KUALA LUMPUR (July 6): MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd today launched MIDF Invest, an online investment platform which allows Malaysian customers to trade US stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
The platform is offering free brokerage for all trades under US$1,000 (RM4,150), from July 6 until July 31, 2021.
MIDF group managing director Datuk Charon Wardini Mokhzani said the launch of the online trading platform is against the backdrop of growing interest in investing in other markets, particularly in the US stock markets, among Malaysian investors in recent years.
“This is driven by the need to diversify one’s portfolio as well as the attractions of the high returns of the US markets, driven in part by the performance of technology companies. We have created this app because we believe that investing overseas should be made available and affordable for all,” said Charon.
When asked about the brokerage fees after the promotion period ends, MIDF head of digital Khairi Shahrin Arief Baki was tight-lipped, but said that the group aims to attract more users to join its online trading platform by taking advantage of the current promotions for their investment.
“We will inform the users the details (about the brokerage fees) before the end of promotions, or sometime around end-July. The rates will be very competitive,” Khairi told the press after the virtual launch.
Moving forward, Khairi said the group also plans to expand more overseas stock markets to allow its customers to trade in its online trading platform by the next three to 12 months.
Currently, the online trading platform will give Malaysians direct and secure access to US stocks and ETFs, particularly on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
This product is delivered in partnership with Saxo Markets Asia Pacific. Saxo Markets is a licensed subsidiary of Saxo Bank, a well-regulated and industry-leading provider of investment services and technology.
Separately, panellists who attended the virtual launching event today opined there are still opportunities for investors to look out for in the US stock market despite the rich valuations.
Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd chief investment officer Taufiq Iskandar said the near-zero interest rate in the US has fuelled the equity market there.
He noted that valuations have been pushed to a “crazy” 30 times price-earnings (PE) ratio thanks to the record-low interest rate.
“But let me put this in context. If you look at modern average historical cyclically adjusted PE for the US market, that is roughly about 16 to 19 times, but that took place when interest rate was between 4% and 6% in the 1990s, up to early 2000,” he explained.
Meanwhile, jBeyond Insights founder Kathlyn Toh is positive about the current low interest rate environment in the US which serves as a boon for the US equity market.
“The reason the US stock market can go up so much is because of the money supply as there is a lot of stimulus in the US after the pandemic. As long as they are not tapering it too soon, it (the stock market) can still go up,” she added.
However, Toh advised investors need to be very selective in stock picking for the US equity market given the rich valuations.