recently took over as the Managing Director of KASB Direct, the
Internet-based trading service of KASB Securities. Prior to this, he was
working as head of equities at Lahore office of KASB Securities. Khan
was born in 1969. After completing his MBA from Institute of Business
Administration (IBA), Karachi, he joined First Capital Mutual Fund.
Later, he moved to First Capital-ABN AMRO Equities in Sales &
Trading Department. He graduated to Head of Sales at Lahore office in
very short time.
What is KASB Direct?
KASB Direct is the on-line, Internet-based share trading service of KASB
Securities. It allows investors 24-hour access to their account
balances, portfolio holdings and statements. The aim of KASB Direct is
to provide investors with world-class service backed by the country's
most highly rated research team.
did you feel a need to introduce Internet-based trading?
The Internet has transformed the way we live our lives. The stock market
too has not been immune to this revolution. Gone are the days when
maintaining direct contact with a broker was the only way an individual
could play a role in the stock market. Thanks to online trading, the
choice of buying or selling a share for an investor is now simply a
mouse-click away. People in developed countries have long benefited from
this opportunity and it is undoubtedly the future of trading in Pakistan
as well. Keeping up with its tradition of offering quality products,
KASB Securities decided to present its clients an opportunity to avail
the benefits of online trading.
What features does KASB Direct offer?
RIZWAN KHAN: KASB
Direct offers investors a wide variety of options to help them manage
their finances. It provides up to the minute stock quotes, news and
research. It provides access to ready, COT, futures, provisional and
spot markets from one account. Additionally, KASB Direct offers various
options for placing orders, such as market orders, stop loss orders and
limit orders. Investors also have an opportunity to avail the benefit of
leveraging by trading on margin through KASB Direct. In addition to
offering a wide range of sophisticated trading options, KASB Direct has
the added benefit of being a very user-friendly programme. It has a
highly customizable interface that is likely to meet the requirements of
any investor. We assume the client is going to sit in front of the
screen for a few hours, so we made sure that the experience is not an
uncomfortable one. KASB Direct screens can be adjusted for size, colour
and fonts. It just depends on how the client wants to filter the data.
Moreover, KASB Direct provides its users a chance to carry out their own
analyses through advanced charting techniques and a variety of other
How is it different from existing services?
The existing online trading service in Pakistan is Internet based. KASB
Direct is the first software based Internet trading service. Even though
the product is available over the Internet cloud, sophisticated
investors can avail a premium connectivity service through Worldtel and
Cybernet. This service will bypass the Internet through a Virtual
Private Network (VPN), linking the client directly to the Karachi Stock
Exchange. KASB Direct also provides a distinct advantage in terms of
speed. The current online systems take 10-15 seconds to execute trades.
KASB Direct, on the other hand, does it in two seconds. Our strategy for
clients at KASB Direct is also a distinctive factor. We have developed
two channels, namely the KASB Direct website (www.kasbdirect.com) and a
trading terminal. While the former provides clients the necessary
information to make their decisions, the latter allows them to carry out
it offer any advantages over working through a broker?
RIZWAN KHAN: KASB
Direct offers its users access to their portfolio during any time of the
day. On the other, investors working through brokers can have access to
this information only during the brokers' working hours. Trading through
KASB Direct, rather than a broker, also gives investors greater control
over their transactions. KASB Direct offers its users complete control
over when orders are executed and at what price, thus taking away the
fears normally involved with working through brokers.
What steps has KASB Direct taken to manage risk?
A state-of-the-art risk management system has been created by KASB
Securities, which covers investment and margin trading activities of the
client. It controls the margin at 20 percent, restricting the customer
from any buying below this level. The system automatically generates
automatic margin calls.
Why did KASB Securities take such a long time in launching KASB Direct?
RIZWAN KHAN: As
I mentioned earlier, KASB Securities has long followed a tradition of
offering quality products to its clients. Consequently, we felt it was
preferable to spend two-and-a-half years in the development and
launching of KASB Direct, rather than offering a half-baked, faulty
product. I am confident that once investors use KASB Direct, they will
agree with us that it was well worth the wait.