FOUR money broking companies and a software development house have jointly launched the first electronic trading platform for foreign exchange and money markets in the country.
The companies involved in the launch of Platinum E-Trade (PET) are Affin Money Brokers Sdn Bhd, Harlows (M) Sdn Bhd, First TAZ Money Brokers Sdn Bhd, MGI Money Brokers Sdn Bhd and Kordinasi Intelek Sdn Bhd.
Harlow executive director Shaharudin Othman said 10 local banks and three foreign ones with operations in Singapore had registered with the group to use PET for their trading and more financial institutions were expected to embrace electronic trading in the near future.
Up to 93% of the 40 financial institutions, including commercial and merchant banks,that we approached have accepted PET in principle and more are expected to register within the year, he told reporters after the launch of PET in Kuala Lumpur yesterday in the presence of Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
At present, the combined turnover of the four brokeragesis RM20mil a year, representing about half of the total annual revenue of the money broking industry.
Noting that money market functions were currently carried out through a network of telephones and faxes, Shaharudin said the aim of PET was to create a more efficient delivery channel with lower transaction costs.
PET will cut the cost of brokerage transactions by 20% but will not replace the work of brokers. In fact, it will allow brokers to function more effectively with a greater degree of transparency and clearer audit trail, he said.
According to Shaharudin, PET is a quote-driven system different from other systems that typically match trades.
Traders can pay higher than what is offered, as the system will not close a deal but leave it to the market to decide. The aim is to retain the trading culture that would otherwise be lost under a matching system, he said.
Shaharudin said the group expected PET to improve its combined turnover by 10% to 15% in the first year of operation.
A lot will depend on how many banks and financial institutions register with the group to use the electronic trading system, which has been approved by Bank Negara, he said, adding that similar electronic trading platforms were already being widely used in mature markets to complement the work of money brokers.
Im confident the situation will be the same in Malaysia in time, he added.