One of the fast growing Abu Dhabi-based brokers, ADS Securities, just got bigger with the announcement of a Hong Kong office today which will be overseen by the firms Managing Director Desmond Yeo.
As the company commits to its efforts in Asia, according to an official press release, ADS Securities Hong Kong Limited will provide leveraged FX and bullion trading services to Hong Kong clients in the region, and will work in conjunction with ADS Securities’ Singapore office.
Regulated under the name ADS Securities Hong Kong Limited as of August 2011 (see below) with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the firm holds a “type-three” license allowing it to trade leveraged FX and bullion,but does not permit discretionary account services (e.g. managed accounts).
According to information listed publicly on the FSC website, the license for ADS Securities Hong Kong Limited was previously under the name Universal Forex (HK) Limited (prior name valid until November 25, 2013) and thus indicates that rather than go through the lengthy administrative process from the beginning, ADS may have purchased (or other agreement) Universal Forex to gain faster access to its regulatory license (and client base).
FortuneZ has not yet confirmed the specific reasons or method for this approach to entry, although its not uncommon for brokers to use an approach like that to gain regulatory approval via an existing license (and/or client base), the information is reported on the FSC website along with other related information about the new regulatory status for the HK office.
HK Office and Regulation
This is the first regulatory hub that ADS has established outside of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the company is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE under ADS Securities LLC.
The new Hong Kong entity is a fully-owned subsidiary of ADS Securities LLC, which is part of the ADS Holding group which owns 98% of ADS Securities – regulated and licensed by the UAE Central Bank as a Financial Investment Company. ADS was established with initial capital of US$400 million according to the official press release, and is one of 7 financial investment companies regulated by UAE Central Bank, from 21 companies in UAE (including Dubai), according to information on centralbank.ae.
This announcement follows the company’s previous release of the OREX platform that FortuneZ had covered in November. The company also launched the USDCNH pair in November and explained to FortuneZ that further crosses and major pairs including the CNH may be underway, as interest in trading the Chinese Renminbi grows globally.
New Platforms, Pairs and Offices
At barely three years old, ADS Securities, led by a multi-national management team with a wide range of international experience, is aiming to build a large network of liquidity providers (LPs), including tier 1 and 2 banks and financial institutions, Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs), FX and commodity exchanges and brokers.
This is aimed to complement its offering of Forex, commodities, futures and options markets and through its Global Markets (GM) division, offers Derivatives, Fixed Income,Commodities and Structured Products, as per information on its corporate website.
Commenting in the official press release, Philippe Ghanem, Managing Director and Vice-Chairman of ADS Securities added, “This is excellent news for our clients as Hong Kong is a very important market which we need to be part of. London is still the largest FX centre in the world and being based in the Middle East we are perfectly positioned to bridge flows from Asia to Europe. Hong Kong will be our regional HQ, run by Desmond Yeo, a highly experienced FX specialist. He will develop our position in the region and provide traders with the prices and quality of service that defines the ADS Securities offer.”
Commenting on the new office, Managing Director of ADS Securities Hong Kong Limited, Desmond Yeo, who will oversee the growth of the firms Asian business said “This market is extremely competitive but we know that many clients are looking for a strong well managed trading partner with the access to tier 1 bank and non-bank liquidity. Our OREX trading solutions and sales management will make us very competitive and help many clients to meet their trading goals. ADS Securities understands how to work in Asian markets and has a lot to offer to a range of investors and traders.”
Regulation with UK FCA To be Obtained in 2014
As described in the announcement, Mr. Yeo joined ADS Securities in July 2013, after working for GFT Asia in Singapore (as CEO, according to a LinkedIn profile description for Mr. Yeo) where he had built key sales operations, and will now manage the Hong Kong and Singapore offices with responsibility for building the firm’s Asian business. He has extensive experience of working in equities and with online trading systems in the region, as per the description.
FortuneZ’ research team spoke to an ADS company spokesperson last week regarding media reports from Reuters of its plan to open a UK FCA regulated office which FortuneZ had originally posted about last year (follow its press release at that time), and has confirmed that those steps are underway and how it expects the approval to go through sometime in 2014, as further expansion is on the horizon for the United Kingdom.