Luxembourg based online broker Internaxx has established a strong reputation with international investors. Its latest service to investors is online futures contract trading, and its ownership by two blue chip banks is well respected.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:Why have you just changed your name to Internaxx Bank?
Robert:We simplified our past institutional name to include our commercial name Internaxx, with which we are active on the international markets since our launch five years ago.
With the support of blue chip banks Fortis and TDWaterhouse as our shareholders, we have established our Internaxx name as the online broker of choice for international investors. All other contact details, our banking status and our shareholders do not change.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:In late 2005 Internaxx introduced futures contract trading on the website; what is this all about, and how has it been received in the marketplace?
Robert:We constantly upgrade our product and services offer to cater for speculative international investors. Those are looking to trade sophisticated financial products through a well backed bank in a solid financial centre.
Futures contracts enable investors to trade online the wide range of financial instruments including stock indices, interest rates, foreign currencies and commodities.
As such, the Futures, as well as our FX and CFD trading platform, have been very well received in the market place, thanks to the extended possibilities that those products offer. Investors can go long or short, trade on margin and access any major financial instrument: shares, investment funds, futures, CFDs and FX.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:How important is the Middle East as a trading platform for Internaxx? Do you see room for further expansion?
Robert:We see a real potential in the Middle East, specifically in countries such as the UAE which attract an important and growing number of financially savvy investors and professionals. The wealth accumulated locally and the need for direct investment channels means that we will be able to sustain our strong growth in the Middle East.
Many brokerages in the Middle East will only offer the US markets. However, access to global markets allows diversification of portfolios, significantly reduces risk, and gives investors the opportunity to benefit from opportunities around the world.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:Where do you see investors placing their money in 2008? What are your recommendations?
Robert:2007 has been another good year for the majority of asset classes. Bond returns have been satisfactory, while the majority of equity markets have shown healthy gains. Japanese equities will have pleased a lot of investors after years of dismal performance. US equities, on the other hand, have disappointed despite a solid increase in earnings.
Going into 2008, we continue to be positive on equities, based on an earnings environment that is still satisfactory, attractive valuations relative to bonds, a positive seasonal effect and ongoing M&A activity.
The big unknown is the level of economic growth in the second half of 2008. If this remains satisfactory, the outcome will be far better for equities than if growth were to fall below trend.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:People still worry about the security of internet brokerage accounts? What are you doing at Internaxx to ensure that client accounts are fully protected?
Robert:For us, security is the priority. Our website is protected with 128 bit encryption, and clients can only log on using their personal account number, a secret PIN, and a password turing system where we only ask clients for 4 characters of their password (as protection against keyloggers)
For additional protection, money transfers to an external account are only accepted to accounts held in the client's name. Finally, we are fully regulated as a bank in Luxembourg, and as such abide by strict regulations and banking secrecy rules.
Andy, Contracts-for-difference:Why should anyone place their money with Internaxx Bank rather than another online brokerage?
Robert:There are a lot of retail banks and private banks catering for offshore investors, but the offer does not fully suit self-directed investors who make their own investment decisions, and want an efficient and price-competitive online investment platform located offshore.
Moreover, we see that investors are looking for an established online broker backed by major solid institutions. Our online brokerage offer encompasses the complete range of investment products with discounted commissions: shares, investment funds, futures, CFDs and FX.