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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  

 

Gemini

Gemini Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Account types

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Fees

Standard

Undisclosed

N/A

Max of 0.25%

 

Gemini is a relatively simple cyptocurrency exchange. It offers a few instruments, but on the other hand accepts USD bank transfers as a method of payment. There is also a more specific type of trading – auctions, which we will get to later on in the review, 

 

The company, security of funds

 

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Gemini Trust Company, LLC.

USA

US Trust regulation

 

Gemini is a brand owned by t Gemini Trust Company, LLC. They are regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), but not under its infamous BitLicense, but simply as a trust. This assures some consumer confidence, while avoiding the hassle with the unpopular piece of legislation. If you are not familiar with the case, the aforementioned New York regulators wanted to create a licensing system for crypto exchanges. The idea was to make the Big Apple a major cryptocurrency trading centre, just how it is in traditional finance. That being the case the project wasn’t appreciated by most of the companies in the field, as a lot of them didn’t apply for it. Those who argue this makes it basically useless are backed by the rate at which licensing was given to the companies who did apply. At the time of writing of this review, two years since the legislation came into effect, only three companies have been granted the license.

 

The name Gemin comes from the owners of the company, the Winkelvoss twins. While they may be most famous for suing Facebook creator Mark Zukerberg over their idea for a social networking site, they also have interest in the crypto-space. It is worth pointing out, the famous rowers were also involved in Bitinstant, a company which was involved in facilitating transfers for drug deals. The brothers claimed they were only passive investors and were not aware of the operations. 

 

When it comes to security, Gemini hasn’t experienced any large-scale hacks yet. This is generally a good sign, although it does not guarantee anything for the future.

 

The user reviews on the company aren’t that many, which can be explained by the fact it doesn’t operate in the entire world. Here is a map of all of the regions, which they support (click to zoom-in):

 

 

That being the case most of the complaints are focused on slow account verification.

 

The most unique feature of Gemini are the auctions, which are held twice a day. The way they function is similar to the ones which occur at the opening and closing transactions on stock exchanges (not to be confused with “the highest bidder wins the item” auctions). This is where relatively big, in terms of volume, transactions are usually made. Traders can place buy or sell orders which are then matched at a single price. While of of this is happening, trading on Gemini still occurs. This creates an interesting dynamic, just like it does on the New York Stock Exchange – after seeing the pending orders for the auction (known as the “imbalance”) traders can speculate on them moving the market in the short term. For instance, if a relatively large buying imbalance is placed, most will expect the price to rally. That being said, this type of trading is very risky, as new orders may come to meet the imbalance, even in the last second. Furthermore the initial imbalance creator may have set a limit price for his order, above (in the case of buying) he does not want to participate. Trading on imbalances is tricky and while some traders used to enjoy doing so on the NYSE, they can all tell you stories about times when they lost a lot of money on a last second turnaround. This is definitely not recommended for beginners.

 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The trading instruments available at Gemini are only Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both coins can be traded against the US dollar and against each other. Obviously, this is limiting, but clients who wish to pursue altcoins can always transfer their BTC or ETH to an external wallet or another exchange, like Bittrex.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Gemini does not mention any minimum initial deposit, unlike the majority of forex brokers, which we mostly cover. In that industry, it is quite common for a company to specify an amount, below which one can’t open a new trading account. The levels are fairly low now, with FXCM requiring $50, for instance.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Gemini. More aggressive clients will not appreciate this fact, although there is enough volatility in cryptocurrencies already. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, provide leverage. As an example the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG have a 1:13.3 ratio (7.5% margin requirement) for Bitcoin trading.

 

Fees

Gemini offers relatively competitive fees. The maximum is in line the current industry standard of 0.25%, with discounts for bigger trading volume. On top of that, fees are lower for market “makers” (traders who passively place their orders in the book). The fees actually turn into rebates above a certain point in volume (only for "makers"). As a comparison, forex brokers usually condense all of their fees in the spread. This makes comparing the two types of services a bit tricky, although we have done so in this post.

 

Trading platform 

 

The platform provided by Gemini is web-based and rather simplistic, with the order book being the main focus. Here is a preview:

 

 

We must note this is an old screenshot, which wasn’t taken by us, due to the restrictions on accepting clients. That being said, the platform may have been improved in the meantime.

 

Methods of payment

 

Gemini accepts Bank Transfers as well as Bitcoin or Ethereum ones. Not a lot of exchanges accept bank transfers nowadays, with the major two ones being Coinbase and Bitstamp.

 

Conclusion

 

Gemini is a US-based crypto currency exchange. The company is registered as a trust, which should give investors a bit more confidence, when compared to a lot of other entities in the crypto-space. The people behind the company are the Winkelvoss twins, which you may be familiar with. Gemini offers little variety, in terms of the trading instruments, but accepts bank transfers. The company operates in a relatively small number of countries. The Auctions which they offer are a neat idea, but most traders will probably not feel the need to use them. Here are the pros and cons of Gemini :

 

Pros

Cons

Regulated US trust

Operates in a few countries

Commissions in line with the industry

Trading platform looks simplistic

Auctions available

Only BTC and ETH available

Accepts bank transfers (from some countries)

 

 

 

Forex
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