Regent Markets Group Ltd. is an affiliate of Regent Pacific Group Ltd and RegentPac is an international financial group based in Hong Kong. Regent Pacific Group Ltd. is listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and on the Deutsche Börse.
For further information about Regent Pacific Group Ltd., please see the link below:Regent Pacific Group -> http://www.regentpac.com
The Regent Markets Group Ltd was founded by Jean-Yves Sireau in 1999. Prior to this, Mr Sireau managed Fortitude Fund Management Ltd, a hedge fund management group based in Hong Kong. At Fortitude, Sireau invested in various over-the-counter derivative products - notably range digital options, binary options and knockout options.
Mr Sireau's vision was to create a market in the most simple of market contracts; the fixed-odds bet, and to offer such bets in small sizes to all ordinary investors worldwide. During the period 1998-2000 Mr Sireau worked extensively in collaboration with a number of top mathematicians to develop the systems, methods and algorithms that were indispensable to the implementation of the fixed-odds betting system, culminating in the filing of a Patent Application on 29th March 2000 with the European Patent Office.
The Regent Markets Group venture received a significant boost in October 1999 when Regent Pacific Group Ltd invested USD 2 million capital into the venture and committed to a supplemental USD 2 million loan.
Regent Markets Group endeavours to continue to define and expand its leading market position by the application of focused product-line development and a commitment to total quality.
The Fixed Odds Group Venture - Jean-Yves Sireau's Brainchild Commentary on Jean-Yves Sireau CEO of Regent Markets Group; the Group behind Betonmarkets Jean-Yves was early into the Internet when he came up with the great idea of reverse spread betting. It shone like a beacon through the many business plans we get," says Jim Mellon, chairperson of Regent Pacific Group Ltd., an international venture capital company and partner with Sireau's company, Fixed-Odds Group Ltd, in the Betonmarkets venture.
Sireau worked as a money market dealer at Credit Commerciale de France after his arrival in Hong Kong in 1992. "Basically they gave me a pool of money and I was supposed to trade it and make money-and I did, amazingly. I think they were really mad to give money to such a young kid."
An entrepreneur at heart, it was clear to Sireau that he wouldn't be a lifelong employee of the bank. Back in France, he had developed a technical analysis software program for the stock market, which he sold through his company, Excellence Informatique. This venture earned him the prestigious Foundation Jacques Douce Prize for young entrepreneurs in 1991-the award was given to Sireau directly from the French Prime Minister at the time, Edith Cresson.
But his experience at Credit Commerciale and the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong were having an impact on Sireau. "I heard two traders talking about deals worth millions of dollars as if it were day-to-day business for them and that really impressed me," he says. "I thought it would be more exciting if I started an investment fund and raised money from investors-that way I could earn a higher incentive fee and it could grow."
Sireau created the Fortitude Group Inc. in 1993, along with Fortitude Fund Management Ltd. and online system provider Fortitude Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd. At Fortitude, Sireau invested in various over-the-counter derivative products- range digital options, binary options and knockout options.
"We were trading with Smith Barney and they were selling these kinds of digital options," says Sireau. "Actually, they're just bets. I thought it was an extremely simple product. I was surprised the big banks and hedge funds were actually buying these things in quantities of a million plus. I thought it was much more appropriate for small retail investors, and just a great idea to bring this product to the mass retail market."
Targeting the everyday white-collar professional-with disposable income, familiarity with technology and interest in the market-Sireau decided financial betting was the way to go. "I know nothing about sports," says Sireau. "I've never seen a soccer game in my life, so sports betting was out of the question."
His biggest challenge was to develop the intricate math formulas that would be necessary for a fixed-odds financial betting Web site. "I contacted a bunch of mathematicians," says Sireau, "but they were clueless because they didn't know how to price these things." He then turned to a few top mathematicians in France, who took several months to come up with just the right figures. "The math formulas are extremely sensitive to the implied volatility in the market," says Sireau. "It's very important to get exactly the right estimates and assumptions because it's obviously the whole point of the business to sell these at a profitable price. If we get the price wrong, the clients will milk the company dry."
