Sharesies expands to offer investors access to Australian Stock Exchange

A man looks at the electronic display of stocks at the Australian Stock Exchange. Photo: Getty Images
A man looks at the electronic display of stocks at the Australian Stock Exchange. Photo: Getty Images
Online share trading platform Sharesies is expanding offering its investors the chance to trade shares on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

It already offers the New Zealand and US exchanges, and has also rolled out Sharesies to Australian investors.

Sharesies co-founder Brooke Roberts said expansion to trading on the ASX was an obvious next step.

"Our customers have been vocal about wanting access to Australian shares."

She said a trial of ASX trading with 25,000 users had seen $3 million invested, with the most popular company being counting software developer Xero which shifted its market listing to Australia several years ago, although it has remained a New Zealand based company.

The second most traded was airline Qantas, and the buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay.

But the most traded sector was mining, oil and gas, with four companies - Fortescue, BHP, Rio Tinto, and Base Resources - featuring in the top 10 stocks.

Roberts said it was possible that younger investors were buying into the companies as much for social and environmental reasons as for financial returns.

"We see people invest in these types of companies to become shareholder activists, to see how they can use their money and their influence to change these businesses too."

Sharesies has also just opened up trading to Australian based investors, which Roberts said would also open the New Zealand market to small investors across the Tasman.

She said Sharesies was looking at other market to get involved in, but was not in a position to say where at this stage.

Crypto-currencies was also a future investment product that might be offered - but not just yet.

"We're always looking at what are the opportunities that our investors want access to and we're looking at what we can do and fit in the regulatory framework and make sure that people really understand what they're investing in and the risk they're taking on."

Sharesies has about 350,000 investors, who have traded $1.2 billion worth of shares since it started.

Last year it raised $25m to fund expansion, with backing from local investors such as Trade Me, K1W1, and Icehouse Ventures, along with new investment from US-based venture capital firm Amplo.

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