Category: Money Exchange

Forex Trading Moves Closer To Computer Platform

Amid recent controversy regarding illegal activities within international currency markets by licensed traders, a growing number of investment banking executives are calling for a full transition to electronic, computer-based trading platforms that do not rely upon the soon-to-be “obsolete” human “voice spot” trading.

The advantages of a fully integrated electronic trading platform are obvious. By the very nature of the code manifested to create the trading algorithms and platforms, compliance is simply a non-issue. There exist no opportunities for malicious or deviant behavior when all trading is undertaken within a carefully monitored and regulated software infrastructure.

Although electronic trading methods were virtually unheard of at the dawn of the new millennium, roughly 74% of all currency trading now occurs through software platforms. That being said, investors should not completely forget voice trading just yet. In the spot market, where currencies change hands directly and traders themselves assume the risks previously held by market-makers, roughly 35% of all trades still occur via voice trading.

As an increased volume trading switches into the electronic currency trading marketplace, it is expected that the larger players in the industry will continue to grow and quickly develop overwhelming dominance. Currently, the most prominent electronic trading platforms for currency exchange are Deutsche, Citi, Barclays and UBS.

One of the largest criticisms of electronic trading is the decreased profit margins that results from such exchanges. Unlike voice trading, which allowed for decreased transparency and the opportunity to quickly shift massive quantities of wealth, electronic trading typically requires these large actions to be broken into significantly smaller quantities, resulting in increased financial loss and, therefore, decreased profit.

While some believe that electronic trading helps reduce in-office manpower levels, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, electronic trading platforms commonly require up to a 33% increase in personnel, as software algorithms and infrastructure must constantly be maintained. Additionally, many state that this “neutral” interface remains a vehicle for wrongdoing. Claims have been made that these electronic platforms can be engineered to adjust pricing levels depending upon mouse movements and behaviors of consumers, leveraging their uncertainty or desires against them.

Foreign Exchange Latest – Dollar gains as GBP nears 9-month lows

Although tensions remain high in the Middle East and Ukraine, the US Dollar is slowly pushing back, regaining critical lost ground against the British Sterling and Euro Dollar. Although a variety of 2014 peaks have already been met and exceeded, many experts are in agreement that the US Dollar will need a fresh and compelling impetus to continue its ascent. That being said, an increased in value of USD may comes as a result of international pressure on the EU as opposed to substantive gains on a domestic level.

The US is currently enmeshed in a variety of international conflicts that are causing many to re-assess their investments in the national currency. As Iraq continues to slip further into conflict and the ISIS militant group increases their volume of highly visible, violent demonstrations, many are left wondering what the full extent of US involvement in this conflict will be.

Meanwhile, the ongoing drama between Russia and the Ukraine is producing worldwide hesitation and fear, particularly in financial circles. Recent sanctions placed against the Russian nation are expected to result in an increase in pressure on the Euro Dollar, which, until recently, has been trading at nine-month lows. Although the EU has officially emerged from the devastating recession of recent years, the economic landscape of this region remains quite fragile. Whether or not the EU will be able to reassert their validity in the FX exchanges in the upcoming days and weeks has yet to be seen. Were the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to continue to escalate, it is highly likely that the EU Dollar will experience large price swings.

The GBP has also been experiencing its fair share of suffering, due largely to its association with the EU. For US travelers, this couldn’t come at a better time, as trips abroad will prove to be much more affordable than they would have been otherwise due to a strong US dollar.

As is common with FX trading, the volatile combination of international events taking place on a regular basis can quickly destabilize and reshape short-term expectations. Depending upon upcoming actions taken by the US Government, many believe that the US dollar is poised for increased volatility.

Osborne to target foreign exchange manipulation

In a statement which could be causing numerous brokers and financial strategists to sweat, Chancellor Osborne has announced that he will be working closely with a variety of regulatory experts in order to ensure that the foreign exchange marketplace within the City Of London is free of corruption and other dubious dealings. One of the final unregulated marketplaces on the planet, the world of foreign exchange, also referred to as “forex”, remains largely out of sight and is primarily managed by traders who have been given a variety of buy and sell orders on behalf of larger global companies.

According to recent allegations, it is believed that 15 major banks have now been involved in forex currency manipulation. 9 of those listed have now suspended or fired forex traders that had previously been working for them. That being said, the extent to which the Osborne and his team of UK-based watchdogs can invoke change is somewhat limited, due in large part to the fact that the forex market remains a global enterprise, largely out of reach of any one nation. While Osborne’s changes may serve to “clean up” his particular “neck of the woods”, it is highly doubtful that his actions will have any lasting impact on the forex industry as a whole.

