AuthorBy Jeffrey CammackAuthor InformationUpdated: October 21, 2020

To get started with Forex trading, you will need to choose a broker. Forex trading is a popular form of investment in Malaysia due to its low barrier of entry. Unlike trading equities, Forex trading has low deposit requirements to get started, which is a large part of the appeal.

Forex brokers have different minimum deposit requirements but are also different in other ways. Forex brokers can support different Forex trading platforms, which is the software that connects traders to the Forex market. They also have different trading conditions, which affects how much it costs you to make a trade.

The best Forex brokers will be regulated by one or more regulator. There are a few well-respected international regulators and the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SCM) also offers local regulation. Trading with a broker regulated by the SCM will provide local protection, but Malaysian residents are not required to trade with SCM regulated brokers.

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Best Forex brokers in Malaysia 2020

Last updated on 21 Oct 2020
Updated 21 Oct 2020
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Sweden
1
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.234.23
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
59
Regulated by
11110.54.23/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysia Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.
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FXTM is an award-winning ECN/STP broker popular with beginner traders and experienced traders alike. Its popularity is due to the very wide range of accounts types, from instant execution accounts with very low minimum deposits to ultra-low spread ECN accounts – MT4 is supported across all account types and MT5 is available on the ECN accounts. An Islamic option is available for all account types but only on the MT4 platform.

With recognition from the FCA and CySec, excellent training material, and 24/7 customer support, FXTM is a great broker for all traders.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
Read More About FXTM
2
OctaFX
Min. Deposit
USD 50
4.104.10
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
28
Regulated by
11110.54.10/ 5
AlertAccepts Australian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.10 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 and cTrader platforms supported. OctaFX is regulated by CySEC.
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OctaFX is a client-focused, international broker with a loyal following of Malaysian traders. The website is fully translated into Bahasa Melayu and OctaFX are always running competitions and promotions for Malaysian clients; these include a 50% first deposit bonus, demo trading contests with cash prizes and frequent lottery giveaways (prizes include scooters, laptops and other gadgets).

An Islamic option is available for all account types and new traders will like the excellent analytical section and range of useful trading tools such as AutoChartist, copy trading and an account monitoring service that lets beginners learn anonymously from successful traders. Trader education for beginners is well-presented and platform support is almost unbeatable, with MT4, MT5 and cTrader all offered.

Pros
  • Great platform choice
  • Fast and free withdrawals
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Restrictive account types
Read More About OctaFX
3
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Min. Spread
0.90 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
Regulated by
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
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Good value, beginner-friendly and hugely respected all over the world, AvaTrade is one of the most reputable brokers in the industry. With support for the leading trading platforms, great trading conditions on Islamic accounts and top-quality multilingual support, AvaTrade has built a brand on a solid reputation and continues to please its many new and existing customers.  

AvaTrade offers trading in Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds, options, bonds, and equities and is a good choice for any type of forex trader ranging from beginners to scalpers and intraday traders to long-term traders.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited education
Read More About AvaTrade
4
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.384.38
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Fx Pairs
57
Regulated by
11110.54.38/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 888:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.
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XM Group (XM) is a full dealing desk broker which offers floating spreads and suits all kinds of traders.  XM offers swap-free Islamic accounts as well as a variety of other account types to suit traders.  It is a perfect broker for scalpers, intraday traders as well as long-term traders because of the tight spreads, fast execution times and good analysis software.  XM has a low minimum deposit making this broker accessible for traders just starting out.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
Read More About XM
5
HotForex
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.294.29
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
51
Regulated by
11110.54.29/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
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HotForex is an award-winning, global broker and has a reputation for client satisfaction. 

Trading conditions are varied across four account types, but spreads are generally tight (and are often zero pips on the market execution account). All accounts are also available as Islamic accounts, and HotForex also offers copy-trading and managed accounts.  All clients have a dedicated account manager, and deposits and withdrawals are free no matter the funding method.

HotForex has managed to attract a broad-based global clientele by offering multiple language capabilities and has a dedicated Malaysian team.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
Read More About HotForex
6
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
USD 200
4.514.51
Min. Spread
0.01 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
Regulated by
11110.54.51/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.16 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.
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Founded in 2010, Pepperstone is an Australian ECN broker known for tight spreads, fast trade execution and broad trading platform support. As our highest rated pure ECN broker, if you want to pay a small commission for tighter spreads, you won’t find much better than Pepperstone.

Pepperstone’s award-winning 24-hour support provides the foundation for its excellent customer service, where personalised assistance is available via a number of methods. It won the fastest-growing company award (2014) in Australia, from BRW Magazine and in the same year, emerged as the winner of the Governor of Victoria Export Awards cementing its reputation as a serious contender in the industry.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About Pepperstone
7
Axitrader
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.434.43
Min. Spread
0 pips
Fx Pairs
80+
Regulated by
11110.54.43/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA
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AxiTrader is an ASIC and FCA regulated ECN broker for serious traders. While the trading platform choice is limited to MT4, Axitrader has received industry recognition for their setup including Best MT4 Broker 2018 (Compare Forex Brokers Australia) and Best MT4 Provider 2018 (UK Forex Awards).

