Jan 012013

It’s rare that anything interesting happens in China’s moribund B share market, but the last couple of weeks have been an exception – even if all the developments point to it no longer existing in the relatively near future.

Owing to China’s capital controls, there are several different types of stock listings used by Chinese companies. To recap quickly:

  • A shares are mainland-incorporated Chinese companies listed on the mainland Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges and are denominated in renminbi. They can only be bought by mainland Chinese investors and a very limited number of qualified foreign institutional investors.
  • B shares are mainland-incorporated Chinese companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen and are denominated in US dollars (in Shanghai) and Hong Kong dollars (in Shenzhen). They can be freely bought both by foreigners and by mainland investors with foreign currency accounts.
  • H shares are mainland-incorporated Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. They can be freely bought by foreigners.
  • Red chips are companies controlled by the Chinese state, but legally incorporated outside mainland China and listed in Hong Kong. Again, they can be freely bought by foreigners.
  • P chips are companies controlled by private sector Chinese businessmen that are legally incorporated outside mainland China and listed abroad. Usually, P chip is used to mean specifically Hong Kong listed stocks, with S chip being used for private firms listed in Singapore and (less commonly) N share for US-listed Chinese companies and L share for London-listed Chinese companies. Continue reading »
Aug 122012

Long-term historical data on price/earning ratios, price/book ratios and dividend yields for stockmarket indices is extremely valuable in looking at long-term returns – but it can be very difficult to obtain. While price data is available for many major markets stretching back decades or more, valuation data typically hasn’t been recorded so carefully.

The figures that are available have usually been reconstructed from old earnings reports and are proprietary data sets that are expensive to access. For those who are willing to pay, Global Financial Data is probably the most comprehensive source for very long-term financial data of all kinds.

For those who can’t justify the cost of paid-for data, there are a few freely downloadable data series for some of the major indices around the world, although they are often hard to find and there is no consistency about which markets are available. The following links will take you to the ones I’ve found that are still updated  – if you’re aware of any others, please let me know in the comments below or by email. Continue reading »

Aug 072012

Webb-site.com is a very helpful tool for researching Hong Kong-listed stocks. Run by David Webb, a former Hong Kong stock exchange independent director, the site pulls together news and information about the officers and related parties of listed companies to make it easier to find links between them and hopefully spot corporate governance red flags.

Webb also publishes regular articles on governance and regulatory issues in Hong Kong and if you’re interested in Asian markets, it’s well worth signing up for his free newsletter to get these.

The site has just added something new: A tool for calculating and comparing total returns on individual stocks with data from since 1994, which seems to be the first such free source for the Hong Kong market. Continue reading »

Mar 202012

There have been a number of updates to the stock broker directory recently. These include entries for:

  • DUTrade, an online broker based in Bahrain and covering much of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Dutch discount brokerage Binck Bank – reported to be a good choice for derivatives and structured products on European markets
  • IW Bank, the online brokerage arm of Italy’s UBI Banca
  • Hong Kong broker Core Pacific – Yamaichi

Other major additions to the site include a comparison table of US discount online brokerages for trading domestic shares and options – a long-standing request from readers – and a comparison table of Hong Kong online brokers. There’s also a comparison table for fund supermarkets in centres such as Luxembourg and Singapore that will accept foreign clients.

Hong Kong online brokerage fee comparison table

Last UpdatedJan 282012

The table below compares the dealing charges and other features of 19 Hong Kong online stockbrokers to help you find the best stockbrokers for trading Hong Kong shares only. If you are looking for Hong Kong stockbrokers to trade international markets instead, try the Hong Kong international stockbrokers list and the Hong Kong international stockbrokers comparison table.

There are a large number of stockbrokers operating in Hong Kong and the table below is not comprehensive, but should cover the majority of firms offering low-cost online trading. If you would like to suggest any additional firms to be added to the table, you can send an email through the contact form.

In addition to the stockbrokers listed below, most banks in Hong Kong also offer securities trading services. They typically charge 0.25% per trade with a minimum of HK$100 (a few have a lower minimum). The main exception – which is included in the table – is Standard Chartered, which has no minimum fee, making it attractive for small trades.

Continue reading »

Jan 282012

There are a few additions and updates to the stock broker directory for Hong Kong international stock brokers. Perhaps most notably, the purchase of Boom Securities by Japan’s Monex Group has led to some expansion of its Japanese markets offering. As well as the Tokyo stock exchange, it now offers Osaka and the three smaller regional ones: Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka.

New additions to the directory include BOCI Securities (BOCI Online), KGI and HSBC Hong Kong. These three firms are unlikely to offer much that isn’t already available for most international investors, but have been added to try to make the directory more comprehensive. There are a few other firms that should be added in the near future.

BOCI Securities states that “commission rate will be determined and agreed between customer & BOCI Securities”, which isn’t terribly helpful in giving an idea of how expensive it might be. Any investors who have used it and can give an idea of what typical rates are is welcome to leave a comment below or send an email via the contact form.

The best Hong Kong international stock brokers


Introduction | UK brokers | US brokers | Hong Kong brokers | Singapore brokers | Other

This is an overview of some leading Hong Kong online stock brokers that are able to buy international shares. If you’d prefer to browse it as a comparison table, see the table of Hong Kong international stock brokers. To compare fees for investing in Hong Kong shares only, see this comparison of Hong Kong online stock brokers. Continue reading »

International stockbroker directory and comparison tables


Compare stockbrokers from around the world that can buy international shares and find the best one for your investments. View comparison tables for the top international stockbrokers in your country, search for a stockbroker that can buy shares in a particular country, browse full details for each individual stockbroker or compare two stockbrokers side-by-side. Continue reading »

Hong Kong international stockbrokers comparison table

Last UpdatedJan 282012

The table below compares major Hong Kong stockbrokers who can buy foreign shares. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to begin by by reading the Hong Kong international stock broker guide for an overview of what’s available and then using this table to compare firms. Further details of fees and services are listed on each stock broker’s individual page.

If you’re looking for the cheapest broker in Hong Kong to buy Hong Kong stocks, the going rate from local firms is about 0.15-0.3% with a minimum of HK$80-100. However, the lowest advertised rate is the local division of US group Interactive Brokers, at 0.088% with a minimum of HK$18, while Standard Chartered charges 0.2% online and 0.3% by phone with no minimum. See the Hong Kong discount stock broker comparison table for more.

Most Hong Kong stockbrokers seem to accept non-resident investors. However, some will probably not do business with US citizens or residents, for reasons explained in this article.

Continue reading »