The table below compares the dealing charges and other features of 11 Singapore online stockbrokers to help you find the best stockbrokers for trading Singapore shares.
Most firms in Singapore have a very similar fee structure, charging commission of around 0.25-0.28% commission for trades below S$50,000, around 0.2-0.22% between S$50,000 and S$100,000 and around 0.18-0.2% over S$100,000, with a typical minimum charge of S$25. For simplicity, commissions in this table are abbreviated to reflect these standard tiers eg 0.25%/0.22%/0.18%.
However there are a couple of exceptions. Standard Chartered’s service has a rate of 0.2% with no minimum charge, while the local office of Danish firm Saxo Bank charges 0.15% for all trade sizes, with a minimum of S$25.
Interactive Brokers – popular with many Singapore traders for overseas markets – is even cheaper at 0.12% with a minimum of S$3. However, Singapore residents currently can’t trade the Singapore exchange through their accounts, although Interactive Brokers have indicated that this restriction may change in the future.
CPF and SRS
|0.18% (BUY ONLY)||S$18||n/a||n/a||No|
|DMG & Partners|
|Kim Eng Securities|
|Lim & Tan Securities|
|Saxo Capital Markets|
|Personal Banking 0.2%|
Priority Banking 0.18%
|None||Not stated||Not stated||No|
|UOB Kay Hian|
Notes for the Singapore stockbrokers comparison table
1) Fees do not include GST. This will be charged for Singapore residents, while non-residents are exempt.
2) Cash upfront purchases through DBS iBanking are charged at a lower rate than standard trades through DBS Vickers, but you cannot sell through this service (unless you sell within the T+3 settlement cycle). Once settlement is complete and the stock is deposited in your CDP account, you sell via DBS Vickers or another linked brokerage account at normal trading trades.
3) Contra trading is not possible through Citibank, Standard Chartered and DBS iBanking cash upfront trades.
4) Most Singapore stockbrokers will expect you to open an account with the central securities depository (CDP) and hold SGX listed shares in that. However, two firms – Saxo Capital Markets and Standard Chartered – hold your shares in a nominee account on your behalf. This means that the shares are legally in the name of their nominee company, although you are the beneficial owner of them.
Whether nominee accounts are any less safe than holding shares in your name, as some investors believe, is debatable. Using nominee accounts is standard practice for almost all traders in most countries, but rare for local stocks in Singapore (foreign stocks bought through a Singapore broker are always held in nominee). However there are a few points to remember with a nominee account:
- Since your name is not on the shareholder register, you will not automatically be entitled to receive annual reports and attend and vote at the annual general meeting. Whether these rights are passed on to you depends on the stock broker – Standard Chartered will apparently do so.
- You will not be directly credited with dividends or be notified of corporate actions, but the stock broker will process these on your behalf. Neither Standard Chartered nor Saxo Capital Markets charge for this service.
- The Saxo Capital Markets nominee account is classified as a non-individual foreign investor and so income distributions from S-Reits are subject to a 10% tax. This does not affect the Standard Chartered nominee account.
- Shares held in your own CDP account can be sold through any stock broker account linked to it. Shares held in a nominee account can only be sold through that stock broker, unless first transferred out to your own CDP account.
Information in the Singapore brokerage fee comparison table comes from the stockbrokers’ websites and leaflets, conversations with broker staff and conversations with investors who use the services. While I try to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, I cannot guarantee that. You should always check current terms and conditions before opening an account. If you identify any errors or omissions, please email me using the contact form.