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Asian Day Trading takes off…
Investors Xchange was entirely written by local programmers in Visual C++, Java and Active Server Page (ASP). The system uses the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 platform on Hewlett Packard servers, which are hooked up to the Net on a 2MBps line. The popular Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) standard will be used for entry-level security while Mimos Bhd's iVEST 128-bit encryption technology and Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) safeguard broker transactions on the client's end. Other value-added features include instant drill-downs on individual stock performance, sectoral analysis, charts and live market commentary by licensed analysts.
Investors Xchange has already signed on Jupiter Securities and South Johor Securities to offers its service to its subscribers and intends to sign up over 60 other registered stockbroking houses soon. "We expect to expand trading volume on the KLSE as the worldwide audience of retail investors log on to the service," he said.
Although Internet Xchange's present revenue streams are sketchy, its intentions are eventually to cash in on the online trading mania that has exploded across the world in the last two years. In the US, for example, America's largest online brokerage Charles Schwab & Company claimed online trades make up 73 percent of all trades at Schwab during the fourth quarter of 1999, up from 61 percent during the fourth quarter of 1998.
In Britain, online trading has proliferated with the London Stock Exchange now processing almost 100,000 private client trades every day - two-and-a-half times more than it did at this time last year.
Closer to home, markets in Singapore, Australia, Korea, Taiwan and Japan have all enjoyed an upsurge in their click-and-trade business. Fahizul said an estimated 1.4 million Koreans invested via the Internet in 1999, achieving one of the highest levels of online broking penetration in the world. "Explosive growth in Internet-based equities trading in an Asian country like Korea is very encouraging," states Fahizul. The Korea Securities Dealers Association recently stated that 38 percent of all stock trades including those by institutional investors were transacted online in October of last year. That month's $71 billion of Net-based transactions represents a quantum leap over the mere 4.7 percent of transactions performed online in January of 1999. Adds Fahizul, "this is an excellent trend that we hope will be emulated in Malaysia."
IT research specialist Dataquest, a unit of The GartnerGroup, suggests that Internet securities trading is set to boom in the Asia Pacific region. By 2003 it is predicted securities traded online by private investors will account for at least 20 percent of all retail equity market transaction volume in the region. Dataquest also projects that as many as 70 percent of Asia Pacific based retail brokerages will offer real-time market trading through secure Web sites by 2002.
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