Futures trading is an increasingly popular investment option among Malaysians looking to invest on the future prices of commodities, currencies, and other financial instruments. However, finding the best online investment platform to trade on can be quite challenging.
That’s where we come in. We’ll compare the best futures brokers’ fees, features, and trading platforms, providing you with the essential information you need to choose the one that best suits your requirements.
Whether you’re an experienced trader or starting out, you’ll find everything you need to know here. So, read on to discover the top futures brokers in Malaysia.
The Best Futures Brokers in Malaysia
Before we delve into the specific capabilities offered by each of the trading platforms, let’s compare how the three brokers stack up:
|Broker||Minimum Deposit||Futures offering||Futures commission, US||MYR available as base currency|
|Interactive Brokers||$0||Agriculture, Currency, Energy, Equity Index, Fixed Income, Metals, and Volatility Futures.||As low as USD 0.1 per contract (depending on the exchange and account type)||No|
|Saxo Bank||3,000 SGD||Metals, Energy, Power/Electricity, Grains, Meats & Dairy, Softs, Equity Indices, Currencies, Bonds, and STIR (short-term interest rate) futures.||As low as USD 1.25 per contract with a minimum of USD 10.00 (depending on exchange and account type)||No|
|Kenanga||10 MYR (subject to change)||Energy, Agriculture, Metal, Equity, Interest Rate, and Index futures.||0.24%-0.45% with a minimum of 28 MYR||Yes|
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a great option for retail investors interested in optimising their trading commissions. It is ideal for beginners or professionals looking for a large number of instruments and a secure broker.
On the downside, if you are new to investing, the platform might be a bit complicated with too many buttons and features.
You can check IBKR’s dedicated futures website for more information on the broker’s futures offering.
Saxo Bank has a product offering very similar to IBKR, albeit with slightly higher commissions. SaxoTraderGO’s functionalities arguably make it more suited to sophisticated investors who can take full advantage of the platform’s functionalities.
Saxo Bank also has a dedicated website detailing the broker’s futures offering.
Kenanga offers access to both local Malaysian futures, as well as US and Hong Kong futures. As a result, it is a good choice for investors primarily interested in the local market or willing to diversify into the top global markets. For Malaysians interested exclusively in global markets, the platform may fail to provide the needed range and diversification options.
The ability to open an account in MYR may help you save on currency translation fees if you trade only the local futures market. However, you will still have to convert your cash to USD for global markets.
#1 Interactive Brokers - Trader Workstation
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Trader Workstation (TWS), the proprietary trading platform of Interactive Brokers, is one of the most innovative trading platforms developed by a brokerage firm. It includes two subsets: the “TWS Mosaic”, which displays a fully customisable workspace, and the “Classic TWS”, where you can find more complex/advanced tools for more experienced traders.
You get comprehensive order management, technical charts, watchlists, and other portfolio tools in a single view. You can organise your trading activity by asset classes and, at the same time, keep up to date with relevant market news impacting the markets. TWS offers powerful trading tools like ComboTrader, which helps traders create proprietary combination order strategies or choose from multiple templates with predefined programs to execute futures trades.
Interactive Brokers also offers a web-based alternative called “Client Portal”, a “light” version of TWS, which lets you keep track of your portfolio performance and other essential features with few constraints. The same goes for its mobile app, which enables you to check every piece of information on the go.
IBKR offers competitive pricing starting at $0.1 per contract, among the lowest on the market. Although the pricing structure is a bit complex, it is important to note that IBKR has no added spreads, ticket charges, platform fees, or account minimums, making it a great option for traders looking to minimise their costs. However, the fee you pay will depend on your monthly traded volume. You can learn more about the pricing structure on IBKR’s dedicated futures pricing page here.