Both accounts at AxiTrader require no minimum deposit, though a minimum of 200 USD is recommended. Spreads are tight, commission on the Pro Account is competitive, and educational and analytical support is good for beginners.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Wide range of assets
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited demo account
Read More About Axitrader
8
MarketsX
Min. Deposit
USD 250
4.394.39
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
Regulated by
11110.54.39/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 300:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. MarketsX is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSCA.
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Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in Malaysia can take advantage of the swap-free Islamic account on offer.

The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
Read More About MarketsX
9
eToro
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.333.33
Min. Spread
1 pips
Fx Pairs
47
Regulated by
1110.503.33/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. Only eToro proprietary trading platform supported. eToro is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and ASIC.
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eToro pioneered social trading in 2012 and has been widely recognised for making the social trading experience as smooth and engaging as possible. eToro has since grown to become one of the largest Forex brokers in the world, and its success has made it clear that many traders view an active and helpful community as an essential part of their trading strategy.

eToro’s trading model is quite different from most other brokers and may take some time to get accustomed to, but if you are looking for a fun and simple social trading experience, then eToro is the best.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Good for beginners
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Wide spreads
Read More About eToro
10
BDSwiss
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.224.22
Min. Spread
1 pips
Fx Pairs
50+
Regulated by
11110.54.22/ 5
AlertAccepts Malaysian Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.
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BDSwiss is a popular and well-regulated broker, based in Cyprus and founded in 2012. It offers a wide range of account types, including a new subscription-based Raw Spread Account, which features very tight spreads and no commission in return for a monthly payment.

MT4 and MT5 are both supported and educational and analytical material are both excellent. More experienced traders will also find a lot to like with the Black Account, including free AutoChartist and one-on-one support.

Overall, BDSwiss is a good choice for all traders and we are curious to see if the low-spread subscription model catches on.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About BDSwiss

Choosing A Forex Broker

Forex trading in Malaysia is increasingly popular but many people are still concerned about the regulatory environment and the legality of the industry.

As far as regulation of Forex brokers is concerned, the Malaysian regulatory setup is in its infancy and hampered by decades of paranoia over the strength of the Ringgit. There is still some confusion over who is the actual regulatory authority for Forex brokers: The Bank Negara Malaysia is responsible for the Ringgit, while the Securities Commission of Malaysia oversees and licenses financial companies – but neither company holds responsibility for regulating Forex brokers.

To add further confusion, many Forex brokers operating in Malaysia are regulated by the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA), the regulatory body for the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (LIBFC). The LIBFC, based on the island of Labuan off the Borneo coast, was created in 1990 by the Malaysian government as a free trade zone and financial centre. Labuan is widely seen as a business-friendly environment, anchored by a simple and attractive tax system and the LFSA has a robust, modern and internationally recognised legal framework.

In reality, most Forex brokers operating in Malaysia remain regulated offshore. It is easier to comply with local regulations by saying that retail Forex trading with an offshore brokerage is considered foreign investment. Since most Forex trading in Malaysia does not involve the Ringgit, the regulatory agencies tend to ignore the vast majority of Forex brokers and traders in the country.

As long as you are not physically exchanging the Ringgit for foreign currency, or asking others to do the same through your business, the Malaysian regulatory agencies will not get involved.

This lack of local regulatory oversight leads to another problem though: there are many Forex brokers operating in Malaysia that are poorly regulated, or not regulated at all, and many of these are fraudulent. Therefore, it is important to make sure that any broker you choose to work with is regulated by one of the major international regulatory bodies (such as ASIC, CySec or the FCA).

Choosing a Forex Broker in Malaysia

You should always choose a Forex broker carefully to ensure that you get one that suits you best. We are going to look at the various factors you need to consider before choosing a broker, these are:

  • Regulation
  • Type of Broker
  • Trading Accounts
  • Demo Account
  • Spreads
  • Leverage
  • Trading Tools
  • Customer Service
  • Bonuses

Regulation

As mentioned previously, regulation is critical and the first thing to look for when choosing a broker is how well-regulated they are; this will determine how well protected you are as a customer. Before you start trading make sure that your broker is well regulated and considered safe by the wider Forex trading community. We never review a broker that we consider unsafe or untrustworthy and will always highlight where and how they are regulated.

Types of Forex Brokers

There are two distinct business models for Forex brokers, and they mean a very different trading experience for customers.

Brokers can generally be separated into two major categories:

  • Dealing Desk Brokers (DD) or Market Makers;
  • Non-Dealing Desk Brokers (NDD) which can be divided into two categories:
    • Electronic Communication Network (ECN);
    • Electronic Communication Network/Straight Through Processing (ECN/STP);

 

Different Types of Forex Brokers

Dealing Desk Brokers

Dealing Desk Brokers, also called market makers, are brokers who set their own price rates for currency transactions. In essence, a dealing desk broker will always be the counterparty to your trade. This means that all dealing desk brokers trade against their own client base.

