The east European country of Belarus has recently issued four regulatory licenses to brokers who want to operate in the country.
These numbers are from the beginning of April and have now raised the country’s broker population to 13.
Reports suggest that there are a number of other brokers who are on the verge of filing for a license or are in the middle of the licensing process. A number of these brokers come from Russia.
Though Belarus may not exactly seem like a capital for high finance, it does offer brokers a place to recover from the recent hits against them by the Russian government.
At the end of 2018, Russian authorities decided to force all retail brokerages to close. The reason behind it was customer protection and supposed violations.
Moving to Belarus is actually pretty simple for many of these brokers. It is nearby and has more relaxed regulations. This means that the move is not so expensive and they don’t have to face stringent Russian rules.
There are still some unavoidable requirements though. The capital requirements for opening up shop in Belarus require around $100,000 with the additional requirement of a client compensation fund. The country’s risk management rules are also strict, which ensures that losses cannot be greater than the company’s capital.
Another reason for the push to Belarus is that the country has many tech-savvy programmers who can be hired at a lower rate than programmers from Western Europe. Similar to the Ukraine, it is becoming the go-to place for companies that need to outsource their tech needs at a low price.
In a statement, Olga Dashuk, a spokesperson for Capital.com, said
Belarus is well known in the region as a country that can provide strong IT expertise. We already had a strong team of developers in the country, so it was logical for us to expand here and acquire a Belarusian license.
A Base for Other Markets
Though many cite expansion into the east as the reason for setting up shop in Belarus, the country has one of lowest GDPs in Europe while having a population of less than ten million. This is not exactly prime territory for growth.
However, Belarus is the perfect launchpad for operating in other markets, specifically those that are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Another positive is that despite being physically in Europe, Belarus is not covered by the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) regulations. These regulations have tied the hands of many EU brokers. These factors make Belarus an up-and-coming hot spot for retail trading.