• First Metro targets retail market

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    STOCK broker First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp. is targeting to attract a good portion of the retail investor market which is expected to see exponential growth in the next few years amid rising incomes and the availability of online and mobile platforms for investing.

    First Metro Securities president Gonzalo Ordoñez said the number of retail investors is expected to increase in the months and years ahead given the improved incomes of Filipinos and the growing popularity of online or mobile platforms, which make investing more attractive and convenient.

    “As we see the growing trend of more retail investors participating in the stock market, we also see the volume increasing over the next years. With this in mind, we will continue to move forward to help change the way people invest and save money,” Ordoñez said.

    Ordoñez noted that the market for retail investing is still young and remains largely untapped.

    Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) data in 2014 showed that less than one percent of the estimated 100 million Filipinos have invested in the stock market.

    “The Philippines still has a long way to go before achieving widespread domestic investor participation in the stock market,” Ordoñez said.

    But the PSE noted that the number of online investor accounts, which comprise mainly individual investors, is increasing.

    According to the PSE’s 2014 Stock Market Investor Profile reports, online investor accounts registered a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 44 percent compared to the overall investor base, which grew by an average of just 6 percent in the past five years.
    Online investors already constitute 27 percent of the total investor accounts base, coming from only 7 percent in 2010.

    With the trend of more retail investors participating in the stock market, the First Metro Securities earlier this year launched a service that enables clients to borrow funds to buy stocks online using eligible securities as collateral. This provides clients with the ability to take on more risk in order to take advantage of emerging trends or build a larger portfolio.

    First Metro Securities is wholly owned by First Metro Investment Corp., the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

    In 2013, First Metro Investment Corp. launched the country’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF), which acts as a mutual fund that mirrors the performance of the benchmark PSE Index (PSEi) and trades like a stock on the PSE. First Metro Securities is the market maker and an authorized participant of the said ETF.

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