FX week in review: eToro IPO troubles, PrimeXM repels hack, Z.com FCA license, ZuluTrade acquired

Why is eToro’s plan to go public being delayed? And what troubles is eToro facing in getting its SPAC merger done?

What did (and didn’t) happen in the hack and ransom demand attack against MT4/5 hosting provider PrimeXM?

Why is Japan’s (and the world’s) largest Retail FX broker, Z.com, relinquishing its UK FCA license?

Who acquired ZuluTrade?

Answers to these questions. and a whole lot more, appeared first or exclusively this past week at FNG. Some of the most read and commented-on FX industry news stories to appear over the past seven days on FNG included:

eToro $10 billion SPAC IPO deal in trouble. Israeli business news source Calcalist is reporting that the going-public plan for Retail FX, CFDs, and crypto broker eToro via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fintech Acquisition Corp V (NASDAQ:FTCVU) is in trouble – at least in its current format. According to Calcalist, the eToro-SPAC deal is unlikely to be completed in the few remaining business days of 2021, and that – combined with the trouble eToro’s main comparable / competitor Robinhood is having – is putting the deal itself in jeopardy. The current agreement is to see eToro merge with the SPAC at an implied valuation of $10 billion for eToro. The deal includes an injection of an additional $650 million in capital from a group of private equity investors (ION, Softbank, Third Point, Fidelity, Wellington), and a $300 million secondary share sale by company insiders and existing shareholders.

PrimeXM fends off hosted MT4/5 server hack attack and ransom demand. There have been rumors circulating in the FX world the past few days about a targeted hack attack against FX broker tech, liquidity, and hosting provider PrimeXM, specifically targeting its MT4/5 hosted servers. PrimeXM provides dedicated MT4/5 hosting and connectivity services for quite a number of FX and CFD brokers. The rumors have included multiple PrimeXM-hosted brokers being “down” and at risk of losing client data, and PrimeXM itself being asked to pay ransom to free everything up. We understand that these rumors are a large exaggeration of what actually happened. So what did (and didn’t) happen?

Exclusive: GMO-Z.com Trade UK applies to cancel FCA license. FNG Exclusive… It looks like Japan’s largest Retail FX broker is taking leave of its regulated business in the UK. FNG has learned that GMO-Z.com Trade UK Ltd, the London arm of Japan’s GMO Click Securities (and ultimately of publicly traded parent company GMO Internet Inc. TYO:9449) has made an application to have its FCA license cancelled. GMO-Z.com UK has held an FCA license since 2014. The company initially had plans to launch a UK-based Retail FX and CFDs operation targeting UK and EU traders using its Z.com retail brand, but late last decade that morphed into an institutional-focused business focused on B2B liquidity for FX and CFD products to Retail FX brokers, institutional traders and hedge funds.

Finvasia Group acquires social trading network ZuluTrade. Finvasia Group today announced the acquisition of social network for trading and investing ZuluTrade. In addition to ZuluTrade, the deal also includes AAAFx, which holds a portfolio management license from HCMC. Finvasia has been expanding its presence across Europe, North America and Middle-East via various organic and inorganic expansions to create a complete ecosystem that will cater to the needs of retail and institutional investors. As of today, Finvasia owns over a dozen brands in the fintech and financial services industry and touches millions of investors around the world. It has physical presence in more than 5 countries, serves clients in over 150 countries and is regulated by over a dozen regulators across the world.

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

Paula Dwyer

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