Of additional concern for Osborne is the potential fallout that could occur before key elections in 2015. Were hefty fines to be levied against UK companies in upcoming months, rival parties could accuse him of failing to act responsibly and ensure the validity and legitimacy of one of London’s most dominant industries. It should, ultimately, come as no surprise that these attempts at regulation are now occurring.

A political move, or perhaps an honest attempt at repairing a fractured industry, Osborne is nonetheless making bold moves into a well-established, highly organised industry that has relied upon its decentralized nature to exchange trillions of pounds of currency to companies around the world over the past decade. It will be interesting to see what, if any, “progress” Osborne can make.

Money Remittances to Developing Countries Will Grow ‘5 Percent’ This Year

In today’s volatile world climate, it should come as no surprise that analysts are predicting stronger than ever results from the international remittances market, largely due to the fact that a growing number of international migrants are being forced to leave their homes as a result of violent conflict and other issues. The current numbers are estimating a roughly $435 billion remittances total this year alone, which is nearly a five percent increase over last year’s levels.

One of the many reasons why remittances remain such an important factor in the world of international currency is the fact that this particular form of money transfer allows for expedient transfer of private cash inflows into developing nations. Studies have shown that, in 2013, remittances alone totaled well over three times the sum total of official development assistance.

It is also interesting to note that the relative cost of sending remittances to developing nations has dropped to roughly 7.9% of the total value transferred. That being said, the expenses associated with transferring money to Africa remain inordinately high. Although remittances may continue to expand and grow, the underlying factors contributing to this unprecedented growth are troubling in their own right. Experts now agree that forced migration levels are at their highest since the outbreak of the Second World War. In total, nearly 73 million individuals have been forced to leave their home country due to the outbreak of troubling conflicts.

There remains a silver lining to all of the aforementioned situations, however. A strong regional remittance platform in East Asia and the Pacific is directly helping to promote further economic stability in the area at large. It is also estimated that remittance levels will rebound in Latin America and the Caribbean in upcoming months.

While there is, obviously, no guarantee that the current global situation will remain as it stands today, it is likely that forced migrations and other shifts in global demographics will continue to create a dynamic remittances market that may prove to be advantageous for those whose business interests align with this specific phenomenon. It is likely that 2015 will be as, if not more, exciting to watch than the events of 2014.

Banks Set Aside Billions of Pounds for Forex-Rigging Fines

If future preparations can serve as any indication of former crimes, Barclays recent fund allocations may provide enough proof for skeptics who have been convinced “from the beginning” that UK’s banks, as well as those in other countries around the world, have been engaging in illegal activities within the Forex markets. Currently, Barclays has allocated nearly £500m in order to ensure that any costs or fines incurred in the ongoing investigation regarding forex riggings are fully covered.

Barclays is no stranger to controversy. In 2012, the bank was fined approximately £290m for manipulating Libor, a scandal that pales in comparison to the penalties which may be sustained in upcoming months. Currently, the Financial Conduct Authority is attempting to reach a settlement with six major banking establishments regarding illegal activities in the Forex marketplace, a trading arena that involves over £3.5tn in transactions each and every day.

It is expected that the Financial Conduct Authority will release information regarding their regulatory actions next month. Experts agree that it is quite likely that the FCA will include an exhaustive collection of e-mails and e-chats, all of which point strongly to interest-rate fixing in forex markets among traders with Barclays.

Unfortunately, Barclays continues to soil its reputation with scandals such as this. Shares in Barclays continue to fall as an ever-increasing series of controversies continue to mount. In the third quarter of this year, Barclays’ profits have fallen by nearly £200m when compared to a year ago this time. Almost 8,000 jobs have also disappeared over the course of the last year. That being said, over the course of the past nine months, overall profits for Barclays have risen by approximately 5%.

Although Barclays is currently suffering heavily from some of the costliest scandals the bank has ever experienced, bank leaders have already stated that the bank will continue to pay its 1p quarterly dividend as promised. Whether or not the bank will be able to salvage its reputation after these issues, however, is another matter entirely. More information about this scandal will be available in the following weeks, following pending announcements from the Financial Conduct Authority and Barclays’ leadership.

Learn how to Save Money and Time on International Currency Transfers

Although international travel is, obviously, one of the most enjoyable and exciting adventures available for many us, current logistical hassles can transform what should otherwise be a carefree and thrilling experience into an annoying and cumbersome series of trials and blunders. International currency transfer remains one of the most important and yet annoying and time-intensive elements of traveling abroad. It’s not uncommon for travelers who have little experience with international money transfer to lose a large part of their initial travel fund on transfer fees and poor exchange rates.

