dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Sun Joins Hong Kong Alliance For Online Trading

Sun Microsystems formed an alliance with 21 other software and IT service companies to help move Hong Kong's traditional securities brokerage industry on to the Internet.

"We've taken the step of forming the Securities.Com Alliance for Hong Kong because there is a real need for the IT industry to get behind the local investment services industry in order to build momentum on the Internet," said Danny Tam, the Hong Kong general manager of Sun Microsystems.

"By the middle of next year the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong's AMS/3 development will enable its members to route customers' online orders into the market. Meanwhile the Securities and Futures Commission is looking at further ways of enhancing the territory's financial infrastructure," said Tam.

"These market and regulatory initiatives will not result in any more business for Hong Kong if brokers don't offer web-based services and now is not too soon to start," Tam added.

The challenges posed by the Internet to Hong Kong's financial services industry in general, and its broker community in particular, were emphasized in a report released last November by Professor Henry Birdseye Weil of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.

The report, jointly funded by The Better Hong Kong Foundation, the Securities and Futures Commission, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange, examined the role of regulators, exchanges and brokers and made a set of recommendations for each.

Among his conclusions, Professor Weil noted that: "Business as usual is not an option for Hong Kong! A cautious, or complacent, wait-and-see attitude will cause Hong Kong to be marginalized. Without proactive initiatives ... Hong Kong faces a very serious threat that its retail market will be 'cherry picked' by foreign financial services groups. "

Apart from Sun Microsystems, Securities.Com Alliance for Hong Kong includes companies that develop software for everything from service portals, payment gateways, straight-through processing, customer-relationship management and data warehousing.

The alliance's current list members include: Automated Systems, Broadvision, BROKAT, Cables & Wireless Omnes, Cardsoft, Excel, FICS, First Ecom.com, Hong Kong Telecom Corporate Markets, Horizon Systems, Infocast, Interactive Investor, Informative Business Systems, iMerchants, Netlife, Netscape, Oracle, Sybase, TopSoft, UNI-Tech and Wilco.

Tam said that the alliance would be seeking an early meeting with Stock Exchange and the Futures Exchange to discuss how they can work together to accelerate the development of Web-based investment services in the territory.

A Securities.Com Alliance for Hong Kong Web site, aimed at providing a single point of access to information about members' products, services, personnel and customer reference projects is under development and is expected to be launched in the next in the next few weeks.