In a Dealing Desk environment, there is an obvious conflict of interest because the Forex broker makes money not only from charging you on the spread, but they also profit from your losing trades. However, the main advantage of choosing a Dealing Desk Broker is that they generally have lower minimum deposit requirements and will not charge commission.

Non-Dealing Desk Brokers

TThe Non-Dealing Desk market environment is designed to give traders true market pricing and execution with no price re-quotes. Unlike dealing desk brokers, a non-dealing desk broker will not act as counterparty to your trade and will post your trade directly to the market. The main disadvantage of non-dealing desk brokers is that the required minimum deposit is usually higher, and commission is charged on trades.

ECN Brokers

ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers are so-called because they rely on a network of market participants (usually large lenders such as banks) to serve as counterparties to Forex trades. When you post a trade with an ECN they will find a third-party to take the other side of your trade, removing the conflict of interest present with a market maker.

ECN brokers will have tight spreads (and will charge commission on trades) but if there is not enough liquidity to execute your order, you’ll often get re-quotes.

ECN/STP Brokers

STP is short for Straight Through Processing – with STP your order is sent directly to the counterparty through the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol. The FIX protocol decreases trade execution time, reduces slippage and ensures that traders get the best available pricing.

An ECN/STP Forex broker operates the same way as an ECN broker does but with less chance of getting requoted on your trade. Some STP brokers will also act as a market maker if your order cannot be executed by the interbank market.

The main disadvantage of an STP Forex Broker is that you’ll receive dynamic (varying) spreads depending on market volatility and available liquidity.

Trading Accounts

Brokers will often have different tiers of accounts for you to select from. The more capital you intend to deposit with the broker, the tighter spreads you will receive and the higher leverage you will get. You will also have more access to account managers, data and signals.

Some basic trading accounts have a required minimum deposit of only 5 USD (20 MYR) but generally, most will be between 100 USD (4000 MYR) and 500 USD (20,000 MYR). I would always recommend that you only deposit money that you are comfortable losing because while trading can be very profitable, it is a high-risk venture.

Demo Accounts

Forex brokers will also have demo accounts, which are free accounts where you can practice your strategies and trading.

Demo accounts are important for beginners as well as for experienced traders who want to test different trading strategies. Some demo accounts are time-limited and after the demo period expires you will be encouraged to sign up for a funded account. Most brokers will allow you to keep your demo account once you have opened a live account.

Spreads

The spread is the difference between the buying price and the selling price of a currency. This difference is where a broker makes their money. As discussed above, direct market access brokers will charge a commission and have tighter spreads whereas market maker brokers will have no commission and wider spreads. Spreads will also change depending on a broker’s deal with their liquidity provider. We will go into more detail on spreads and commission and the bottom of this page.

Leverage

Leverage is additional capital borrowed from a liquidity provider and enables traders to open larger positions than would be possible with their existing account balance. It is presented as a ratio (such as 50:1 or 200:1)

Leverage is used because the movements in the currency markets are very small, so if retail traders did not use leverage their gains would be tiny. Brokers usually offer leverage anywhere from 100:1 to 1000:1, the exact amount you receive will depend on which liquidity provider your broker uses and your experience as a trader.

Leverage is dangerous because it not only maximises your profits, but it also maximises your losses. It’s advisable for retail traders with little experience to start with lower leverage because the risk exposure at higher levels can be significant. As you gain more experience and your broker sees that you are trading successfully, they may offer you increased leverage on your account.

Trading Tools at Forex Brokers

Brokers usually offer forex tools like calculators, economic calendars as well as trading signals so that you have easy access to as much information as possible.  When you sign up with a broker, ask your account manager what tools you will have access to for free, and what they will charge you for. This is often posted on their website but having this discussion with the broker before you have made your first deposit will often get you more free tools than is standard.

Customer Service

It is important that you choose a broker that has excellent customer service. All brokers offer customer service 5 days a week, but it is only a select few that will give you access to a dedicated account manager and weekend assistance. For some brokers this will require a larger minimum deposit and access to the higher levels of account tiers. Make sure your broker offers customer support in your preferred method of communication – whether that’s chat, email or telephone. eToro, for instance, no longer offers live customer support and operates a ticket system for all queries and problems.

Signup Bonuses

There is controversy over whether giving bonuses to first-time traders should be allowed. European regulators have recently banned the practice, and it looks like the Australian regulator will soon follow suit, while others around the world still allow it. Some brokers offer bonuses based on the amount that you deposit in your account, and others give you offers or run tournaments. Some offer no deposit bonuses to get you started.

Important note: Do not rely on bonuses because they are often come with fine print and are used as a mechanism to drive in new customers.  You will often not be able to withdraw them without trading with a broker for many months.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Malaysian Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from a Malaysian perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

References

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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