With the number of FOREX brokers always on the rise, FOREX trading firms are placing more focus on keeping their customers to safeguard their revenues and profitability. Customers, for their own part, are worried about the dangers of trading FOREX with the wrong broker. As such, they could sorely do with the guidance required to stay away from suspect brokerage firms. For this reason, we have prepared a list of the best FOREX brokers in Malaysia today. This list is the result of a detailed review process carried out by Arincen. We will share our review methodology so traders can understand why we chose the companies we did.
What Is FOREX and Why Do We Need a Broker to Trade?
Not all traders, even experienced ones, know that the FOREX market is the largest financial market in the world. Some six trillion dollars’ worth of trades change hands daily in vibrant FOREX trading spaces all over the world. The market operates 24 hours a day and five days a week (Monday through Friday), except international holidays. Brokerage firms act as a key entry point into this market for retail traders by enabling clients to buy and sell through a trading platform.
How Do I Choose the Best FOREX Broker in Malaysia?
It is important for all FOREX brokers to demonstrate an acceptable level of management oversight and operating standards, no matter where they are domiciled. There is such a wide array of brokers from which to choose that it is negligent to engage with a shoddy broker through lack of research.
The most important hurdle all brokers must clear is that of regulation. Your broker simply must be regulated by a reputable oversight body as this protects your interests and those of your broker. History has proven many times that when they are left to their own devices, badly run brokers can lose your money through scams or by going bust.
You must ensure that the broker you have selected offers you access to a compensation scheme in the event it goes under. This is not always possible, as only the most stringent tier-1 regulators demand this of brokers. However, there are still other ways you can ensure your broker is being honest. Even tier-2 regulators and beyond ask brokers to demonstrate that they are running a tight ship through reporting and disclosures.
Another important element to choosing a broker involves checking the strength of their features and overall offering. This includes their trading platform, access to markets, and their speed of execution. Having good liquidity is especially important in a market as fast moving as the FOREX market. You would want your broker to have good liquidity partners as well as strong customer support, trader-friendly account deposit and withdrawal methods and access to educational materials.
Naturally, with Islam being Malaysia’s official religion, you will need to ensure that the broker allows for Sharia trading of FOREX through interest-free accounts.
FOREX Regulations in Malaysia
Malaysia offers traders resident in the country a range of FOREX broker options from which to choose. Any internationally licensed FOREX broker can accept clients from Malaysia, but it is always a good idea for Malaysia-resident traders to seek out a broker that holds a Capital Markets Services License (CMSL) from the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SCM). Established in 1993 as the country’s financial markets regulatory body, the SCM can be found online at the following URL: www.sc.com.my. As well, the SCM can be followed on Twitter, @SecComMY.
In April 2018, the SCM issued guidelines for Contracts for Difference (CFD) providers, including brokers offering derivatives, under the Capital Markets Services Act of 2007, which became effective on July 1, 2018. For a historical account, please visit the SCM’s Web Page on Wikipedia.
Notwithstanding local regulations, it is always important to check if your broker happens to be regulated by overseas tier-1 regulators. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) are but two premier regulators with which responsible brokers seek to be associated.
Commissions and Fees in Malaysia
A first step in FOREX trading is identifying the spread differential, defined as the difference between the bid (sell) price and the ask (buy) price of a currency pair. While most FOREX currency pairs are traded without commission, the spread is one “cost” that applies to any trade that you place. This is, indeed, the biggest source of profit for the FOREX broker. Good companies typically offer a EUR-USD spread of three basis points.
As for commissions, FOREX trading brokers can be placed in three categories. The first offer fixed spreads, the second tender variable spreads, and a third category of companies offers low-cost spreads, but that come with a (relatively high) fixed commission.
Tradable Assets and Instruments
To abide by Sharia finance laws, investors must ensure they understand which financial assets are halal (permitted) and which are haram (not permitted). Brokers and other financial institutions in Malaysia are always aware of these distinctions and will tailor their services accordingly.
FOREX trading is halal under Sharia finance law. The practice permits the FOREX trader to improve their personal financial situation, a cornerstone of Islamic teachings. As long as the FOREX trader does not earn or pay interest, then this form of trading is permitted.
Investors abiding by Sharia finance laws can safely trade other financial instruments, such as indices, commodities and shares. On the matter of share trading, as per Islamic principles, a trader is allowed to buy shares in a company as long as it does not carry out haram activities, such as gambling or alcohol sales.
Bonds and treasury bills are haram under Islamic finance laws as traders cannot benefit from interest earned over time, which is the calling card of these asset classes. Sharia compliant brokers understand this and do not offer these instruments to Islamic traders.
