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Foreign Exchange

Another week, another platform

FX really is a market of contradictions. Consolidation is impacting the market across the spectrum.

In the US – and soon in other jurisdictions – stricter capital requirements have resulted in a number of retail players shutting up shop. And consolidation is also occurring in the higher echelons. According to the NY FX Committee, this resulted in around 20% of the banks in its sample size accounting for 79.3% of the market share in October 2008 versus 64.7% a year earlier.

And yet despite this evident consolidation, it seems that barely a week goes by without the emergence of a fresh platform. The latest is AGM Trader from Aurora Global Markets. At first glance, it doesn’t look like anything new, but according to Julian Soper, Aurora’s chief executive, the company believes there is a niche in providing FX, particularly on emerging market pairs and contracts-for-difference, to clients in emerging markets. "Even the UK CFD market, which is the most developed, is not saturated," he says. In other words, the pie is big enough for everyone to get a slice. Soper believes that there is potential in offering such products elsewhere. The company, which is based in London and FSA regulated, launched the platform earlier in January.

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