Forex broker Weltrade said on Friday it has become a candidate member of the Association for the Development of Financial Market (ADFM), a Belarusian association that consists of international over-the-counter (OTC) forex broker and other investment companies. The move is part of the broker’s development plans for the markets in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
ADFM was set up in April 2013 by its only registered members – Russian forex brokers Alpari, Forex Club, and TeleTrade. The association aims to create a regulatory mechanism for the forex market in the country to ensure transparency and market standards and rules.
The same three brokers that established the Belarusian association are the only forex dealers that await Russian authorization, after earlier this week the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), which is in charge of the regulation of the forex market in the country, granted the first forex broker license to Finam Forex. Russia adopted earlier this year regulatory amendments, requiring all forex brokers operating in the country to obtain a license from the CBR. Otherwise they have to cease operations as of 1 January, 2016.
Following the adoption of the new forex legislation in Russia, Belarus also underwent law amendments, according to data published by KROUFR, Russia’s commission for the regulation of the financial market. In June this year, Belarisan president Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on a new regulation of the country’s financial market, under which Belarus will create and maintain a register of forex companies licensed by the Belarusian central bank, the NBRB, as well as a national forex center for supervision of the compliance with requirements of the decree.
The changes, which will come into effect within nine months of signing, aim to “develop financial market of Belarus, enhance legal protection of citizens – consumers of financial services and reduce the risk of interaction with fraudulent companies and financial pyramids.” Brokers will have to provide registered funds of a minimum BYR 2 billion, or about $130,000.
Systemgates Capital, the owner of the Weltade brand, announced last week it received a forex broker license from the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), the Belize financial regulator. Prior to this, the broker did not fall under the regulatory supervision of any country.
Belize is known as an offshore destination for forex traders, where the regulation is not as strict as in other places and the requirements for acquiring a license are more liberal than in the UK, Australia or Cyprus. Many forex brokers choose to register and be regulated in Belize since the provision of a license there requires them to meet fewer and softer criteria and to comply with less strict rules and requirements than if they registered in other countries. Moreover, costs related to incorporation and regulation are significantly lower in Belize and brokers’ required unimpaired capital needs to be as low as $100,000.
Weltrade, set up in 2006 in Russia as SystemForex, was rebranded in 2012. It is currently based in Belize and has representative offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Thailand, as well as 126 regional partners across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It is active in 18 countries, including Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Asian countries.