Rakuten Securities Inc, one of the largest foreign exchange brokers in Japan, has announced on Thursday that it will add a total of 200 stocks to expand its offering of tradeable instruments.
According to a corporate statement, these new additions, which will be available on February 22, include stocks listed on US and Hong Kong exchanges.
The broker broadens its product line, which also includes currencies, commodities, equities and indices, as clients’ desire to garner exposure to regulated markets has been increasing. The inclusion of new stocks not only helps expand trading capabilities for its clientele but also attracts more traders that are looking to diversify their trading options.
The broker has been regularly expanding its offering of trading instruments. In January, it added 100 stocks listed on US exchanges to its offering. The case for adding more assets has been growing in recent years with clients from certain regions keen to actively trade global stocks.
Japan’s brokers have been lowering trading fees amid increased efforts to attract retail traders. They have seen sliding trading volumes in Japan and the move may be an attempt to stimulate the trading activity.
Rakuten has ventured into the digital asset space
The opening bell for the battle rang when fixed-rate commissions on stock trading were dropped in many Western markets. Several brokers pounced on the opportunity, dropping commissions as much as 90% and offering no-fee trading for limited periods. Amid the retail trading boom, which has benefited high-flying apps and legacy platforms alike, Japanese brokers are looking to jump in.
Rakuten Securities is one of the largest Japanese FX brokers, and operates regional businesses including in Hong Kong, following an acquisition of one of FXCM’s prior businesses six years ago.
Rakuten Securities, which also operates retail foreign exchange brands in Australia and Malaysia via a joint venture with Kenanga Investment Bank Berha, is part of E-commerce giant Rakuten. Rakuten.com runs the fourth largest e-commerce business, trailing only behind Alibaba, eBay and Amazon.
Leveraging synergies within the group, Rakuten has ventured into the digital asset space with the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, known as “Rakuten Wallet.”
Through the smartphone app, customers can make transactions for crypto asset trading accounts, such as depositing/withdrawing Japanese yen and crypto assets. Rakuten Wallet, formerly Everybody’s Bitcoin, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten which acquired it for $2.4 million in August 2018.