Czech electronic brokerage Fio brokered trades worth €20 million in Hungary during the first half of 2006, completing its full year target, head of the brokerage's retail division Markek Polka said on Wednesday.
Fio started operating in Hungary in January 2006. Trade turnover in Hungary accounted for just a fraction of Fio's total first-half trade turnover of €3.95 billion. The brokerage operates in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in addition to Hungary, and is the biggest online broker in the region, Polka said.
First-half trade turnover was up 65% from the same period a year earlier, Polka said. Based on the strong H1 performance, which exceeded the brokerage's full-year target, Fio expects trade turnover to reach €7.5 billion in 2006. Polka noted that, from January 2007, Fio would offer clients the chance to trade in derivatives, share indices, forex contracts and futures contracts for oil and gold.
Fio's managing director in Hungary Zoltán Nyitrai said he sees great potential for development on the Hungarian market. He added that Fio would soon request membership on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) as well as on the Warsaw exchange. Hungarian traders who use Fio's services invest almost all of their money in Western shares, unlike in Slovakia where just 40% of Fio clients' money is used to buy foreign stocks. The foreign ratio is negligible in the case of Czech investors according to Fio figures. Fio's Hungarian investors are also willing to take greater risks, with high-risk "pink sheet" shares accounting for almost one-third of their trades, he said.