Plus500

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Plus500
Public
Traded as LSEPLUS
Industry Online trading
Founded 2008 (2008)
Founder
  • Alon Gonen (MD)
  • Gal Haber (MD)
  • Elad Ben-Izhak
  • Omer Elazari (CTO)
  • Shlomi Weizmann,
  • Shimon Sofer
Key people
Penelope Judd (Chairman)
Asaf Elimelech (CEO)
Elad Even-Chen (CFO)
David Zruia (COO)
Nir Zatz (CMO)
Products CFD
Services Online trading platform
Revenue Increase US$ 437.2 million (2017)[1]
Increase US$ $258.5 million (2017)[1]
Increase US$ $199.7 million (2017)[1]
Website plus500.com

Plus500 is an international financial firm providing online trading services in contracts for difference (CFDs), across more than 2,000 securities and multiple asset classes.[2] The company is headquartered in Israel and has subsidiaries in UK, Cyprus, Australia, Singapore and Bulgaria.

Plus500 is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA). Shares of the parent company, Plus500 Ltd, are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

History[edit]

Plus500 Headquarters in Haifa, Israel

The company was founded in 2008 by six alumni of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology: Gal Haber, Alon Gonen, Elad Ben-Izhak, Shlomi Weizmann, Omer Elazari and Shimon Sofer), with an initial investment of $400,000 contributed by Gonen, the managing director of the company.[2]

The initial platform was based on a Windows OS. In 2010, Plus500 launched a web based version of its online trading platform, allowing Mac and Linux users to trade online.[2] In 2011, they launched their first app for iPad and iPhone users.[2]

In 2012, Plus500 introduced its Android-based trading platform for Android smartphones and tablets.[2]

In July 2013, Plus500 listed shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, under the ticker PLUS, and started trading publicly on 22 July 2013, raising up to US$75 million, which placed the company's market capitalisation at US$200 million.[3]

In 2014, the company launched its Windows app.[4]

In May 2015, Plus500 was hit with massive value loss when its stock plunged almost 60 percent due to the company's move to freeze UK based trader accounts. The UK Financial Conduct Authority had ordered Plus500UK (the UK subsidiary of Plus500) to freeze the accounts as part of a review into anti-money-laundering controls. Most customers were able to access their funds within 2 months. The Australian and the Cyprus subsidiaries were not affected.[5]

In June 2015, Plus500 agreed to a US$703 million bid from Playtech, an online gambling company that was expanding into trading. However, Playtech walked away from the deal in November 2015 after it failed to get regulatory approval for the takeover.[6]

In 2016, the Israeli operating subsidiary of company, Plus500IL Ltd was one of a small number of companies to be granted a Trading Arena Licence by the Israeli Security Authority (ISA). In that same year, Plus500 released an app for Apple Watch to trade and view account details directly from Apple’s wearable.[7]

In early December 2017, Plus500SG Pte Ltd, the Singapore subsidiary of Plus500, was granted a Capital Markets Services license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for dealing in securities and leveraged foreign exchange trading.[8]

In June 2018, Plus500 launched its Economic Calendar, covering major financial events and indicators from all over the world, which are provided by Dow Jones & Company, a subsidiary of News Corp. Plus500’s calendar includes a list of the most highly-affected instruments for each economic event.[9]

In June 2015 the company joined the main market of the London Stock Exchange.[10]

Plus500 Web Trader

Operations[edit]

Plus500 trading apps are supported in 32 languages, including English, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese.[11] It has been reported that 40% of the transactions were made by either Smartphones or tablets.[2]

Regulation[edit]

In December 2017, European and UK watchdogs announced[12] details of planned restrictions on the spreadbetting and CFD sectors. Plus500 CEO Asaf Elimelech said "the board believes the proposals are unlikely to have a material adverse effect on the group's business, thanks to its highly flexible business model". He added "Our continued focus on serving our customers' trading needs through product innovation and technology leadership, combined with our successful marketing activity, has led to strong new customer sign ups, reduced churn in the second half and increased customer activity."[13]

Sponsorships[edit]

In January 2015, Plus500 signed a sponsorship deal with Atlético de Madrid Football Club. Later that year, Plus500 became the Club’s main sponsor for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 seasons. In January 2017, Plus500 renewed its sponsorship deal with Atlético de Madrid for the 2017/2018 season. In November 2017, Plus500 signed a €45 million deal to sponsor Atlético de Madrid Football Club for three additional seasons, starting from the 2018/19 season.[14]

In December 2016, Plus500 signed a naming rights sponsorship deal with the Brumbies, an Australian professional rugby union football team, for the 2017 season. In November 2017, the deal was extended until the end of 2020.[15]

Controversies[edit]

In October 2012, Plus500UK Limited was fined with £205,128 for failing to provide accurate and timely transaction reports to the FSA in respect of all the reportable transactions they carried out.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report and Accounts 2017" (PDF). Plus500. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Plus500: Absolutely Israeli". Globes. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  3. ^ "Plus500 Decides To Go Public With IPO". FX Empire. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  4. ^ "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Plus500. p. 13. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  5. ^ "London-listed spreadbetting firm Plus500's stock bombs after freezing accounts". Business Insider. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  6. ^ "Playtech folds on Plus500 deal after regulatory concerns". FT. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  7. ^ ""On Sunday we release our supported Apple watch app! plus 500"". Plus 500. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  8. ^ "Grant of operating licence in Singapore". FT.com. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  9. ^ "Check our Economic Calendar to follow financial events, anticipate possible market movements and make trading decisions accordingly". Plus500. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  10. ^ "Cryptocurrency surge propels 500 into the main market". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  11. ^ "Plus500 Ruthlessly Reviewed & Rated at Commodity.com". Commodity.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  12. ^ Gill, Oliver (2017-12-18). "Spreadbetters' shares are down as much as 15pc: Here's why". Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  13. ^ Morrison, Caitlin (2018-02-14). "Plus500 shares surge as it hikes dividend after growing revenue". Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  14. ^ "Atlético Madrid Extends Plus500 Shirt Sponsorship Deal Until 2021 - Financial Details Revealed". Footy Headlines. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  15. ^ "Plus500 Extend Brumbies Rugby Deal". Brumbies. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018. 
  16. ^ 5HS, The Financial Services Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14. "FSA issues fines totaling £250,000 for transaction reporting failures". www.fsa.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-16.