Rakuten Trade introduces US share-trade service

By S BIRRUNTHA / GRAPHIC TMR

RAKUTEN Trade Sdn Bhd has launched the expansion of its cash upfront trading account to include access into foreign markets beginning with the US, to diversify the stockbroking firm’s revenue. 

CEO Kazumasa Mise said the decision to introduce a US share-trade service was based on a high volume of requests received from its public since Rakuten Trade launched its business in 2017. 

He expects Rakuten Trade’s US and Malaysian share-trading business to improve through the launch of the share-trade service. 

“The Malaysian stock market was going down towards the end of last year, our brokerage revenue was also affected. Thus, we are looking for an alternative revenue source. 

“As one of the early disruptors in the market, Rakuten Trade continues to move nimbly through its fourth year of operations by continuing to innovate and elevate the equity broking industry in Malaysia,” he said in a virtual media briefing in conjunction with the launch of Rakuten Trade’s Next Gen Trading Account yesterday. 

According to Mise, the US share trading service amplifies Rakuten Trade’s value propositions and unlocks more value through digital efficiencies. 

He added that the share trading service was also designed for the digitally savvy individuals who are keen to execute self-directed trades. 

“With this enhancement, our clients will now have access to trade stocks like Apple Inc and Tesla Inc, as well as Exchange Traded Funds that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, in addition to over 1,000 stocks on Bursa Malaysia. 

“Both domestic and foreign equities will be offered on a single dashboard, at the same low brokerage for a seamless fully digital trading experience,” he said. 

Mise said Malaysians and foreign nationals with a Malaysian bank account are eligible to apply for a cash upfront account for trading in both local and foreign markets. 

He added that upon successful activation of a cash upfront account, the account holder needs to opt in to enable the foreign market service. 

Rakuten Trade’s cash upfront account offers retail investors a number of offerings for trading on both Bursa Malaysia and US markets. 

This includes low brokerage (for example, RM7 to RM100), competitive exchange rates that are better than most banks, an all-in-one cash upfront dashboard for clients to execute their own stock trades, one trading limit for all markets, access to research reports from three sources (in-house research team, Rakuten Securities Inc and Motley Fools), quick account activation of less than one hour for trading in Malaysia and within three days to enable US trading, eligibility to earn Rakuten Trade points and no charges for corporate action handling. 

Mise said Rakuten Trade hopes to launch its Hong Kong share-trading service by the second quarter this year after the US share-trading service. 

“We are a business that evolves in tandem with what the clients want and need. With the rollout of the foreign market trading service, we are ensuring a more consistent growth in new retail investors year-on-year,” he noted. 

Mise said the online broker aims to continue democratising equity trading by improving the digital trading experience with a client-first mindset. 

In 2020 alone, Rakuten Trade’s award-winning rewards ecosystem welcomed Boost as a new lifestyle rewards’ partner and expanded the Rakuten Trade points redemption matrix to include brokerage fees. 

“With our strengthened digital capabilities that elevates the customer experience, coupled with our fully licensed research division, Rakuten Trade will continue to raise standards and evolve in the years ahead,” he said. 

According to Mise, Rakuten Trade has remained profitable since April 2020, thanks to its clients, many of whom are beginners in share investing. 

As at Dec 31, 2021, it had activated more than 236,000 trading accounts and handled more than RM95 billion in total trading value on Bursa Malaysia since business day one. 

Rakuten Trade’s retail market share was more than 7% while clients’ assets under trust was more than RM3.7 billion as of Dec 31, 2021.