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LONDON (Reuters) - Toronto-based Oanda and Britain's ETX Capital joined the race to buy fellow online foreign exchange broker Alpari UK, looking to expand aggressively in the sector shakeout prompted by last week's turmoil in the Swiss franc.
Alpari UK entered administration on Monday after being crippled by losses caused by Switzerland's removal of the cap on the franc, but others seem to have escaped relatively unscathed.
Though Oanda executive Daniel Skowronski, the firm's managing director for EMEA and Americas, declined to confirm a report on the Forex Magnates website saying that that it had submitted a bid, he told Reuters: "Our goal has always been to grow organically, but given recent events we are obviously looking at a number of other opportunities in the market."
ETX Capital, a trading name of Monecor (London) Ltd, said on Friday that is had submitted a proposal to Alpari administrators KPMG.
"Our expertise in such business transfers should ensure that the process is quick and above all fair to customers," ETX Capital's CEO, Andrew Edwards, said in statement.
Another broker, IronFX, said on Thursday that it had made a bid for Alpari and a source told Reuters that administrators for Alpari are aiming to sell the broker by the end of next week and are in discussions with a handful of firms.
Oanda was the first broker to announce that it would swallow the losses of customers after last week's surge in the Swiss franc, the biggest and most unexpected move on major currency markets in the era of floating exchange rates.
"We made the immediate decision to forgive all negative client balances where permitted by regulators," Skowronski said. "From day one, Oanda built its business on fairness and integrity. This is simply how we do business."
Reporting by Patrick Graham; Editing by Nigel Stephenson and David Goodman