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Foreign Exchange

Oanda quashes IPO rumours as one-billionth trade recorded

Oanda, one of the leading retail FX brokers, is not planning on launching an initial public offering (IPO) any time soon, despite the business recently recording a landmark one-billionth currency trade transaction, says Oanda Europe managing director Antony Broadbent.

Broadbent says Oanda’s board members include venture capital firms that might one day want the company to seek a stock offering of some kind, but “there isn’t anything imminent in the pipeline” in terms of IPO plans. “We’re just doing the best we can to run the business as well as we can,” says Broadbent. “As Oanda has been commercially successful, we trust that success will continue to reward us for the effort we make.

“For now, we’re just managing the business the best way we can, and we’ll let other things take care of themselves when the time comes.”

Speculation on the possibility of Oanda launching an IPO comes after the company hired a new CEO in May, former Deutsche Bank e-commerce head K Duker, and then suspended weekend FX dealing in June to protect clients from extreme volatility risk linked to the Greek election result. The company then permanently suspended weekend FX dealing a week later.

Oanda said on Wednesday it executed its one-billionth transaction through its online platform, celebrating the milestone by awarding cash prizes of as much as $10,000 to the first three clients to record trades after the landmark deal level was breached.

Broadbent says that increasing public interest in retail FX trading and market anticipation of future volatility in currencies will likely help Oanda record further billion transactions soon.

“We launched FX trading in 2001, and it has taken us 11 years to get to the first billion,” says Broadbent. “It will be considerably quicker to get to the second billion because we’ve grown very substantially over that period of time.”

For the time being, though, retail FX trading remains a “minority sport”, he says.

“In the UK, for example, it remains around 1.4 people per every 1,000 trading FX, so there are 999 people out of every 1,000 not trading FX,” says Broadbent. “In a world where it is increasingly difficult to make money – interest rates are near zero, equity markets have been heading sideways for years and property has not really done anything – where can people invest their funds?

“FX is increasingly being seen as a part of that mix.”

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