KASB Securities’ $4.5mn bet on creating an apprised generation of stock market investors

Pakistan’s leading brokerage house plans to dominate as a fintech company with aggressive outreach, education, and research for investors

LAHORE: In a country of over 220 million people, a little over 250,000 people invest in the stock market, and Pakistan’s leading brokerage house KASB Securities wants to change that through its online stock trading application KTrade. 

KTrade was launched in 2019 to buy or sell stocks on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and in a recent push to increase the number of stock traders in Pakistan, KTrade raised $4.5 million in a funding round led by Hong Kong-based TTB Partners and American HOF Capital. Fintech investor Christian Angermayer and prominent business groups also joined the round. 

KTrade is not simply pushing to increase the number of stock market investors in Pakistan. It wants to increase the number of ‘informed’ retail investors that are able to make prudent investment decisions based on research. 

In the traditional broker-client setting, High Net Worth (HNW) individuals and institutions get preferential treatment with cutting edge research available to this lot only, while individual investors would be considered as extras. This has also kept the number of stock market investors low.

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According to Mahmood Ali Shah Bukhari, the CEO of KASB Securities, the KTrade application eliminates the information asymmetry between High Net Worth individuals and retail investors by making access to research and the content of the research similar for an investor who has Rs1 million in the account as compared to an investor who is starting off with Rs5,000 only. 

“Our aim is to hit 10 million retail stock market investors. To get to that number, financial literacy is the primer and our plan is to make the research available to everyone,” says Mahmood.  

KTrade screengrab displaying live stock prices, option to buy or sell, and access to research portal

“Supplemented by the 98 million people that have access to the internet on their phones, there can be a lot more stock market investors digitally that can be trading on the stock exchange and that is what we want to achieve,” says Mahmood Ali Shah Bukhari, CEO at KASB Securities. 

“We are also disabusing people of the perception that stocks do not generate better returns than investments in gold or real estate. We carried out a study which substantiated that if someone invests in real estate for 10 years and does the same in the stock market, he would get better returns with stocks,” says Mahmood. 

“These are the people who need to be trained to not keep gold or dollars or rely on rental income,” he says. 

On the same theme and to set itself apart from competitors, KASB Trading Titans allows users to acquaint themselves with stock market trading in a virtual setting through an account that allows mock trading. 

“KTrade presently has 200,000 registered users, most of which are mock traders. We give these traders Rs1 million in virtual currency to invest in the market at real prices,” says Mahmood. “Some of these mock traders have been able to generate returns better than experienced fund managers and we know that our bet is safe,” adds the CEO.

The push to onboard retail investors is vigorous and KASB Securities has recently signed an MoU with JazzCash that will enable JazzCash users to invest in stocks directly from their application, with easy onboarding.   

While Ktrade presently only has the option for stock trading, it has already secured a license for commodity trading that will be launched soon, followed by enabling investments into mutual funds on the application.  

Mahmood says that with the incoming funds, the company plans to spend on expanding the outreach of KTrade with the opening of facilitation centers, and on promoting the application for people to get acquainted with what is happening in the stock market and educating people about it. 

“Technology is going to be at the forefront as well because we want to make the application experience as friendly as possible,” he says. 

 

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Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. Honorable Mr. Mahmood Ali Shah Bukhari CEO KASB Securities App.,
    K-Trade sponsored TTB Partners HOF Capital K-Trade raised $4.5 million funding to increase number of “compliant” informed investors able to prudent retail investment decisions on research Mr. M.A.S. Bukhari with todays Accession Networks of Telecom in Pakistan. PTCL has defaulted on the “Capacity Building” of Digitalised, Standardised, Optimised Broadband Network recommended by UN/ITU, the PTA regulatory Authority, USF (Universal Service Fund/Ministry of IT&Telecom., Governent of Pakistan which subsidises the broadband technology as per UN/ITU reccomendations. Karachi in particularly is very disappointing picture from PTCL to Upgrade the conventional decades Plastic Alluminised Black wire mostly used for drying clothes at Dhobi Ghat is provided to Broadband Services of PTCL. The UN/ITU recommendations from Geneva is followed by all licensees of PTA, except PTCL. The network is called G-Pon (Giga Byte Passive Optical Network) which is called FTTH (Fiber to the Home) provides the best service of Internet by other TransWorld etc., PTCL U-fone company is only operating on 2G/3G mostly 2G network. The Digital Technologies reccomended by UN/ITU, PTA, MOITT, USF is not applied to PTCL network. I suggest you should invite the Chairman PTA to PSX to the network issue of PTCL/Ufone to Capacity Building of PTCL and Compliance to ITU reccomendations to the Capital Market.
    In the past I had taken the Chairperson PTA Major General Shahzada Alam Malik when the licenses of PTCL and Mobile policy was under discussion.
    My suggestion you should not ignore the Capacity Building by PTCL to Digitisation, Optimisation, Standardisation of the Network which are Digital. My best wishes, as the Ufone is also 2G/3G, PTCL fix line phone is Analog on Black Alluminised Cable, instead of the FTTH provided by all PTA licensed companies in Pakistan. With best wishes

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