighten gradually. 

The next resistance for the euro now stands at previous lows at 1.1520. If the shared currency rises above that level, the medium-term outlook could change to bullish, targeting the 200-day moving average (green line) near 1.1670.

Alternatively, support could be found at previous highs of 1.1380 and corrections to this level are expected to be bought.