Malaysia’s Watchdog Adds Alpari, BitForex to Caution List

Malaysia’s financial regulator today said the brands of Alpari International and Alpari Trading Malaysia are not authorised to operate in the country. The Securities Commission (SC) has, therefore, put the global FX broker on the list of unlicensed companies.

Over the last two years, retail forex broker Alpari closed its business in several countries for different reasons. In 2019, following a decision by Russia’s central bank to strip several local retail foreign exchange (FX) brokers of their regulatory licenses, Alpari’s Russian entity ceased all activity.

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Earlier in 2018, Alpari voluntary closed down its subsidiary in Belize and moved its clients to the Saint Vincent and Grenadines subsidiary.

Elsewhere, the Securities Commission (SC) has also blacklisted cryptocurrency exchange BitForex alongside ten websites for operating various investment services though they lack any legal authorization for doing business in the country. BitForex is based in Hong Kong and incorporated in Seychelles.

The watchdog advises its citizens not to make use of such services nor to make any investment with companies or individuals that are not approved or licensed by the SC.

The following persons and entities were added to the list as at October 13,  2020:

In July, the southeast Asian country’s regulator issued a similar warning against Binance, eToro, OctaFX and FintechFX saying that these platforms are not authorized to operate in the country nor subject to its regulatory oversight.

Anyone who engages in regulated activities without a valid license or registration from the SC is committing an offense under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. If convicted, they may be punished with imprisonment of up to ten years and fined.

The new list also includes offshore firms that offer payment and Fintech services, which comes at a time when Malaysia is bracing for the arrival of digital banks, with up to five licenses to be issued by the country’s central bank once the regulation for the industry is in place.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is now working towards releasing regulation guidelines for virtual-bank operation in Malaysia, dubbed ‘the Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks.’

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