FX week in review: Playtech sold, Trading 212 hires COO, Australia CFD rules

Who stepped up and bought Playtech for £2.1 billion, a 58% premium to its market valuation? And, what does it mean for the pending sale of Playtech’s forex division, Finalto?

Which former longtime LCG executive was hired as Trading 212’s new COO?

What did ASIC say would happen to the temporary CFD leverage rules that were put in place earlier this year?

Which company did Cboe buy, to re-enter the crypto business?

Answers to these questions and a whole lot more appeared first or exclusively this 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:

Playtech to be acquired by Australia’s Aristocrat for £2.1 billion. Online gaming tech and financial brokerage firm Playtech plc (LON:PTEC) has announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Australia based gaming giant Aristocrat Leisure Ltd (ASX:ALL) for £2.1 billion (USD $2.9 billion), in cash. The price of 680 pence per Playtech share being offered by Aristocrat – which has been agreed to by Playtech’s board – represents a 58% premium to Playtech’s closing price of 429.2 pence on Friday. Playtech’s aggressive move to divest its Financials division – Finalto and Markets.com – makes a lot more sense now in the light of the Aristocrat deal. Playtech had seemingly been receiving and entertaining offers for the entire company by larger gaming firms such as Aristocrat, but none of the potential suitors were interested in its (non-core) FX and CFD businesses.

Exclusive: Trading 212 adds George Mantilas as COO. FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that UK/Bulgaria based online broker Trading 212 has hired George Mantilas as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. He has also been added to the board of the group’s London based, FCA regulated entity Trading 212 UK Limited. George Mantilas had worked together with recently hired Trading 212 CEO Mukid Chowdhury at London Capital Group (LCG) for a number of years at the end of the last decade. Mr. Chowdhury came on board LCG as UK CEO and Chief Financial Officer in 2016, where Mr. Mantilas was Head of Dealing Operations and later Head of Markets. After spending more than 11 years at LCG, George Mantilas left in 2020 alongside longtime LCG CEO Charles-Henri Sabet, moving to Sabet’s new Swiss based online neo-bank/neo-brokerage firm FlowBank, where he was Head of Data Infrastructure for the past year.

Australia CFD trading leverage rules extended to 2031 by ASIC. Australia financial regulator ASIC, as it recently hinted it would, has announced that it is proposing to extend the “temporary” CFD brokerage and trading rules in Australia to 2031, effectively making them permanent. ASIC announced the new rules in October 2020 as a temporary measure, with its product intervention order set to expire on 23 May 2022 unless extended. The rules became effective earlier this year on March 29, 2021. The rules basically matched those which were put into place in the UK and Europe in mid 2018, although the UK has since gone further and banned crypto CFDs altogether.

Cboe to enter digital asset space via acquisition of ErisX. Cboe Global Markets, Inc, a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Eris Digital Holdings, LLC (ErisX). ErisX operates a U.S. based digital asset spot market, a regulated futures exchange and a regulated clearing house. Ownership of ErisX presents a unique opportunity for Cboe to enter the digital asset spot and derivatives marketplaces through a digital-first platform developed with industry partners to focus on robust regulatory compliance, data and transparency. Cboe plans to operate the digital asset business as Cboe Digital.

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

Iain Rogers

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