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The Best Asian Stock Brokers 2021


Written by Senior Market Analyst Feng Zhou Feng Zhou, edited by Senior Market Analyst Stephane Dubois Stephane Dubois

Until recently, people in Asia have been shying away from financial markets, giving preference to real estate ownership and speculation as a means for wealth accumulation. But with the looming housing crisis in China, which threatens to spread across the world, and the general improvement of access to global financial markets, the number of stock market investors in this region has been increasing steadily over the past decade. According to Statista, nearly 140 million people in China currently own stocks, not to mention the number of investors in more progressive regions like Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Far East Connections: The List of the Best Asian Stockbrokers in 2021

Below you will find the list of the finest stock brokers in Asia that were selected with regard to their reputation, the number of available stock markets, trading fees, security, and customer service. They might interest not only local traders but also those who reside in other parts of the world because all these brokers are inclusive and accept foreign clients, besides their fees might be deemed as very reasonable. 


Tiger Brokers

Tiger Brokers

Despite the unfortunate developments for those who kept on going long even when the depicted bullish rally had climaxed, Tiger Brokers as a brokerage business has been thriving. According to the recent stats, the broker boasts an annual trading volume of nearly $220 billion and puts up quite an impressive $1.7 million trades per second.

TIGR price chart

TIGR price chart. Source: Tradingview

On the business side of things, Tiger Brokers is backed by numerous big corporations and financial services firms, such as Xiaomi Corporation, the manufacturer of consumer electronics, and Interactive Brokers, one of the leading U.S. stock brokers  that we have reviewed here (здесь линк на текст о U.S. brokers). Zhen Fund, Hontai Capital, and China Growth Capital, all being major Asian venture capital firms, have also invested in the stockbroker in question.

As to regulation, Tiger Brokers holds the license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for its primary business purposes, but it’s also subject to regulation by the U.S. and Hong Kong financial authorities. Clients’ funds are being held in the custody of Interactive Brokers and Singapore-based DBS Bank. All these factors led us to conclude that Tiger Brokers is a very safe and reliable stockbroker.

When it comes to financial products on offer, Tiger Brokers affords access to trading stocks and ETFs, as well as options, warrants, CBBCs, futures, and a proprietary wealth management solution called “Fund Mall.” The broker under review provides access to a wide range of U.S. and Asian stock markets: U.S. stocks and ETFs, Hong Kong markets, such as HKEX, Singapore exchanges, Australian markets, and Chinese A-shares, which makes Tige Brokers the one-stop-shop for Asian stock traders.

However, unlike its U.S. peers, Tiger Brokers doesn’t use the “zero-fees” model, though its fees are very low. For instance, trading U.S. stocks and ETFs will cost from $0.005 per share, Hong Kong, Australian, and Chinese stocks are subject to the commission of 0.03% of trade value, while a 0.04% fee applies to Singaporean markets. Traders can open two types of accounts with Tiger Brokers, namely the basic Cash Account that can be upgraded to Margin Account for trading stocks with leverage of up to 4:1.

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Our verdict


Phillip Capital POEMS

Phillip Capital POEMS

Phillip Capital is a multi-regulated stock broker that provides services under the supervision of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the U.K.’s Financial Service Authority (FSA), and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which obviously makes it a very safe broker for investing and trading. Besides, the broker claims to keep the traders’ capital in a segregated account in the so-called “tier-1” banks, which is another term for top-notch financial institutions.

Phillip Capital doesn’t have a very extensive user base - the total number of accounts barely exceeds 10,000 - this is explained by the fact that the broker has high non-trading fees and account requirements. Even though the broker allows commission free deposits, it charges from $25 to $50 for withdrawals via wire transfers, $25 for returned wires, and as high as $30 if a deposit check had bounced.

The broker also has the requirements regarding the minimum account size that must be no less than $5,000 for both U.S. and foreign-based customers. The minimum deposit is $200. In addition, closing the account will cost a client up to $100, and the inactivity fee is also quite steep. Therefore, Phillip Capital mightn’t be suitable for average retail traders and investors, but it surely provides high-level financial services for institutional investors and traders that handle significant capital.

The broker affords access to 189 markets, which includes a broad number of U.S. and international stock exchanges, such as the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX), and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), among others - 16 exchanges in total. The list of other financial products includes futures and options.

Retail traders who want to have access to a wider range of financial products with lower entry barriers and cheaper fees should opt for Phillip’s Online Electronic Mart System (POEMS), the Singapore-based stock broker and subsidiary of Phillip Capital Group that has won multiple awards for its services. On this platform, traders will have access to all stock exchanges listed above, along with warrants, mutual funds, CFDs, and bonds. The broker also offers a proprietary online trading platform - POEMS 2.0 - that is packed with analytical tools and ensures seamless order execution.

When it comes to trading fees, POEMS offers a tiered structure, depending on the account type (Starter, Premier, or Privilege) and tradable markets. Trading on U.S. stock markets will cost a flat fee of $3.88, $2.88, and $1.88, respectively. A flat 0.08% commission applies to all Singaporean stocks regardless of the account type. Dealing with Hong Kong markets will cost from 0.08% to 0.05%. Non-trading fees on POEMS are very low, especially in comparison with those charged by Phillip Capital.

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Our verdict


DBS Vickers Securities

DBS Vickers Securities

Even though the core of DVS’s customer base is comprised of Singaporeans, the broker accepts traders from all over the globe without discriminating against them in terms of commissions and minimum deposits. Trading stocks with DBS Vickers securities requires an account that one can open for free. There are five account types: Cash, Cash Upfront, Young Investor, the Central Provident Fund (CPF), and the Supplementary Retirement Scheme Accounts (SRS). The Cash account covers all needs of a stock trader and offers better trade settlements for those who have an account at the DBS Bank or the POSB Bank.

