Online Stock Trading Surges in Korea
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Stock trading on the Internet is growing explosively in Korea, with the nation's five leading brokerage firms seeing their combined online trading exceeding 100 trillion won (about US$83 billion) so far.
The trading amount, estimated by officials of Daishin Securities, is based on figures from the first seven months of this year from Daewoo Securities, Samsung Securities, Daishin Securities, LG Securities and Hyundai Securities.
It represents nearly a 24-fold increase from the same period of last year, and also shows a 5-fold growth compared with their total trading for the whole year of 1998.
Daishin Securities led the market with over 41 trillion won (US$34 billion) in its brokerage service. It is followed by LG Securities with 23.5 trillion won (US$19 billion), Samsung Securities (18.2 trillion won or US$15 billion) and Hyundai Securities (13.9 trillion won or US$11.5 billion).
Market analysts attributed the sharp increase in online stock trading to competitive cuts in brokerage fees by domestic securities firms since mid-April as well we the recent bullish mood of the stock market. The brokerage fees have recently dropped by 0.1 percentage point.
They predicted that, as a whole, Internet stock trading would account for more than 30 percent of the entire stock trading in Korea by the year's end.
Such a rapid growth in online trading caused a great needs for expansion of system facility for online service as a result of heavy traffic to their online securities systems.
Actually, major Korean securities firms are now investing heavily in their system facilities as well as focusing on strengthening information services for their customers.
Industry observers predict that online securities firms are expected to be established by local financial companies in the near future.
LG Group has recently decided to establish such a firm in cooperation with E*Trade of the U.S. Good Morning Securities is also planning to set up an online securities firm jointly with Charles Schwab of the U.S.