Payments, Deposits and Withdrawals in Malaysia
Brokers operating in the Islamic world know that if they are to be profitable and continue growing, they must facilitate a smooth account funding and withdrawal process for their clients.
With the proviso that as long as a financial transaction does not include interest and is therefore permitted under Sharia Law, there is no reason to delay it in any way. Deposits and withdrawals carried out with Malaysia-based brokers must be able to match regular brokers in terms of speed and convenience.
FOREX Trading Customer Service
As timing is key to FOREX trading, you must pick a brokerage firm that is able to provide good customer support around the clock. This most notably includes the company representatives being easy to reach, fast and polite, which will, in turn, spare you of having to worry about problems down the road.
Technical Aspects of the Broker’s Website
One of the major differentiating factors among brokers is speed of execution. This does not come easily, as brokers must invest in the infrastructure to make it happen. In general, from a technical aspect, traders should be on the lookout for Websites with low latency, high uptime and rapid execution.
When it comes to sharing sensitive personal information online, such as a credit card, cyber security is paramount. You should, therefore, always look out for SSL certification and two-factor authentication (especially when registering with a new site).
To provide our users with peace of mind, we at Arincen have introduced the “Company Checker,” which is an online tool directly linked to an international Website called Scamadviser. The latter is an independent site that checks the countries in which these FOREX Websites are managed, where the server is located, in addition to other security and informational aspects. It ranks FOREX firms by granting them a score ranging from 0% to 100%, with the best FOREX firms usually receiving a score of 90% and above. Any company that has achieved a score lower than 85% should thus be avoided. Simultaneously, whenever looking for a new FOREX broker, users must ensure its Website is fast, modern and user-friendly.
Trading Platforms, Tools and Features
As a respected regional player in the financial world, Malaysia is home to all forms of brokers, even the most technologically advanced among them. Whether it is a FOREX broker providing institutional grade execution speeds or the most secure technology the industry has to offer, they can be accommodated. Traders based in Malaysia can comfortably work with brokers that offer high-end Electronic Communications Network (ECN) accounts that rely on powerful data links and secure traffic gateways.
Malaysia-based FOREX brokers can easily offer their customers all the major trading platforms, especially MetaTrader family products MT4 and MT5. These platforms can be accommodated in desktop and mobile form. Proprietary broker platforms are also catered to, as these can be accessed through Web browsers or normal download.
Ask Other Traders on Our Network
Arincen’s Website is home to a social network of traders who feed off each other’s investment successes. Through social copy trading, successful strategies are quickly replicated in the community. This friendly rivalry leads to more strategies being trialed and implemented as traders try to stay ahead of the game. Many of the traders who have made a home of Arincen’s Website will happily attest to the value of the trading community Arincen has created.
Best 7 FOREX Brokers in Malaysia
FXDD 92.15 Best Overall Broker
ICM Capital 91.10 Best Deposit and Withdrawal Broker
XTB 85.55 Best Customer Service Broker
IG 85.45 Best Regulations Broker plus Convenient Platform
Saxobank 80.09 Excellent Private Trading Platform
CMC Markets 80.07 More than 9,000 Assets
Think Markets 80.05 Aimed at the Audience of Traders
Get more info about each broker beside it’s pros and cons
FXDD received the highest score in our survey (92.15). One of the first FOREX companies to offer a credit card in order to allow traders to withdraw their profits, this New York-based company has the UK's FCA license under its belt. It also has a rich portfolio of assets, offers a relatively low spread, in addition to the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform. Further, it has excellent and fast customer service, and also offers traders a variety of ways to deposit money.
CM Capital is considered the industry leader in deposits and withdrawals, whereby each withdrawal does not take more than five business days. Moreover, the company offers its customers a handy credit card to withdraw their profits, in addition to enabling customers to use various deposit methods. The company, which is licensed by the UK's FCA, has several branches around the world. Among other things, it has a rich portfolio of assets, especially stocks, offers a low spread, as well as the ability to use MT4.
What distinguishes XTB is the fact that it offers the best customer experience among all the companies we have surveyed. Indeed, it boasts the fastest response rate from all the companies under investigation. This is especially relevant, since the market is always on-the-go, and so you need to act fast. XTB offers lots of asset classes, as well as the ability to use the MT4 trading platform. Finally, it maintains a relatively low spread, which is suitable for quick deals.
IG is arguably the best broker when it comes to security and trust, boasting, as it does, licenses from 10 regulatory bodies, including the all-important FCA from the UK. The company is also a bank and is a publicly traded company in London. It is known for offering more than 10,000 asset classes of currencies, commodities, future contracts, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies etc. Further, it has its own state-of-the-art trading platform and offers a relatively low spread.
