Russia’s New Forex Law to Kick In October 2020

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“Regulation of the foreign exchange market in Russia will allow you to separate Forex from the casino,” Anna Kochkina, InstaForex

In an interview with Anna Kochkina, we will discuss the need to introduce licensing and regulation of the Forex market in Russia, as well as the desired improvements to the law.

Anna Kochkina, InstaForex company

Today, Anna Kochkina, Director for Key Projects, answers questions from FORTRADER.org magazine InstaForex companies. With Anna, we will discuss the future of the Forex market in Russia, as well as the company’s plans for obtaining a license.

– How do you assess the current situation of the Forex market in Russia? Was the introduction of licensing and regulation of this financial segment necessary and why?

– Yes, regulation of the foreign exchange market in Russia was necessary. Until January 1, 2020, under the name “Forex” any services could be provided, and this was not checked by government authorities, since the legislation did not contain a definition of the activities of a Forex dealer as such. In connection with the introduction of licensing, the word “Forex” in its corporate name is entitled to be used only by companies whose operation system complies with the requirements of the legislation and is verified by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. By concluding an agreement with such a company, a trader can be sure that he is getting access to the services of a reliable Forex dealer. This will allow the foreign exchange market to separate from the casino and pyramid industry in the perception of the population and take an appropriate place in the system of financial markets of the Russian Federation.

– How do you see the future of the foreign exchange market in the Russian Federation? Will new companies be interested in joining it?

– To work in Russian jurisdiction, the own funds of a Forex dealer must be at least 150 million rubles. Such high capital requirements will leave only large companies on the market. Other participants, based in the Russian Federation, will be forced to either unite, or join the larger, or leave the market.

It is likely that in connection with the entry into force of the Forex legislation, work in Russia will become of interest to large foreign companies that operate primarily in regulated markets. However, it makes sense to expect their appearance in the Russian Federation only after the first domestic Forex dealers receive licenses and can start working in the Russian legal field.

– Do you consider the current version of the law “On Forex” successful? Are there any points that you would like to change or modify?

– InstaForex company welcomes the emergence of legislation on the foreign exchange market and the establishment of rules for the interaction of the state, Forex companies and their clients. In addition, it is worth noting that the “Forex Law” copes with the regulation of conceptual issues perfectly – it gives a clear definition of the activities of the Forex dealer, establishes a model for controlling and supervising the activities of companies, and protects the rights of the Russian trader.

However, some aspects of the legislation reduce the competitiveness of the proposals of Russian legal entities in comparison with the services that foreign Forex companies can provide. I would like to increase the attractiveness of Russian jurisdiction for the trader. In particular, increase Leverage to the level of 1: 200, allow trading not only in currency pairs, but also metals and CFDs, expand the list of deposit methods, allow registering accounts to a certain deposit level online, without the need to visit an office or acquire an electronic signature.

– Will the law “On Forex” really protect the Russian trader? How will this manifest?

– Yes, of course. Protecting the trader is one of the main goals of introducing regulation.

Legislation on Forex in the Russian Federation provides both direct ways to protect a client – the ability to go to court, as well as indirect ones – for example, the obligation of a Forex dealer to include a warning about the risk of loss of funds in advertising. Our company fully shares this position. We believe that effective notification of citizens about the risks associated with Forex trading will reduce the amount of unexpected deposit losses for a client. Together with increasing the financial literacy of the trader, on which InstaForex also works, developing educational services and analytic services, this will lead to an increase in the number of profitable trading solutions.

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– Do you expect special activity and attention of clients to your company after obtaining a license and joining an SRO?

– The presence of a license will be a confirmation of the reliability of the company, therefore, it is possible that more conservative investors and novice traders will show interest in our services. For more experienced customers, the wide range of innovative Forex services offered by InstaForex and favorable trading conditions will remain a priority.

– Will clients feel the difference in working with your company before and after obtaining a license?

– If a client opens an account with InstaForex under Russian jurisdiction, then for this account those working conditions will be provided that are permitted by the legislation on Forex of the Russian Federation. In addition, personal income tax will be paid on profits earned from trading. However, in general, the company’s policy to provide a wide range of innovative Forex services and high quality services will not change.

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EUR Fails To Kick On After Knockout

This week should be capable of living up to the hype of being action packed confined to a few trading sessions of real opportunity. Capital markets have not missed much of a beat, starting H2 where they left off the first – following most global bourses higher. The theme this half will be the investor trying to predict what Central Bank can afford to begin a ‘normalcy’ monetary policy as early as this year. From the G10’s perspective, the BoE and sterling are clearly ahead of the pack. Rate divergence brings forth currency trading opportunities – far more than what investors have been exposed to for the first six-month of this year. Notwithstanding a relatively quiet Euro session this morning, the markets focus is eyeing data and events from the US, particularly the ADP employment report. Tomorrow, NFP is delivered one day ahead of schedule due to the US July 4th holiday on Friday and expect a few early fireworks!

