Rakuten Securities gets regulatory approval for online brokerage services in Malaysia

Maria Nikolova

More than a year after the launch of a joint venture with Kenanga to provide online brokerage services in Malaysia, Rakuten finally secures the necessary regulatory nod of approval.

Japanese online trading services provider Rakuten Securities, a subsidiary of Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755), continues its Asian expansion. The company has secured a regulatory nod of approval to provide online brokerage services in Malaysia through a joint venture with Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad.

In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia, Kenanga says that that the joint-venture company had received a Capital Markets Services Licence from the Securities Commission Malaysia. The license allows the JV to perform activities in dealing in securities restricted to listed securities and investment advice, pursuant to section 61 of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. In November 2016, the Malaysian regulator gave an Approval-In-Principle for a Capital Markets Services Licence to the joint venture.

The announcement on the final regulatory approval comes after in April last year, Rakuten Securities announced the formation of a joint venture with Kenanga Investment Bank to jointly collaborate in providing online brokerage services in Malaysia through EB Global JV.

The launch of the joint venture occurred as Rakuten Securities was rapidly increasing its footprint in Asia. That same month – April 2016, FXCM Asia, or FXCM Hong Kong, rebranded as Rakuten Securities Hong Kong, following the acquisition of FXCM’s Hong Kong brokerage business by Rakuten Securities for about $38 million as FXCM was battered by the effects of January 15, 2015 events. Rakuten has also acquired FXCM Japan for an approximate sum of $62 million.

It is worth noting that other Japanese Forex brokers are also looking at overseas expansion, with the Asia-Pacific region being a major growth target for Monex Group, Inc. (TYO:8698). On Friday, Monex published its financial report for the year to March 31, 2017, announcing key strategy highlights for the year to the end of March 2018 too. The broker seeks grow its B2B business in China and negotiations are currently in progress with additional prospective brokers. Monex has outlined some plans for the Australian market too, with the launch of online securities business operations by Monex Securities Australia Pty Ltd scheduled for the first half of the full year to March 31, 2018.

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