Online broker ActivTrades sees new Dubai office as a game changer
London-based broker ActivTrades is looking to substantially build on its client base this year after opening an office in Dubai, as regional investors look to diversify their portfolios in the wake of low oil prices, a company official said on Wednesday.
ActivTrades’ office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the company’s fourth globally, will cater to the Middle East as well as the wider Asian markets, according to Georges Batrouni, the company’s Middle East manager.
The company said its clientele increased by 60 per cent last year from 2015.
“The office being in Dubai, we are expecting it to be a game changer,” said Mr Batrouni.
Opening an office in Dubai is beneficial because it is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the DIFC’s regulator. ActivTrades began operating in the region in 2012, serving clients from London.
About 80 to 90 per cent of its clients are retail investors and 25 per cent of the total are clients from the UAE, including locals and expatriates. Saudi Arabia is the second-biggest client source.
ActivTrades offers its products and services on its own platform and the Meta traders platforms, with access to trading currencies, commodities and contract for difference (CFDs), which are products that give clients exposure to indexes and shares.
Clients in the region tend to like trading in oil, gold and currencies.
Its business has benefited from oil price rout as investors have sought to diversify their portfolios.
“We heard a lot about a slowdown in the region due to lower oil prices. This did not reflect at all on our activity,” said Mr Batrouni. “On the contrary, for example, if local shares here are not doing very well, traders will look to European or American shares to diversify.”
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Updated: March 1, 2017 04:00 AM