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The supreme efforts of the Malaysian government to stabilise the economy has paid off for its residents, many of whom now have surplus income to invest. This upturn has led many of you to turn to stock trading, either to create a secondary income or to invest for your future. As you can only buy or sell stocks via a stockbroker, the first step is to find one that matches your trading needs and your budget.

Malaysians are actively encouraged to trade in the stocks listed on their home stock market, the Bursa Malaysia, by way of financial incentives. However, you are also legally entitled to deal with offshore stockbrokers who are accredited by the Malaysian authorities, giving you your pick of the world’s best stock market opportunities. The only pre-cursor is for you to trade using an Islamic account and to comply with Shariah laws.

With such a wide choice of options, we understand that it is difficult to know where to begin your search, but our panel of experts is here to help, undertaking in-depth reviews of the best stockbrokers and compiling easy-to-read guides to the best. We hope this guide will help you to understand a bit more about the stock trading opportunities ready and waiting for you and enable you to make an educated broker choice with the help of our stockbroker review pages.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The authorities responsible for regulation in Malaysia
  • About the fees and taxes you will pay to trade
  • How we review and rate suitable online brokers

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Traders in Malaysia

Malaysia

Although there is no formal licensing in place, stockbrokers are required to comply with the regulations, guidelines and supervision of no less than three different authorities. As a stock trader, this means that you can trade safely and within the boundaries of Shariah law. With that knowledge behind you, there are many other factors to consider when you select a stockbroker; these are some we believe are the most crucial:

Mobile Trading

Over the last ten years, Internet service in Malaysia has undergone vast improvements thanks to government initiatives, meaning a whole world of mobile access to traders. In turn, stockbrokers reacted quickly and almost all of them now offer access to trading platforms, with availability from most mobile devices and operating systems. There are still some differences in the quality of apps and mobile websites between brokers, so if mobile trading is crucial to you, this is a subject to take on board when selecting a brokerage.

Deals And Incentives

While the Malaysian government does not prevent you from trading outside of the country, it has implemented a financial incentive scheme to encourage stock trading with homegrown brokers allied to the Bursa Malaysia. Taking advantage of this means you will pay lower trading costs and in specific scenarios, less tax for your trading activities. Offshore brokers compete by offering upgraded software, no deposit schemes, enhanced account features and discounts for frequent trading.

Diverse Asset Types

Homegrown stockbrokers always promote trading in stocks available on the Bursa Malaysia first and foremost. However, an increasing number now offer opportunities for trading on other Asian or US stock markets. Offshore brokers that are accredited by certain Malaysian authorities are in the same position, but others advertise the availability of worldwide stocks, albeit at less preferential prices. As a trader, you must weigh up which of the three options will sort your personal preferences as well as your portfolio.

Good Customer Support

Our concept of good customer support means more than the availability of contact with your stockbroker, although that is an essential feature. In the case of Malaysia and specifically Shariah laws, your stockbroker should offer a suitable Islamic account option and ensure that its support staff understands those specific needs. We also like to see brokers which are open and transparent with their clients, providing easy access to FAQs, Terms and Conditions and preferably with an educational provision suited to all levels of trading ability.

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Broker Fees And Tax

Malaysian stockbrokers offer clients two main options, a ‘Remisier’ account, or a ‘Cash Upfront’ version. A remisier account provides clients with a complete service, with monthly fees applied, based on their investment amount. Whilst no knowledge of stock trading or time input is needed, it can work out quite expensive. The cash upfront style of trading account puts you in full control and is often available entirely online.

Although those are the two general differences, there are multiple variations on offer from Malaysian stockbrokers, including hybrid and margin accounts. Once you have a shortlist of brokers ready that is the time to research individual options and their associated fee structure; at which point you will get a clearer idea. It is also worth mentioning that some stockbrokers offer incentives for trading solely on Bursa Malaysia.

Malaysian law requires all traders to keep accounts relating to their trading profit or loss in a format suitable for auditing at any time. Full details of how to approach that task are available on the Bank Negara website should you need help. However, your liability to pay Income tax is related to your total income at the end of the tax year. There is a tax-free allowance, but to give you a rough idea, most working Malaysians pay around 25%.

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Malaysian Licencing

There is no formal licensing process for stockbrokers in Malaysia, but there are plenty of guidelines, regulations and supervisory procedures they must comply with.

Three separate entities take responsibility for different aspects:

  • The Securities Commission
  • Bank Negara
  • The Bursa Malaysia

The Securities Commission is mainly involved in the initial stages, ensuring that those applying for stockbroker status are suitably qualified in a relevant subject and have sufficient work-based experience to undertake the responsibility of looking after client investments.

Bank Negara is ultimately responsible for ensuring that brokers are financially stable and are adhering to segregated account guidelines. It also oversees anything and everything else connected with finance, including but not limited to: data protection, general online security, implementation of new technology, electronic platforms and digital payments.

Bursa Malaysia is Malaysia’s only stock market, but its activities are not entirely confined to that, it also takes responsibility for the accreditation of stockbrokers and supervising their ongoing performance. These duties are essential for the protection of the Malaysian economy, stockbrokers’ business interests and the investors themselves.

Malaysians are actively encouraged to trade in the stocks listed on their home stock market.

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  • Account Types
  • Banking & Payouts
  • Bonuses & Promotions
  • Mobile Trading
  • Trade Types
  • Special Features
  • Customer Support

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Is stock trading in Malaysia legal and safe?

Stock trading is legal and indeed encouraged in Malaysia. By adhering to the guidelines issued by Bank Negara and trading with a reputable broker, your investment will stay safe.

Do I need to pay fees and taxes on my profits?

Broker fees are applied to your account according to the level of service you receive as a client. Trading profits are potentially liable for income tax in Malaysia and you will be required to keep accounts detailing your trading activities.

Can I test brokers before trading with real money?

At present, few Malaysian stockbrokers are offering this opportunity to clients. For those who do, their simulation accounts are often more limited in one respect or another and are usually only suitable for practice purposes.

Is it easy to make deposits and withdrawals?

As a part of the registration process, your broker must verify your bank account. After that, all financial transactions are completed by digital bank transfer, but only from that account. Also, some brokers only accept clients with an account held at certain banks.

Can I trade using my mobile or tablet device?

Mobile trading is an area that stockbrokers are rapidly adapting to and as a result, the majority provide a level of accessibility to your trading account. Quality and functionality are still variable, so always check this aspect if it is essential to you.

Meet The Author
Sundar Kapadia
Sundar Kapadia
Risk Manager

Sundar never ceases to impress us; being an Actuary makes him an expert in assessing risks and dealing with uncertainty. He’s been contributing to the site as an author for around 4 years, and we know our readers love his various insights and predictions.

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