Smartkarma Originals

Asian Brokers: A Competition Between Value and Growth

This Original aims to identify the key investment opportunities among the listed brokers in the three major East Asian countries – China, Japan, and Korea. 

By looking at the development of the brokerage sectors in these three countries, we observe a general trend where upstart online brokers first compete against the more established brokers based on their cost and technological advantages. This then pushes the more established brokers to either focus on more lucrative wholesale businesses or adopt and invest in tech initiatives in order to stay competitive in the retail market.

After further establishing themselves in the retail market, these upstart online brokers then also diversify and expand into the more lucrative wealth/asset management or even wholesale businesses.  By gauging at which phase the broker is in this cycle, investors can have a good understanding of its future outlook.

In our opinion, Korean brokers currently offer the best value, while the Chinese pure-play online brokers offer the highest growth potential. As such, our pecking order, in terms of investment attractiveness, is Kiwoom Securities (039490 KS), East Money Information Co A (300059 CH), Futu Holdings Ltd (FUTU US), Monex Group Inc (8698 JP) / Huatai Securities Co Ltd (H) (6886 HK).  

What is Original?

In this Original, we look into the competitive landscape of the brokerage sectors in China, Japan, and Korea. 55 listed brokers from these three countries are included in this Original as the company universe for regression analysis. 

Among them, a total of 8 brokers are chosen, with their company profiles separately presented, to further showcase and contrast the impact of competition and technological disruption. Based on this, a pecking order is then developed, both on a country and a company basis.

• EM focused Principal Investments Partner • (Opens in a new window) ⧉

Get Straight to the Source on Smartkarma

Smartkarma supports the world’s leading investors with high-quality, timely, and actionable Insights. Subscribe now for unlimited access, or request a demo below.