It’s often tempting to approach one of the major high street banks when you first begin pursuing international money exchange services. That being said, these institutions often do not offer customers the best possible exchange rates. A variety of independent money exchange services are available for travelers across the United Kingdom that provide competitive exchange and allow you to spend more of your money on your vacation as opposed to exchange fees.

Due to the fact that foreign currency exchange rates often change on a second-to-second basis, it’s highly important that individuals who may be new to international exchange seek expert advice from those who make foreign exchange their primary business. Fortunately, a growing number of independent services do offer consultation services in addition to standard exchange services. Instead of wasting time and money at the major high street banks, we highly recommend that you explore the numerous advantages offered by independent services in business in virtually every major city in the UK.

For those whose interests fall more in line with long-term international adventures, including buying property in a foreign country, independent currency exchange / transfer services can also be particularly helpful. These businesses can help you establish a regular payment plan which ensures that you won’t miss any important milestones in your payment schedule.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why an independent exchange service may be helpful for those interested in pursuing cost-effective, budget-friendly money transfers. While the fine details of any transfer or exchange-related endeavour will, obviously, have to be settled between the independent exchange service and the individual seeking to transfer money, it is likely that these issues will not present any long-term difficulties which would impede future plans. Ultimately, using an independent exchange service allows you to invest more of your money into your long-term goals and, simultaneously, prepare for a more exciting future! There’s never been a better time to explore international money transfers and exchange rate services. Contact your nearest independent exchange service today, and learn more about the wide variety of services that may currently be available for you, your friends or your family. Good luck!

Bitcoin Software is the future for money exchange

For many investors who have spent the last six months of their life proclaiming loudly that Bitcoin is the way of the future, the current price fluctuations that have led to the lowest price points for the currency since 2013 may be causing cold sweats, nightmares and vigorous bouts of rage/denial. That being said, taking to the time to breathe deeply and think about the history of Bitcoin may provide a more realistic and, hopefully, optimistic feeling of where this currency may be headed.

When Bitcoin first arrived on the internet, early adopters proclaimed that this currency would rattle the foundations of the current marketplace and, to be honest, it did. With values absolutely skyrocketing prior to the Mt. Gox catastrophe, many investors were swept into thinking that Bitcoin truly had revolutionized currency. That assumption, really, isn’t too far off the mark. Regardless of what the future of Bitcoin as a single cryptocurrency may be, the technology powering it and the ideas it has generated will live on long past this particular payment vehicle.

That being said, for those who are committed to gaining the most clear picture of the coin itself, the news is going to feel demoralizing. For a currency as young and volatile as Bitcoin, “first” impressions are everything. Given the absolute plunge of the currency in recent months, there’s virtually no way that an experienced investor looking to tuck away millions in a promising opportunity will give Bitcoin a second thought. The less transactions that occur, the fewer opportunities that Bitcoin has to reach new segments of the population who may find it a valuable tool. The fewer people who find the currency useful, the less credibility it is able to hold on to. And this, of course, is how the currency could die.

The idea of Bitcoin, however, will likely stay alive for decades to come, due in large part to the revolutionary nature of the blockchain, a system of reinforced anonymity and security which, due to its inherent flexibility, will likely become a ubiquitous element of the online arena.

Therefore, Bitcoin enthusiasts really have two choices when it comes to thinking about their favorite currency. They can acknowledge that the coin itself was bound to face a turbulent period of growth and change that may lead to its demise, or they can think of the bigger picture, i.e. the blockchain, and revel in the fact that Bitcoin truly is just the beginning of something much larger and more revolutionary than they could have ever imagined.

Shanghai Stock Exchange Rates are booming

The interest rate on overnight loans on the Shanghai Stock Exchange experienced some of the largest gains in nearly seven weeks as new market subscribers rushed to borrow cash in order to finance new share sales. According to experts, it is estimated that the initial public offerings on the Shanghai Stock Exchange will amount to nearly 2 trillion yuan.

Following this flurry of activity, the seven-day repurchase rate, which is commonly con-sidered to be an accurate gauge of interbank liquidity levels, rose two base points, top-ping out at 3.83 percent. According to Frank Sun, an analyst at Shanghai CFETS-ICAP International Money Brokering Co., the activity related to the IPO’s, while exciting, did little to rattle the more stable foundation of the interbank marketplace. This, of course, implies that interbank liquidity remains quite high.

According to the most recent reports, aggregate financing levels, the most broad level of credit available, reached nearly 1.69 trillion yuan in the month of December, which is almost 500 million higher than the initial estimate offered by a current Bloomberg survey. Analytics reports have also revealed that the volume of new currency loans has also fallen significantly to 697.3 billion yuan, down from 852.7 billion yuan in November of last year.

