Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist, has announced the launch of stock options trading on its platform for retail and institutional investors. This will enable clients of Saxo Bank both to consolidate their existing portfolios by allowing them to trade multiple asset classes from a single account, and to take advantage of Saxo Bank’s cross-product margining.
There will be no minimum ticket fee or carrying cost. Clients will be able to use either stocks or bonds as collateral, as well as exercise options online. As is the case across its whole offering, Saxo Bank will provide multi-language service and support.
The launch reflects the growing appetite for stock options among both institutional and retail investors as indicated by the 6.4% rise in the number of derivatives traded on-exchange (ETDs) in 2013. In particular, recent market volatility has provided attractive investment opportunities for options traders, and investors are becoming more aware of how they can hedge their exposure in asset classes such as equities or as a means of locking-in existing gains.
Alan Plaugmann, Head of Platforms & Products at Saxo Bank, commented:
“We consistently strive to provide a platform that is streamlined, efficient and provides the tools and functionality to give our clients a competitive edge in the multi-asset arena. The addition of equity options to our platform marks an important step in this ongoing development of the Saxo proposition, particularly at a time when appetite for this particular instrument is on the rise.
“As investors are seeking more diversity in asset classes, instruments and financial services, we have built a flexible solution which caters both to the retail and institutional market segments, enabling our clients to trade equity options in a way that best enhances their individual investment strategies.”
Saxo Bank will initially provide direct access to the 200 most liquid stock options across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. These will comprise the top 50 US stock options and ETF options; the top 100 European stock options; the top 20 Hong Kong stock options; and the top 30 Australian stock options. Over the course of the year, the Bank will expand its offering to include 350 stock options in total.
Saxo Bank also said it signed a content sharing agreement with The Options Industry Council (OIC) making OIC’s renowned equity options educational materials available to Saxo Bank’s global client base.