Monday 24 Jun 2024
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This article first appeared in Wealth, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 26, 2022 - January 1, 2023

This year, we saw a slew of investment products and services enter the market as the financial industry ramped up its pace of digitalisation. From new investment solutions to financial services, such as insurance offered by start-ups and incumbents, here is a round-up of some of the notable digital products in the market.

January — Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd, the first fully digital broker in Malaysia, announced the expansion of its cash-upfront share trading account for clients that would allow its clients to trade shares in the US market.

February — Kenanga Digital Investing, a robo-­advisory firm developed internally by Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (KIBB), was launched. It offers two products: KDI Save, which allows its users to earn daily returns on savings, and KDI Invest, which places investors’ money in US-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US.

June — StashAway, the country’s first licensed robo-advisory firm, launched its Flexible Portfolios, allowing investors to custom-make their portfolios with a variety of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) managed by global fund houses. These ETFs provide investors with access to 55 asset classes, including emerging markets, S&P500, gold, energy, government bonds and more.

Luno, Malaysia’s first licensed digital asset exchange, obtained the approval of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to offer Chainlink and Uniswap for trading on its platform. According to Cointelegraph, a digital media resource provider, Chainlink is a decentralised blockchain oracle network that enables smart contracts to communicate securely with real-world data and services outside of the blockchain networks. Uniswap is the governance token of Uniswap automated Ethereum-based crypto exchange.

August — KIBB announced its plan to launch its wealth super app in the first quarter of next year. Group managing director Datuk Chay Wai Leong said investors would be able to invest in and trade various asset classes through the app, including stocks, bonds, unit trust funds, peer-to-peer financing notes, cryptocurrencies and ETFs through robo-advisory services.

September — StashAway launched the BlackRock General Investing Portfolios, which are portfolios guided by the latter’s insights and analy­tics. Luno added two new cryptocurrencies to its trading platform: Cardano and Solana.

October — Licensed robo-advisory firm MYTHEO launched its MYTHEO USD Cash Trust (MUST), which invests its clients’ money in the US money market. The product aims to benefit investors from a rising interest rate in the US while shielding them from volatility in the currency market. As of Dec 9, the ringgit had fallen about 5.5% to RM4.41 per US dollar from the start of the year.

DearTime, a digital life insurer under the Bank Negara Malaysia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox 2, started offering simple and affordable life insurance policies through its mobile app and also sponsors insurance products for those in the B40 (bottom 40% income group). It currently has five products: death insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance (covering 45 critical illnesses), personal accident insurance and a medical card. Its average turnaround claim time is seven days, depending on the complexity of the claim.

November — Bursa Malaysia launched the Bursa Fund Platform, an interactive fund information platform to provide the investing public with information on unit trusts and wholesale funds to help them make better-informed investment decisions.

December — Versa, a licensed e-services operator under the SC, announced the launch of Versa real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Versa Gold. The former invests its clients’ money in the Affin Hwang Select Asia Pacific ex-Japan REIT Fund and the latter in the Affin Hwang Shariah Gold Tracker ETF.

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