The price of one-year interest rate swaps, the fixed sum that must be paid in order to receive the current floating seven-day repo rate, was increased by nearly three basis points. Experts believe that the PBOC will most likely remain somewhat sedate on policy enactment as long as financial data does not begin to show signs of worsening. As the volume of loans continues to grow, it is likely that the economy will further stabilize.

Currently, the yield on government bonds which are slated to be due on December 2024 are unchanged. The yield remains fixed at 3.54 percent. This figure is the lowest closing that has been observed since December 1st of last year.

Given the large spate of activity that has currently been undertaken, it is likely that the marketplace will remain somewhat volatile for the coming weeks. It will be very interesting to observe how investors respond and reshape their strategies in the wake of such a substantial IPO for the Shanghai Stock Exchange. As always, it is likely that numerous opportunities will present themselves for those who are following the dynamics of this situation closely.

Facebook Wants to Start Handling Your Money – Here’s Why

Gotten swept up into the social media craze in recent years? That’s understandable. After all, never before in the history of the human experience have individuals been able to explore so many elements of their daily lives simultaneously, ranging from pertinent world and local news to advertisements, product placements and social updates from friends and family.

That being said, Facebook is ready to take their immersive experience one step further by offering a convenient and powerful method for undertaking e-commerce transactions with many of the world’s larger retailers as well as between Facebook friends.

In many ways, this information should come as no surprise. After all, virtually every other major internet and tech platform has begun to release tools that individuals and business owners can use to quickly transfer money, pay invoices, etc. One of the more prominent technologies featured recently has been Bitcoin, the revolutionary crypto-currency that has quickly risen to become one of the most talked about and, simultaneously, controversial tech innovations in years.

Currently, there’s no concrete details on whether or not Facebook’s system will handle Bitcoin transactions, nor is there really any information at all! The news leak concerning this payment system was actually instigated by a computer techie at Stanford who discovered lines of existing code within the Facebook infrastructure that allowed for payments to be processed and undertaken via the messenger app.

This, really, is the only information that is actually available at this point. It stands to reason, however, that Facebook would be considering a platform such as this to unleash in the upcoming months, if only to remain competitive with the other tech giants who are operating in similar fashion.

A payment system would also ensure an even more regular supply of traffic to Facebook, which is only good news to investors and shareholders. It’s obvious to see, therefore, that any one of several reasons could be used as justification for implementing this new program. Because of this, it will be quite interesting to see exactly how this product rollout occurs and, more important, when. Timing is everything in the tech world, and numerous businesses have lost out to the competition simply by letting first mover advantage slip out of their fingers. If Facebook is serious about gaining respect and competing with the nation’s other tech giants, it’s definitely important for them to consider just how much time and money they are willing to invest in this particular enterprise.

How Big Should Bitcoin’s Role be in B2B Payments?

What exactly is the future of Bitcoin, and what role should this digital currency play in the B2B payments market, one of the most vital niches within the larger global infrastructure in existence today? These two questions are often asked by financial analysts and industry experts seeking some sort of invaluable insight into the future of the digital currency, not only for speculative purposes, but also in hopes of gaining some sort of traction when developing sustainable business platforms in what is arguably one of the most dynamic and volatile economic climates in recent history.

For some, Bitcoin’s precipitous rise in both value and public interest is a sign that this product (and the revolutionary system it represents) should be avoided at all costs. After all, Bitcoin has not only undermined the modern banking system as we know it, but it has also posed a credible challenge to the sovereign currencies of nations around the world.

These exact critiques are, for some, the very same reasons why they believe Bitcoin is poised to adopt an even larger role in the B2B payments market in the months and years to come. Due to the fact that Bitcoin is arguably much more secure than standard transactions, Bitcoin could trade back and forth on a B2B level without as high a risk of hacking and theft. Combined with the fact that Bitcoin transactions carry no additional charges, some are proclaiming that this method of payment is undeniably a cornerstone of the future 21st century business infrastructure that has slowly been evolving over the past decade.

Regardless of whether or not Bitcoin does indeed become a fixture in B2B payments, it stands to reason that an increasing number of businesses will begin to demand what Bitcoin provides – a no-hassle, expense-free service by which money can quickly find its way into the hands of those who need it the most, all without the threat of a security breach or online theft.

Is this the future of B2B transactions? It seems there are very few reasons why it shouldn’t be. With Bitcoin, however, success is measured not only in literal effectiveness but also public sentiment, a more elusive standard of measure that has proven itself to be a major catalyst for price increases and drops in recent history. If Bitcoin is, indeed, to become a fixture within B2B practices, it must first be embraced by the influencers and thought leaders who hold power over this particular enterprise.

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