Rakuten enters Malaysia’s Online Stock Trading Space with a RM30 million investment

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd (“Rakuten Trade”), a joint venture company between Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad (“Kenanga IB”) and Japan-based Rakuten Securities, Inc. (“Rakuten Securities”) was officially launched to much fanfare on 18th May 2017, in Kuala Lumpur. Officiating the launch was Yang Berhormat Dato’ Lee Chee Leong, Deputy Minister of Finance Malaysia.

As Malaysia’s first completely online equities broker, Rakuten Trade is set to revolutionize online stock trading with its platform, iSPEED.my, which runs on cutting edge Japanese smartphone technology. In fact, Rakuten Securities hosts Japan’s most downloaded trading application, since 2008, where up to 90% of stocks are traded online.

L-R: Kaoru Arai, Managing Director, Rakuten Trade and Yuji Kusunoki, President of Rakuten Securities elaborating on iSPEED.my

L-R: Kaoru Arai, Managing Director, Rakuten Trade and Yuji Kusunoki, President of Rakuten Securities elaborating on iSPEED.my

The Malaysian replica, iSPEED.my platform will not only facilitate robust trading but for the first time, Malaysians are able to open an equity trading account completely online for trading on the local bourse. The localized version of this leading Japanese app, iSPEED.my offers traders:

  • First in market online account opening
  • Among Malaysia’s lowest brokerage rates
  • A financial portal to access simplified research materials and real-time market information easily
  • Fast and seamless cash transfers
  • Educational programs including webinars, on-site seminars, and
  • An extensive first-of-its-kind reward programme, which brings together three leading loyalty providers – AirAsia BIG, BInfinite by Berjaya Group and BonusLink – under one ecosystem.

iSPEED.my’s web and mobile-based trading services touts to offer a 3600 trading experience that spans from account opening, execution to settlement of trade. It deals with stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia only at the moment. Rakuten Trade aims to achieve profitability within the first three years and capture up to 30% of the country’s retail market share by then.
It offers among the country’s lowest online brokerage fees:

Transaction size Online brokerage fees
< RM1,000 RM7 flat rate
Between RM1,000 & RM9,999 RM8 flat rate
Between RM10,000 & RM99,999 is 0.1% or 10 basis points
> RM100,000 RM100 flat rate

he first phase of the business would focus on galvanizing younger Malaysian investors to migrate to the online platform. After all, the smartphone is set to change the landscape of trading dramatically. Phase Two will see it roll out margin trading facilities.

Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group MD of Kenanga IB said, “As a highly successful e-commerce brand in Japan, and rated as one of the most innovative companies by Forbes, Rakuten is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Paired with Kenanga’s extensive retail reach and experience over 40 years, we are confident this JV will take stock trading to the next level. We also extend our sincere gratitude to Securities Commission Malaysia (“SC”), which has been at the forefront driving the fintech agenda for the capital markets and guiding us through the regulatory process to get us here today.”

Mr. Kaoru Arai, MD of Rakuten Trade continued, “We are honoured to be the first in Malaysia to obtain a Capital Markets Services Licence that will allow us to introduce the country’s first complete online brokerage business. In line with SC’s digital agenda, our platform is designed to appeal to the needs of the new generation investors who are digital and e-commerce inclined, as well as existing technology-savvy traders, who prefer self-directed trades.”

While this JV had been first inked in April 2016, we are sure this will not be the last in the online stock trading space. In order to tap foreign markets and vice-versa, other Malaysian investment banks have begun courting other Chinese and Japanese securities trading firms.


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