Web-based stock trade goes mobile and global

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Web-based stock trade goes mobile and global

After a decade in Korea, the home trading system, which allows investors to make stock trades from the comfort of their living room, is still evolving. Investors can trade on the move using mobile devices, and brokers are offering increasingly sophisticated home trading services to draw customers. The trend represents a marked improvement from 10 years ago, when investors using a home trading system could only view stock charts and put in a request to trade.
Global trading is among the new home trading features. Overseas trading had been confined to major markets such as the United States and Japan, but the growing popularity of Asian emerging markets has opened the doors to Indonesia and Vietnam, among others. Investors can use home trading systems to invest in regions where only phone requests for trading had been possible in the past.
Mid-sized brokerages, rather than major players, are making real-time global trading a priority. In May, Kiwoom.com Securities Co. begins real-time trades of Hong Kong stocks through a home system. Kiwoom.com has slashed commissions, and wants to place China B-shares, which foreigners can trade, on the Web as well.
“By using the home trading system instead of the phone, you pay only half as much in commission fees,” said Joo In of Kiwoom.com. “Another advantage of [the] system is that you can check the overseas market movements in real time and make your trading decision on the spot.”
E*Trade Financial Corp. allows foreign stock trading through its Web-based trading system. Japan is the only foreign nation available on E*Trade, but the United States and Hong Kong could be added this year.
Leading Investment and Securities Co. is set to introduce Korea’s first commissioned Indonesian home stock trades this month, and Vietnam will be added to the list in April.
Among larger brokerages, Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Co. has been offering U.S. stock trading at home since May 2004, and phone trading of Chinese and Japanese stocks began last year. On March 5, the company introduced a cell phone trading system that allows trades of futures and equity-linked warrants.
Also on March 5, Hanwha Securities Co. began offering phone brokerage services for Chinese and Hong Kong shares. Hyundai Securities Co. on March 2 began providing real-time stock updates for PDAs.
But there is a downside to home trading. An industry representative said the growing amount of information has led some brokerages to hire part-timers to spread false trading rumors. Then there are mistakes by those unfamiliar with computers: some push the “buy” key when they intend to sell; others put extra zeros in their investment amounts.

By Choi Joon-ho JoongAng Ilbo [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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