Below, we present a table with a small selection of futures contracts available on IBKR and their respective commissions:
|Market||Contract||Commission per Contract in USD (Minimum USD 1.00)|
|United States||E-micro Futures||USD 0.10 to USD 0.25|
|Canada||S&P/TSX 60 Futures||CAD 0.30 to CAD 2.40|
|Australia||Mini SPI Futures||AUD 0.20 to AUD 1.00|
|Germany||Mini DAX Futures||EUR 0.28 to EUR 0.80|
|Bitcoin||Bitcoin Futures||USD 5.00|
|Commodities||Commodities Futures||USD 0.25 to USD 1.05|
|Stocks||Stocks Futures||USD 0.25 to USD 0.85 (depending on exchange)|
|E-Micro FX||E-Micro FX Futures||USD 0.05 to USD 0.15|
SaxoTraderGO at a glance
Features three platforms for trading: SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO, and SaxoTraderPRO. Assuming that most people visiting this page have average knowledge of financial markets, we will focus on the middle one: SaxoTraderGO, which, by the way, is the most popular consumer-facing trading platform of the broker.
SaxoTraderGO is an award-winning web-based platform with crucial features: fundamental and technical analysis tools, an extensive charting package, performance analysis, a comprehensive account overview, and a user-friendly interface.
When you trade futures, you will have access to a comprehensive all-in-one screen where you can manage your investments from a wide range of asset classes, currencies, and countries. Saxo Bank has a dedicated futures trading page available here.
The fee on futures contracts will depend on your monthly traded volume. You can learn more about the pricing structure on Saxo Bank’s dedicated futures pricing page here.
Below, we present a table with a small selection of currency futures contracts available on SaxoTraderGO and their respective commissions, ranging from Classic from the lowest traded volume to Platinum and VIP for investors trading high volumes:
|Contract / Currency||Commission Classic||Commission Platinum||Commission VIP|
|AUD||AUD 10.00 (Min. AUD 12.50)||AUD 5.00 (Min. AUD 12.50)||AUD 1.00 (Min. AUD 12.50)|
|US||USD 3.00 (Min. USD 10.00)||USD 1.80 (Min. USD 10.00)||USD 0.85 (Min. USD 10.00)|
|CAD||CAD 6.00 (Min. CAD 10.00)||CAD 3.00 (Min. CAD 10.00)||CAD 1.00 (Min. CAD 10.00)|
|EUR||EUR 6.00 (Min. EUR 10.00)||EUR 3.00 (Min. EUR 10.00)||EUR 1.00 (Min. EUR 10.00)|
|GBP||GBP 5.00 (Min. GBP 8.00)||GBP 2.50 (Min. GBP 8.00)||GBP 1.00 (Min. GBP 8.00)|
These commissions are for each contract and each trade (buy or sell) through SaxoTraderGo and exclude exchange fees.
Saxo Markets offers advanced tools for trading futures contracts. With the Futures Spread Trading feature, you can place orders to buy and sell multiple contracts simultaneously. The Depth Trader feature lets you see all the buy and sell orders waiting to be executed so that you can manage your trades more effectively.
You can also monitor real-time futures prices and trade directly from the exchange with the Time and Sales feature. Saxo Markets provides 24-hour support and educational resources for all types of traders. VIP traders can receive priority support and exclusive invitations to events.
#3 KDF TradeActive
KDF TradeActive at a glance
KDF TradeActive is Kenanga Futures’s flagship derivatives trading platform. The platform offers a desktop and mobile version that you can use with the same username and password. However, you can only access one of the two platforms at any given time (you will be automatically logged out of the other).
The platform is unique in that it offers access to both the local Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Market as well as strategic global markets such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange.
The platform offers a myriad of charting tools and real-time indicators to help you make the right trade, as well as the ability to keep cash in several currencies.
To help you get acquainted with KDF TradeActive and the news driving futures markets, Kenanga keeps an up-to-date e-learning section available here. A downside of Kenanga’s website is the scarce disclosure regarding commissions and fees due from investors, making for a tough broker-to-broker comparison.
The bottom line
To sum it up, here’s a brief overview of our findings:
Best Futures Brokers in Malaysia
With our comparison complete, here is what you need to do to get started on trading futures:
- Find a suitable broker. Make sure the broker works with residents of Malaysia. Consider the fees and market access of the broker if you are interested in trading niche futures contracts.
- Open an account and deposit money: After deciding which broker’s trading platform to use, you must go through the account opening process and deposit money.
- You can now trade futures in Malaysia: Having considered the pros and cons of each broker, and after going through the account opening process, you can take advantage of the endless possibilities offered by the futures market!
We hope that this post addressed some of your concerns. Do your research to find the best investing strategy for you!
Please let us know in the comments if you have any doubts or suggestions.