The math formulas use the same technology as option pricing, where an assumption is made that the markets will follow a normal distribution. The program then calculates the probability that the market will move to certain levels, which Sireau says is based on the same formula as the Black-Scholes option pricing formula-a technical analysis commonly used in commodities and futures investing.
Placing a bet based solely on the Hang Seng Index, for example, is quite easy to compute. But formulas based on several indices at the same time are far more complex. "Your bet is based on the volatility of each market, the interest rates on each market and the correlation matrix between each index," says Sireau. "We calculated that sometimes it can do up to a billion computations just to arrive at a bet price."
For the Binary site, bets are priced using two completely different techniques. The first being the math formulas and the second being a simulation. "We do over 50,000 random paths simulating the path which a market will take over, say, the next three weeks," says Sireau. "Each step is a random step-it either goes up or down with a random probability-so you generate a very large number of these random paths and you see what effect that has on our bet. Then you basically calculate the bet price from the results. If both techniques arrive at the same numbers that gives us a very high confidence that it's the right price."
An additional obstacle was the logistics of financial bookmaking, which would be labor intensive. Skilled staff would be needed to constantly adapt the odds offered on a large variety of possible bets to market conditions that are changing on a minute-to-minute basis-bookmakers typically offer only a few standard bets on a few markets. Faced with this market environment, it would be financially impossible to employ the staff required to calculate the odds fast enough.
Once again, Sireau turned to software programming to solve the problem. Binary.com recently filed a patent application with the European Patent Office to protect its "bookie" system. According to the patent application, the system allows the user to access a Web page, which accepts client input relating to a fixed-odds bet on a financial market. The input may include the type of bet, how much the client wants to pay, how much they would like to win and the time to expiry of the bet. A central processing machine, with access to real-time data on the financial market, calculates how much the bet costs and how much the client stands to win. That information is then relayed to the client on the Web page and the client can decide to either accept or decline the bet.
Mr Sireau started his career in the financial markets in 1990, forming the company Excellence Informatique SARL to commercialise a technical analysis charting software for the French brokerage community. Mr Sireau's company was awarded the Fondation Jacques Douce prize for young entrepreneurs by the French prime minister Edith Cresson.
In 1992, Mr Sireau was employed by the bank Credit Commercial de France in Hong Kong, to make use of Mr Sireau's software to trade the Asian financial markets. In 1993, Mr Sireau left the bank to form his own hedge fund company, Fortitude Fund Management Ltd. In 1995, Fortitude Fund Management Ltd. was sold in part to Regent Pacific Group Ltd. and the Aurelia Group, a Geneva-based fund management group specialising in high net-worth investors. The Fortitude hedge funds were featured in numerous magazines including Asia Risk, Futures Magazine, DFM and Managed Derivatives
In 1997, Mr Sireau's securities company, Fortitude Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd., became one of the first companies to offer online stock trading using the Fortitude's "MrMarket" trading platform in Hong Kong. Mr Sireau's hedge fund business was sold to Charles Schmitt & Associates in 1999, allowing Mr Sireau to dedicate his time to the founding of Regent Markets Group Ltd. (formerly Fixed-Odds Group Ltd.).
Binary.com currently offers fixed odds bets on 20 market indexes, 15 forex pairs, five commodities and 60 UK and USA stocks. The company has recently boosted its share offering from 20 to 60 and plans to increase the choice to 100 by the end of the year.
Binary (formerly known as Betonmarkets) handles around 10,000 bets a day, with about 70 per cent of the bets made on currencies. Indices are the next most popular, with commodities and shares trailing behind. Among its most popular products, flash bets allow people to take views on whether UK stocks or currency pairs will rise or fall over anything from one minute to five minutes. The company has more than 200,000 registered clients, with over 21 million trades processed since inception in 2000.
