ThinkMarkets secures lucrative DFSA license in Dubai

abdelaziz Fathi

Melbourne-based broker ThinkMarkets has secured a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) after it has already incorporated its new subsidiary in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

The Dubai license allows ThinkMarkets to provide its range of FX and CFDs products to retail and professional clients not only in the UAE but also to expand the offering to the other GCC states, meaning Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and North Africa.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a federal area that is financially-free, completely separated from the rest of the country and features its own legal system and courts.

The DFSA has been receiving increased interest from authorized firms and global brokers to offer FX trading to retail customers in or from the DIFC.

“We are delighted to have obtained the DFSA licence. The UAE and wider MENA region is a high-growth market, and this new licence will now enable us to onboard new clients from this area in a regulated and secure way,” said ThinkMarkets Co-Founder Faizan Anees.

“At ThinkMarkets, we’re always seeking ways to give our clients an exceptional trading experience with our proprietary platform ThinkTrader, thousands of trading instruments to choose from, and regulation, are fundamental parts to achieving this. Our new DFSA licence will help better serve our customer-base, while also helping extend ThinkMarkets’ presence into new, strategic markets in the region,” he added.

Within Dubai’s International Financial Centre, the DFSA is the regulatory authority that issues all Forex Broker licenses and regulates all financial and subsidiary services conducted.

However, the DFSA has very strict guidelines in place for obtaining a Dubai forex license, as well as for conducting forex business. Specifically, obtaining a Dubai forex license is a complicated procedure that involves many legal limitations that revolve around the country’s prohibitions on banking activity in the local currency as transactions in UAE Dirhams are strictly prohibited in the center.

Other than AML compliance, FX brokers also need to have systems and controls such as intra-day and end-of-day counterparty and settlement limits, segregation of functions, and other risk measures.

ThinkMarkets made headlines recently after it decided to call off its previously announced merger plan with Canada-listed blank check company, FG Acquisition Corp. The merger would have valued ThinkMarkets, which generated $62 million in revenue in 2022, at $160 million on a pre-money basis.

ThinkMarkets is a multi-licensed online forex brokerage firm, authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian ‎Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The firm expanded its global footprint through its licensed South African firm. It also acquired the Japanese FX firm, Japan Affiliate, in a move that allows ThinkMarkets to offer its service in the Asian country.

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