Saxobank is considered one of the best investment banks in the area of financial markets and currencies, as it offers the very best trading platform and tools from all the companies we have reviewed. Meanwhile, its spread is very low and, as such, suitable for short-term deals; and it offers a large number of asset classes, including currencies, commodities, indices etc. Finally, its customer service is excellent and very responsive to traders' needs.
CMC Markets is thought of as one the best companies, offering some 9,000 asset classes that encompass currencies, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, bonds and stocks. The company offers a relatively low spread, the MT4 platform, and fast customer service. It is most suited for traders looking for diversity in asset classes.
Originally founded in New Zealand in 2010, and moving to Australia within the space of their first two years, Think Markets is a global online brokerage focusing on FOREX and CFD trading. In addition to a range of major and minor currency pairs. Think Markets has an array of CFDs on offer. This includes indices, as well as hard and soft commodities.
At the get-go, it is important to learn more about regulatory bodies and their role in the FOREX market. These are government entities charged with regulating the sector. Their role is two-fold: 1. Observing andregulating the work environment in the FOREX market; and 2. Protecting investors and their funds. FOREX firms must at least obtain one license from a relevant regulatory authority. Otherwise, they should be avoided at all times. In this context, we present the five most important FOREX market regulatory bodies from around the world. 1. The FCA, UK; 2. The SwissFinancial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA); 3. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); 4. The Financial Markets Authority, New Zealand; and 5. The National Futures Association (NFA), US. While FOREX market regulatory bodies exist in almost every country, these are the most important five and also the most strict. To learn more about other regulatory bodies, please visit en.arincen.com, where you will find a comprehensive global database.
How to Verify that Your Broker Has Authorization
One of the first things to do in identifying if a FOREX broker is, indeed, regulated by the SCM is to ascertain the registry number from the disclosure text at the bottom of the broker's Malaysia homepage. The second thing is to look up the firm on the SCM Website to validate the current regulatory status of the FOREX broker in Malaysia. Noteworthy is Bank Negara Malaysia, which is the Central Bank of Malaysia, regulating money service businesses and FOREX dealers, and having recently issued new guidelines for digital currencies (cryptocurrency).
The Dos and Don’ts of FOREX Brokers
One of the first things a new FOREX trader ought to do is to check the extent to which the FOREX company abides by the rules and regulations governing its operation. Emphasis must be placed on what it can and cannot do. There are seven things brokerage firms cannot do:
The FOREX brokerage firm cannot recommend a buy or sell;
The FOREX brokerage firm must not provide price or market expectations (rise/fall);
The FOREX firm cannot control your financial dealings (deposit/withdrawal);
The FOREX brokerage firm should not “manage” your portfolio under any circumstance;
The FOREX brokerage firm cannot grant a client a bonus unless there are clear terms guiding it from beforehand;
The brokerage firm must not use bank accounts not under its name; and
FOREX brokerage firms cannot have or offer the service of account managers.
In short, the role of brokerage firms is strictly confined to facilitating buyers and sellers to come together toward an agreed-upon commission. FOREX brokerage firms that violate any of the seven rules aforementioned should be avoided. However, should the trader wish to receive any of the above-mentioned services, our advice is to seek an expert Website like Arincen, something we will delve into toward the end of this article.
FOREX Trading Scams and How to Avoid Them
It is an unfortunate reality that fraudulent activity features heavily in the history of the trading world. FOREX scams used to be rife, but with improved oversight and regulation, have been reduced significantly. One of the most pervasive and dangerous FOREX scams remains the spread differential scam that is perpetuated by brokers themselves. This is as good a reason as any for you to ensure that your broker is regulated properly. With the spread differential scam, brokers write code into their pricing and quoting interfaces that inflates the spread between buy and sell to the broker’s advantage. It is very hard to spot by a retail trader unless you have a very strong grasp of prevailing spreads, and you can prove the inflation of your broker’s spreads over a period of time. This is beyond the capability of the average trader. To protect yourself, it is best to spend a lot of time making sure the broker is in good standing with a top-tier regulator that can perform all the checks and oversight on your behalf.
Will Your Money be Protected if Your Broker Becomes Insolvent?
Malaysian brokers holding a CMSL license are obliged to contribute to the Capital Market Compensation Fund Corporation (CMC), which is a “compensation fund of last resort for customers of licensed brokers, derivatives dealers, fund managers, unit trust management companies and Private Retirement Scheme providers.” The CMC provides an avenue for individual investors in the event a CMSL license holder fails to pay amounts owed to its investors through fraud or mis-selling, which leads to insolvency. The CMC will step in to work toward compensating individual investors’ investments up to a fixed maximum amount, depending on the merits of the case.