The Singapore-based customers of the said bank who use the iBanking service can benefit from opening the Cash Upfront account that provides the lower (0.12%) fee for cash upfront trades, which is definitely one of the lowest in this region. The Young Investor account will be interesting to people aged between 19 to 20 who want to start building wealth through stock trading. For such investors, the broker also provides an educational course called SGX Academy. DVS has no minimum deposit requirements and doesn’t charge a deposit fee. The withdrawal fee, however, amounts to 50 Singapore dollars, which is roughly $37. 

DBS Vickers Securities has a rich assortment of investment options which includes stocks, ETFs, real estate investment funds, depository receipts, warrants, callable bull/bear contracts, and daily leverage certificates - probably the best choice of markets among all stock brokers on our list. In case of stocks, DVS becomes a gateway to all major exchanges and stock markets in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, as well as local markets. Contrary to many other stock brokers, DBS Vickers Securities provides free live quotes on all stocks, except the U.K. (15-minute delay), Australian, and Japanese (20-minute delay) markets.

Now, to the matter of trading fees: DBS Vickers Securities has an extensive fee ladder for all types of stocks and the currencies in which they are traded. By the way, the broker has seven base currencies: SGD, USD, HKD, AUD, EUR, GBP, and JPY.

DBS Vickers Securities Comission Charge

DBS Vickers Securities Comission Charge

The commission also depends on whether the user trades on their own accord or relies on the broker’s advisors. For instance, the commission of 0.18%, and the minimum of $25, applies to U.S. stocks that are traded online, but if the same stocks are being traded over the phone and with broker’s assistance, the fee goes up to 0.45%, and the minimum also increases to $35. The average commission for Singapore markets stands at 0.26%. Canadian markets are subject to the highest fees that amount to 0.5% (online) and 1% (phone).        

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Our verdict


FSMOne

FSMOne

In the question of regulation, FSMOne is a fully licensed stockbroker that possesses the Capital Market Services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) - its international divisions are regulated by financial authorities in corresponding countries. 

Newcomers are two account types: the Personal Account and the Beneficiary Account - each one is free and rather easy to set up. However, the broker doesn't allow the bankrupt individuals (for obvious reasons) to open an account, as well as the citizens of the United States due to regulatory and taxation reasons. Other non-Singapore investors can apply for an account, though if approved, it will be registered as a separate account at one of its foreign divisions, most likely the Hong Kong one. There are minor restrictions for the citizens of Ireland, who can't get involved with Legg Mason Value Fund, and those of Canada - they can't invest funds associated with Franklin Templeton.

FSMOne doesn't have the minimum deposit requirement and doesn't charge the deposit fee - the deposits can be made in as many as eleven currencies, including New Zealand dollar (NZD) and Swiss Franc (CHF).

Deposits can be made via wire transfers, check payments, bank drafts, and also using payment services like Payee or PayNow, which is a very good option for international customers. As for the withdrawals, FSMOne also doesn't impose any commissions but encourages to carry out these operations through its proprietary payment outlet - FSM Cash Solutions, which ensures the fastest payouts. 

FSMOne Comission Charge

FSMOne Comission Charge

As for the stock trading fees, FSMOne is one of the most affordable Asian stock brokers as it charges a flat commission of 0.08% across all exchanges and markets, except for the local ones - for Singapore-listed stocks, the flat fee of 8.80 SGD applies, which is similar to the minimum fee for stock trading on other markets. FSMOne also refrains from charging the platform fee, though numerous other fees, such as the exchange clearing fee of 0.0325% on contract value for Singapore exchange or the SEC fee of 0.00051% for U.S. stocks might take their toll on a trader's account. 

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Our verdict


Monex Boom

You won’t find a confusing multitude of account types here - there is only one multi-currency account that can be created by anyone, regardless of their place of residence, which makes Monex Boom probably the most inclusive broker in Asia. There are no deposit fees or limits regarding a sizable minimum deposit. Depositing it can be carried out via online or phone banking, bank transfer, cheque, ATM, and wire transfer. However, all these options are available to Hong Kong residents who deposit in HKD. Deposits from foreign banks accounts can be made only via wire transfer or bank draft. 

Once the account registration is complete, traders get unrestricted access to 12 markets: Hong Kong (direct market access), the United States and Japan (straight-through processing), China, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Trades that are done in foreign currencies are converted to the settlement currency automatically and at a very low fee. Monex Boom charges a flat commission of 0.18% per order or the minimum of 88 Hong Kong dollars.

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Bottom line

The brokerage industry in Asia has been developing in leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades, which resulted in the emergence of a multitude of firms, five of which deserved a place on our list of top stock brokers. All these brokers offer top-tier services for both retail and institutional investors, as well as access to a abundance of interesting stock markets. The commissions charged by these brokers are very reasonable, and their openness to foreign investors deserves separate praise and speaks in their favor when compared to the U.S. brokers that appear to be too isolationistic.

As always, we won’t be naming a single best broker, though Monex Boom and FSMOne deserve a special mention for their fee schedule and user-friendliness. It’s obvious that the brokerage tradition in Asia is still in development, but the gap between Asian brokers and their American or international counterparts isn’t too great, to be frank. Asian stock markets offer a fair share of profit-making opportunities, and these brokers will certainly help to capitalize on them. 

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