Online trading of local stocks is growing at a double-digit pace as more retail investors discover equities as an investment outlet in this record-low interest rate regime, thus boosting the Philippine Stock Exchange’s bid to bring more stockbrokers online.
In a poll conducted by the PSE based on data gathered from nine trading participants with online trading capability, total online investor accounts grew by 48.3 percent to 78,216 in 2012. Of the total accounts, 86 percent were “active” in online trading, the PSE reported.
Retail investors remained the key market for online accounts with a lion’s share of 99.8 percent of total online accounts. Of the total online accounts, 97.9 percent were local while 2.1 percent were foreign.
“We are pleased to note the significant increase in the number of active online accounts in the market. This goes to show that our market has become more open and aggressive to embrace technological advancements in terms of finding alternative ways of participating in the stock market,” PSE president Hans Sicat said in a statement.
“We view this positive development as a catalyst that will support our online trading platform tagged as PSETradex for trading participants. This new online service is aimed at further expanding brokers’ reach to investors and boosting activity in the stock market in a significant way,” Sicat added.
PSETradex is a web-based trading management system that will allow users to trade shares of stock, monitor the order status and manage the stock portfolio, and gather relevant market information through their computers. In addition, it can provide a mobile wireless application for equity trading that operates on web-based mobile phones. It enables investors who have registered with stockbrokers to trade in a totally mobile environment.
In terms of value turnover, total online transaction value last year rose by 18.8 percent to P195.75 billion. Online trading also comprised 6.7 percent of the total value in the stock market exclusive of block sales.
The PSE study also showed that based on the profile of retail investors in the Philippines, there were more male than female investors. Male investors accounted for 57.9 percent of retail online investors while females accounted for 42.1 percent. In terms of active investors, a slightly bigger percentage of female investors were more actively trading than male investors in 2012.
Most of the retail investors trading online (66.6 percent) had an annual income of less than P500,000 and 80.1 percent of them were active traders. Meanwhile, 21.6 percent of investors earn between P500,000 and P1 million a year and 15.5 percent of investors make more than P1 million a year.
Based on the PSE study, online investors came from the younger age group. More than half (52.3 percent) of retail online investors were between the ages of 30 and 44 years old while another 25.1 percent belonged to the 18- to 29-year-old age group. Investors between the ages of 18-29 years were the most active investors at 80.1 percent.