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Foreign Exchange

Saxo buys 25% stake in MetaTrader vendor, Leverate

Saxo Bank, an online FX trading specialist, has bought a 25% stake in Leverate, a UK technology services provider. The move will allow the Danish bank to incorporate a version of Leverate’s MetaTrader4, a popular retail platform software, into its client offering.

MetaTrader – the most popular non-proprietary retail FX trading platform – is used by almost every leading retail broker. Its simple coding structure allows programmers to create pre-built execution solutions for retail traders, many of these solutions being widely available to buy on the web. Saxo is among the last traders to adopt MT4 software, relying hitherto on the popularity of its proprietary platform. Leverate provides off-the-shelf platforms to FX brokerages and platform operators. Its software also helps brokers boost conversions, trading volumes and risk-management capabilities, the vendor says.

Stig Pastwa, chief commercial officer of Saxo Bank, says the acquisition will help Saxo tap into a sector of the market that it has yet to exploit fully.

“We have seen an increased demand among our institutional and retail clients for automated trading solutions, including MetaTrader. Leverate’s track record and ability to deliver a comprehensive and reliable trading environment has made it an obvious choice as a provider of technology supporting the MT4 universe,” he says.

Leverate joint chief executive officers Ran Strauss and Doron Cohen say the firm has received a number of buyout approaches from private equity companies in the past, but felt that a deal with Saxo offered good synergies, while allowing it to continue dealing freely with other brokers.

“This mutually beneficial partnership will allow our clients to benefit from enhanced top-tier liquidity sources, while Saxo Bank’s clients gain access to our complete broker solution (MT4, live feed, web and mobile traders, customer relationship management and risk management), powered by Leverate and fully integrated with Saxo Bank's core liquidity and execution engine.”

Separately, Saxo has added six new binary touch options to its online trading platform. The contracts – on EURUSD, USDJPY, GBPUSD, EURJPY, EURGBP and AUDUSD – will trade on its FX Options Board.

The options allow traders to bet on the direction of currency price movements, as well as where the price will touch a pre-defined barrier and over what period of time.

The product is aimed at the bank’s retail investor base, as potential gains and losses on a binary touch option position are known upfront. Saxo will also allow traders to close out their positions at the market spot rate prior to expiry.

“Adding binary touch options trading to our platform bridges the gap between FX spot and FX vanilla options and meets the recent demand in the market to trade in the global currency market in a simple, straightforward manner,” says Gustave Rieunier, global head of FX options and forward trading at Saxo.

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