Euro equities continue to underperform its US counterparts, mostly on the back of Euro economic data still pointing to a fragile and uneven recovery. The US fraternity have kicked on ever since last month saw the ECB introduce a package of easing measures including interest rate cuts and cheap credit to the financial sector. So far, most of the last ECB meet euphoria has been reversed – the EUR is trading at or near its highs since (€1.3660), while Euro stocks continue to underperform. Is there a need for the ECB to step up its efforts again rather than wait in a holding pattern? The ECB makes its July policy announcement tomorrow, but many expect Draghi and company to keep policy on hold for now, especially after last month’s ‘fireworks.’

The UK economy is on another trajectory compared to its Euro counterpart. Today’s June UK construction PMI surprised to the upside, coming in at 62.6 vs. 60 in May and 59.8 expectations. The favored sterling trade this quarter has managed to jump to a fresh five-and-a-half year high (£1.7176), while the EUR/GBP falls to €0.7953, the lowest level since September 2020. This is the 14th consecutive increase, and one that was driven by a rise in residential house building. With this morning’s June PMI print hitting a four-month high and yesterday’s manufacturing PMI a seven-month high, its looking increasingly likely that Q2 GDP growth will be stronger that the +0.8% seen in Q1. With Governor Carney having stressed that data strength will drive the bank rates higher, this week’s printouts favor a BoE tightening in 2020 rather than next year. The market will be looking very carefully at tomorrow’s services PMI for confirmation. Another beat would be good for sterling “bulls.” Currently mooted offers stand tall near £1.7190 and £1.7200.

Euro data this morning is not EUR friendly. The Euro-zone producer prices fell for a fifth straight month in May (-0.1%, m/m and -1%, y/y). The slide has not been dramatic, but consistent and it suggests that consumer prices are unlikely to pick up significantly anytime soon. Economic prints like this will see countries like France call for more action from the ECB (engage in QE etc.). The single currency action is a tad strange this morning. It would seem that EUR/USD traders might be sitting a little “long” after the successful ‘knock-out’ of the €1.3700. They are certainly disappointed by the lack of follow through. This has resulted in a general unwind of “long” positions (from €1.3700 – €1.3658). EUR/GBP selling has helped to put more pressure on the 18-member single currency. Following the EUR crosses certainly paints a clearer picture. Investors will want to wait for the US’s ADP data and Fed Governor Yellen speech at the IMF for further inspiration. Maybe the impending end of the Fed’s QE mean’s its time for investors to contemplate to pull back from risky assets?

The Aussie has managed to keep most of Australasia occupied of late, mostly by the crowded “carry” trade funded by the EUR. Last night, and after five consecutive months of surplus, Australia’s terms of trade fell into deficit for the second straight month in May, and the latest AUD$1.9B shortfall is the biggest in the past 18-months. Australian exports fell -5%, m/m, as shipments to its largest trading partner – China – fell a whopping -12% (similar story from Japan). Being a commodity rich country, gold and crude oil saw some of the biggest relative declines on sequential basis and this despite shipments of iron ore held up on demand from Japan (rising to A$6.74B from A$6.42B prior). The Aussie, not surprisingly has been one of the most volatile currencies amongst the majors (AUD$0.9460). However, there remains a market appetite on Aussie pullback to own higher yielding currencies mostly funded by a cheaper EUR.

Expect the market to take more of an interest in EM currencies, especially after Argentina’s credit rating was placed on negative watch at S&P 500 . The company is projecting a 50% chance of being lowered to ‘Selective Default,’ after the sovereign missed its scheduled payment on Monday. S&P noted “the CreditWatch placement reflects our view of at least a one-in-two probability that Argentina will not pay the outstanding +US$539m interest payment on the discount bonds within the 30-day grace period allowed thereunder”. However, the Ratings agency did note that “affirmation of the ‘CCC+/C’ local currency ratings reflects our view that the potential disruptions to payments on Argentina’s external debt are not likely to further erode its ability to service debt issued in local currency under local law.”

Russia banned for four years to include 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup

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Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

It means the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was part of “chronic anti-Russian hysteria”.

“It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community,” he said. “This is impossible to deny.

“But on the other hand the fact that all these decisions are repeated, often affecting athletes who have already been punished in one way or another, not to mention some other points – of course this makes one think that this is part of anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin said the country had grounds to appeal against the decision.

