FX week in review: Google FX ads problem, NetDania acquired, Pfizer vaccine news
When life gets “back to normal” and we all look back on this particular period, the week of November 9 will surely stand out for two key reasons. One, Joe Biden was confirmed as the winner of the US Presidential election. And two, Pfizer gave us hope that life would indeed return to normal, with the pleasantly surprising news that its COVID-19 vaccine was more effective in providing immunity to the disease than most had hoped was possible.
And the FX trading world was quite affected by both of these monumental news events, with trading volumes soaring which all at once brought down the trading platforms of some brokers, and hit the share price of others.
Also this week at FNG we reported on Google’s problems in Russia thanks to FX broker ads, M&A involving an acquired Forex broker as well as a popular FX trader website, a number of senior executive moves including a new CMO at leading Australia Retail FX broker Pepperstone, and lots more.
Some of the top forex industry news items to appear on FNG this week included:
LegacyFX ads land Google into trouble in Russia. Google LLC has gotten into trouble with the Russian authorities again over distributing ads of an unauthorized Forex broker. The Moscow division of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has determined that Google LLC violated the Law on Advertising by distributing the ads of LegacyFX, a firm active in the Forex market. Google distributed LegacyFX ads via Google Adwords. Given that LegacyFX does not have a Forex dealer license issued by the Central Bank of Russia, the firm is not allowed to offer Forex services in Russia. Neither is it allowed to advertise FX services to Russian investors.
Accuindex acquires CySEC licensed Ruizean Markets Ltd. Retail FX and CFD broker Accuindex has come “onshore”, with the Mauritius licensed, UAE investor controlled broker announcing today that it has acquired 100% of the share capital of the Cyprus operations of another Forex and CFD broker, CySEC licensed Ruizean Markets Ltd. Ruizean was established in Cyprus in 2017, controlled by several Australia based Chinese nationals. However the owners did not do much with the operation since then. To this extent, the company’s name has been changed to Accuindex EU Limited. The new Cyprus office is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under the license number 340/17.
Exclusive: Pfizer vaccine driven trading surge affects IG web trading platform. FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that some traders on IG Group’s web trading platforms were experiencing intermittent issues with certain features of the platform in the hour following pharma giant Pfizer’s announcement regarding the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine trials. Pfizer announced at 6:45am EST that its COVID-19 vaccine trial involving more than 43,000 participants experienced a greater-than-90% efficacy rate in preventing COVID-19 illness. That was a much better than expected result, immediately sent equity markets soaring (with the exception of quarantine-friendly stocks such as Zoom), gold diving, oil leaping, and all traders trying to figure out who were the bug winners and big losers.
Plus500 shares dive 7.5% in wake of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The market just doesn’t understand the Retail FX/CFD space. As investors spent the day Monday sorting out the potential winners and losers from what seems to be light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel in the wake of Pfizer’s vaccine trial results, one of the companies on the “casualty” side of the ledger was Plus500. Shares of the leading online CFD broker were fairly stable all morning Monday, trading slightly above Friday’s 1,483p closing price. Then came Pfizer’s just-before-noon (London time) announcement that its 43,000+ person COVID-19 vaccine trial has demonstrated more than 90% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 sickness. What ensued was a huge surge in (most) equity prices with most European equity indices (and US Futures) rising 4-5% alongside a 10% rise in the price of crude oil.
Christian Frahm launches United Fintech, acquires NetDania. He’s back. After we reported exclusively back in June that CFH Group founder and longtime CEO Christian Frahm had resigned from the board of the company as well as its FCA regulated subsidiary CFH Clearing, we have learned that he has now emerged with a new fintech venture aptly called United Fintech. United Fintech’s first transaction is the acquisition of market data and charting company NetDania, based in Mr. Frahm’s home country of Denmark. NetDania’s founder Stig Brylle passed away suddenly last year at the age of 61. Over the next five years United Fintech plans to acquire and scale up a range of innovative small to medium sized engineering-led fintech companies.
FX industry executive moves reported this week at FNG include:
❑ Pepperstone hires Sportsbet exec Tony Gruebner as CMO.
❑ Exclusive: IG Group marketing exec Ben Tidman moves to TradingView.
❑ Exclusive: BidFX taps FX Connect veteran Tak Koyama as Head of Japan.
❑ Exclusive: GMI-UK adds Chris Hossain-Nelson and Zaid Alkhatib as directors.
❑ Broadridge appoints Edmund Reese as its Chief Financial Officer.
❑ TransFICC names Nasdaq veteran Gary Vann as Head of Sales.