UAE’s attraction as the Middle East’s most developed region for trading and commerce continues as one of the country’s financial watchdogs, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), has approved IronFX as an authorized provider of margin derivatives. The move highlights the importance forex brokers play in domestic business development and customer service, particularly for emerging market countries.
Cypriot headquartered, IronFX has reported that its latest entity, IronFX Global MENA Limited, has been granted authorization. IronFX becomes the latest international provider to establish a local operation to target the GCC and wider Middle East region. Dubai’s position as a regional hub, coupled with its empathic expat workforce, means that the city offers access to neighboring countries such as India, Pakistan and the South Asian region.
Chairman & CEO of IronFX Global, Markos Kashiouris, commented: “We are truly delighted with the decision of the DFSA to grant us with this licence to operate in Dubai. This additional licence symbolizes a new phase in the global growth of IronFX, as we seek to enhance our reputation as a solid firm of integrity and reliability, in the Middle East. We welcome stricter supervision from our global regulatory authorities so that our valued clients are provided with the best and safest trading experience that the forex industry has to offer.”
The DFSA is a standalone regulatory authority that adheres to international standards; the watchdog was established in 2004. The regulator operates within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which is classified as a financial free zone. The regulator has attracted high-end names that were looking to extend their offerings to the MENA region but required superior regulatory standards, hence the DFSA’s benchmark being the former UK watchdog, the Financial Service Authority.
The DFSA offers various levels of authorization for firms, the most common one being the category 3 license which enables firms to solicit traders, however this is restricted to professional investors only. Saxo Bank and HY Markets are other international brokers that have established a DFSA authorized firm.
A company spokesperson explained to FortuneZ: “We are aware of the strict regulation and restrictions under the DFSA authorization but with such prestigious authorization we will aim on targeting professional clients in the MENA region.”
IronFX has been gradually building its portfolio of traders from the Middle East region. Speaking exclusively to FortuneZ, the spokesperson explained that the region accounts for 7% of the global business. The firm chose the DFSA as it has standing as a viable regulator and hence the firm’s decision to position itself. Mr. Hatzis added: “Dubai is considered the financial center in Middle East with the DFSA to be the most prestigious regulatory body on attracting the audience we are looking for.”
The DFSA competes against governmental authority Emirates Securities and Commodity Authority that was established in the year 2000 by the country’s president. The role of the watchdog was to enhance the governance of financial markets. The domestic commodities and future exchange, the DGCX, is governed under SCA.
In March 2014, the DFSA released a note that it was exploring the regulations of retail foreign exchanges. The note stated, “All Firms providing services in respect of RFX in the Centre must obtain a retail endorsement and obtain the necessary waiver from GEN 2.2.4. ”
The UAE is the largest market for forex trading, having strong telecommunications infrastructure and a suitable time zone, furthermore its free market practises with several free zones allow regional players from Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, Iran and India to establish operations. FortuneZ believes that the UAE market will continue to grow, with volumes projected to increase 3% annually.