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Investing abroad a click away

Investing abroad a click away

ICICI Direct’s recent tie-up with Penson Financial Services of US for launching overseas trading on its platform has resulted in a flurry of activity among the broking houses.

ICICI Direct’s recent tie-up with Penson Financial Services of US for launching overseas trading on its platform has resulted in a flurry of activity among the broking houses. Indiabulls and Man Financial are in talks with overseas partners to launch similar products in the coming months. ICICI direct is, of course, hoping that with the liberalising of the remittance allowance by RBI, to $200,000 (Rs 80 lakh), greater amounts will be invested abroad and that it will enjoy the first mover advantage in this field.

Says Anil Kaul, Head, ICICI direct: “Currently, we are offering the opportunity to invest only on NYSE and NASDAQ, but we plan to offer access to other bourses as well, subject to regulatory approvals.” Brokerage charges will be $9 (Rs 360) or 0.75 per cent, whichever is higher. “We allow only delivery-based trading—there will be no leverage or margin positions— in stocks, ADRs, exchange traded funds, stock options and index options,” says Kaul.

Investments can be made through rupee accounts and profits earned from such trades can be remitted to accounts in India, he adds. “Currently, the number of individual Indian investors participating in equities outside India is very small. Besides, when the Indian markets are doing so well, not many will want to invest in dollar stocks especially when the rupee is appreciating against the dollar,:” says Nirmal Jain, CMD, India Infoline. He, however, quickly add that this trend will pick up in the coming three-to-five years.