FX week in review: ADSS CEO moves to Equiti, XTB’s bad Q2, Darwinex fundraising

UAE based FX/CFD brokers ADSS and Equiti Group have been natural rivals for a number of years, both domestically and in their respective marches to expand on the international stage. So it was naturally quite newsworthy when this week FNG exclusively broke the story of ADSS UK CEO (since 2016) Paul Webb leaving, and then joining Equiti Capital in London.

On the results front we were provided this week with several stark reminders that while the Retail FX broker industry has done fairly well in the times of COVID – which has brought along with it more market volatility alongside a record bull market – not everyone is doing great.

The great bull market of 2020-2021 has resulted in a record number of new (and ever younger) clients in the online trading sector, and they are more into trading cryptos and equities they are familiar with (Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Zoom, Netflix…) than their older, FX centric counterparts.

Some brokers have harnessed that action a lot better than others, especially when it comes to cryptos and the ability to properly hedge and risk manage ultra-volatile digital currencies.

This week’s Forex Industry News at FNG included a huge drop in the share price of Poland’s XTB as its Q2 revenues fell 70%; a loss for ATFX UK; and a return to profitability for FXCM UK.

Some of the most read and commented-on FX industry news stories to appear over the past seven days on FNG included:

XTB shares plummet 25% after posting $6M Q2 loss, 70% revenue drop. Poland based Retail FX and CFDs brokerage group XTB has just reported its financial results for Q2, including a loss of PLN 23.9 million (USD $6 million) for the quarter after revenues dropped by 70% (!!) QoQ, coming in at PLN 55.2 million (USD $15 million) versus PLN 186.7 million in Q1. As a result, shares of XTB (WSE:XTB) were trading down by more than 25% in early trading on the Warsaw exchange, at a 52-week low of PLN 12 per share (yesterday’s close was PLN 16.57). Profitability per lot amounted to PLN 63 and reached the lowest level in the last 5 years.

Exclusive: ATFX UK posts £766K loss in 2020. FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that ATFX UK (or more formally AT Global Markets UK Limited), the FCA regulated arm of Chinese controlled retail FX broker ATFX, posted a loss of £766,416 for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020. ATFX has lost a number of senior executives in the UK and elsewhere over the past year, including Dan Lewis in institutional sales (now at IS Prime), head of project management Mike O’Sullivan (to INFINOX), MENA focused Ahmed Fouad (now at Leverate), institutional exec Ghadeer Ibrahim (to MultiBank), and Dubai based bus dev executive Mohamed Halim (now at TeraFX). ATFX is controlled by Chinese entrepreneur Hiu Keung (Joe) Li.

FXCM UK turns $4.9M profit in 2020. After posting a $1 million loss in 2019, Forex Capital Markets Limited – the FCA regulated UK arm of global Retail FX broker FXCM – completed its turnaround and turned a profit of $4.9 million in 2020. FXCM UK, based in London and the FXCM Group’s central operating entity, did continue to see an erosion of revenue, down 7.5% YoY from $16.7 million to $15.5 million, but significant cost cutting efforts bore fruit with the effects seen on the bottom line. Administrative expenses fell by $8.2 million to $14.6 million in 2020 compared to 2019 ($22.9 million). Much of this was a reduction in inter-group expenses but there were also savings in professional, regulatory and prime brokerage fees.

Darwinex raises €3 million in growth funding. Social trading focused broker and asset management company Darwinex has announced that it has raised €3 million in funding, to pursue its ambitious growth aspirations. Leading investors in the round were Stefan Jaecklin and Pinorena Capital who were joined by Darwinex co-founders and a number of key employees in the company. Pinorena Capital, a fintech-focused investment company led by entrepreneur Illimar Mattus, has contributed with this first investment to supporting Darwinex’s expansion journey. Darwinex is regulated by the FCA in the UK and its latest financial figures show revenue for the financial year 2020 jumping by 72%, exceeding €4.69 million.

Top FX industry executive moves reported at FNG this week included:

Paul Webb

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120 Replies to “FX week in review: ADSS CEO moves to Equiti, XTB’s bad Q2, Darwinex fundraising”

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