Retail investors first to benefit from Malaysian financial portal

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 28 - Retail investors have less reasons to complain now as Investors Xchange boots up the first 'small time' online, real-time trading at 10.30am, thanks to a Malaysian company called Virtual Group.

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 28 - Retail investors have less reasons to complain now as Investors Xchange boots up the first 'small time' online, real-time trading at 10.30am, thanks to a Malaysian company called Virtual Group.

Aimed at facilitating sideline market players who are often waiting to make the so-called `killing', Investors Xchange will expedite the process of getting investor to remisier, as they so often get put on hold or not get connected at all.

Virtual Group chairman, Datuk Nik Mohamed Din presented a candid view of the new product his company has brought to market.

"I view Investors Xchange going live over the Internet as a great opportunity for investors and brokers to log on to a more efficent way of trading stocks. Before, you got sidelined probably because your bids were too small. Now's the time to get equal," he said while introducing the product to the public.

Virtual Group resulted from the successful restructuring of KLSE Chilong Systems Sdn Bhd, the operator of StockWatch and Fish*Net Services; both products still being in market. Nik Mohamed, who was the previous executive chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, said Virtual Group is now focused on the business of providing online financial information and transaction services.

He added that the Internet now provides a cheaper solution to small-time investors although nothing stops the big boys from also using Investors Xchange to trade. One only needs to engage a broker from whom an account can be obtained.

"It is in no way in conflict with what remisiers do. In fact it complements as your order will be in the queue for them to execute instead of you trying to get to them via your handphone. But I can't say if the Internet will render remisiers obsolete in the future. The truth is nobody knows (what the Internet can do)," he said at a press conference after the launch.

He expects Investors Xchange to convert more Malaysians to log on to the Internet. "We are confident of roping in 50,000 subscribers in our first year. We do not trade. We merely provide the technological channel through which you and I can use to get to the executors of the transactions. This is a more economical and efficient way as you can log on from anywhere in the world," he emphasised.

A monthly charge of RM20 is applicable per subscriber whose account access will provide real-time stock quotes. Otherwise, a non-subscriber can also log on but data on his screen will be delayed by about five minutes. In any case, both types of surfers can trade via http://www.ix.com.my, provided he or she has an active account with the selected stock broker.

Nik Mohamed said two brokers, Jupiter Securities and South Johore, are already participating and he hopes more will follow suit.

Investors Xchange provides real-time quotes of three Malaysian bourses; Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Commodities Exchange (COMMEX) and the Kuala Lumpur Options & Futures Financial Exchange (KLOFFE).

The company will be embarking on advertising campaigns and other forms of promotions to get bigger support from retail investors and the brokers.

"If we look at other Asian markets where cybertrading has become mainstream such as in Korea and Singapore, Investors Xchange will have the effect of giving participating brokers an unlimited number of virtual branch offices," Nik Mohamed said. maxis

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