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In November 2016 the Capital Markets Authority in Lebanon, which is the Lebanese independent and autonomous regulatory body established by the Capital Markets Law five years earlier stepped up in an effort to regulate the retail forex and CFD market in the country.
The new measures, however, were rather harsh, according some market analysts – maximum leverage with forex transactions were capped at 1:5, while the minimum deposit requirement to open a trading account was increased to 10 000 USD.
The Vice Chairman of CMA, however, compared the retail forex market under the old regulations, where the leverage restriction was much more generous and there was no minimum deposit requirement set by the regulator, to a casino:
“When we started out mandate, we realized that these forex service providers were allowing investors to trade with 1000 USD accounts”, commented Firas Safieddine CMA’s Vice Chairman and Expert in Capital Markets. “That is very little in currency trading; you might as well go to the casino. We said, it is not allowed to have accounts with 1000 USD, you can open an account with a minimum of 10 000 USD. To make it clear; I am not saying that the whole forex section is a casino. We classify, however, that opening 1000 USD accounts for 1000 clients, is a casino”.
Otherwise the CMA has a mandate to license and approves financial Intermediary Institutions that deal in capital markets related activities. The CMA also regulates and licenses all financial products, securities, (including securities based insurance products) which are marketed and sold to investors in Lebanon.
That said, however, if you reside in Lebanon, you can always open a trading account with a internationally operating broker, licensed by a trusted financial authority like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
As for the payment methods in the country the easiest way is to pay with credit cards like VISA and MasterCard. Other options include PayFort, 2Checkout, Tap, PayUMoney, BitPay and GoCoin., but you can not use PayPal or Skrill.