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Exclusive: Ali Hassan Launches New FX Brokerage in Cyprus

Exclusive: Ali Hassan Launches New FX Brokerage in Cyprus

After a series of penalties and suspensions made by the Cypriot regulator in the last few month, all aimed to tighten online trading regulation, the question of whether or not the new rules would affect forex, CFDs brokers was on everyone’s mind.

However, it seems that CySEC’s efforts were not that bad, since we have just found out that at least one broker out there is brave enough to expand its business to Cyprus.

As Finance Magnates has exclusively learned, Middle East FX veteran Ali Hassan has led efforts to obtain a CySEC CIF license for a new retail brokerage firm, operating under the brand Evest.com.

Ali Hassan

Mr. Hassan is going live with the new FX brokerage that has been in the works over the last three months. The new firm, which has secured decent funding from a big investor, is also seeking additional licenses from other ‘top-tier’ regulators, including the financial watchdog of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Introducing the new brand, eVEST CEO Ali Hasan said, “We must trust the numbers, once you understand the numbers of any business, the growth can be controlled.”

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Ali also said that eVEST engaged other “established entrepreneurs” and that it raised seven million dollars through its A funding round from one investor alone, but “the investor does not want to reveal his name at the moment.”

Eyes on the Arab gulf region

We understand that the entire process of the firm’s venture onto the UAE territory began a while before obtaining the Cypriot license, but the application is still pending regulatory approvals.

Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) has very strict guidelines in place for obtaining a forex license, as well as for conducting forex business. Specifically, obtaining a UAE forex license is a complicated procedure that involves many legal limitations that revolve around the country’s prohibitions on banking activity in the local currency.

With a booming economy and massive levels of inward investment and migration, the Gulf market, in particular, looks an increasingly attractive investment opportunity within the MENA region. However, expanding into more developed markets within the Gulf area, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has been a complex process with many potential pitfalls, as getting ‘straight’ regulatory approvals to operate a forex retail brand is extremely difficult.

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Robinhood Customers Experience Money Transfer Issues

Robinhood Customers Experience Money Transfer Issues

Robinhood users are reporting that they have been experiencing issues with certain types of bank transfers. The new problem adds to users’ frustration after the app was plagued with recurring tech issues that prevented them at many times from accessing their accounts or executing trades.

Robinhood’s status page says all systems are “operational,” but some customers are reporting issues with bank transfers. “We are working to resolve this as soon as possible,” the brokerage said without explaining further.

Robinhood is popular with newbs and younger investors and has rapidly grown its customer base to 13 million. However, the no-fee app, which is reportedly looking to go public next year, took heat many times this year after several days of outages saw users unable to trade on the platform.

Most recently, Robinhood briefly joined a handful of US major brokers who reported last week trading glitches that affected thousands of customers. Robinhood was also part of a similar multi-system market outage that affected the US major platforms in August due to higher-than-usual trading volumes.

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Some customers were also left furious after nearly 2,000 brokerage accounts at Robinhood were compromised by an attack that gave hackers the ability to take over users’ trades and funds.

The security breach is believed to be the largest in Robinhood’s history and is particularly severe because the attackers stole access to brokerage accounts of clients who claim they had set up two-factor authentication.

Many users complained that hackers liquidated their investments and withdrew balances to online payment apps. Angry users took to Twitter and Reddit to blast Robinhood after the company’s support team failed to provide any meaningful help to stop the theft of their money.

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Malaysia Hits Midtou and Actionnode with Regulatory Warnings

Malaysia Hits Midtou and Actionnode with Regulatory Warnings

Malaysia’s financial regulator has backlisted yet another group of FX and cryptocurrency websites, citing their brands are not authorised to operate in the country.

Firstly, the Securities Commission (SC) said Midtou Global, and its associated brands MFG Global and Midtou Global Financial, is carrying out unlicensed capital market activities. Midtou Financials is the forex trading arm of Indonesia-based Midtou Global Financial Group, which is regulated by Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory, often abbreviated as BAPPEBTI.

Midtou’s Indonesian authorisation, however, doesn’t entail passporting rights to promote its products in Malaysia.

Elsewhere, the Securities Commission (SC) has also red-flagged a digital-asset investment firm called ‘Actionnode,’ and put the company on its caution list of unlicensed operators.

Binance, FintechFX also blacklisted

The watchdog advises its citizens not to make use of such services nor to make any investment with companies or individuals that are not approved or licensed by the SC.

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In July, the southeast Asian country’s regulator issued a similar warning against Binance, FintechFX and other firms operating various investment services in the country. It said these platforms are not authorized to operate in the country nor subject to its regulatory oversight.

Anyone who engages in regulated activities without a valid license or registration from the SC is committing an offence under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. If convicted, they may be punished with imprisonment of up to ten years and fined.

The new list also includes offshore firms that offer payment and Fintech services, which comes at a time when Malaysia is bracing for the arrival of digital banks, with up to five licenses to be issued by the country’s central bank once the regulation for the industry is in place.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is now working towards releasing regulation guidelines for virtual-bank operation in Malaysia, dubbed ‘the Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks’.

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