The Korea Herald

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Toss Securities poised to become top retail broker

By Im Eun-byel

Published : March 14, 2024 - 15:45

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Toss Securities CEO Kim Seung-yeon speaks at a press event at a hotel in Yeouido, western Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap) Toss Securities CEO Kim Seung-yeon speaks at a press event at a hotel in Yeouido, western Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

Toss Securities, a brokerage arm under financial technology giant Viva Republica, shared its vision Thursday to become a leading player in the Korean retail trading market, launching new services ranging from bonds to derivatives to diversify its portfolio.

“Until last year, Toss Securities worked on proving its lucrativeness as a brokerage house. This year, it will achieve meaningful results both in profitability and growth by offering diverse financial products,” Toss Securities CEO Kim Seung-yeon said at a press event held at a hotel in western Seoul, launched to commemorate the firm's third anniversary since its establishment.

At the event, the brokerage house unveiled its plans to launch a restructured PC-based Web Trading System next month. The WTS, linked with the existing mobile trading system, will provide more in-depth information and detailed services for professional investors.

Though local brokerage houses focus heavily on investment banking and credit financing, Toss Securities will prioritize retail trading for the time being, Kim underlined.

"Toss Securities was the country's first new brokerage firm to be licensed in 12 years. Rather than hastily expanding business to IB (investment banking), we will work on retail trading first," Kim said. "For the time being, we do not have any plans to engage in IB."

Instead, the mobile-based brokerage firm is to focus on its forte, which is overseas equity trading, diversifying related services by offering trading for US corporate bonds and foreign derivatives.

As the first local broker to offer real-time fractional US share trading in 2022, Toss Securities has maintained some 20 percent market share in Korea's portion of US stock trading.

While US corporate bonds offered to local investors here by other brokerage houses remain limited in terms of diversity and require a minimum transaction volume of up to 10 million won ($7,600), the firm plans to introduce more products while lowering the minimum to $1,000.

In addition, it will bring in foreign derivatives under its wing, allowing investors to seek profit in market fluctuations.

“We plan to take up market share by strengthening the value chain, by broadening the lineup for overseas stock transactions,” said Kim Kyu-bin, head of products at Toss Securities.

Since its launch in 2021, the mobile-based broker has shown fast growth. It saw its first profitable year in 2023, logging 1.53 billion won in net profit. The firm said it expects continued growth in the first quarter this year.

Having garnered 5.8 million registered users up to March by adding 1 million new accounts last year, it has an average 3 million monthly active users, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Toss parent company Viva Republica is eyeing a market debut next year, having selected lead underwriters for its initial public offering last month. Its market value is estimated to be set at approximately 15 trillion to 20 trillion won.