Wada’s executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the ban on Russia in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.

It comes after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2020.

It had to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2020 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

Wada says Rusada has 21 days to appeal against the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said the decision showed its “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis”.

He added: “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of Rusada’s reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.

“That is exactly what has been delivered.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.”

But Wada vice-president Linda Helleland said the ban was “not enough”.

“I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible.”

A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2020 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2020 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russian athletes won 33 medals in Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2020.

Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 – in which St Petersburg will be a host city – as European football’s governing body Uefa is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’ with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

Fifa said it had “taken note” of Wada’s decision, adding: “Fifa is in contact with Wada to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football.”

The promoters of the Russian Grand Prix also said they were “confident” the race would go ahead because their contract was signed before the Wada investigation and runs until 2025.

An F1 spokesman reiterated the comments of the promoters, adding: “We will monitor the situation to see if there is an appeal and what would be its outcome.”

In a statement, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said: “Those responsible for the manipulation of data from the Moscow laboratory before it was transferred to Wada appear to have done everything possible to undermine the principles of fair and clean sport, principles that the rest of the sporting world support and adhere to.

“This sincere lack of respect towards the rest of the global sporting movement is not welcome and has zero place in the world of sport. It is only right that those responsible for this data manipulation are punished.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it “supported” Wada’s decision.

How did we get here?

Rusada was initially declared non-compliant in November 2020 after a Wada-commissioned report by sports lawyer Professor Richard McLaren alleged widespread corruption that amounted to state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field athletics.

A further report, published in July 2020, declared Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

In 2020, Wada reinstated Rusada as compliant after the national agency agreed to release data from its Moscow laboratory from the period between January 2020 and August 2020.

However, positive findings contained in a version courtesy of a whistleblower in 2020 were missing from the January 2020 data, which prompted a new inquiry.

Wada’s compliance review committee (CRC) recommended a raft of measures based “in particular” on a forensic review of inconsistencies found in some of that data.

As part of the ban, Russia may not host, or bid for or be granted the right to host any major events for four years, including the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

What was the reaction?

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Whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Russian anti-doping official who fled to the United States after his allegations about a state-sponsored doping programme, says there remains “more to do”.

“Finally, fraud, lies and falsifications of unspeakable proportions have been punished in full swing,” he said in a statement.

“Those involved in the corruption of certain sports such as track and field, weightlifting, skiing, biathlon and bobsled, should be punished retroactively. The results of the London and Sochi Olympic Games should be reanalysed and reconsidered with the new knowledge available today.

“We only have a few months to reanalyse the samples from the 2020 London Games because, according to Wada rules, we only have eight years to review.

“There is a whole generation of clean athletes who have painfully abandoned their dreams and lost awards because of Russian cheaters. We need to take the strongest action to bring justice back to sport.”

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) chief executive Nicole Sapstead said Wada’s decision to impose a ban on Russia was the “only possible outcome” to “reassure athletes and the public and continue the task of seeking justice for those cheated by Russian athletes”.

However, Travis Tygart, chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, said not imposing a blanket ban on all participation by Russian athletes – even under a neutral flag – is a “devastating blow” to clean athletes.

“The reaction by all those who value sport should be nothing short of a revolt against this broken system to force reform,” he said, adding that it was “another horrendous Groundhog Day of Russian corruption and domination”.

“Wada promised the world back in 2020 that if Russia failed yet again to live up to its agreements, it would use the toughest sanction under the rules. Yet, here we go again; Wada says one thing and does something entirely different.”

British powerlifter and Paralympic medallist Ali Jawad, who is a member of UK Anti-Doping’s athlete commission, said Wada had been “soft”.

“To protect the next generation of Russian athletes, we need to make sure Russia and the system is punished to the fullest extent,” Jawad told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“The only way we can change that is meaningful change and what kind of message does this send out to the future generation? That, actually, state-sponsored doping, we are going to treat it softly.”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson told Radio Wales that Wada has now “stepped up” and moved forward after “not taking it as seriously”.

“There are a couple of things; there will be clean Russian athletes, it is a shame for them, but there are lots of clean athletes that have been affected by anyone who has doped,” she said.

“For the athletes who are clean, the British athletes that have lost out, Goldie Sayers, the British bobsleigh team who get their medals years later, it is no recompense.”

Triple Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton, who was retrospectively awarded her 2008 heptathlon bronze after Russia’s Tatyana Chernova failed to have a doping ban overturned, says she understands why tougher sanctions were not imposed.

“I think they are thinking of the majority of athletes who are doing the right thing, not the wrong thing,” she said.

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