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FXCM: We’re Gearing Up for Some Major Growth in China

Jan 17 2013

A couple of days ago FXCM released its December 2012 metrics and even though it remains one of the biggest brokers worldwide, we spotted slight declines in numbers. However, FXCM seems to have a plan to boost up its operation, and that plan is China. 

In terms of forex trading, China is an undeveloped market, terra incognita of a sort. There are a number of legislative restrictions that make it very hard for a foreign broker to penetrate the Chinese market, therefore making China a very peculiar place for running a brokerage house. The obstacles are various: for starters, the Chinese Renminbi is not yet fully convertible. Chinese laws forbid any individual from converting more than $50,000 worth of renminbi in a calendar year, and yet rates on the Yuan are offered by a few brokers, FXDD, Saxo Bank and GFT. Furthermore, the status of margin forex as a tradable asset class is undecided. Complex financial products including spread betting are not allowed in the domestic market, and the list goes on and on. 
It is a bit ironic, really – one of the first countries in the world to start using money is now imposing  quite a few restrictions on, well, using money.  
Nonetheless, operating on the Chinese forex market is not impossible. FXCM, for example, has set a regulated office in Hong Kong and runs its Asian business out of there. The broker believes China to be the biggest growth market this year, mainly because of the advance of mobile trading: Chinese retail forex traders account for 20% of the mobile trading volumes in the second half of 2012.  For comparison, only 13% of mobile trading was executed by US traders, and 7% - by Brits. Keeping in mind that FXCM's trading volume from mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) has almost doubled in the past year, I find these stats to be pretty impressive. Speaking of impressive, 10% of the broker's trades are made on the go, from a mobile device. 
This is yeat another confirmation of the mobile trading trend, and Asia - being the earliest adopter of all things technical, is bound to lead that wave.
“We’re gearing up for some major growth in China,” said Brendan Callan, chief executive of FXCM Europe, for the Financial Times. “The industry there is starting to change and they seem to be more open to letting outsiders into [the] mainland, which would be huge for us.” Callan admits that there FXCM is still very limited as to what it can do in China, yet he acknowledges the fact that many Chinese traders register their accounts via the broker's London office. 

About FXCM Inc. 

FXCM Inc. (NYSE: FXCM) is a global online provider of foreign exchange (forex) trading and related services to retail and institutional customers world-wide. 
At the heart of FXCM's client offering is No Dealing Desk forex trading. Clients benefit from FXCM's large network of forex liquidity providers enabling FXCM to offer competitive spreads on major currency pairs. Clients have the advantage of mobile trading, one-click order execution and trading from real-time charts. FXCM's U.K. subsidiary, Forex Capital Markets Limited, also offers CFD products with no re-quote trading and allows clients to trade oil, gold, silver and stock indices along with forex on one platform. In addition, FXCM offers educational courses on forex trading and provides free news and market research through 


TAGS: FXCM  forex trading  forex metrics  China  Renminbi  Yuan  GFT  FXDD  Saxo Bank  forex regulation  Hong Kong 

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