Rakuten online brokerage sees demand spike in Malaysia on stay-home order

10, Apr. 2020

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KUALA LUMPUR, NNA - A Malaysian online brokerage under Japan's e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. group is seeing a surge in new account openings as the local government strictly controls people's outings over the global infectious virus outbreak.

Rakuten Trade Sdn. Bhd. had more than 11,000 online stock trading accounts activated in March, twice the previous month's level, with 64 percent of them opened after the Movement Control Order was issued effective on March 18, Kaoru Arai, managing director of the local unit, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Amid volatile stock price moves since early March in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arai attributed the high volume of new accounts to many locals now working from home.

The Malaysian government has extended the nationwide order from the initially planned March 31 to April 14 and announced Friday a further extension till April 28 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Along with the jump in account activations, the local arm also recorded a 20 percent increase in trading value in March from a month ago, according to the statement.

Rakuten Trade, a joint venture equally owned by Rakuten Securities Inc. and Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad, has opened about 70,000 trading accounts in nearly three years, it said. (NNA/Kyodo)