What Tools and Platforms Should FOREX Brokers Offer?
FOREX brokers cater to the average trader’s needs by providing a raft of must-have tools. Some would say that a broker’s trading platform is the most crucial part of its service. A trading platform is an electronic interface through which the trader views market information and conducts trades.
Platforms are in many ways the face of a broker and come in two main types – proprietary and third-party. Proprietary platforms are developed by the broker with their own requirements and emphasis in mind. Third-party platforms, like the MetaTrader range, provide a more general offering for every type of investor, not just FOREX traders.
Ideally, brokers must provide access to several account types. Novice traders and experienced traders have different requirements, meaning that offering the right account type for each of them is the best way to service every customer. Brokers should also offer fast execution speeds, flexible contract sizes, detailed market analysis and extensive charting for technical analysis.
Which FOREX broker has the best platform?
Many brokers spare themselves the trouble of developing their own bespoke platforms by using MetaTrader’s MT4 platform, commonly thought to be the best third-party platform around. However, if you want to break from the crowd and use a proprietary platform that has innovative features not tied to legacy architecture, try Saxo Bank’s progressive proprietary platform.
Which FOREX broker charges the lowest fees?
You will find that FXDD charges the lowest fees in the market on its ECN account.
Which FOREX broker offers the most CFDs?
Based on our research, the FOREX brokers that deal in the most CFDs are CMC Markets and IG, both of which offer extensive CFD selections.
Which FOREX broker offers the most assets?
If you are the type of trader who is always on the lookout for new assets to try, and at the same time, you are constantly frustrated by the limited range offered by your broker, spend some time looking into the extensive range of assets on offer from CMC and IG, two brokers synonymous with endless asset class choice.
Which FOREX broker is best for professionals?
Professional traders often want to have the best of everything. They did not reach a position where they can trade FOREX as a full time job by accepting any less. If you are one such trader and you need a platform with advanced indicators, access to day trading and advanced trading orders, look for a broker that offers MT4.
Who is Arincen and what do we do?
Put simply, Arincen is a social networking platform that brings together traders and experts to exchange expertise and ideas. Together, we evaluate the best FOREX companies in the world while offering a compressive suite of services and tools, all in one place, either via a computer or a mobile app. The platform is so rich, one can create his own private portfolio of traders and experts they like and, at the same time, follow their recommendations and investment sentiments.
Further, thanks to Arincen, users can keep an eye on market-price developments, as well as the latest news. Users can also benefit from the network’s educational courses on offer, to say nothing of exciting Webinars ¬– all done in a modern and fast-paced work environment. Get all what you need in one place, not less, not more. In short. Arincen: We Meet to Simplify the Trading World.
If anything, the key message to take away from this article is that the FOREX brokerage firm you pick must be legally licensed and well-regulated. On a final note, it is never advisable to deal with FOREX companies on your own. It is best this is done with the help of industry experts who can provide you with all the services FOREX companies cannot. Start trading using Arincen and enjoy all the services, advice and tools it has to offer while making your trading experience profitable!
Arincen’s review methodology
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise. We have identified 13 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets, etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies to evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Is FOREX trading legal in Malaysia?
Yes, trading FOREX is legal in Malaysia. As many Malaysian nationals observe the Islamic religion, FOREX brokers in Malaysia need to provide Sharia-compliant trading conditions.
What is FOREX?
The FOREX market is where global currencies are traded. Over six trillion dollars trades hands on this market every day, making it the largest and most liquid financial market in the world.
What is FOREX trading?
FOREX trading involves buying and selling currencies that are paired against each other. FOREX trading at the retail level is conducted via FOREX brokers or expert intermediaries like Arincen.
What costs and commissions are associated with FOREX trading?
Much of FOREX trading involves calculating the spread, which is the difference between the bid (sell) price and the ask (buy) price of a currency pair. This differential often contains the broker’s fees, especially when they tell you they do not charge commissions. If your broker does charge commission, this is simply the revenue-generating premium that brokers place on every deal a trader executes.
How important is good customer service in FOREX trading?
FOREX markets are open 24/5, meaning that you must pick a brokerage firm that is able to provide good customer support around the clock. Company representatives must be easy to reach, well-trained and knowledgeable enough to be of use in times of difficulty.
Is FOREX trading taxable in Malaysia?
FOREX trading is taxable in Malaysia. It is regarded as income and is, therefore, taxable by law. You will need to speak to a tax expert to ascertain your tax liability relative to your trading profits and your other sources of income.
Adrian Ashley is a seasoned business and finance writer. With a corporate career spanning over 20 years, he has developed deep experience in such diverse areas as investing, business, finance, technology and macroeconomics.