FOCUS: Online Securities Firms Vying for Customers with Diversified Services

Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--Online securities firms in Japan are fighting for survival by diversifying their services after stock brokerage fees fell sharply following their full liberalization 20 years ago.

"The time we could compete by lowering fees is over," said Rakuten Securities Inc. President Yuji Kusunoki.

Stock brokerage fees were fully liberalized on Oct. 1, 1999, as one of the final steps in a major financial system shakeup in Japan.

A reduction in fees was accelerated as an increasing number of online securities firms entered the market due to the spread of the internet.

In the year ended last March, the proportion of stock brokerage fees securities firms received stood at 0.03 pct of the total trading value of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, one-10th of the 0.36 pct posted in the year ended in March 1999, before the liberalization.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press