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Rakuten Securities Hong Kong

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average spreads
Rakuten FX None 1k unit 1:20 0.9 pips
Trading Station None 1k unit 1:20 0.4 pips + US$0.08/lot (roundturn)

 

Rakuten FX Spread Highlight

Currency Pair
Spread
Currency Pair
Spread
Currency Pair
Spread
USD/JPY
0.9
EUR/USD
0.9
GBP/USD
1.6
NZD/USD
2.1
EUR/GBP
1.8
EUR/CHF
2.7
USD/HKD
3.0
HKD/JPY
4.0
AUD/USD
1.3
EUR/JPY
2.2
GBP/JPY
2.2
CHF/JPY
2.6
CAD/JPY
2.2
AUD/JPY
1.9
NZD/JPY
2.4
GBP/CHF
3.0
AUD/NZD
2.6
CNH/JPY
2.3
AUD/CHF
2.3
NZD/CHF
5.4
ZAR/JPY
4.6
NOK/JPY
4.3
TRY/JPY
3.7
SGD/JPY
4.6

 Spreads on Rakuten FX platform

 

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong offers trading in 40 currency pairs on two robust platforms. Potential clients can register and download its Rakuten FX trading platform demo for trial before account opening or actual trade.

 

Note that there is a difference in the margin requirement for hedging in the two types of accounts. Both Rakuten FX and Trading Station platforms require margin only on one side and margin counts on the side requires larger amount.

 

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Rakuten Securities Hong Kong Hong Kong SFC

 

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong (Rakuten Securities HK) is a subsidiary of the Japanese forex giant Rakuten Securities, one of the three largest forex brokers in Japan, and also a pioneer in leveraged foreign exchange trading in Hong Kong.

 

Rakuten Securities, Inc. (“Rakuten Securities”) is the securities division of Rakuten Group which operates as Japan’s largest E-Commerce provider. Rakuten Group is based in Japan, but operates globally through various subsidiaries offering business services like e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports, etc.

 

Actually, Rakuten Securities acquired the Hong Kong brokerage from FXCM in the autumn of 2015 and subsequently rebranded and relaunched it in 2016.

 

Rakuten Securities HK is regulated by the local Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This means that the client trading accounts are well protected and fully within Hong Kong's legal jurisdiction.

 

The SFC licensing procedure is a long and complicated one, involving submission of various documents, a test for officials representing the firm, and maintaining adequate accounting and control systems. The commission also exercises supervision over licensed companies, performing on-site reviews and off-site monitoring. There are also stringent capital requirements for the brokers. Since 2015 there is also the requirement that the license holders allow investors to claim damages if the intermediary is selling or recommending a financial product that is not reasonably suitable for the client. 

 

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

Rakuten Securities HK does not have a minimum deposit requirement. Naturally, in order to trade, one does need to put in some money in their account.

 

Spreads and commissions

Rakuten Securities HK offers fairly tight spreads. The Trading Station account has tighter spreads, but there is also a commission. The calculation of this fee appears to be a somewhat complicated affair, measured in pips, and ultimately turns out to be less favorable. As per Rakuten's own calculations, the commission is around 0.8 pips, which added to the spread, amounts to a total of 1.2 pips, compared to only 0.9 pips on Rakuten FX platform.

 

Leverage

The leverage of Rakuten Securities HK is 1:20, which is not much, but many jurisdictions have imposed caps on leverage at similar levels. For example, the maximum leverage allowed to retail clients in Japan is 1:25 and in Europe – 1:30 (as of August, 2018). The reason for such restrictions is the fact that using high leverage levels involves significant risk of loss.

 

 

Trading platforms

 

Rakuten Securities HK offers two trading platform and neither of them is MetaTrader 4, which is relatively rare among brokers. Instead, it has Rakuten Securities Japan's proprietary platform Rakuten FX, iSpeedFX and Trading Station, which was “inherited” from FXCM.

 

All platforms have applications for mobile devices and web versions.

 

Rakuten FX is an award-winning user-friendly platform with robust functionality and an AS Streaming trading function that allows speedy user execution and one click order execution. The platform features 7 order types, notifications, real time reports, trading from charts, 9 types of charts, 44 basic and advanced indicators and customizable parameters.

 

Click on image for larger view

 

Trading Station allows users to trade raw spread directly from top liquidity providers with No Dealing Desk (NDD) execution with a low fixed commission and using the essential functions of the proprietary Marketscope charting tool. The platform supports five order types, hedging, trading from charts and 60 basic and advanced indicators. It also offers one click or double click order execution and “simple” and “advanced” dealing rates, real time news and customization.


 

Click on image for larger view

 

   

Methods of payment

 

Rakuten Securities HK accepts client payments through ATM, internet banking and bank counter, for Hong Kong residents. For international clients the funding options are bank wire and post office wire (for clients in China). The broker also accepts checks and e-checks.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The mere fact that Rakuten Securities HK is regulated by SFC and is a subsidiary of a Japanese broker suggests it is stable and reliable. Hong Kong is not such a large market in itself, but China is, which makes the regulation lucrative. Besides, the trading conditions of Rakuten Securities HK are transparent and more than attractive: low spreads, no minimum investment requirement, three great trading platforms available.

 

To sum up the above:

 

 

Pros Cons
Regulated in HK, part of an international group No MetaTrader
Tight fixed spreads Low leverage
No deposit requirement  
Two user-friendly trading platforms, individual training  

 

GDAX

GDAX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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