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Extension of controls on sale of binary options and contracts for difference to retail investors

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has notified Cyprus Investment Firms it regulates that the European Securities and Markets Authority has extended its controls on binary options and contracts for difference.

The prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients, which has been in effect since 2 July 2018, has been extended for three months, to 2 January 2019. Certain products, which have specific features that mitigate the risk of investor detriment, are now excluded from the prohibition.

The restrictions on the marketing, distribution or sale of contracts for difference to retail clients, which have been in effect since 1 August, have been extended by three months, to 1 February 2019. These restrictions include leverage limits, a margin close out rule on a per account basis, negative balance protection on a per account basis, a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs and a standard risk warning, including the percentage of the CFD provider’s retail investor accounts which are loss-making.

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