Rakuten Trade sees 11,000 account activations in March as online trading demand rises


RAKUTEN Trade Sdn Bhd’s new account activations have doubled in March despite the Covid-19- induced stock market volatility, as economic fears drove investors to seek “zero contact” fundraising avenues while working from home.

“Rakuten Trade, the country’s first and only fully digital equities broker, reported a surge in account openings during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

“More than 11,000 new accounts were activated, of which more than 64% were during the first phase of the MCO period alone,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The new accounts opened represented a month-on-month (MoM) growth of more than 100%, the broker added.

The MCO which began on March 18 and supposedly ends on March 31 has since been extended to April 14.

Following the surge in account activations, Rakuten Trade also recorded a 20% MoM increase in trading value last month.

Its MD Kaoru Arai (picture) said there has been a surging trend for a “zero-contact” equities trading platform as the pandemic showed no sign of retreat.

“We attribute the high volume of appeal to those who are working from home now, despite some brokers still requiring some form of face-to-face contact.

“The digitalise trading platform and seamless account activation process have become key benefits to enabling investors to trade inequities,” he said.

As of March 31, the broker has generated about RM11 billion of trading value on the local bourse and activated almost 70,000 trading accounts in less than three years.

The firm also recently launched its third product, RakuMargin, to expand its digital service and cater to more experienced traders.

RakuMargin offers an automated facility limit approval of up to RM100,000 with the same low brokerage fees as the Cash Upfront and Contra Accounts.

Separately, CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd has launched a retail Islamic Cross Border Trading (ICBT) service through its online platform, CGS-CIMB iTrade.

The services provide a complete Islamic ecosystem with shariah screening provided by Refinitiv Eikon.

“It offers a broad collection of Islamic equities with over 30,000 company stocks listed from more than 34 countries,” CGS-CIMB said in a statement.

The equities undergo a precise screening process and more than 11,000 have been certified as Shariah-compliant. The companies are screened monthly depending on the financial disclosure updates.

Among the exchanges available under the platform are the Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NYSE American, Hong Kong Exchanges, Singapore Exchange, Indonesia Stock Exchange and Stock Exchange of Thailand.

“During the time of uncertainties, there are pockets of investment opportunities abroad and locally.

“Therefore, investors can consider diversifying their investments to reduce the impact of market volatility,” CGS-CIMB CEO Ruzi Ajith said.