Saxo Bank, one of world’s largest FX brokers, and certainly the largest European one has announced today that it launched a whole new Equity Platform. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know my opinion by now: I believe that Saxo should focus on the institutional and asset management side of its business rather than on Spot FX which I think is one of Saxo’s weak points. However, the launch of this platform, in my opinion, gives Saxo an interesting edge on existing platforms as it allows multi-asset trading with social features. However, I would wait to see the traction this new platform gains before getting too excited. Saxo was never a technology giant but on the other hand perhaps the acquisition of the Ukrainian software development company a few months ago.
The new Saxo’s equities platform, judging by its description, is a rather interesting one and has some attractive features such as an access to almost two dozen stock exchanges and other multi-class instruments, social elements (through the recently acquired EuroInvestor forum), powerful analytics covering 11,000 global companies and social tools such as : peer groupings to find comparable companies and compare investments to peer averages. Furthermore, the platform includes share price performance, operational performance and valuation multiples including three years forecasts of aggregated analysts estimates, enabling clients to explore stock price sensitivities to commodities, currencies and interest rates. This depth of fundamental data was previously unavailable to private investors. In addition, the platform allows users to exchange information with other Investors to validate the decision making process, offering opportunities to hedge their portfolio risks through techniques such as shorting CFDs.
Commenting on the launch, Jeff Saul, Head of Group Equities at Saxo Bank said: “Most platforms only allow traders to buy and sell stocks without any risk minimization. The Saxo Equity Platform enables clients to invest in a specific stock, buy a basket of comparable companies, and short sell a comparable company or the index with a CFD – all with a few clicks. The intuitive lay out of the platform as well as the simplicity to obtain information and place orders is why we expect the new platform will double our client numbers over the next two years.”
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Driven by powerful analytics, the Saxo Equity Platform also includes a research centre covering the 11.000 largest global companies with detailed company profiles, including five years of historical data and three years of forward consensus estimates on profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow and operational performance as well as valuation. To help investors manage their risk, the research centre also includes company labelling such as; growth focus, growth rate, beta, financial risk, operational risk, cyclicality and revenue splits by division and geography.
To enable online discussion and feedback on investors’ investment ideas, Saxo Bank has added investment information and discussion facilities from the multi-language online investor forum EuroInvestor, which it acquired a 39% stake of in March 2009. EuroInvestor attracts 1.8 million unique users per month from across Europe.
In a joint statement, the founders and co-CEOs of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen commented: “We believe that investor communities and financial news portals have an important role to play in the future market of financial services. That was why we acquired a stake in EuroInvestor. Saxo Bank’s new equity platform now bridges the online universe of the communities and the trading platforms of the Bank. The new Saxo Equity Platform will be pivotal for the industry and will support investors who have lost trust in advisors from the traditional banks and brokerage houses following the financial crisis.”