Switzerland’s leading discount brokerage offers a reasonable range of North American and European markets for online trading and a far larger number for broker-assisted trades. As far as I know, it’s the only retail-orientated brokerage in Europe that offers markets such as Brazil or Japan’s Osaka Stock Exchange (as opposed to the more widely traded Tokyo exchange) – although Daniel Stewart, a UK institutional firm that accepts private clients, can also access these and more, while the Hong Kong-based Boom Securities and Phillip Securities are other cheaper alternatives for Japan.
The main drawback is the fees. Minimum commissions on the broker-assisted markets are so high that they are unrealistic for most retail investors. This may be understandable, since they will be traded via intermediaries. However, even the online markets are not cheap – you will do better through many other discount brokers.
However, there is no minimum account size and admin fees don’t look unbearable. So if you’re aiming to make a handful of long-term investments of at least US$5,000-10,000 each in some of the more inaccessible markets it offers, Swissquote could be worth a look. Feedback on everything except fees has generally been good.
The Hong Kong and Singapore stock brokers may be alternatives for Asia, while Brokerjet, Finasta and Orion Securities may be worth considering for Eastern Europe.
|Online trading||Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA|
|Telephone trading||Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China B, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan - Osaka, Japan - Tokyo, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, UAE|
|Online details||Tiered and hard to summarise - works out to around 0.2-0.5% for larger trades, but with minimum of around CHF/EUR/GBP/USD25-35 for smaller ones.|
|Telephone details||Australia 0.55% (min A$120), Brazil, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Hungary, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia 1% (min CHF200), Bulgaria 1.5% (min CHF350), China B 1.2% (min CHF500), Croatia 1.5% (min CHF300), Estonia 1% (min CHF250), Greece 0.5% (min €100) Hong Kong 0.6% (min CHF200), Indonesia 1% (min CHF500), Ireland 0.85% (min CHF250), Japan 0.5% (min CHF75), Luxembourg 0.35% (min €150), Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey 1% (min CHF300), New Zealand 0.9% (min NZ$250), Philippines 1% (min CHF500), Poland 1% (min CHF450), Singapore 0.6% (min CHF150), South Africa 0.55% (min €80), Spain 0.35% (min €65), Sri Lanka 1% (min CHF400), UAE 0.75% (min CHF150)|
|Account fees and inactivity fees||CHF100/year for dormant accounts|
|Custody charges for stocks||0.025% per quarter (min CH12.5, max CHF25)|
|Dividend charges||Apparently none, although one user has reported being charged|
|Corporate action charges||None|
|Currency conversion charges||0.75% margin on interbank rate|
|Hold cash in foreign currencies||Yes|
|Currencies allowed||CHF, EUR, GBP, USD|
|Other products and services||Bonds, funds, futures, FX, options, warrants|
|Minimum account size||None|
|Further information||Go to the Swissquote website|