Most of the firm's clients are recreational speculators who make small size, simple, short-term bets although 30 per cent of its clients would be classified as sophisticated traders who prefer taking larger and more complex long-term punts on specific markets.
The company now has offices in Malta, the Isle of Man and Cyberjaya, Malaysia and is operated via bookmakers licenses in the UK, the Isle of Man and Malta. Their original flagship site Xodds.com has now merged into Betonmarkets.com. Betonmarkets (now known as Binary.com) offers a wide range of fixed-odds financial bets on forex rates, stock indices, and international stocks.
Regent Markets (the company that operates Binary.com) has reported turnover for the six months ended 30 June 2011 exceeding US$59 million, a 30.30% increase over the corresponding period in 2010. Net profit for the six months ended 30 June 2011 was US$1.07 million (2010: US$0.36 million). The company continues to lead the UK’s fixed-odds financial betting sector and is consolidating this lead by laying emphasis on its website technology and client service.
Update November 2012: Regent Markets has reported turnover for the six months ended 30 June 2012 exceeding US$85.32 million, a 44.86% increase over the corresponding period in 2011. Net profit for the six months ended 30 June 2012 was US$2.28 million (2011: US$1.07 million). The company continues to lead the UK's fixed-odds financial betting sector and is consolidating this lead by laying emphasis on its website technology and client service.
Competition in the binary betting sector is also on the increase; as seen by the launch of several big names who have entered the fixed odds betting industry - IG Index binary bets and custom betting products and www.boxoption.com (owned by the Olsen Group) as well as a number of outfits based in Cyprus (updownoptions.com, optionbit.com, winoption.com, anyoption.com, startoptions.com...etc). Whatever we may think about Vendor A versus Vendor B we are better off with more than less. The greater the number of participants the lower their spreads will be and the more we benefit. However, I wouldn't trust the outfits based in Cyprus as they are largely unregulated.
Binary.com(formerly Betonmarkets) is in fact no different in "odds" to any other form i.e spreadbetting. Take for example doing a spreadbet on the daily Dow @ £10 p.point. Well the spread is 16 (with IG Index), making an instant £160 loss which you now have to make up before getting into credit.
Of course then trailing stops come in. But the problem faced with spreadbetting is that with sudden market bounces, stop losses can soon be hit and then as the market retraces you miss out. Here with Binary.com this is not so (unless you do a No TOUCH).
You do pay a premium for the simplicity i feel, as the rates are not as good as the more traditional methods of trading, but it is a great, simple way to begin..
The reason why I advocate it at the moment is because the website is designed and orientated around beginners, and just coming to terms with market 'jargon' is hard enough, never mind watching for hit stops and adjusting trailing stops.
Binary.com can provide a 'safer' environment to trade, for very small amounts (a few pounds at a time) whilst educating yourself about how things work.
Also, the different forms of bet are worth looking into as well, no touch, one touch, barrier range, higher/lower....etc The limited risk potential is what makes it good for beginners, but it comes at a premium; which is that the odds always favour the house.
Do keep in mind that Binary.com is a bookie and I have been told they don't lay-off most of their action...and it's not as though they can easily achieve direct offsets with their book for a variety of reasons; asymmetry of client paper, OTC strikes and expirations. They *could* hedge broadly; trading exchange vol/gamma at predetermined gamma levels to avoid giving up even greater edge laying-off with banks, but hedging exotics with vanilla options isn't robust. Any way you slice it, replicating/hedging is costly and likely kills the business model.
Do also remember to sign up under the 'Costa Rican' jurisdiction or your range of products and ways in which you can fund the account will be limited. Binary.com (formerly Betonmarkets) itself has been around for more than 10 years now and operates under multiple licenses (UK, Malta, the Isle of Man and Costa Rica)
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