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Turkish markets regulator clamps down on leveraged transactions
February 10, 2017 / 1:52 PM / 10 months ago

Turkish markets regulator clamps down on leveraged transactions

ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Turkey’s Capital Markets Board said on Friday it had lowered the maximum limit on leveraged transactions for financial markets trading to a ratio of 10:1 from 100:1 in order to limit the risks for investors.

In a statement published in the country’s Official Gazette, the board also set a minimum deposit of 50,000 lira ($13,564) for such transactions.

“This aims to prevent individual investors being possible victims of high leverage,” the markets board said of the moves, which go into effect from Friday.

European regulators have been cracking down on financial spread betting, a fast-growing industry where most retail investors lose money, in which the most popular product is known as a contract for difference (CFD).

CFDs let investors bet on both the direction a share price, currency or other financial product will move in, and the extent of the change in price.

In Europe, the industry is regulated by European Union rules which have no caps on leverage. That means investors can take out bets that are far larger than their initial outlay, offering greater potential returns but also running the risk of huge losses.

Britain’s financial watchdog has proposed a maximum leverage of 50:1, meaning the exposure taken must not be greater than 50 times the initial outlay.

According to data from Turkey’s Capital Markets Association, the volume of leveraged transactions in the forex market was $2.96 trillion in the first nine months of 2016. As of October 2016, there were 88 brokerages operating in Turkey, almost half of them offering leveraged transactions. (Reporting by Birsen Altayli; Writing by Daren Butler and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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