Business in China is looking up for Independent International Investment Research, a small UK-based financial information company.
Two recent contract wins in China have led the company, which is
listed on London's AIM market, to announce it will relocate its Greater
China salesperson from London to China, in a bid to get closer to
China's fledgling market for foreign exchange (FX) research.
The revaluation of the yuan in 2005 led to China-based financial
institutions to take much more interest in currency risk and that
stimulated the demand for independent Chinese-language research on the
But IIIR's current long-distance relationship with China is
hampering Chinese sales of its Pronet Analytics service, the company
reckons, and it can't be much fun for the individual concerned having
to make a 13-hour flight every time a potential prospect pops up in
IIIR is headquartered in London, with R&D facilities in China
and India. While it is a minnow compared to the giants like Reuters or
Bloomberg, it has nevertheless carved out a niche producing independent
FX research for the currency markets. Reuters and Bloomberg, along with
other information providers, distribute IIIR's research.
In China, it has changed from a subscription-based to transaction-based business model, signing a deal with Forex
Markets, a leading global broking firm servicing the retail market, to
provide the service for a transaction fee which will be largely met by
FXCM on behalf of clients.
Outside of the rarefied world of FX dealing, IIR is best known for a
David-and-Goliath dispute with Google over the rights to use the Gmail
name. IIIR offer a web-based e-mail service, called Gmail, that allows
users to e-mail extracts from research to other traders.
Google also has a Gmail service, of course, hence the dispute (pdf).