TradeStation courts Korean FX market with new platform for Shinhan

Monex Group (8698.T) subsidiary TradeStation  announced yesterday its expansion into much-coveted Asian financial markets outside of its parent company’s stronghold among Japanese retail FX traders, suggesting a further requirement among western firms to look toward the Asia Pacific for not only growth, but survival.

TradeStation has fared well during the last few years, and held its head up among western peers which have experienced downturns in volumes, and has weathered the cost of continuing its operations in the United States very well indeed.

LeapRate reported earlier this year that TradeStation, the North American contingent of Monex Group, had begun the initial stages of its partnership with Seoul-based Shinhan Investment Corp., a leading provider of brokerage and investment banking services in Korea, to make TradeStation 9.5, the latest version of the company’s trading platform, available to Korean retail and professional traders in their local securities and futures markets.

With the trial periods having been completed, the partnership is now in full effect, albeit a few weeks later than had been originally anticipated.

In terms of history, it was back in November 2013 that TradeStation and Shinhan entered into a strategic alliance granting Shinhan the exclusive right to market, offer and provide to the Korean investor market industry-leading trading technology powered by TradeStation. This new trading platform gives Korean investors and traders local language translation, localized for that market both by translation into the Korean language and by seamless compatibility with the Korea Exchange equities and futures markets, and access to Shinhan order-placement and back-office systems. TradeStation will be the only premium platform offered by Shinhan.

LeapRate recently reported that South Korea is becoming a region of interest for the entire commercial FX industry, with substantial interest from western firms and Prime Brokerage companies looking to acquire white label partners in the region.

At the time of that report, LeapRate spoke to Gabriel Styllas, CEO at Cyprus-based Prime Brokerage TopFX, which provides liquidity to a great number of Western FX firms which have successfully garnered business from the Asia-Pacific region: “Over the past several months we have been monitoring the increase in this trend” stated Mr. Styllas.

“If you are involved seriously in FX you have to continuously monitor trends like this as it can help you in making more informed decisions. We have already had consistently high volumes within this region. From our analysis, we believe that this is only going to go in one direction” he concluded.

With regard to TradeStation’s foray into the Korean market, Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation and COO of Monex Group stated yesterday that “Given the size and active nature of the Korean trading market, we judged Korea to be a desirable spot to attempt the first local integration for TradeStation 9.5.”

“We picked Shinhan, among many other candidates, because of the company’s combination of excellent customer service and agile risk management capacity” he explained.

“We are very excited to be able to offer TradeStation to the Korean market,” said Dae Suk Kang, CEO of Shinhan Investment Corp. “There is clearly nothing else like it in Korea, and we believe that serious, active and professional online investors and traders in our markets will appreciate the power, leverage and benefits using TradeStation will bring them.”

Mr. Sredni added that the official launch of TradeStation in Korea marks the beginning of a wide-ranging expansion into the Asian financial markets. “We expect to launch the system in Japan, hopefully early next year, and similar discussions are ongoing in China,” Mr. Sredni said. “Our greatest challenge is to pick the ideal partner to help us achieve seamless integration of our trading technology and services in each local market. Our alliance with Shinhan marks the culmination of this process in Korea, and we look forward to forging similar alliances as we continue to expand our presence in the Asian markets.”

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